Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When the kids were little

I took them to see "Joseph and the Technicalcolor Dreamcoat" at the Barn Theater. (We saw it probably 10 times, with different casts)> This first time, they were so little (2 and 5 maybe) , they sat on the backs of the theater seats. When Potifer's wife falsely accused Joseph and Potfer tossed him in prison, you could have heard a pin drop, sinc ei tis very dramatic moment....at which point my two wailed, "She's LYING! He didn't do it!!"

And ever since, we try to go to every production big, small, national or junior high, just because we like it so much.

This one makes me happy, too!

This is a good one for a bad day

Monday, November 19, 2007

I dont know why I love this song so much

I just like to sing it real loud on the way to work

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm learning how to knit again...well, learning is maybe too positive a word

I learned to knit oh, about 50 years ago. I FORGOT how to knit in the last year. I think (well, my head doctor thinks) it could possibly be an aneurysm, which scares me to death, since TWO very dear friends both just up and died from an aneurysm (not the same one; two different ones.).

So I am still going to work, which entertains me to no end except on the days when i can;t remember who I am and I manage to find the hospital , show them my ID and get taken care of. Yeah, it IS pretty scary, if I really took the time to worry about it, which I don't since THAT would be so totally counterproductive. Who needs to be scared all the time?

So, I'm trying to learn how to knit again. It is usually an exercise in futility and it's a good thing that frogging stuff doesn't bother me, because I do an awful lot of it. But everyone once in a while, I look at my knitting and think "Well now. I understand all of this. This is proceeding in a sensible manner. What a relief to know this.!" and that usually means that it's time to knit in crazy spirals and make random and very bad buttonholes in the midst of whatever I'm attempting.

My real self thinks "Huh. I bet there is an easier way to do this" and my crazy self thinks "Who cares? This is supposed to be about the Zen of knitting." and then all of these doors swing wide open and it turns out that I have no idea what I'm doing. At all. I look at my knitting and it is like my brain is saying "There has got to be a harder way to do this!"

Learning new things is hard for me; well things I think I already know. I will do something wrong a hundred times before I figure out that MAYBE my approach is incorrect. Once I have figured out that I have no idea what I am doing, I hate it.

I LIKE knowing what's going on and having things go predictably right. I'm trying to NOT think "that's new = that's harder" because my wonky brain likes it better that way. SO when I get totally frustrated (that's when it is no longer entertaining), then I get my nose pin that MWKAT Marji gave me and rewind my yarn up into these vaguely egg shaped balls.

I really wanted one of those nose pins, because Marji's yarn looks SO VERY COOL in their egg shaped balls. And the only way to get these egg shaped balls is to use this nose pin thing and NOT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. If you follow the directions, you will be really boring round balls like anyone can make, even without a nose pin.

And it's not really called a nose pin. That's just what it sounds like in my head when I read the word.

I have found reading is pretty entertaining now, too. I just make up words I can't decipher. It is sort of like watching Armenian television and just making up the story for your own personal entertainment. Sort of like watching Steven Segal with the sound off. (You cannot, however, watch Nic Cage movies with the sound off. No way could you make up a story fast enough to make sense. TRUST ME ON THIS.)

This is even more amusing that EZ's BSJ....it is really hysterical


Sunday, November 11, 2007

My bedroom is a work in progress

Walls...the color of toffee fay candy; sort of a caramel, toasty brown.Way lighter than tootsie rolls.

Of course, I'm having the walls rag rolled, and I'm used a semi gloss glaze on the final (4th coat), so it picks up the light. Not a heavy gloss, just a light, hit or miss, so it will keep the room from looking like the inside of a paper grocery bag at midnight.

Mike is building the bed platform but I kept my old headboard and it is being screwed to the wall. I hate it when the headboard wobbles.

This platform has slide out drawers for storage, so that cuts down on the dust issue that we had in the old house. I have a lot of really dark furniture; two mahogany, carved highboys and a gorgeous mahogany dresser with a marble top. I kept the huge, romantic pictures (which I paid far too much to have framed, but I just LOVE them).

I went down to the Salvation Army Thrift shop and bought two king sized comforters and will be making two duvet covers for them. One in a rich espresso, with tailored pillow shams and the other one is in sort of a sari gold and bronze plaid that I keep folded at the foot of the bed. This fabric will be the safari that Marji and I take. I'd like something tailored and espresso brown /bronze for the dust ruffle and for piping on the pillow shams. We'll know it when we see it. And drapes....we have to find the drapery fabric at the same time.

And it is going to be lush, chic and totally indulgent, like a big expensive box of chocolates. Marji and I can do this!

I bought a raw bench (it has curved arms and wooden legs and a muslin cover but needs to be actually uphostered. You sit on it so you can put your shoes on. Or use it to toss your clothes on. Or let the dog sleep on it. But it looks REALLY chic). I think I want it covered in something sturdy with a subtle stripe or slub or something. DARK for sure, since I know for a fact that we are not very tidy.

The walls were the single hardest part of this whole huge project. I have red, I have green, I have yellow, I have pink and I have lavender.....and I wanted something chic and different and I don't like grey.

I think I'll do the master bath in peach and white and black (the tile is black and white) and I want a lot of orchids in pots, silver/nickel accents. The vanity is from a tear down, so it has to be painted....and I know an artist who will be able to tie the whole thing in together. That master bath will be the very last thing I do,

I can knit!!

You can't imagine how hard it has been to try and try and try and end up with a mess of dropped, crossed tangled up stitches. Imagine a dozen wet cats and a two year old with forks in your knitting...that is what it looked like. Couldn't even manage a swatch becuase it involved to much counting and a modicom of skill...neither of which I could find in my brain.

All I got was that pesky 404 (file not found) error message.

Well, today. obviously which every corrupted files in my head uncorrupted themselves.

I feel just like Abbs on NCIS.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I have 9 days coming up next week

Nine entire days. One of them is my mother's birthday, so we ( the kids and I) are taking her to the Super Buffet so she can eat all afternoon and we can eat sushi. It is an Asian buffet, so it has a ton of really weird things (like fish sausage, which is really good, if you don;t think about it. Like blood pudding or haggis. Sort of.)

Then on Sunday, I might or might not be taking her back to our home town for a big birthday party for someone else. My brother is going to meet me there and at least we can visit. (SInce I never go anywhere alone, not even to work. But that is another story.)

Then I think I will spend the whole rest of the time working in my yard. I have a gardener, of sorts, who rents a house from me. He is a teensy bit behind. SIX MONTHS, if one were counting. So he has decided to do the gardening around here to work off the debt. Only he really likes the blower and the weed whacker and the mower a lot. The actual weeding, not so much.

I would clean the house,,,and I probably will do an afternoon downstairs, but the torn up floor and torn up ceiling is still in sort of a torn up construction mode, so what would be the point?

So I have one huge flowerbed that runs around the entire front yard that I can weed...which I really truly love to do. Right now, it isn't too hot and I can open the windows inthe house and play music and make a big muddy mess, flinging the weeds out onto the laen for someone else to pick up. I can plant the 5 million bulbs for the spring and plant some running roses (pink bably blankets) in front of the actual house, mulched with a good ton of newspapers I have been saving expressly for this very project.

And have you ever noticed that you can spend the day weeding and it's all "ooohh! aahh!" or you can spend the day cleaning and it's "So, what did you do today? And really, yard work is SO much easier. Plus no one expects you to fix dinner, either.

I'll take photos, because it is beyond belief what the flower beds look like. (And I did have a gardener. He was just very picky about the days he would come over. Like if it was a day with a vowel in it, it isn't a good day. maybe tomorrow. Unless I called him up and got all fussy with him. Then he would shamble over, do the lawn and leave heaps of grass behind, since the green trash will only hold so much. And then I would stomp around and drag the stuff off to the compost heap. One day, archaeologists are going to find this compost heap and wonder what the heck we worshiped.)

Oh, I have to hose off the decks and patios, also...,I LOVE hosing. My favorite thing. And I have to drain the pond for the winter, too. LOVE that job, too. Totally entertaining. I get to use the pressure washer and sump pump and everything. All that pond water goes into the vegetable garden.

And one day, I need to go over and paint the lobby with my green swatches....I want a green the color of Spanish moss, with the base coat WAY darker and semi gloss (stay with me)and the two rag roll colors way lighter. The base will just barely show thru but will catch the light, so it will always look like candlelight.

I just have to find the right three greens. The kitchen is yellow and ivory and black; (very French) the library is crime scene red and the dining room is pink with a plaster run decorative ceiling. My bedroom is going to be (after MUCH thought) a cage au lait (which Lisi still calls cafe ole) and the bedding will range from ecru to espresso. Very European. Luxe. And sexy. Sort of like Sifuente's apartment on NYPD Blue.

Darling is concerned about getting the heating in and I am only concerned about the paint on the walls. And the bevel pattern in the skylight. I want that all beveled, since the POINT is light. I have enough stained glass on the main floor.

No vacation sleeping in for this girl.

I give up

I can't drink. And I had a LOT to drink about.
It is useless. No fun. Makes me stupid and really tired.
I can't talk and make any sense at all.

I do want to argue though. Tonight, I wanted to argue about stuffing. Why, I do not know. But at the time, it seemd to very, very, very important.

And then I took a nap. And now I am just a little disoriented and feel more than a little silly.
WHY would I care?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Crazy like a bag of wet weasels

I teach at a super max prison. This last little bunch of students have been, well, crazy making. A bad mix. So the other two teachers came over the other day (okay, I admit, I had my head down on the desk, sobbing like my entire family had been wiped out by the black plague).

So we went over our class lists and moved my low ones to Domi's class, my high ones went to Wilder and every one in the middle came to me.

WHAT a surprise to have a functional class. We were all on the same page. IMAGINE!! So I'm teaching a 3-4-5 class and it worked today, at least.

I showed a health video about STDs twice. Once for me to write the quiz and once for them to answer the quiz. (These guys are 2x learners). So in the big middle of the discussion part (we had to watch the vid twice to have anything to intelligently talk about), I go to the back of the room (I am 30 guys away from the door, which says a lot about how comfortable I was feeling about this student mix) and I'm sitting on my little stool, facing the class and drawing behind my head. (Great little trick, huh?)

These guys need a LOT of drawings, since they don't have a real clear idea of how the world works. So I'm drawing a cell and a virus (a cell looks like an egg yolk and white; a virus looks like a cockleburr).

And we;re talking about HIV and how
it works (I have a lot of students and 99.999999% of men in prison are on the down low. Fact of incarceration.) And as I like to say, the truth will make you free.

If I don't tell them the straight stuff, who will?

So I'm showing them how the virus works, attaching itself like a burr to the healthy cells and
explaining how the only purpose of a virus is to replicate, even if it kills it's original host....and I almost felt as if I were showing them how to make fire.

Then we started talking about protecting yourself...because if you don't care, no one else is going to.
They were just a little hinky at first, since they didn't want to overstep (I'm not a nurse, so I might not know anything about this stuff. Ha.) So, once I told them that I had lived a life before I wound up in prison and I highly doubted that they could come up with a question I hadn't heard or asked nor would they be able to shock me...I'm a product of the 60's.

I was just amazed at the really true questions they asked...honest questions and the really true explanations that the guys who knew the information gave. Three guys acted out HIV, the immune system and A. Dude. It was hysterical but so informative....and it got the point over.

Next week, we're working on Hepatitis and then tackling Anger Management.

Sounds like a lot of fun.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

And this is what I listen to on the way to work

Well, not just these two ...I have a whole collection of "Life isn't over" music. Morning are sort of schizophrenic for me...on the one hand, I haven't screwed anything up yet; on the other, I'm going into a place where everyone hates me and would just as soon shank me as look at me.

The longer I work where I work, the more I understand (well, understand is too broad...I get it, though), that there are people who don't even know me who hate me. Hate every breath I take, every thought I have ever had in my head, every emotion I have ever had. Now, in my life, I have done plenty to make men hate me, but the key is that I DID something. With the guys I work with, I didn't do anything except show up.

Most of the time, it doesn't bother me. I have so many men I work with that the psychotics make up a very small percent of my case loads. It's when there are other stressors; stressors I'm not even aware of, that makes what I do so dangerous. I'm right in the thick of it---no Plexiglas shield between a client and me. Sometimes I have a desk between us, but not usually.

So I listen to this music to pump me up, to fill up the vacant spaces in my head so I'm not totally out of my mind scared.

A little scared is good. Makes you not cocky. A lot of training helps, too....so that a lot of my behaviors are automatic...but there is still plenty of room in my head for me to get really scared because these guys are seriously wicked.

This one makes me cry when things are going wrong

And of course, I have to play it over and over...just in case anyone has missed the point

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Giving blood and other butch things I do

Needles don't scare me. Not much does. So when the annual blood wagon drove up, I was first in line. Now, I work with REALLY tough guys and they were sweating bullets. You can always tell. They are too chatty, for one.

So I lie down on one of those rocky little bed chair things and much to my surprise (because I guess I've never bothered to look) the nurse comes at me with this REALLY big bore needle.

What do I do? Faint.

It is the best way to get immediate attention, or so I have found. Of course, me fainting meant that some of my muscle bound comrades keeled over, too.

But once I got packed in ice and some orange juice in me, I was as perky as a spring day. When you faint, they don't yank the works out, did you know that? Unconscious blood is just as good as conscious blood,

So I spend, oh...45 minutes being drained out. They pulled the needle part way out so I didn't go too fast and faint again. And every time I closed my eyes, someone would come by and poke me to make sure I hadn't fainted again.

So it was a nice way to kill almost an entire morning...something that should have taken about 30 minutes took me a little bit longer.

Then I had to wait for 30 minutes, to make sure I didn't faint again. Of course, all they had were twinkies and water to drink, so the nurses had to trot off and get me orange juice.

So I spend the rest of the day, working on files. drive home and decide to hop into the hot tub.

Silly, Silly Silly. I got so light headed, I could seriously visulaize the EMT's
dragging my water logged body out of the hot tub...so I hopped out (well, I dragged myself out and staggered into the house) where I settled down on the floor and watched my arm turn into this. Now mind you, it hurt only about as much as biting your lip.

But it was certainly good for a lot of sympathy out at the gun range.

And I'm off the yard until they get the staph infection under control, since the Lt...who just happened to be in my third grade class, could not BELIEVE I was walking around, looking like this.

ANd yeah, I did push up my sleeves. What good is a bruise like this (which only got worse) if no one can see it?