Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Damn. After 18 years, I find that Rachel, who I thought was pretty seriously afflicted, was really only an "Alleged Person With A Disability". She and I had to attend court at the "Mental Division Courtroom". Gosh, that sounds so insensitive. I have never been one to suffer hurt feelings from labels and names; these things are really only adjectives that should hold special meaning. For example, it means nothing to me if you tell me someone is autistic. You can be anywhere on the map with autism from the lowest to the highest functioning person. It speaks volumes if you tell me someone has autism AND is subsequently profoundly retarded. It is politically incorrect to say someone is retarded; we must call them mentally impaired which again needs more descriptives to get the meaning.
It was a wee bit exciting and simultaneously annoying: sort of like a boring episode of Boston Legal (even though I've never seen a boring one). I was ever so slightly bent out of shape and took this out of my purse to amuse both myself and the alleged individual with a disability.
In addition to collecting yarn, I collect all kinds of hand creams and lotions. It's a nurse thing. It just struck me as ludicrous that this is what I would select from my humongous handbag to bring out in a court of law. Mental though it was. A fitting end to a fitting day. Stay tuned for part three for if you paid attention in the beginning and weren't snoring by this point, you know we were adjourned and have to go back to listen to expert testimony. I'm smuggling a recorder in for that one.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I've been reminiscing about the time we first met. Of all places, it was at Home Depot. I've read about fluke meetings like this, but I never thought it would happen to me. When you came into my life, I thought I needed you but wasn't quite sure. I had heard many wonderful things from other people but that concerned me too. Would you be loyal? Would you respect my needs and desires? Quite frankly, I wasn't sure but decided to take a chance and give you a chance to impress me. You didn't disappoint. All of my misgivings were for naught; you've been more than I ever could have imagined. In fact, you're perfect and I'm the one who has been neglectful.
I haven't tired of you. I've just been busy . I know that it's a poor excuse but it's true, I have been. You would think with my husband out of town all this time that I would take advantage of you more often but I haven't. I only bring you around when I'm desperate like I was today. I'm ashamed. I've treated you shabbily and I am filled with regret. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for your performance today was remarkable; you were an animal! I promise from now on that I won't let you stay away so long.
I'm enclosing this picture of you that I gaze at often. When I look at that picture, I'm reminded of how powerful you are. Want to meet same time, same place tomorrow? I know I can turn you on.....
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Tempers were short, sniping was abundant and feelings were hurt. Kind of inevitable. We can be a vicious bunch of bitches when stressed. For those unaware, it isn't much of a secret that some nurses can be awful toward one another. After all, we're lucky if we get anything to eat at all in a twelve hour shift--why not eat your young? What a s#!tty day. All I wanted to do was get home and finish the grafting on the socks I was making. I wanted to wash and wear them the next day. I kind of knew this was wishful thinking but that is what the knitter in me wanted.
At thirty minutes prior to shift end, the code became my patient. I could only think thirty more minutes, 30 more minutes. That was about the time the nursing house supervisor approached the yarn ho that resides within me and offered her bonus pay on top of time and a half. To my shock and utter horror, I heard myself say sure, I'll stay. Damn me. If I had stayed off ebay last Friday, I wouldn't need the money to pay for the 25 skeins of Sisik that I won. OH YES, I DID. It was a "steal" and I love a good game of last minute bidding on ebay. I don't know WTF I will DO with 25 skeins of Sisek, but I HAD TO HAVE IT. So I worked the double, sped home, slept fast and got up to do it all over again.
The night shift nurses were thankful. Myself and another foolish dayshift nurse had turned their poorly staffed shift into one more tolerable. Additional staff was found by 11pm and we left. I also left my knitting which I had no possible way to finish. When I came back in the morning, the knitting fairy had raided my bag and turned an unfinished pair of socks into magic:
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
and the next minute I am quite literally shoved into the corner of a grungy office in a scrapyard for god's sake. Here. Don't believe me? You don't believe SHE would really do that to me? Well, I have photographic evidence:
This is where SHE "parks" me--right up against that lovely puke green wallboard. What color do you call that? Chartreuse? I call it charpuke. Sheesh, SHE should know I clash with those colors. In fact, I think I clash with the whole environment! And the weight I've put on in just a little over a week? Huge. I long for the old days when the most YOU made me carry was a wallet, a cell phone, your keys and maybe a skein of yarn. What does SHE think I am? A trash hauler? My sides are bulging for God's sake. My shoulder straps are aching and sagging.
I have officially become a working handbag and frankly, I don't like it. Please reconsider and take me back. I promise to be good to you. I long once more to carry a skein of cashmere within me. I'll even settle for carrying plain old merino wool if you would just take me back.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
He knows my birthday falls sometime around now. He even knows the date. The problem is year after year, he gets the month wrong.Last year, at the end of February, he called me sort of in a panic that he hadn't done his birthday shopping for me but would like to take me out for a fabulous birthday dinner. I was puzzled since my birthday wasn't for another month--and then it dawned on me that he had gotten the dates mixed up yet again. It's not like I wasn't talking a LOT about my 50th birthday coming up-was he just deaf? Being foolish, I rubbed his nose in his mistake. In hindsight, I should have kept my mouth shut and gone along with things; this way I could have enjoyed two birthday celebrations instead of one. I vowed I would never correct this sort of mistake again.
Last night he called from mullet land (once again, he is away for a few weeks)--all proud. This year, he did NOT forget my birthday! The gift was being shipped. Uh, OK. Immediately I realize what he has done, yet again. I couldn't help myself though and I began to laugh. I tried not to because he did catch on pretty quick. I laughed for 10 minutes straight. He sheepishly told me he was going to cancel the flower order scheduled for delivery at my work this weekend. I chuckled all night long. Thanks sweety because more than I love you for everything else, I love the way you make me laugh.
This morning, the fed ex man showed up at my door:
Monday, February 18, 2008
Anyways, Fannette and I decided to slip away a couple of years ago to this lovely beach. We stayed in a friend's gorgeous and well appointed condo that our hosts were gracious enough to loan to us.
After dinner, we hopped in the car (the waiter unfortunately didn't take our keys away) and with top down and the music blaring, drove the 30 minutes back to our condo. Unfortunately, neither one of us had brought our regular glasses-just our prescription sunglasses-and neither one of us can see without our prescriptions. We laughed our asses off all the way back-praying a bit that the Sarasota police were anywhere else but near us. There really isn't much of a point to this story; no evils of drinking and driving (we really do know better). Just a sweet memory of a fun night out with my best friend and a new vacation song:
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sheila isn’t cheap---there is not one thing sleazy about her and she is without a doubt the finest handbag in my collection. Her price tag was approximately one week’s salary for me (before her tax and after mine).
On a shopping spree with MBF (who is a wicked enabler) last September, I fell in love with Sheila. I heard her siren call from across the shoe department at Nordstrom’s. There she was in the bright spotlight across the aisle. It was as though the clouds had parted, the sun shone down and the angels were singing to beckon me to the handbag department. In the past, shoes were my downfall. Shoes don’t really speak to me so much now that I have horrific plantar fasciitis and wear only surgical scrubs and Dansko Professional shoes to work. (I sort of miss my days as a nurse in a private practice where I was able to glam it up for work. My budget likes the scrub job way more though).
Handbags are my new downfall. I own a few. I have a couple of Coach bags, a Hobo slouch, a beautiful handmade bag from a Montreal leather artisan, some Nine West bags, one Perla, one Fossil and quite a few inexpensive non-descript purses. With Coach or any other common designer bags, it isn’t uncommon to see yourself coming and going. Everyone has one these days, and if they don’t have a real one, then they have a knockoff. This was not the case with Sheila. In fact, I had never seen any bag quite like her and I was smitten.
Now, I told you she was expensive. She was so pricey, I needed convincing. I had the clerk hand her to me from the display. I touched her (really I fondled her), I smelled her and I tried her on. I unzipped every zipper to look at her insides closely. The sales girl began to look very smug at this point and I should have been leery of this. OMG! Her insides were HOT PINK!! Oh, I told MBF, I LOVE HER!!! Yes the best friend at this point jumps in to help the salesgirl out: “oh she is beautiful, you work so hard and you really deserve something special like this.” At about this point, I was feeling a bit pressured for I had seen the price tag nestled in the zippered compartment. Holy S#!T I thought. There is no way on earth I can explain this purchase to my husband but especially, myself. I played with Sheila a bit more, listened to the salesgirl's spiel about how she was crafted by a local Detroit artisan Tracy Reese and how they only had a limited supply of her work and only one exactly like this. It was at this point I did the only thing I felt I could: I placed the bag down, thanked the clerk and walked away.
Like a pouting child, I kept looking back across the aisle. It was then I noticed her: it was another woman eyeing my bag. "Damn", I told my best friend. "Look at her. LOOK. AT. HER. She is going to buy it!" She had been pacing around the counter watching me while I had been looking at the bag. At the time, I thought nothing of it. In reflection, I think she was stalking the bag. "Look. Oh. Oh. Oh good. She left. Quick, lets go." I was across that aisle in a heartbeat, my Nordies card already out (and beginning to smoke in anticipation) and just like that, I bought the bag I would later name Sheila (more on her naming in my next installment). In the end, it was the "other woman" who made me lay down my card for her. As MBF and I left the store with Sheila safe in my hands, we ran into the other woman in the parking lot. She asked if I had bought the bag afterall. When I told her I did, she looked so sad. She had just run out to her car to get her credit card (???) to go back in and buy the bag herself. (NO LIE). Sheesh, that was close.
I haven't completely tired of Sheila yet, but she was beginning to bore me. After all, it has been 5 months of carrying her everywhere. I didn't want to put her away, so I swapped her for one of the bags in my daughter's collection and thus here begins the chronicles of The Adventures of Sheila the Seductress. Stay tuned and buckle up; it is sure to be a bumpy ride.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Wednesday, I was off and we had a "surprise" snowfall that I got stuck in. I booked an appointment for highlights, lowlights and a haircut at the Douglas J Institute. I got to Royal Oak a half hour early so I could buy a skein of Mountain Colors Mohair in my favorite LYS then get to my appointment on time. Little did I know that I was in for an ass-numbing 5 hour color job with a relatively new cosmetology student. Because she was a student, I knew she would be a bit slow, but 5 hours? She was awesome and she did a very good job on my hair but it took forever. I was grateful to have brought a couple of knitting projects with me so I should have been thankful for the 5 hour knit-in. Instead, I was worried. The whole time she was doing my hair, I was watching it snow outside. It just kept coming and coming and coming. Fat flakes, wet thick rainy flakes that fell on top of sleet. We had sleet and freezing rain a whole hour before the snow came. Five straight hours it piled up. The buzz around the salon was that this had been deemed a "snow emergency" and the school would be closing. And me? I still had foils in my hair. I was a virtual prisoner of the salon. When I got out, I couldn't wait to get home, but it was rush hour. What is a girl with new hair to do?
I walked (slipped was more like it) across the train tracks and down a half a block and slid into the door of O'Tooles Pub with a half inch of snow piled on my new do. I looked like a wet dog but was met by my lovely daughter and her friends who had lucked out with a "snow day" at the Douglas J. I had decided to wait out rush hour traffic here but there was no waiting out the weather. It just kept coming. The TV weatherdummies (who were totally perplexed at having been blindsided by this surprise weather event) kept saying 1-3 inches total while I could clearly see it had fallen an inch an hour since I had arrived for my first appointment. Hmmm. I can do the math. 5 hours mind and butt-numbing hair appointment and 1 hour in the bar. 6 x 1= 6. Six stinking inches of new snow on top of the "3 to 5 " that fell last Friday.
Here is the view from my car window--driving home from O'Tooles behind the crazy driver who had his emergency blinkers going the whole way down. No s#%t sherlock. It is a snow emergency. Not only do I have fat flakes in my windshield, but I have your annoying flashers to look at too!And this morning? This is my backyard with my dobie Duke who hates the rain but loves the snow. Who is Duke yapping at you ask? Why, that would be my neighbor who obviously has nothing better to do and is snowblowing the snow out of his yard. Not his walk or drive. His yard.
In a phone conversation with my brother Freddie, it would appear that my neighbor who snow blows his YARD is not the only one with too much time on his hands. Fred likes to snow blow his YARD too. Let me tell you, his YARD is huge. He (who is afraid to leave his own comments here) also told me to quit whining because he got a foot of snow. Awwww. Wouldn't seem so awful if you hadn't been compelled to snowblow the YARD too.
Monday, February 4, 2008
She knows what this is. It is a must that it happen in February! It is a thing. To be sure, it has only happened once before, but it is my creation. My idea. My way of fighting the winter doldrums. Something to get me out of my winter funk. My friends and I dress in summer attire and go out to eat-preferably somewhere with tropical decor- IN THE DEAD OF WINTER. Somewhere like this while the outside the scenery looks more like this.
This is something that requires prior proper planning. It means invitations are sent, reservations are made, pounds are shed in an effort to slip into something summery (if that fails, then a trip to the tanning salon is in order because we all know that winter fat looks better with tan). It means a trip to DSW for the proper slinky shoe and a trip to the salon for a pedicure to go with it. And last but not least, it means shaving one's legs and underarms. I can't do this sleeveless and wearing trousers. I can't do it if she takes skin with the hair either....Nah. That can't happen, can it?
Being somewhat worried about all this, I cast on another Mercurial Moebius Shawl in Mountain Colors Bitterroot colorway. That is about the only good in this post. The really ugly? I snapped the cast on picture whilst it laid across my hairy leg. Yep. I need a tan.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
My learning methods weren't too different when I picked up knitting again many decades later. I bought myself a few items at Michael's: "I Taught Myself To Knit" booklet complete with wonky needles, cheap yarn and "Knitting for Dummies" which I still reference today. What was different though was my drive. The marvel at creating something from 2 sticks and a piece of yarn. And need. Need drove me to create. I needed to make good of bad things that were happening. My husband's mother Pat whom I adored was very sick and I found myself taking her to all of her doctor visits. I spent countless hours in waiting and hospital rooms in a sort of vigil. Waiting. Waiting for the inevitable that only experience at such things can give you. It was a painful period for my family and the only good thing I could do was create.
I have learned many skills since this time several years ago. I know that with books, on-line tutorials and local yarn store classes that I can take on just about any project. I still need to create and to make good of bad. Knitting automatically puts me in a calm state of mind. I feel my mind clear and my heart rate and breathing slow as I methodically plod along placing my needles in and out of loops of yarn.
I always take something I am trying to create to work with me. I find that if I can take a break from working and thinking that the act of knitting calms me and clears my mind. It is usually a sock or something small and mindless. Miles and miles of stockinette on circs or dpns usually does the trick. After a couple of rows, I'm in that zen state. After my break, I can return to my work with clarity of thought and a relaxed frame of mind.
This didn't really work for me this week and I have found myself unable to coax myself into this peaceful state. Instead of my knitting, it was my real job that I took with me everywhere I went. The patient that I had treated for 4 days this week finally passed last night. Perhaps it was the inevitability of his passing that struck a chord deep within me; the certainty that only experience brings that no matter what I do, the outcome will be the same. He was dying. It wasn't the critical nature of his illness and the level of care required that exhausted my mind and body, it was witnessing the suffering of his relatives as they went from fighting to relinquishing all in the course of one week. It was such a private thing that few are privileged to witness: a mother's love and loss, a partner's shattering grief, a father's tearful good-bye that made it so obvious that this special young man would be deeply missed. This family touched me very deeply and in a most permanent way: they had knitted their way into my heart. As I fell asleep last night, I was thinking of them, especially this young man's mother. Her loyalty was fierce and her devotion so very palpable. Today, I cast on for her: a pair of socks to warm her feet when February rolls in for February will never be the same for this broken hearted woman.