Monday, February 25, 2008

Blue! Azul! Turquoise! Teal! Lavendar!

Today, we can wear blue at work. Previous to this, nothing that REMOTELY looked blue-ish would get you sent home because the gunners supposedly couldn't tell free staff from inmates is we had on stiletto heels, black slacks and any color that looked as if might possibly be blue.

I solved the problem by wearing black. We couldn't wear white either, since some inmates wear white jumpsuits. (We can't wear orange, either but since I would have to be half dead alongside the road to wear orange, that was never an issue.)

But today, the new memo says that when the officer checks you out at the first check point (they check your ID and search your handbag), said officer has to take into account your entire outfit and decide if you REALLY can POSSIBLY be mistaken for an inmate.

Since I work inside the electric fence AND the exercise yard is fenced off as well AND I never go hot footing it across the yard when inmates are out....well, I think it is safe to say that the gunners can tell me from an inmate.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The sun is out and I feel better

I am not cut out for weeks of Seattle weather. My friend 'Nusan and Marji both love this kind of soggy weather, but I think that's because they aren't big dirt diggers. I would rather dig in the dirt than clean house any day...and if it's MY IDEA to clean, I really like it. I just don't like being reminded that I have a full time job that I get paid for and another full time job that I don't. And I get down right surly when the people with whom I live think they are the boss of me.

But the sun is shining, which means I can open the windows upstairs at least and air out the bedrooms, which smell of eau d'cigarette.

I know. He was a smoker before we got married and I should have known what I was getting into. That's what the entire world says after the should have known. Exactly how was I supposed to know?

It's like when you have a baby who doesn't sleep for, oh, three years. You should have known. Well, unless you were subjected to days with no sleep, how the heck would you know? I remember going weeks with one or two hours of sleep and that whole portion of my life was just zombie-like. I worked at a big school in LA and most of us were young mothers; I would bet somebody was having a baby every month of the 8 years I worked there. The whole bunch of us were exhausted. We never argued or fussed with each other because we were trying to stay awake.

So off I go to strip the rest of the bed (I did the quilts yesterday). I have a quiche cooling for breakfast and I went outside to check to see if it was dry enough to's not. We've gotten so much rain you'd think I was living on a sponge.

Then I have to vac the bedroom again, I have white carpet and three dogs. I should have known.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Why is it, when I decide to spend a weekend cleaning that's just dandy?

And when OTHER MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY suggest that perhaps the bathrooms are not germ free, I get totally pissed off?

Today is one of the two days of the week I can sleep past 5:30.
However, I was up at 5 because my husband couldn't sleep and wanted some company.

THEN he mentioned that perhaps I would like to wash the bed and get it remade, so it would be all crisp. AND while that was being accomplished by my washer and dryer, I might want to clean the kitchen and REALLY clean the four bathrooms in this house.

Good morning to you, too.

Since this is his day off, of course, he was going to spend it watching Blazing Saddles and Training Day and could I get the bed made in time for his nap? You bet. Me? If I want to take a nap, I think I'll just conk out on the couch. Alone.

So I vacuumed. I moved furniture. I scrubbed floors and toilets. I fixed lunch, I fixed dinner.
I folded clothes. I washed all the lace curtains and rehung them. And no, I was not chipper about any of it. I was downright surly.
And the temperature in this house is hovering around -60 with NO hopes of warming up THIS weekend.

Tomorrow, I plan to spend the ENTIRE day working in the office. I have much to do. I don't need help. I don;t need company.

He can watch television all day. Next week is payday and this is one month that I don't intend to sign the check and give it to him.

I am a VERY expensive maid.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today at the prison

First, I have to say that this is a pretty amusing place to work.

I had one student request to come to class at 9:30, since coming at 8 am is is just too early. (Nope)

Another inmate wants to have me provide coffee to the students to give them some vim. (Nope)

Another student is racking me up for tacking an on an extra 1 day to his sentence because he slipped out of class to go to a "buda service"...The fact that he is a prison Muslim is not lost on me; however, I don't have the authority to LET him leave class to commune with buda, since this "service" was held by inmates out on the yard. However, he is willing to prosecute me to the full extent of the law, even 'up to and including the highest law of the Union, the Supremo Court." I sorta would like that, I've never been to DC in the springtime. Ya think the state would fly me out there and let me stay in a nice hotel or would I have to bed down in a jail someplace?

Sorry, we don't had a Buddist service on grounds., If the gathering isn't approved and said student is not on the approved list, he doesn't get to go. If he does go, he loses the day and it is added on to his sentence. Of course, when one has 900 years to serve, I'm not quite getting why 900 years and a day would be a huge area of worry.

This is the same student who made all kinds of whacko claims, which were easy enough to disprove. Copy a snippet of his records and surprise! his claims weren't substantiated.

And this guy has been out of my class since AUGUST. I think he needs to get a life.

Oh, forget that. He has 9 lifes AND 900 years and one day. Silly me, He probably has a lot of time to think and study. What care I if he wants to be a Prison Muslim AND a Buda and a Morman, too?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Day

Mom is so happy she is singing around the house, She hasn't sung since Marnie left. She has had Ben busy putting her clothes back up in the closet; Mike arranged for our automotive man to go over and fix her automatic bed and all is right with the world.

I, of course, was up all night, fretting over her obvious unease but it is a wonder what a night's s sleep will do for people. I have several ladies already for Mike to interview---he is not as suspicious as I am. The upside of of course, she can stay in her own home. The whole purpose for buying that house which is, granted, too big for just her and Ben, was so that she could have someone to live in with her as long as possible.

I know she is feeling better because she had Ben fix up her video eye, which works sort of like an opagqu projector---she can put a book under it and it is blown up on the television scene. Tomorrow, Dave is taking the big tv from upstairs over to her house. On Tuesday, she is calling to get her hair done---and if you knew my mother, who has never spent a day in her life with her hair in disarray AND no would know the immediate turn around. She has even agreed to let Mike go to the bank with her and be privy to her business.

Me. Well, she still hasn't decided to speak to me but will deign to relay messages vis Ben and Mike. Oh, well, I know I'm doing the best I can and I guess working at the prison has given me the most amount of armour I'll be needing. Everyone hates me there, too, so I'm used to it.

In the meantime, I'm still working on the chocolate brown cat hair afghan for Lisi. I will never knit with alpaca again and brown is OFF. MY. LIST.

And I still think I have a better than average chance of becoming a lunatic somewhere in the next 45 years. Last night, it felt like the date had been moved up 44.4 years, but today is better.
And Ben is coming over to keep me company. And Lisi will be home.

I filled up an entire bag in Mr. Vaccy

Seriously. AND I took the drain thingy off in the shower and fished out almost as much gunk. Where does all of this stuff COME from? Tomorrow, all the clothes and linens I washed, dried, hung/folded go upstairs. All the wood gets another dose of oil and I tackle the office. I already got Ben to agree to tote books upstairs to the library for me. I am sure he has NO IDEA how many trips we are talking about.

We to see my mother today....she is old and frail and had informed me (well, via my sister) that she was moving out at the end of February. So here it is almost moving out time and she wants to wait until March or maybe April. She can barely care for herself but the thought of moving to a nursing home is most upsetting to her. (We have had several dramatic talks about this, all ending with her crying, throwing her hands up in the air and sobbing " I have nothing! Nothing!")

So Darling talked her into staying until May--he will find someone to come in and stay with her during the day and do light housekeeping and cooking. She was so relieved. There is a nice senior living place here that she has already tried (she hated it) and the idea of going to a nursing home and not even having her own personal bed just un-nerves her. She keeps saying that she wants to die, so we had to take away her gun. My Da did the same thing. What the heck is wrong with these people? I am beginning to think that they found ME on the side of the road, because I know for sure I.DO.NOT. ACT. LIKE. THIS.

Then Ben, Darling and I tried to talk her into giving up driving.
Honestly, she is not safe on the road. She got all het up and huffy over THAT. I told her I was going to call the DMV and she got so furious that she said she would never speak to me again.

Too late. Both my parents have NSTMA numerous times and it never killed me. I wish I had a nickle for every time they threatened to NSTMA. I'd be so rich that the Rockerfeller's would want to borrow cab fare. My Da wouldn't speak to me once for seven years, then when he did, he didn't know who the heck I was. He thought I was Wendy Jones' wife, Marie.

So I am not all that impressed with this not speaking nonsense. If the house was on fire, she'd speak to me.

We bought a house across the street from the grocery store so she WOULDN'T HAVE to drive; Ben LIVES with her so he can run these little errands for her....oh, but once a year, she has to go to the bank and she doesn't want anyone to know her business.

See what I have to look forward to?
Complete and utter howl-at-the-moon lunacy.

She is furious because my sister (Judy the beautiful) is on a cruise and didn't get permission. Judy is 53 years old.
She has four grandchildren.
She has four ADULT children.
And I can tell you, at 53? James and Inez weren't asking permission from anyone for anything.

I can see lunacy on the horizon, waiting for me like a big fat toad. Hopefully, in FORTY years they'll have some kind of drug for it because I refuse to carry on like this.

Actually, my children wouldn't stay in the same room long enough for me to go all old-lady-crazy and without an audience, what would be the point? And my brother Clark and best- friend -since- I- was- 13 Marji would knock me upside the head and then where would I be?

Alone, crazy, with a headache.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Plans for my weekend

I left my knitting in my carpool vehicle, so this weekend will be up close and personal with the vacuum cleaner, cleanser and mop. I haven't REALLY cleaned in the longest time that oddly, I am kinda sorta looking forward to this! It's not that I like cleaning all that much, but I really like the aftermath. And this weekend is supposed to be "spring like" so I can leave the doors and windows open and air the house out.

Darling is staying home to work on the 450SL---he needs to sand it down because the color coat is starting to peel. I think he's afraid I'll be climbing ladders and falling on my head. (No chance).

One huge chore I do need to get out of the way is cleaning the office...I've been postponing THAT for almost three years. Everything is in tidy piles; I just need to get the piles put away! I have boxes of books that I need to drag upstairs to the hotel---the library is totally finished and I can put the books away and then drape them in plastic. So part of the cleaning is going to be toting the boxed books downstairs and talking Ben into putting them in the car and toting them upstairs.

I'm even thinking of taking in my really big sectional (pink plaid and SO comfortable) and having it recovered in something chenille-y. Or wide wale corduroy. I guess I need to go in to Hart's Home with Marji and pick something out for the couch and the drapes. I think she has better taste than I do...I'm too portervillified.

I have a ton of bulbs in a cold frame and if all goes well and the weather is nice on Monday, I think I'll manage to get them into the ground in the front flowerbeds. I really like digging in the yard...just not when it is cold/wet/muddy/hot--most of the time.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Putting my life back together

The meds are working (even though I had to get a shot yesterday) and I am slowly getting my life back. I'm looking at my blog and it looks like it just stopped in November, except for the whining. I am still knitting on Girlie's afghan (chocolate milk brown with alpaca. I think alpaca is French for cat hair). I'm about half done.

Next on the needles is a cardigan for Darling. I bought the buttons almost a year ago AND I still know where they are. It is just plain, since I like a lot of stockinette. I have a pattern (sort of) but am really just using a cardigan he has and using that to figure off. I used to do the same thing with sewing, so I'm hoping that it will work the same way.

On the sewing front, I'm working on the oriental fabric for the bathroom upstairs. I found some sheer fabric with an antique gold plaid to go in the middle of the drapes. I don;t have quite enough to make the curtains as full as I wanted. This plaid will fill it up and the whole window won't look quite so skimpy.

I have a whopping cold (could not talk all day) but got out in the sunshine to weed a little. I have four days off for President's Day (new idea why, because I would prefer TWO three day weekends, which adds up to SIX days, instead of just four days.)

Did I mention that I both found and REPAIRED some massive mistakes at work? They were so huge, so earthshaking that I am surprised that the great, grand and glorious state could even go on functioning with these glaring mistakes. (My job and thus my reports are VERY IMPORTANT.)

Took me about 30 minutes. I have three other reports that are in the very same shape. The one good thing about me is that I will rat myself out in a heartbeat. Because in my business, once you know, someone else will find out and rat you out, so it is just better all the way around to tattle on your own self.

Now for a scary piece of news:
The gal who cuts my hair got an unsolicited letter from an inmate. One of those 'I saw your picture in the newspaper and you so sexy" letters. Wanted to know what to do. Write a letter to the warden and ask that this inmate NEVER contact you again. Prisons take this VERY seriously, cause inmates are seriously scary, most of the time. Then it becomes a condition of their parole (should they get parole). THEN, if they contact you again, you contact the warden and they get popped for a parole violation.


They can't be writing you civilians unsolicited letters. You don't want him to show up on your doorstep or worse, have his buddies show up on your doorstep. There are plenty of women who WANT a penpal in prison that those inmates do not need to drum up business in the free world.

And if the big stamp on the envelope that says MAILED FROM A STATE PRISON doesn;t clue you off, the lined paper and the repeated phrase "very, very, very" should. Most inmates write like fourth graders trying to fill up a page for teacher.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Yes, it IS all about me

After a year of waiting, I finally was seen by some real doctors--okay, that is a little harsh; I guess doctors who practice IN San Francisco, AT the UC/SF Medical Center AT a medical school....well, I guess they function a little differently. I know that when I've had a student teacher, my game was a little more professional.

So, what I have is an "area of interest". It is too little and too deep to monkey with and since it is just an odd little thing, these doctors decided to leave it alone and just treat my headaches with drugs. I'm in a migraine clinic and will be making the trek to SF every month while the elusive "we" gets the meds all in order. (Not the royal "we"...I have little to nothing to do with it.)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Oh, yeah. I'm terrified

A little information is sometimes NOT such a good thing. It will multiply your questions exponentially. Then I got to see the walking wounded on the Nuero floor and I can tell you right now, nobody is doin' ANYTHING like that to me. I think if the idea is to scare you, they are doing a dandy little job there.

Because it scared me senseless.

So I have a cartload of tests tomorrow and then Dr. Spook decides what direction is the best way to go. I am hoping for the pharmaceutical direction. In fact, tonight I would welcome a cartload. Give it to me with one of those big bore rusty needles. I don't. I need some help from Orpheus.

Having something really wrong with your brain really helps to put things into perspective.

Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading that marks the Feast of St. Brigid.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Whereas I Go to UC/SF and snoop around

I do not like San Francisco.

I like the IDEA of San Francisco, just not the place itself.
Too many people. All trying to go where I'm going.Except they KNOW where they are going and I don't.

The medical center sent a NARRATIVE map..not a real map, just written directions. I guess that worked just fine, since we got there and back but still, I like looking at a map and guessing where it is that I'm at. Just as aside, I was so scared OUT my mind that I didn;t bring my knitting nor do I try to find a store that sold yarn.

On the way home in the planet's worst rainstorm, we drove forever and were just in Campbell. Campbell isn't close enough to home to even COUNT. We got home at 11 and were up for work the next day.

We did find a great little burger place on Carl and Cole, just above the Haight and below the medical center. Found a parking place. It had a bathroom, which counts for a lot in San Francisco, since not every place has them. (It is my personal irritation when one is OBVIOUSLY a customer and one asks for the bathroom and one is told that there are no public bathrooms available. Well, this one is not the public, obviously, since this one is spending money. That would make this one a customer and therefore eligible for the bathrooms. Would not one think? Not in San Francisco. Or Visalia, either, come to think of it.)

I obediently went to the Neuro Department, since that was were everyone was at. Nope, I belonged over at the Brain Tumor Department. It had a nice view of the park and I could look into people homes (always a plus for me.....medical procedures and snooping). They had an insufficient number of interesting magazines, too. PLUS every fifteen minutes or so, my future self would stroll by, halting on a cane with her hair swathed in a scarf or merrily in a wheelchair with the entire back of his head having been pried open and stapled shut. Neither look appealed to me.

I do have to say that the people working there must have been used to wide eye-and-silent "I'M not going!!" looks on their patients faces, since I did not disturb them in the least. The good thing is that I don;t have an AVM or a tumor. I see the gamma ray doctor on Monday (Boy-o will go with us, just because Boy-o never gets to go anywhere). This new doctor will decide with going in with the gamma rays to sizzle out such a small deep spot that isn't cancerous is worth it. Said small spot is the size of a thumbtack. I am sure Dr. Spock would have been able to manage this on Stark Trek. My bet is that it is too small and too deep to dig around for, so they will treat it with drugs. Which is fine by me, as long as most of it goes on anywhere NOT in San Francisco.

I would see a huge dog park from the 8th floor. I imagine those dogs have never been off leash, never have had a chance to stretch their legs and run like a greyhound like Tank does. I doubt that Rocket would be allowed to dig for hours after gophers and then just sit, her ears barely visable above the dirt and watch the cars go by.

There are tons of really gorgeous, well kept Victorians to look at--all the different (and pricey) color combos, gingerbread and fancy carvings. The damp takes it's toll on their pristine looks just as the heat does here at home. It takes a LOT of money to keep a Victorian in top condition and a lot of work. They don't stay clean by themselves and those old windows leak in the dust.