Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good

Me thinks some people don't follow baseball and despite the video I posted yesterday, didn't understand my tongue and cheek reference to beards.  For those, I meant no offense and facial hair doesn't really bother me, except to say when its on the faces of San Francisco Giants who swept my home town team in the World Series.  Their beards are a big part of that team's persona.  Even fans get into it and wear fake beards to their games! Maybe if you watch the video, you'll understand it was merely an attempt at humor and a salve for my disappointment.  I had no idea people were so sensitive about beards.  Me?  When it comes to Giants, I now fear the beard!

On to other things.  Family and friends I have along the east coast are safe today and that makes me especially thankful.  Everything else pales in comparison, including losing a few baseball games.  We've had some wind, rain, cold and few downed branches here in Detroit, but nothing to write home about.  Along Lake Huron, fairly far from the Atlantic Ocean, 29 foot waves are being reported.  Yesterday, I saw video of crazy people making the best of the storm and surfing in Chicago on Lake Michigan.  Granted those surfers were clad head to toe in special gear to protect them from the cold, but it still had to be freezing.  It was in Detroit.  I was clad in wool, alpaca and down and I was still cold!


Monday, October 29, 2012

In no particular order

Here are the things that make me want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head:

1.  That bitch Sandy.

2.  Beards

3. Politics in general and the latest polls.

4.  Beards

5.  Some schmo hit a city water line and now I may have to go to work at 4PM without a shower.

6.  Beards.

7.  It's cold, windy and cloudy...the perfect day for a long, hot shower.

8.  Giants with Beards.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gift Horse

Against my better judgment, I agreed to work the west side of town tonight until midnight.  I've been dreading my decision ever since.  About an hour ago, I got a phone call that they don't need me after all.


Gift Horse
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I've simultaneously freed up my night, and found yet another reason to stay in my jammies even longer!  It's so exciting.

What will I do with all of this free time? Suddenly, I'm the recipient of a 4 day weekend off! I'd say go to the movies, but Sara and I did that yesterday when we went to see, Argo.  If you haven't seen it and you're looking for an escape from our bitter election season, go!  While it's ever so slightly political (barely so), and you may already know the outcome of this true story, and it serves up a modest dose of (sobering) foreign policy, it's a very well made movie.  I had no idea what had really transpired to get those half dozen Americans out of Tehran in 1979.  I'm sure the ending likely wasn't all that close as the picture seems to infer, it was exciting to watch.  I'm sure if Iranian officials see this movie, the politics of it all will still be pertinent to them.

Since last night, I've been walking around muttering, ARGOf**kyourself.  Mostly I've been saying it to stories on TV about Richard Mourdock.  You have to see the movie to appreciate the line.  Bryan Cranston was great, and John Goodman and Alan Arkin were funny, but Ben Affleck, whom I didn't used to like all that much, was spectacular, both as a director and as an actor.  He's two for two in my book after having seen his last hit, The Town.

I might knit a bit.  My finger--thanks to liberal use of Arnica--is feeling much better.  Arnica is a miracle healing herb to me that's been effective for strains, sprains and bruises.  I credit the herb for restoring my ability to knit.  There are only a dozen more rows to go on the Icelandic sweater.  Quite frankly, it's really pretty so I'm excited to be closing in on the end of this project.

I'd like to say I'm sorry to my east coast friends.  Frankensandy looks frightening, to say the least.  While I'm grateful to the storm for the reprieve from all things political in the news, it shouldn't be at the expense of people who live up and down the eastern seaboard.  One of the most riveting books I've ever read was Sebastian Junger's, The Perfect Storm.  It looks like Sandy is trying to one up that storm and I hope it isn't as bad as all that.  Stay safe, my friends, and if you're fleeing your coastal homes, don't forget to pack the knitting!

ETA... you may notice I've not mentioned the Detroit Tigers.  I have a good reason for that and if I were in therapy right now, I know my therapist would recommend that I just avoid all discussion about those losses suffered at the hands of Giants.  I have not abandoned hope.  Game 3 is tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Miller Time!

Well, not really.  I know it'll sound like blasphemy to some, but I can't stomach Miller, or Bud, or PBR.  Don't hold it against me.  Tonight, after having my ass handed to me for three days in a row at work (funny how this part time gig is just not the reality I thought it would be), I'm settling in to have a Leine Oktoberfest brew while I watch game one of the World Series.  I used to be a Sam Adams Oktoberfest type of gal, but I've switched loyalties. Since the Giants have already hit a home run and drawn first blood, I fear I'm not long for this game, or this world.  I'll likely be in Slumberland even before my beer is finished.

Work has been, well, crushing.  It wouldn't be half bad if the schedulers could put their heads together, actually speak to one another, and share information.  They've pulled me all over town for two weeks in a row now and I'm a bit fed up with people who cannot listen, read or utilize critical thinking skills.  I've never met a more dysfunctional set of people who all do one job for different territories.  No one speaks to anyone else and each seems to operate in a vacuum.  Hello, people!  Ever heard of team work?

That was a rhetorical question.

And speaking of crushing...while walking through the house while removing my sweater, I extended my left hand with fingers in flexed position, and walked into a wall hand first.  I smashed my left index finger, which while not broken or dislocated, is swollen and bruised and really angry at my klutziness.  Of course it's the finger I use to carry and tension my yarn, so knitting is out for a few days.

Oy.  The Tigers are not looking so great, and the Giants, who should be exhausted, are red hot tonight. We're getting skunked.

A do-over for this day would be nice.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Though shalt not covet your neighbor's pacifier:
Hey little girl, what you got there?
 High crimes and misdemeanors:
Kisses?  Nope.  Attempted robbery is more like it!

No, really little girl, you should give that to me.  I am the expert here in chew toys.
And now I can plainly see that someone besides me is in desperate need of a pedicure.  One more thing for Saturday's to-do list.  Note to self:  find the Dremel.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Today's post is brought to you by the letter P...

..where I share with you the truth about me and my propensity to procrastinate and stay preoccupied.

I've been absent due to being busy this week.  It's been mostly work that has kept me preoccupied, peppered with a debate, getting lost in a good book (thank you John Sandford), dodging political phone calls, decorating for Halloween, finishing Pam's mittens (which will ship today), and watching the Detroit Tigers sweep those Yankees out of Dodge!

Ah...it's good to have a winning team to watch, and ours has not disappointed!

Elka, the long neglected Icelandic Cardigan
I've also been knitting a bit.  I've wanted to cast on something new for the longest time now, but I figured with a cardigan that was 75% complete, I should finish that before another winter came and went.  Like last winter.  This sweater has languished long enough.  It took me awhile to figure out where I was and when I did, I realized why it went in the basket.  I'd knit the last row with the wrong yarn and instead of addressing that 18 months ago (procrastination), I tossed it in the time out pile.  I've looked at it every single day since then, but had forgotten why I stopped working on it:  too hot, too hard, too scratchy?  No.  It was a mistake I didn't want to fix when I first realized things were wrong, and once I got going again, it took only 15 minutes to make it right.  I also think I'm nervous about the border of this sweater.  It's crocheted, and truth be told, the closer I get to the end, the more I procrastinate in finishing what I started.  I cannot crochet to save my live.  I can fake it with a crochet hook, but I'm not willing to try a pretty border with my skills.

 I've also not been sleeping well at night.  Working day shift does that to me.  My mind races as I lay down and if I do fall asleep, I awaken reluctantly as the alarm rings at 6 AM.  Groggy, I get up and pour the coffee right away--if I've had the foresight to pre-program the pot the night before--and try to chase out the cobwebs.  Not this morning though.  It's my day off, and I awakened at 5:22 AM with an amazing idea:  I am going to pay one of the women at the local yarn store to do the finish work on this cardigan. I can't crochet, but she can and she loves to do finishing work for a little cash in exchange.

I, satisfied with my burst of brilliance, snuggled against Leo and went right back to sleep.

Another problem solved and 3 extra hours of sleep.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pondering the Universe

Like I've got nothing better to do...

1. What is up with all of these male politicians and their loose lips talking about the rape of a woman as though it's no big deal?  First it was Missouri's Todd Akin's moronic comments that in a "legitimate rape," a woman's body can "shut all that down" and prevent conception.  I guess this means that if a woman did get pregnant as a result of the rape, she must have enjoyed her assault in some way and therefore, it's not a "legitimate rape."  Next was Roger Rivard, a state representative in Wisconsin, who regurgitated his father's advice about consensual sex turning into a rape accusation the next morning:  "What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, 'If you're going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape." So the way he said it was, 'Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy.  It may be rape the next morning."

The thing is, these ideas are not exclusive to our religious far right in the States.  Apparently, ignorance knows no boundaries as Spanish politician, Jose Manuel Castelao Bragana, has so clearly demonstrated with his comments this week: "Laws are like women--they are there to be violated."

As a Michigander, why do I care so much about what happens in the Missouri election?  Todd Akin's political aspiration is to be a US Senator.  His frightening beliefs and lack of scientific knowledge will affect me, my daughters and women throughout this nation.  I don't dislike him for his pro life beliefs, but I abhor his ideas about rape. I wonder if spending the night in an emergency room and meeting rape victims could sway his misbegotten ideologies?  If nothing else, maybe it would teach him compassion and perhaps a little science.

My advice to these men: It's better to remain silent and thought dumb, than to speak and remove all doubt.

2. And along these same keeping women in their place lines, was it really necessary to shoot a 14 year old girl in the head to silence her?  I read today that Pakistan has arrested 38 men for shooting  Malala Yousafzai. Thirty eight?  Thirty eight swaggering violent bullies against one 14 year old girl?  How threatening was she?  I hope they rot in hell for what they've done and I hope the nation of Pakistan can collectively grow some balls and deal with the Taliban.  Talk about making a deal with the devil--that's exactly what Pakistan has done by supporting these despicable thugs.

3. What is up with the exciting baseball playoffs? Usually watching baseball on television is like watching paint dry, but not these post-season playoffs.  I go to bed every night thinking one team has the game and/or the division title in the bag, only to awaken the next morning to find miracles have happened.  Such is the case with the game between the Cardinals and the Nationals last night.  The Cards came from a 6 point deficit to beat the Nationals 9-7 and crown themselves with the NLDS title.  See what I get for going to bed early?

Yes, these are two different yarns, though the colors look the same.

4.  Is my yarn talking to me, and when one door closes, does another automatically open?  Case in point:  remember that Squares on Roll workshop I was supposed to teach?  With limited summer hours, the LYS owner didn't want to host that class in the summer and the whole thing was tabled and sort of forgotten.  I still had my yarn and hadn't yet started knitting the afghan.  Yesterday, I took Sara up to that store to buy her first ever yarn for a project and the store owner brought up the workshop again.  The funny thing is, I had decided earlier in the day that I was going to start knitting those squares.  I even got the yarn out of storage and cast on for the first square.  When I looked at the yarn, I had to laugh, because I'll be damned...those colors in that Zauberball yarn are identical to the colors I chose for Pam's mittens.  Different yarns, same colors.  I do think the yarn is talking!  The workshop is scheduled to start on November 14th.  I'll lead the class every other Wednesday.

See?  If I had gotten that promotion, I wouldn't be able to teach this class.

Sometimes the Universe is completely maddening, frustrating and perplexing and other times, it all comes together and works out for the best.  Now, if we could only get some of these men to shut their traps and change their ways, I think it would be a much better place.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It happens

Sometime yesterday, my best friend emailed me a picture of Justin Verlander, pitcher extraordinaire for the Detroit Tigers.  I think she sent it so I'd stop worrying about the Tigers moving on and free my mind for more pressing things, like how Uncle Joe would do in the debates after my candidate's dismal performance at last week's debacle debate.  Bless her heart.  It worked.  It helped that Joe wasn't too bad, either.

Yes, you did!
I had a hard time watching games 3 and 4 because I worked all week.  There was a choice to make:  stay up late watching a west coast baseball game where the Tigers had a 2 game lead in the series, or get some sleep because I had to get up early.  Sleep won out.  Today I'm off though and with the help of a little caffeine, I stayed awake to watch Verlander shut out the A's last night in game 5 and take the division.  The picture helped, but I'm giving full credit to my lucky Tigers t-shirt.  I didn't wear it for games 3 and 4, but I had it on last night and it'll be ready in time for Saturday's game.

The precious moments I'd miss working full time again.
Tuesday, I found out that the position I'd applied for at work was given to someone with less clinical experience and far less loyalty, but worse, to someone without a lick of common sense.  I didn't talk about it here and I think it was because I was conflicted about even applying for the job. I'm disappointed (mildly), surprised (greatly), sort of insulted by the decision and still stinging from what I experienced during the interview, but I'll survive.  I was asked to apply, which led me to believe they wanted my talent, but I have to be honest here, deep down, I don't think I wanted the position and I am secretly relieved.  Who wants more travel, more responsibility, more headaches, 7 days of night call every month, and more hours for less money?  It's a blessing in disguise and sooner or later, my ego will recover.

Pam's left mitten.  The thumb is done now and so is the cuff of the right mitten.
Besides, I'd have not had enough time to knit anymore if I was working all of those hours.  I don't know about you, but this would have been psychologically disastrous for me.

Shit happens.  Sometimes it happens for a reason and I'm more than willing to say that in this particular case, something or someone bigger than me is looking out for my best interests.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ready to go?

Someone, and I won't mention who, screwed up my schedule today.  I did not want to get up early this morning, but I'd committed to working across town at one of the hospitals today, so get up I did.  At the butt crack of dawn.  I had two cups of coffee, hit the shower and went into the office where I discovered that the person I was working for was not off today.  He's off tomorrow.  This is not my mistake, it's the office who made a mess of my schedule.

Well then, you'd think I could go home and go to bed, but not really.  I drank two strong cups of joe and I'm ready for action.  I went to the pharmacy, bank,  gas station,  grocery store and tried the post office, but they're closed today for the non-holiday holiday.  My bank was open, but my son's was not.  It was an action packed morning and though I'm tired now, my brain is too awake for a lie down, so I thought I'd write a post and fill it full of pictures from the weekend.

Here they are in no particular order.
Health fair semi-action shot:
Nurse Rudee and her best friend, Fannette

Stockinette swatch knit by a new knitter seen below:

Yes, that's Sara knitting.  I don't know why I'm so surprised she took to it like a fish in water, but she did.
Here is proof that sometimes I think too much and not all of my ideas are good ones:
That is the sheep hat soaking in the salad spinner.  I had the bright idea that the spinner would practically wring the hat dry.  Uh...no.  It does not.
Mr. Fierce:
He was letting me know that a 4 legged barbarian was walking down the street and he would like a walk, too.  Right that minute!  The actual interpretation was this:
 He looks possessed, no?  I liken the harshness of his voice to hearing fingernails on a blackboard.  I get chills down my spine.

What the butt crack of dawn looks like:
This morning's view through my car window.  Yep.  That would be ice.

2 pair done and one to go.  This pair gave me fits:
Sara's Cloisonne mittens.
And here are the contest winner, Pam's, mittens:
Oh, sure, I know they don't look like mittens, but you'll just have to use your imagination. Apparently I still have a ways to go, Pam.  No worries, with a surprise day off, I plan on getting busy on these.  The body of the mittens will be black and these colors will make up the cuffs.  I think I like them together.

In case you paid no attention, the A's passed through the teeth of the Tigers and despite a good fight and some nail biter innings, lost Game 2.  Here's hoping the Tigers can sweep this series up tomorrow night.  

Have a great Monday, everyone.  I'm off to make a pot of stew and cast on Pam's mittens.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My dogs are barking

Yesterday was quite the day at the men's health fair and while I'm bone tired today, I feel great satisfaction that I helped do something good.  Hundreds of men--nearly 1,000 of them--showed up at Ford Field to take advantage of the free health assessments, advice and services.  The busiest vendor booths seemed to be the vision and dental screenings and chair massages.   There were long line ups for all of those stations.  The mental health screening station was also very busy doing assessments and private sessions with a therapist. I know for a fact that their therapist was very literally a life saver yesterday.  The people staffing the vital signs station were, too, when they assessed a man in hypertensive crisis and sent him to the emergency room.  In all likelihood, many more will be helped when their lab work comes back identifying more men who need medical help.

Good was done and that helps make my feet, which walked about 10 miles on cement, hurt a lot less.

It's cold in Detroit today.  It was cold last night, too, when the Tigers beat Oakland in game 1 of the ALDS series last night.  It was a good game, but very sad to watch the A's, 
Pat Neshek, pitch.  I don't know how he had it in him do it after the sudden death of his newborn son this week and the announcers talked about little else when he was on the mound.  The entire team wore black patches with his son's initials on their uniforms.  Talk about tugging the heart strings!  What a terrible thing to happen to brand new parents. I didn't know who to root for and the whole thing almost made me feel guilty that Detroit won.  I hope, really hope, he isn't pitching again today.  If he is, I might have to watch the game with sound turned off and blinders on.  Maybe I could watch only when the Tigers are pitching and I therefore wouldn't need to see Pat Neshek.

As I write this, I take note that the dog is burrowed under two blankets and the furnace has just kicked on.  It's definitely a day to wear wool, knit with wool and cover all my wool with more wool. I hope Leo will share his blankets.

Go Tigers! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

All work and no play

I haven't been able to play all week and the effect has been to turn me into a cranky person.  I haven't watched a single movie or done one thing that's provided relaxation, and that includes knitting.  The one time I did sit down to knit Sara's mittens, I made a mistake that led to ripping out an entire cuff and the mess that made is still sitting in a heap in the corner of the room.  I did, however, teach Sara how to cast on and have fixed a few of her newbie knitter boo-boos, but however enjoyable teaching someone to knit may be, that's not really knitting for me.

I plan to remedy that today.  The only work I plan to do is throw a stew into a pot for dinner and then I'm going to knit.  I won't make the bed, pay the bills, shop, cook or clean.  In fact, I may stay in my pajamas all day long.  It's cold, overcast and a rather blah looking day, so maybe that's a good plan. Tomorrow, I'm working a men's health screening event that's free for the public, but I don't consider volunteering my skills to be work.  That's the kind of thing that fills the spiritual gas tank.  We're expecting at least 1,000 uninsured men to take advantage of this event.   Can you imagine?  We live in a country where there are still some people that cannot get even a basic health evaluation and so their issues go unattended.  I fully expect that it's possible my heart may get broken a bit by the things I see and hear.

On Thursdays, Sara babysits for her best friend and Rylan comes here to spend the day.  I'm usually around to spell Sara, but worked for 10 hours yesterday away from home.  It wasn't so bad when Rylan napped all day, but apparently those days are quickly coming to an end.  I think she plans on skipping the whole crawling thing and will likely graduate to walking soon.  She is 6 1/2 months old and was 4 weeks early.  I will venture to say being early didn't hold her back at all.  She loves Mr. Leo and he is smitten with her, too.  I'm pretty sure he'll be ecstatic when she starts eating real food and leaving crumbs all over the place.

The last time Rylan was over, Leo, who has a really frightening voice, barked loudly at her and made her cry.  Since then, Rylan has perfected her own squawk and gave it back to him yesterday.  Loudly.  According to Sara, this startled Leo, who tucked his nubbin of a tail as best he could and, frightened, ran out of the room.  I wish I hadn't been so hard at work that I missed that comical event.

Incidentally, Rachel was here yesterday, too.  She spent a lot of time petting Rylan's fuzzy little head.  I'm sorry I missed that, too.  Next week, I promise to cut myself some slack.