Wednesday, March 30, 2011
A quick aside; since I know spicy Cuban Mo is horrified by my carpooling, I'm going to distract her with this:
Oooo...pretty yarn.... Btw, I got this image from a lovely blog: http://needled.wordpress.com/page/23/ You know, in case one wanted to go see pretty knitting pictures rather than read what I've typed here.
No, this has nothing to do with today's yammering. I just thought it was easier than saying, "Look! Something sparkly!"
Anyway. Morning routine.
Almost every workday morning, Roommate will get up around 0515. I know. Even the Omnipotent Comedian is still asleep. But she will get up, cross the hall and open the door to my room, releasing the terrier to join the beagles. They will all go outside and do their business. Then she will let them back inside and they will rush my bedroom like an offensive line of football players at a quarterback. After leaping up on my bed, the dogs will receive their good-job cookie. Roommate will leave, shutting the door behind her. Then there's the obligatory settling in period.
Tuppence Marie will recline against a pillow, near my head, like the Queen of Sheba she is. Maddie, the eleven year old beagle, will press herself to my side or back, depending on my position, so long as she is as close as caninely possible to a body. Bailey the Beagle Boy [Excuse me, are those Beagle Boy jeans you're wearing? We thought so.] will nose his way under the covers and find bare flesh, against which he will press his cold and wet feet and nose. A faint hissing sound and a yowl from owner of flesh often accompanies this move. Then all four of us get an extra 20-30 minutes of sleep while Roommate gets ready for the day.
After far too little time, Roommate will open the bedroom door again and announce breakfast. For the dogs. In the ensuing melee, absolutely no concern for the owner of the bed is shown by the canine companions as they scramble to the kitchen, kicking and stepping on the non-dog member of the party. Muffled and unintelligible moaning/grousing is often heard.
Five to fifteen minutes later, Roommate will employ secondary measures to get me up. These include yelling, a shrieking teakettle, crowbars and small volumes of TNT. I drag myself out of my bed, assemble myself to the best of my ability and get to the car. There, my purse, my computer bag and a travel cup of tea wait for me. This is what usually happens.
This morning, however, was a little different. Roommate...fell back asleep.
Fortunately, Tuppence Marie set an alarm on her Blackberry.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Volvo had the goal of scaring the holy living crap out of me this week and oh, my, did he succeed! Yay. Volvo! Live the dream, baby! Volvo spent the night at the repair shop and after spending the day playing with the boys, was given a clean bill of health. Yup. A mere $130 later, all the lights on Volvo's dash were turned off and I was called to come and pick him up.
Say it with me...WHEW! The mechanic couldn't get the dash warning lights to come on again, so he told me to drive the car around and bring it in immediately if the scary Transmission Arrow of Death came back. I thanked him. I went to my car. I drove Volvo back to work. I handed over the keys to Roommate to drive home, as we carpool to work, so she had a way to get home.
Carpooling this morning meant walking to work together, btw. Normally, Roommate starts work at 0630, so I drive in every morning 90 minutes earlier than I need to be at the lab. Because we carpool. We're taking one car off the road. We're saving on gas and reducing emissions. It's the right thing to do. You know, if you continue to smirk like that, your face is going to freeze that way.
Anyway. As I was trudging in with her this morning, I woke up enough to ask, "Why am I walking in with you this early? Since we're not driving, I could have walked in later."
"So you can spend time with me."
"Oh, yes," I replied. "I do enjoy that. But why am I walking in with you this early?"
I got The Look. [No, we're not a couple. I've gone over this already. Pay attention.]
Moving on. I gave the keys to Volvo, newly returned to my bosom, to Roommate. And Roommate drove Volvo home. And then Roommate called.
"The lights are back on."
Different lights. Not the scary Transmission Arrow of Death, but still. Sigh. Evidently, Volvo's new goal is to play with the mechanics again.
I resent this nearly as much as my underwear's goal of becoming a thong. Both are obviously trying to make me very uncomfortable.
Rude inanimate objects.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Automatic Gearbox Warning Contact Volvo Dealer Immediately
According to Volvo's owners manual, this warning is signaled by flashing arrow on my dashboard. A flashing arrow appeared on my dashboard as I was racing my wee beastie to water therapy this afternoon. I made it to water therapy, I made it back to the repair shop. I parked the car there and walked the mile or so back to work.
Yeah. I was late getting back.
Now I get to see how much it will cost me to repair Volvo. Poor Volvo. Poor moose-battling Volvo. He does his best, Volvo does, but there's only so much a little Swedish sedan can do. Even if he is made out of cast iron.
I asked the woman at the desk at the repair shop to wave a magic wand and make it an easy repair that cost very little and she laughed. It wasn't a pleasant laugh. It unsettled me, that laugh, almost as much as the brochures for Mediterranean cruises that littered her work space.
Now, dearest invisible friend, please understand. I accept that as the owner of a vehicle, I have to pay for some maintenance and repair. I would just prefer not to be someone's vacation fund. I think I pay enough for other things. Things. Stuff. Services. Thousands and thousands of dollars for it.
Not that I wasn't delighted to fund the education of those therapists' college-age children. I see that as a benefit to society. One wouldn't wish therapists' children to be left to run loose on the streets. Education is always of value.
The yacht was excessive. Oh, yes, he needed the yacht. Pfft.
And the Christmas cards I get from Duracell are lovely. One can hardly regret that expenditure. I see this as a boost to the economy.
But I really hope this particular repair job is inexpensive. I'm almost out of batteries.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Yes, there were squealing noises made. Okay, mostly by me. And I know, we don't need another dog. But ohhhhhhh. Babies!!!!
Ow! Jeeze. That hurt. I accept that I was getting a little out of control, but do you blame me?
After that, we went up to Vancouver, British Columbia. We met a friend, we had lunch, we bopped around Grenville Island, we played tourist. On our way home, we picked up Big Head Ted. A lovely day. Lovely! And I needed it to be, as it was my one day off in eleven days.
That sounds whiny, doesn't it? Okay, whinier than usual. Shut it. And normally, a day off in an eleven day stretch wouldn't be that big of a deal. But I'm antsy.
Ask me why! Ask me why!!
Okay, since you asked...I have time off coming up! And not just any time off. I have...
[Wait for it.]
That's right! The whole darn month! I know!
Now, before you get too excited, it's not all going to be fun and games. Some fun. The occasional game. But not all. I am taking this month to work on my next book.
Can you believe it???
So. I will be staying at the lake cabin for part of the month, working away at my next WIP. There will be breaks to watch hockey and conversations with my wee beastie, who will be along for the ride. Roommate may pop out for the odd weekend with the beagles. GF Jen may drive up for a few days of intensive editing on my present WIP. I may beg Kristen to take a day from the hordes of animals and family to do the same. [She might laugh mockingly. At this point, we don't know.] But copious volumes of writing will occur.
And NO work-work. Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!
That's right. The lab will be a Lisa-Marie-free zone. Someone else will have to be snarky and passive-aggressive! Naturally, I have every faith in my coworkers' ability to bitch, moan and complain and I don't think my absence will be noticed.
Well, except for the baking. They might notice that.
Sigh. I'm so excited I could plotz.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
this patient I like,
The patient I enjoy.
It's a lot of this and that
here and there
And I agreed.
It is the step taken
On the foot
It is the bone, the muscle, the tendons
that are my stories.
Buried in detritus
mired in commonplace.
It isn't the journey.
It isn't the moment, frozen
It isn't the core of all that is
or never will be
because my tale survives only on the surface.
The cotton fluff would crush and melt
under the weight of meaning
in the magma of his earth.
It is candy versus creation.
It is volume versus molecules of meaning.
It does not have the responsibility of verse,
It is what I do.
And this is why I don't write poetry anymore.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
As I approached the crosswalk, I could feel the vibration of bass [low musical tones, not fish] coming from a vehicle that had probably started life looking like this:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Ooo, places to see right now? That sounds super! That sounds exciting! These are place that might not be as good to see later, say five years down the line. How useful, how helpful of the fellows at Conde Nast to share this information with me...and everyone else who reads this magazine. But no matter! I shall read and perhaps, I'll find my next dream vacation spot!
Destination #1...a hot new spot in Brasil! Trancoso. Ahh...even the name sounds exotic and thrilling. Perfectly illustrated by the photo of some dream weaver in a Speedo, article author Bob Payne lists the reasons why to go, why to go now, what to do if one does go now and golly, even the best way to get there.
So far, this looks great! The bit on Trancoso was followed by the same snippets of info on Sri Lanka, Oman, Lhasa, Maldives, Mexico. Brooklyn made Mr. Payne's list at number 7! [Note to self: tell spicy Cuban Mo this. I'm sure she'd love to travel to Brooklyn.]
Mozambique was on the list after Brooklyn. I'm not sure how the locations were arranged, but the organization does pose a question or two, does it not?
I read further and there it was. Location number 10, sandwiched between Zona Cafetera, Colombia and Kurdistan, Iraq. May I say that neither of those locales ever made my Top Ten list for vacation sites, either? But number 10, in all its glory, was:
100 times we've gotten together. We've talked. We've laughed. We've cried. Okay, mostly that was me, but I really felt you were there, you were part of the whole thing. Even when you laugh mockingly at me as you appear to be doing now. I shan't pay it any mind.
When I glance back over 100 posts of yammering, whining, complaining, spewing, I have to ask:
Did I say anything important?
I think we can chime in on a resounding "NO." And I don't feel too terrible about it. No, really. I don't. While I know there are vastly more important topics of discussion in the world and far more critical issues to examine, I don't think this is the place for them.
So. 100 posts. All we've come to mean to one another...and you don't bring me flowers anymore.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Well, it's not just in my nose. It's in my throat and my chest, too. I am, as The Good Lisa has described her small daughter with a similar ailment, gooey and gross. And it's not because of excessive debauchery last night! I promise. There was no actual debauchery, I'm sorry to say. There was, however, a $10.00 cover charge and inflated drink prices. And after not finding a place to stand, much less sit, Roommate and I threw in the towel and went for a burger.
Obviously, I have bypassed dull and gone straight for stodgy. It's very sad.
And then I woke up feeling like a buffalo was crammed up my nose. Okay, not an actual buffalo, but a buffalo-sized wad of cotton batting. Also, some unkind being has stolen my voice. At present, I sound like a smurf.
But Roommate has taken care of me. She brought tea to my room this morning and then made me a lovely ham, cheese and veggie scramble with an English muffin. She poured an enormous glass of orange juice for me. And then she cleaned the kitchen, finished the laundry and dusted the living room.
I know. Best roommate ever.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Okay, that's done. Now, onto the celebration of the season: DRINKING.
There's something strangely beautiful in the rejoicing of liver destruction. [I saw a t-shirt this past weekend that read, "The Liver Is Evil. It Must Be Destroyed." Heeheehee!] I feel I ought to be ashamed of such thinking; I do, after all, see many patients from the GI department for whom the liver had bailed. Not happy. Not pretty.
Not going to stop me from getting tipsy tonight, either.
Bad, bad Lisa Marie.
Please understand. I, like vast numbers of people on the planet, am part Irish. And there's an actual Irish pub in town. Okay, it's an actual place that serves Irish whisky and beer and is owned by people from Antrim County. But it's right here in town!! And I have a little cold. I must have toddies of the medicinal/alcoholic sort.
You're judging me again, aren't you?
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
At first, I didn't realize what had happened. I had turned off all of the lights except for the task lighting, which is connected to emergency power generators. I was working on stuff in the lab that didn't require the computer at that moment. And then...
The Delightful and Amusing Nina, X-ray tech for the evening, popped her head into the lab. "My generator blew, " she said rather breathlessly. "Taking patients upstairs." Again, I didn't think much of it, as the X-ray equipment has been...shall we say fussy of late? Yes, yes. Fussy is the word we will use. And when Nina said "blew" I didn't associate it with...um...blowing up.
And that's what it did.
In the process, it took out all but the emergency power in my building. This meant that the work intranet, the thing that all twelve kabillion work programs run off of, went down, too. As did the power to the lights for the patient rooms.
Fortunately, none of the jokesters who work here yelled out, "Who forgot to pay the power bill?" like last time. So many people don't find that funny. Weird.
Today, however, power has been restored. I can turn on all of the lights. I can report my test results. I can see my patients clearly as I stick them with needles, which seems to make them so much happier. I'm not sure why. I've told them that I don't really need that much light to draw blood. Strangely, this seemed to worry them more than comfort them.
Again I say: Weird.
Now. Does anyone know how to fix a multi-million-dollar X-ray machine? Anyone?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Now, now. It's just a name, for pity's sake. It might be more accurately called the better-than-SOME-sex cake. Some of the time, dental work is more fun, so cake...sure. That could be better.
Between us, darling invisible friend, don't take the title at face value. If someone offers you a choice, sex or cake, really consider the source of both. From some people, it's better to take the cake. From others...well, they're just not good bakers.
This is the chocolate version of the BTS cake. One may also make this in a tropical/citrus version, depending on the tastes of the cake consumers. Very simple to make, should one choose to do so. Why, yes! I will tell you how!
1) Bake a cake in a 9X13 inch pan.
It can be any flavor. It can be a box mix--which, by-the-bye, is not a bad way to make a cake. Good results usually occur. Just bake the cake.
2) Poke holes in the cake while it's still hot.
No, silly. With a fork. Or the handle of a wooden spoon. I'm not suggesting you burn yourself. What kind of savage do you think I am?
3) Pour good stuff over hot cake and allow said good stuff to absorb.
It can be almost any good stuff. Sweetened condensed milk, chocolate sauce, fruit juice, syrup. On this cake, I poured Bailey's Irish Cream and homemade caramel sauce. Btw, the smell of the homemade caramel sauce woke Roommate and dragged her into the kitchen by her nose. Just saying.
4) Top with more/other good stuff.
Again, almost anything sweet and yummy will work here. In this case, I put chocolate chips and crushed walnuts on top of the hot caramel, allowed it all to cool, then covered the whole thing with freshly whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Whipped cream is usually a component, but coconut, fruit, nuts of [almost] any sort can be used.
Oh, dear one, you should try this! Do. Then feel free to call/email/comment and taunt me with the better-than-cake sex you've had.
Don't mind the sobbing. It's just envy.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Most work policy is middle management's method of justifying its
God bless you, Dr. Cindy, for this bit of wisdom. Thank you for reminding that my frustration isn't due merely to my lack of tolerance, but is in fact a normal, healthy, sane reaction to ridiculous, logic-depleted situation. If I weren't frustrated, one might question my attentiveness.
Friday, March 11, 2011
This is the dog we like to call Big Head Ted.
He's part shepherd and part mastiff. We think. There might be some mastodon mixed in. No one is sure.
I think he weighs in at about 160 pounds. He takes up most of a queen sized bed.
And yes, he does snore a little.
These are the paws of the dog we like to call Big Head Ted.
These are a couple of the scratches caused by the claws that are attached to the paws of the dog we like to call Big Head Ted.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Okay, before I say anything else, this is about hockey. At least, superficially, it's about hockey. Feel free to stop reading now if you choose.
Last night, the Montreal Canadiens played the Boston Bruins. Zdeno Chara, team captain, did an illegal check on Max Pacioretty into the plexiglass partition between the benches.
Let me say that in the way I explained it to Roommate.
"The Bumblebees were playing the Red-White-and-Blue people and the really, really huge guy knocked the new kid into the glass bit. It's bad."
[See, she doesn't know/care about the teams/players, really. This is how she defines them. By saying it this way, it makes perfect sense to her.]
Now, I realize that Pacioretty and Chara have a history. I realize that Pacioretty, after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime during the January Canadiens-Bruins matchup, thumped Chara on the back as he was flailing about in joy and happiness. I don't know if it was intentional. When I saw the playback, I just saw a 22-year-old rookie player, filled with joy and giddy as a schoolboy.
I also know that Chara thumped on Pacioretty [and many other players] during the February meeting of these two teams, but really, I don't take that too seriously. After all, there was a total 187 penalty minutes doled out between the two teams in that game. Yes, you read that correctly. 187 minutes. In a 60 minute game. At the end of the game, I think they had four guys per team who were still allowed to skate.
But this was ridiculous. Look. Look!!
What you saw was Chara, all 6'9" and 255+ pounds of him, ramming a rookie into the partition. IF Pacioretty had possession of the puck, the check would have been understandable, at least. After all, Chara is a defenseman. But Pacioretty didn't have the puck. The end result?
Max Pacioretty has a severe concussion and a non-displaced fourth cervical vertebral fracture. Non-displaced, thank God. And fourth, as opposed to third. Again, thank God. At this point, medical care/prayer/recovery time/good karma/crystals in alignment/chanting circles/meditation/faith healing is going to be the key. Do I know if Pacioretty is paralyzed? I do not. Do I know if he'll ever play hockey again? I do not. Do I know if he'll go through the rest of his life in pain? I do not.
I do know this. Zdeno Chara is 33, nearly 34 years old. To play for the NHL, he must have started very young. He's also a 13 year veteran of the NHL.
Suddenly, he doesn't know where the plexiglass is?
This is my opinion:
For professional hockey players, the rink is their mother, their father, their sweetheart, their spouse, their child, their best friend, their very heartbeat. For any player to claim not to know the layout of a rink is absurd. They know the rink like their lover's body, like the backs of their hands. It's their breath and their lives. If a hockey player wants to toss out some crap excuse, lack of knowledge of the freaking rink shouldn't be part of it.
Asked about the play, Chara said, "It's just one of those things...like--NHL.com
glass extensions, doors, even hockey nets are part of the game and obviously
players run into them."
Ohhh. So Pacioretty just "ran into" the plexiglass divider between the benches. Magically. All by himself. Silly rabbit. Chara went on to say,
"It's just very, very unfortunate that a player got hurt."
Again, ohhh. He got hurt. Right. Weird how that happened.
You know, if Chara had the grace to say something like...
"I feel terrible. Sure, I meant to check him. And yeah, he's been pissing me off, so the fact that the check wouldn't have been a totally legal one didn't bother me too much. But I never intended to see him hurt like this. I hope he's okay and out on the ice again soon."
...I might feel differently toward him. But he didn't. He took NO ownership of his actions, expressed NO regret the outcome of those actions, showed NO sympathy for Pacioretty and his family. And for me, this taints my view not only of him, but also of the entire Bruins team. I'm ready to deny that my father grew up in Massachusetts.
And to add insult to serious injury, the NHL has decided that no further disciplinary action is needed against Chara, because his 13 year history with the league doesn't show a pattern of this behavior. It was determined that this was merely the end result of a fast-moving play.
I am disgusted. And while the Omnipotent Comedian and I disagree on many things, not that I've ever won an argument there, on this one, I'm asking for a favor.
May God bless you and keep you, Max. Heal fast and heal whole, kid.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
"Excuse me, where is the lab?"
[Ooo, I love that tone! The combination of querulous demand and I'm-so-abused whine is fabulous.]
Well...that would be right here. Yes. Here. Uh huh. Right where the sign directs you. Here. HERE. Yes, you found it! Yay, you!
"Now I need an X-ray."
Why, yes. Yes, you do. Conveniently, the lab and X-ray departments are so darn close, they even share signage. It's super, isn't it? See, look! X-ray! Right next to the lab.
[yelling outside the lab, in the lab/X-ray waiting area]
Yes, may I help you?
"Well [that snotty sound 14 year old girls make so well] I have to have THIS done and I don't know what I'm supposed to do!" [waves order slip]
Well...let's take this one step at a time. First, stop yelling at me. No. Really. Stop yelling at me. Second, let's look at this sign here. Now, this is your order slip. It should be placed in the order holder. Then we usually have you ring the bell. That's how we know you're here!
[14 year old girl sound again]
"I didn't see a bell."
Oh, okay. This is the bell, the glowy thing with the label. Marked "bell." If you ring this, we come running out to you! [big, almost sincere, helpful smile]
[patient reaches toward glowy thing marked "bell"]
Oh, no! You don't have to do that now! I see you! If you have to come here again, you'll know exactly what to do. Is that nice?
[post diagnostic testing care]
"Excuse me, where do I go now? They said I'm supposed to go to the waiting room when I was done here."
Hmm. Well, what I would do is head this direction. Toward the waiting room. Yes. This way. This way here. Yes, exactly! Okay! Thank you! I hope you feel better soon! Bye-bye!
I kid you not.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I know people who consider four hours of sleep a LUXURY, fer chrissakes. Strangely, most of those people are in the military. Now, if I were armed, I would think a little extra sleep would be in order. But perhaps this is why I am not armed.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
You know, I really suck at this.
So I'm not blogging today. Maybe tomorrow.
Did...did I just blog?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
My mother's influence is freaking everywhere. No, seriously. You don't believe me?
When I signed up for eSchmarmony, yea, those many moons ago, I was encouraged to set reasonable restrictions on my matches, one being the physical distance between my match and me. This did seemed reasonable. After all, I'd just broken up with/been dumped by a man who lived 781 miles away from me, and the biggest part of the problem between us, he whined, was my unwillingness to move there and be with him. Selfish cow that I am.
Strangely enough, most of my relationships have included some physical distance. I'm not entirely sure what this says about me, but with some serious self-analysis, I'm sure I can come up with something. [Note to self: serious thought, next week.]
The people at eSchmarmony really tried to follow my requirements. Almost all of my matches live within a 120-mile radius. Then today, all of a sudden, I received my daily barrage of matches [AKA Guys Who Will Not Reply To My Guided Communication Attempts] and every single [ha!] one of them...was from Spokane.
That's right. SPOKANE. The Hub of the Inland Empire. The location of the Bloomsday race. Center of the Lilac Festival. And....home to my parents. Esther's place.
Mom has been trying to get me to move back to Spokane for decades, darlingest. The list of bribes included college, a car, a house, a job, a PUPPY. That's right. She is ruthless, I tell you. Completely devoid of ruth. And now, despite her inability to operate a DVD player [no, I'm not kidding] Mom has evidently manipulated the computer files of eSchmarmony.
I feel an unwilling respect for her right now. Damn it.