I'd have fun nursing stories for you, except I haven't got any.

I've had nine patients in the last week or so. One of them had a stroke. The others were referred to us, for reasons I don't understand, for everything from constipation to heartburn to a torn rotator cuff.

If an emergency room doc can't tell the difference between constipation and a stroke. . . .Oh, dear.

Just Oh, dear.

So instead I'll talk about Dia de los Muertos and the costume I've worked up for this year's street party. I didn't make last year's party, due to that little altercation with a bone saw, so this year I'm going as. . .

a nurse.

Yep. A nurse. With a white dress (Barco still makes 'em: double-breasted, button-down nurse dresses with knee-length skirts and long sleeves) and cap (White Swan makes those, out of cotton, with a button in the back) and black-and-white sugar skull makeup, excepting the big red cross in the middle of my forehead and the drop of blood on my chin.

Basically I'll be my own calavera, complete with bottle of tequila and black-and-white flowers in my hair (small ones, so as not to compete with the cap).

The cap I'm going to trim out with black grosgrain ribbon, ditto the sleeves of the dress, and find a wide-enough piece of grosgrain for a belt. White stockings and black heeled oxfords, and all I'll need is some dude dressed as a calavera Navy guy to recreate The VJ Day of the Dead.

Dad was all excited that I was returning to a gentler, more modest past until I told him that the dress was for DdlM.

Pictures to follow, provided the makeup turns out and I don't end up in a white dress with some dude with a faltering grip on reality and a harpoon following me around.