You all may be well and doomed, now that I know how to work Youtube. Those of you that aren’t dog lovers, I swear I would take more video of the cats, only they’re BORING. I do not have kittens. I have a cat that sits on the table and yells at me, and one that purrs at me from the top of the fridge. That is not good video, people. Neither is me sitting around knitting, so you’ll have to make do with dogs. And they’re such CUTE vicious dogs.
Also, anyone else having an issue with that new Visitor stat counter? It’s causing some readers’ internets to freeze, and we hate a frozen internet. I’m moving it to my Knitting page, because no one really goes there, but if you really want to see yourself represented, go over there! (And I like to be able to see where y’all are. It’s cool.)
I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been well. But I’m better now although still sniffly and tender-headed, so I’ll say a quick hello. Couldn’t sleep late this morning (a good sign, I think), and I was up before the sun was. I made coffee and did my writing (hello little Nano! You’re going to grow up to be a finished book soon!) and now I’m futzing around with computer things while I squish Harriet on my writing chair. Neither of us will give an inch. But at least one side of me is very warm.
I went to Ikea and bought pretty boxes yesterday, and as soon as I can pry myself off the computer, I’m going to Organize things. Yawn. That sounded so great yesterday. Today I want to make a quilt out of old shirts. You canNOT let me get sick and bored. Terrible crafty things happen as soon as I’m well.
And while I’m thinking about it — what’s your favorite home organization blog? Do enough exist for you to have a favorite? The only one I’m aware of is Apartment Therapy, and that’s pretty cool. Tell me more?
And look! That sitemeter on the right now shows cities. Can you see your city on there? Hello, Bainbridge Island! I think you’re pretty and you have such a nice yarn shop…. (Ack! I kept wondering who in Union City was online every time I looked at the site and then I realized this — it thinks I’m in Union City. I’m not! I’m in Oakland! SUCH a difference. I don’t want to be in Union City. Really, thanks.)
The Whoreshoes tear up the Bottom of the Hill tonight (as seen in, yes, SPIN magazine!). Get your sass-grass on — I’ll be there, babysitting my godson…. you should come.
You already know that I’m an EMD, an emergency medical dispatcher. We’re the ones who give the medical instructions before the paramedics get on scene. And while that sounds cool, sure, all we’re really doing is reading instructions from a computer screen. I ask if you’re breathing normally and depending on your answer, the computer (or flip chart, when the computer crashes) tells me what to ask next. Choose Your Own Adventure medical instructions. It’s not difficult. Freaky and hard to control sometimes, sometimes sad and difficult to hear, but I like it.
I enjoy talking people down. I like being the calm voice, the person who’s helping, the one who reminds them to breathe. I love hearing babies being born. I love telling a kid they’ve done a great job when they call for help. I love reassuring people that if the baby is crying like that, he’s getting enough air and isn’t choking anymore.
I don’t like it when I could be helping give CPR instructions but instead they’re holding the cell phone away from their body, screaming and running in a circle around a parking lot. I don’t like being the last person someone talks to. I don’t like Vonage phones. (Remind me to do a post on Vonage sometime soon.)
But I learned something new and interesting tonight.
One of the questions for a person with chest pain is whether or not she is clammy.
Which, if you have a bad cold, comes out, "Are you clabby?"
There was a long silence, as the patient tried to puzzle that one out. I suppose I would worry, too, if someone vaguely medical wondered if I were clabby. Crap! Clabs? Have I got them? I don’t know! Maybe? I bet I do! Oh, crappity crap! Clabs! I just knew it! That’s what that was!
(My second favorite recent one was when I asked a woman if she had a history of heart problems. She was exceedingly affronted and said, "No! But I’m planning to." You can’t make this stuff up.)
It’s one of those nights at work where I’m glad I brought
two books. The wee small hours are normally quiet, although nothing is
guaranteed, and I’m too far away from the television to really hear it, and I
can’t be bothered, anyway.
I’m fighting major cramps, the kind that make you
want to curl up in a ball and cry until the pillow is all wet and soggy and
cold and gross. I’m also fighting a minor cold. My throat hurts and nothing
feels right. I’m bummed, also, because I have new drugs, new, really powerful
drugs that if I were at home I could take and then curl up in that pain-free
drug zone, but really, you don’t want the person answering 911 to be in that
zone. You want your cat in that zone, not a public servant. And the Big Pain
this month is landing smack dab in the 12 hours that I’m at work. So I ball up by myself over here in the corner and squinch my eyes shut and wait it out. By the time I
get home at 7am, I’ll be human again and won’t need the meds. That’s a good
thing. But it’s no fun right now.
Bah. I need to go back to acupuncture. I’ve been running,
and taking my calcium, and avoiding caffeine, blah blah blah. Acupuncture is
the best thing for this – I just have to get back into it. Need to find a good
acupuncturist in Oakland.
Know of any?
Hey, I’m going back to dayshift! Did I tell you that? On
dayshift, I don’t get much knitting or reading done, but a twelve hour shift
flies by. And it should be pretty permanent, as I’ve got the seniority now to
keep it. Thank goodness. My two to three hour daily commute will be a
thing of the past; it’ll be a 25 minute door-to-door trip. Dang. That’ll save
me hours a day, in travel time alone. It pays 5% less because of
differential pay scale, but I’m sure the gas savings will make up for that. And
time! More time!
Oooh! I have no pain right now. Isn’t that the best feeling? When
the pain abates for a moment? Mmmm.
In comments, Lisa asked,
You have a good time a
lot of the time -it must be a gene! I think it’s wonderful to have that. I’m
not jealous but mildy curious as to how one can engineer their life in order to
achieve that. I haven’t a clue.
In answer, I’m not totally sure. I work at it. I really do. Also,
it really might be a gene, or a chemical composition in my body that I accidentally
inherited and really like – maybe I got some positivity gene. Not so much
Pollyanna Syndrome, but I can find lots of things to be glad about, even in the
midst of frustrating times.
And yes, suffering comes to everyone, so, dude, I believe in having
fun whenever you can. By that I don’t mean by throwing parties and going out to
functions and being social – I mean by knowing what you like to do and planning
time to do it. I do a lot of that. I’m selfish about it. I alert Lala when I
feel like I haven’t had “my time” to do fuck-all, and I claim the TV. Or I go
into the city and look into windows. Or I throw cheese at the dog, or spin, or
sit in the sun on the back porch, whatever makes my heart happy.
You gotta plan
that stuff, you can’t wait for happiness to find you, because it while it
sometimes surprises you and sweeps your off your feet unexpectedly, usually it’s
hanging out in the side yard, digging holes, burying bones. You have to call
it. You have to court it, plan for it, woo it when you wake up in the morning
and kiss it goodnight. Or maybe I mean woo yourself, kiss yourself. (I swear, I’m
not dipping into the pain meds; perhaps it’s the exhilaration of the pain
subsiding, natural endorphins kicking in, that’s making me write like this.)
do it, do plan for your own happiness. That means taking care of yourself,
physically. Giving yourself small nice things. Knowing what you like best,
whether that’s a color you put on the walls or the kind of tissue that makes
your nose happiest, and giving yourself time to enjoy them. Sit on the floor
with your fabulous dog (and she is fabulous, I know she is) or rub the pretty cat’s
belly or drink your really strong (or weak) coffee and look at your yellow (or
blue or green) walls and blow your nose with soft tissue and enjoy the moment.
I’m trying to meditate more, too. Do you KNOW how good that
is for you? All juju aside, it’s just good for the body, period.
Lisa also asks: I was wondering
if you rented your apartment? And what happened with the difficult man next
I did rent the apartment, to a
lovely ex-Peace Corps volunteer turned high school teacher. The difficult man
next door is still damn difficult. But things are slowly getting done and resolved at the place –
the roof is fixed, and we’re working on the deck as we speak. And it’s all
I’m going to read now. You do
something nice for yourself, okay?
So here: Boil some shell or macaroni pasta for five minutes. Drain, lay in the bottom of a 9×13 glass dish. On top of that, add a can of drained beans (I used white, you could use black or anything you like), and then a can of drained tuna, then a can of mushroom soup (I like Amy’s because it has no MSG, which I’m deathly allergic to, unlike most other brands), then some frozen green peas, a chopped scallion, then top with grated sharp cheddar. Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncovered for 5 minutes. Weirdly good.
I have in the oven right now either a miracle or a disaster. I layered pasta shells (cooked), white beans, Amy’s mushroom soup, green beans, tuna, scallions, and cheddar cheese. It’s either going to taste great or horrible, and I have no idea which way it will go. I love casseroles. I just don’t know how to make them with things lying around in the freezer and cupboard. How do you do it?
While you think about that and while we wait for that to cook (oh, I HOPE it’s good — it has to be dinner all week at work), why don’t I show you a few pics? I’ve been hanging with my godson Dylan quite a bit this week. I just remembered that perhaps it’s my knitterly godmom duty to make him another sweater for Christmas, since he’s almost grown out of the cabled one. I’m broke, so I hied me down to Michaels (gasp) and found some adequate wool (Lion maybe?). Green and brown, soft enough for a baby, anyway. I headed with my goods to the counter. I was buying six balls, so I’d be able to make Mom a scarf/hat set to match, if I have time. I mentally calculated what I thought it might cost on my way to the checkout. Thirty bucks, I figured, for six skeins. I hadn’t actually looked at the price. Then the gal rang me up. $15.25. Dude. For six balls. Why am I so addicted to The Nice Stuff? This cheap stuff doesn’t suck like it used to, huh?
We had a little music party over the weekend, and it was FUN! We invited strictly musicians and a smattering of fiber folk, so we would keep the party small. It didn’t work. Musicians know lots of cool people, and the house was packed.
I felt like such a grownup. I remember a long, long, LONG time ago, I must have been five years old, maybe less, I wandered out in what was my middle of the night and found my parents having a small soiree in the living room, one that I had been unaware of. My mother wore an elegant short sheath, and she held a cigarette in one hand, and was leaning back against the couch, laughing. I was STUNNED at how cool my mother was, and a little offended that the woman who wore jeans and cleaned up vomit (I was a throw-uppy kid) could be so glamorous. She swears she remembers nothing of this, and if she was holding a cigarette, it was only a prop. More power to ya, mom. You looked awesome.
I kinda felt like her the other night. I’d been in sweats all day, cooking since ten in the morning, hanging white lights in the sunroom. At about four, I went to the store and bought masses of potted flowers, took the dogs for a walk, then came home and Got Glam. I have this dress I got at a thrift store a couple of years ago and have never found the opportunity to wear. I busted it out. It’s kind of hard to see in this shot, but here:
It goes just below knee, and I love it. It fits like a dream, and back then, they knew how to make a dress that had room for hips, chest, AND belly. It had a little belly pouch, and I definitely have a belly to put in it.
Lala got appropriately schmancy, too, see?
This was Before Party. (Man, I’m glad I didn’t take an After Party pic. It took four hours to clean yesterday.)
The food! (Lala set all this up, this and the drinks table, while I was primping, so she gets major bonus points.)
Aren’t we FANCY? Cut limes AND lemons! Toothpicks! People, the parties I’ve had in the past have involved Tecate and one jar of olives of unknown provenance, dug from the back of the fridge. Maybe a half-eaten bag of chips and some Oreos. I exaggerate, but not much.
There were also party dresses:
Miss Idaho in Mizrahi (really, Target, dude)
Cousin Fondue aka Noodle, in Santa.
Harriet wore a lovely little number that accidentally matched my dress, but she avoided the camera. She’s the smartest one. Clara was crated for most of the party and didn’t have to wear anything. She’s not fond of crowds, and she’d already eaten all the feta, so she was good with her bone in there.
And there were musicians:
Even very young ones:
A good time was had, I believe. I think the last folks left at about three, and because we live in Oakland, if the cops were called, they wouldn’t have had time to check on it until the next day, so we’re good. And the floors are now mopped. I’m happy.
lala sent me this link, from the Los Angeles Fire Department blog. (Isn’t it fitting that they have one? Cute. It probably has hair and makeup people, too.)
You know that whole static buildup thing at the gas pump? That you thought was crap? Like how you’re not supposed to get back into your car while fueling, or use your cell phone?
It’s not crap. Check it. Scary stuff. (Not gory, though, safe for the fire-phobes like me to watch.) Even though I work for a major metropolitan fire department, I never knew this could actually happen. And I’m one of those that always carries a major charge, shocking myself hugely every time I get out of any car, open any metal door….. Yikes.