Thursday, October 30, 2008

Itch for a change

I am still in the process of moving into my big warehouse of an office...it is a really huge organizational mess. (Did I say that?) I have stacks of lessons piled up in postal boxes, waiting to go into cabinets , waiting for the walls to be finished.

I have some lateral files on order, which will come some time in the future. What I have now is stuff I scrounged.. nothing says government worker bee like furniture in that hideous putty colored metal banged up stuff. It looks like I went shopping at the dump.

I am really fanatical about having my space look nice, since my program is super high profile (I get all sorts of surprise visits from the front office). Because of the high volume of work I'm, churning out, I need a high volume copy machine and a cage where the paper is kept. I have a Scantron on order, too.
"On order" is a government term. It means nothing. Sort of like "the check is in the mail."

I am dragging in baskets for my files and tossing out the card board boxes I've been using. It is starting to look nicer, mainly because I have enough room to keep everything. When I was in my teeny office, everything was just piled up on top of everything else.
This is much better, even though the gal I shared the old office with keeps bleating about how happy I am now. I'm happy because I'm not stepping over everything. She doesn't even figure into my work equation. (Very few people do).

The clerk/porters are repainting the walls (depending on which wall you were looking at, it was a dreary gray or electric yellow or black with poop brown accents). Everything is cream now and I am quite happy. Next week, when I'm (I'm testing something like 250 guys in mainline) .

I have a plant AND AN OUTSIDE LINE. You have no idea how valuable that is. (Okay, it is in a locked box and I don't have a key for the padlock, but like the gate key, I will eventually get one.) I have my own set of keys now, including a BATHROOM key. I can pee anywhere now.

AND I HAVE A FRIDGE. AND HOT WATER. (I have it, I'm not in it, lol.)

I finally got my spreadsheet to link, so I can keep all my reportable data on it. I'm working on another program (as in writing it--yay, me!) that will actually take the data and do all the ID test bubbling for me for the mainline testing (next week, 250 guys--a typical number, none of whom are smart enough to reliably bubble in his own name). It will be a HUGE timesuck saver.

I found some GED stuff I could use that would cut down on the amount of stuff I am actually having to write my own self--a huge time suck. And the SHU guys...most of them are great. Very focused and polite. They send there work in, I correct it, send it back with the next lesson. They do it, send it back, I correct it.....(that's what I'm doing when I'm testing those 250 guys).

Then I have some students who want special stuff. Color TVs. Ipods. Laptops. Palm Pilots. Blackberrys. And if I don't give it to them, they are going to sic some very bad guys on me. They know how to find me.

Oh. Please.

I don't even know how to find me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Second Watch

I get up around 0430 and sit out on the porch for a while with my husband. Watch the sky get light. Drink some coffee. Plan out our day. Talk to the dogs. Talk about how the stars have moved catty wampus across the sky from last night.

I leave the house a little before six, with a second cup of coffee, my knitting and my lunch and drive across the dark lake bottom to work.

The onliest people up are farmers and people going the same place I'm going.


I like working second watch. The jets from the air base make a net in the sky with their con trails and it makes me feel safe. The coyotes are trotting home. Sometimes I will see a cow calving and pull over. Sometimes, the the farmers are out raking or baling hay or picking cotton or harvesting wheat or picking corn and it is just a right, comfortable feeling . All is right with the world. I think not many people get to feel that way on the way to work.

The sun is lighting the sky and I get to see this every day. I take my joy where I can find it.

It makes up for the days when I cry on the way home.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now who would have thunk?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!

mm.marilyn_.jpg


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."


Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.






How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.




What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive




What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations




Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent




Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Hey! I'm one classy dame!


Click on the title if you want to take the quiz
I scored 26% grit, 14% wit, 33% flair, and 36% class!

You are class itself, the calm, confident "perfect woman." Men turn and look at you admiringly as you walk down the street, and even your rivals have a grudging respect for you.
You always know the right thing to say, do and, of course, wear.
You can take charge of a situation when things get out of hand
,( duh, I work in a prison) and you're a great help to your partner even if they don't immediately see or know it.
You are one classy dame.
Your screen partners include William Powell and Cary Grant, you little simmerpot, you.

8am meeting

0500
Coffee blah blah blah blah coffee blah blah coffee blah coffee blah blah blah blah

0522
Great testing numbers over on "A" yard. 225 scores so far. 54 GEDs. Good job!

What are your plans for the inmates who work during the day? Haven't given it a thought. (NOT MY PROBLEM and if you think I am coming in at night you are crazy).

What about the inmates who are locked down? Haven't given it a thought. (NOT MY PROBLEM and if you think I am going into their cells you are crazy).

How about the inmates who don't speak English and would like to take the GED test? I know the answer to this one!They can take it when they get OUT of prison. We don't give it in Spanish here. I can;t give it because I TEACH it. The state GED guys are funny that way.

And where are we as far as GED testing in the SHU? (We aren't certified by the state office.)
When will that happen? (When Nancy from Sacramento gets clearance. She has been trying to get that super duper FBI clearance now for, oh, three years. Ball is sort of in your court.)

Oh.You can go now.

So I drove down to McDonald's got some breakfast and coffee and then came back to work and tested all day. And if I told you what that was like you wouldn't believe it. Suffice to say, it is a good thing that we have prisons.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's not that I'm Important

Because God knows, I'm not.

But I just got an "emergency" email for the Monday meeting ( I bet it has nothing to do with me at all and they better have good coffee). Nothing makes me happier than getting a work email on a Sunday. We are in a leaderless state (no real principal), the acting is out, Jaqui is at training, the AP is out and that leaves just me knowing anything about this. And I gues they figured they better let me know now so I could get cleaned up, cause you never know what I'll look like.

The only ER meetings I can go to are these kinds because the rest of the week, somebody has to come hunt me down, because I have officers and a buncha inmates all ducated to test. I cannot just jump into my batmobile and swoop on down to the front, stopping for a soda on the way.

Not only am I busy, I am far away, locked up and busy.

And I am leaving that meeting at 820 because if I don't start at 830, we won't get finished by yard recall. And if there's a lockdown...well, praise Jesus, is all I can say. I need two or three days or a week.

I'm changing my email to mygiveadamnisbusted.com
And I'm never going to check it on the weekend.
Ever.

Those guys are not the boss of me 24/7.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I like Lyle's better

It gets me in the mood for my day


Fall Out

We've been going over to Morro Bay every weekend for the last ten years.

Unless we are at the Grand Canyon, that's where we are...either on the water or sitting on the patio, above the golf course, watching the tide go in and out and the deer wandering around. The fog rolls up the hill at this time of day and softens everything.

So the plan on my calendar for this weekend was for Brent and Mike and I to take to boat out, drop anchor and let Brent work on some of his sketches for a new series he was planning...some kind of rippling water transparent abstract thing was how he described it. Mike was going to do some diving and I was going to knit out in the sun. Coach's "little" girl, Jaime, just had a baby (She is LISI'S age, which just doesn't make it seem possible that she even has a baby.)

Then we'd probably grill some fish out on the dock. Sunday was going to be of the same.



But instead, we are staying home. I can't even bear to go flipping thru my calendar and delete Brent from our plans-not yet. It is hard enough to go over and clean out his house and bundle up his belongings for charity. I still have to clean up his studio because I can't ask Mike to do either one and there is no one else.

It's not so bad during the week--I'm so busy, I don't have time to think. It's the weekends that are killing me. It's the opposite for Mike. He saw Brent all week long, so the whole week is hard for him. Plus he gets phone calls all week long from Brent's friends who somehow think that he has all the answers.
He doesn't.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I just MOVED in July

I moved out of 3A in July out to Work Change and then out to Plant Ops--about 2 miles from the parking lot. Today I moved out of the teeny weeny office into a great big office across the hall and I am tired. Tired. Tired. Tired.

You would think that with a lot of help (five clerks who did all of the heavy stuff), there would have been almost nothing for me to do, wouldn't you? No matter how much help you have, there is a ton of stuff you have to do your own self.

I did manage to get my desk set up and my computer ready to go for Wednesday and all of my testing stuff ready for Monday and Tuesday. I have 60 guys to test/ducat/arrange for escorts/make sure I have the room/make sure I have FOUR officers assigned to my area. It is a huge deal because it runs over two shifts on Monday. On Tuesday, I test out in the cabinet shop--just twelve guys.

Wednesday is a slow day....I work with my own 200 students.. but I have to have them escorted down to me on Wednesdays, which can take forever. So on Wednesdays, I'm usually there late, just so I can get my Shubies done. They transfer in and out there so much that it seems that I say the same thing over and over, but I do have guys in the algebra segment. They have to request tutoring and my cut-off hour is two thirty because SHU is a time suck, just like etsy. And there's no OT, just good planning.

I ducat my own guys to test all day Thursday and half day Friday
Friday afternoon, I prep for Monday and Tuesday for 3A and Voc.

So it is 100 miles an hour all week long. I sandwich in meetings with the warden and lunch and paperwork and trotting off to work change or 3A or the SHU (all handily located about 2 miles equidistant from each other and my office). They don't pay me to saunter around.

By Friday, I am tired.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some of Brent's friends called today

Which was so sweet and thoughtful.

This has been almost as hard on all of us as it was when we found out about Jackson, worse really because when Jackson went missing we worried ourselves sick for a year. With Brent, it came as such a surprise.

If it's October, I can't go to Fresno

In fact, I may not got to Fresno again. Ever.

The people there are impatient drivers.
And rude.
And in the big, wonk eyed hurry.

And yesterday, i violated my own rule of not going to the Fresno from October-January because there are too many Christmas crazy people on the road....and I was right.

Rude. Crowded. Crazy. Wonky-eyed honkers.
I hate people who honk their horns.

In the Hanford, the onliest horn honkers are the trains that go thru town, because this is not the NYC.
Nobody honks their horn in the San Francisco.
In the LA, they don;t waste their time honking, they just shoot you. Straight to the point.

But Fresno has lost all of my respect and money. Well, except for Barnes and Noble. I'll go there but only because it's a straight shot right off the freeway.


There was more horn honking going on yesterday in the Fresno that I have ever heard in my life.
So I am not going back.

I am however, going in this morning to get a ginormous shot for the evil spirits inside my head who are trying to escape. They have pointy little sticks and are try to jab their way thru my eyeball. For a nickel, I'd get a drill and let them out because it REALLY hurts. Not wonder the Aztec/Mayans/Indiana Jones guys drilled holes in their heads. It sounds like a really good idea to me right now.

The clinic opens at eight and I will knock down any old ladies who get in my way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This is what last week taught me

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born.
A Death Certificate shows that we died.

Pictures show that we lived.


I Believe...

That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.


I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.


I Believe...
That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.


I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.


I Believe....
That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.


I Believe...
That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.


I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.


I Believe...
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.


I Believe...
That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.


I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.


I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.


I Believe...
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.


I Believe...
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.


I Believe...
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.


I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.


I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.


I Believe...
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others; sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.


I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.


I Believe...
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.


I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.


I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.


I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.


I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.


I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.


I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.



I Believe...
That the delete button is every bit as important as spell check.


I Believe...
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything ...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spent the day testing testing testing

I can;t even count how many guys I tested--all I know is that they made SIXTY GAIN POINTS, which is huge. And this is only October. I have until next July to hit my year's limit. And this was only one yard..I have the entire SHU to do, too.

This means nothing to anyone not working in corrections. It is GIANT if you do.

I love this

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trying to post an actual knit pattern


WAY easier than it looks.

Keep tuning it, because it is one of most enduring favorites. I've been making this same pattern now for...oh, 25 years and I still like it. It is easy, entertaining and quick. Very little math. Cute in all manner of yarns. I can make it stripey or textured or subtle or bright. Mainly, it is just tapioca for my brain and that is plenty good enough for me.

This is pretty much the sketch I use all the time. I can add cuffs to the sleeves or make it a cardigan, no problem. It is nice, mindless and slouchy. Fitted? Now that's another pattern.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This was one terrible week.just tragic

My husband's friend killed himself Friday night.
He went into our office, found a gun and shot himself in the yard.

We were over at the house on the beach and got this weird call...weird as in "I think Brent is dead over here." How can you think someone is dead?

How can something so final and horrible be an "I think" moment? How can someone make a call like that when you are sitting on the patio eating toast and watching the boats sail by?

Nothing we could do, so we stayed there, whacked out, wracked by our own personal demons. We had just seen him on Thursday and HE WAS FINE.

Fine. Fucked. Insecure. Neurotic. Emotional.
Obviously, he was fine.

Mike blamed himself, all afternoon and into the night and all this week Needless to say, we spent the week up all night, wondering what we could have done/seen/said and then working all day. We are still a little zombie like. Okay, I'm a mad zombie.

It is a terrible thing to lose a friend; to not see it coming when you see someone day in and day out. All the guys on the crew are hurting as well and the sad thing is the I can get mad and they keep it all bottled up inside.

In hindsight, I can see all of the little (well, little to me) things that just piled up on Brent.
The poetry slams didn't take off
The Angry Poet business didn't take wing.
The crazy former girlfriend who managed to show up everywhere, shrieking like a banshee.
His abstract painting, while slowly taking off, wasn't zooming to the top like all his asshole art buddies were telling him it should.
Sort of hard to hear how fantastic, insightful, incredibly talented you are and still not able to make a living at your art. LIKE WHO DOES? But that was part of his illness which caused him to stick a gun to his head at 1 am and pull the trigger.

I can't tell you how many thousands of hours Brent spent over our kitchen table, while I made pasta with whatever I had in the garden and whatever I had butchered lately.
Great meals , listening to opera way into the night.

We spent wonderful weekends over in Morro Bay--Brent would stay on our boat with his dogs and we'd stay at out house and he would sketch and think and amble over for dinner. Mike would work on his stained glass. We'd sit out on the patio and watch the tide go out. It doesn't sound like much, written down, but it was just normal for us. Good food. Good friends. Nothing earthshaking.

I'd knit, we'd drink gallons of coffee and then there was always that back beat of male conversation in the background. Dogs in my lap. Feet up on a chair and quilts over our shoulders.

Mike and Brent were unique in that Mike was his sponsor, employer, patron and friend. He often said that the surest way to run a person off was to become their sponsor but this wasn't the case with Brent--it just made us all closer, until the end.

They talked, not about family or childhood, but about addiction and overcoming their present demons. I have plenty of experience of jumping on the sole crazy train myself, where a permanent solution sounds like the perfect solution to a temporary problem and it seemed as though they were able to hash it out every time.

And there were plenty of times--not just on the weekends, but during the week and in the middle of the night. That crazy button is no respector of the clock. Thank God for coffee and insomnia. Somebody is always awake over here, so it was never an imposition or even a surprise to find Brent sitting on the front porch. Tank would barrel down the stairs and keep him company or just alert us that we needed to pour another cup and open the door.

This whole week was hideous.
We talked with the girlfriend. Waited for family. Talked with the sheriff's department. Got called a motherfucker by tg....and where that came from, I'm not sure. She got to stay in the house, heck, almost a month's rent and utility on my nickle and I'M the motherfucker?

This whole thing MAKES ME FURIOUS.

I feel terrible for all for the people who are left behind in the wake of this, but by hell, I'm left behind, too.

And I have all the crap to clean up. I get to clean up the blood and the brains and all the junk that no one deemed valuable enough to cart off and said "Somebody will take care of the crap".
(Or most likely, in the words of tg, "Brent said you and Mike would take care of meeeeeeee.")
By this time, tg is not on my list of favorite people.

Well ALL is a LOT to dump on a person's lap, with a snotty father on the other end of the phone line, threatening litigation. And these are the self-same people who had the keys for a week, not me.

Obviously, tgd doesn't know me, since all the lawyers east of the Mississippi don't scare me. All of Oprah's lawyer's don't scare me. But, like I said, obviously, he doesn't know me. tg must have spent a lifetime hiding behind someone, if she thinks calling me a motherfucker would make me spring to her bidding.

And I don't like it much. At all in fact.
Treat me like crap-fine. I'm used to it. I work in a prison and I get this all day long. It's not personal. Selfish, sure. Self-involved, absolutely. Personal? Not at all. I am simply in the way. (In the way when it suits your fancy. Which is just a fancy way of saying you are a selfish and self involved to the extreme.

Treat Mike like crap? Call HIM a Mother Fucker?
You have another think coming, and coming fast.

And that cleanup somebody is ME-body. And I don't much like being in the loop when you like it and being ordered around when it suits your fancy.

And no one is coming over and saying poor poor Chloe. Poor, poor Mike.

Nope, It's Motherfucker, as usual.

And if I'm not writing poetry to stick on the end of my post, it's because I'm on my hands and knees. scrubbing the newly vacated rental so I can recoup my losses because utilities aren't free.
Studio rent isn't free.

I paid for all of this because Brent was my friend and Mike's friend and you can't put a price on friendship but gosh, it sure would be nice if someone noticed. If someone said, hey, this was my dad/brother/boyfriend, let me pay. By now thank you is too late.

Nope. I spend hundreds of hours in the belly of the beast with the worst kinds of people you can IMAGINE--people who are so awful that they make Charles Manson look like your favorite baby sitter--- and I'm glad to spend it on Brent...I just don't want to spend it on deliberate destruction by some 9-month girlfriend.

Why, yes I am a bitch.
Scrubbing up after other people who leave in the night without a thank you will do that to a person.

Going over in the middle of the night and shoveling gravel over the blood and the brains so my husband doesn't have to see it?
Taking care of the million and one details of a tragedy?
That will do it to a person.

Wind me up and I'll do the right thing because that is the way I'm wired.
My job is protect my husband who doesn't deserve to be treated like crap with a wallet.

What's that you say? Doesn't seem right? A little one sided?
Oh, maybe you want to read their side of it? Go right ahead.

Because I'm the one up in the middle of the night with Mike. From the first. Not tg. Mike. And tonight? It's Mike. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And tg? She has to look at herself and I guess that is the dish served best cold.

And really, I don't care about anyone else.
And if that seems harsh, well, suicide is a pretty harsh piece of reality. Who would know better than me?

It's not my first and it won't be my last because in my heart, I keep believing that ten years and the self-respect we shared is worth it.

Brent, we had you for ten wonderful years. years that I think you wouldn't have had and you were an honorable man and a wonderful friend to Mike. We may never get over you...and I say that in a good way. Good friends are a rarity and you should leave a hole in our hearts.

And you have. Tank misses you, too. I know I do.

Fair sailing, my friend. Smooth waters.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Goals for 2009

  1. No more headaches. I'll try to do what the head doctor tells me. It's been a THREE whole weeks now since my head shot...so far so good.
  2. Finish my blue sweater. Can't finish if I don't even bother to pick it up.
  3. Finish grey sweater. DONE
  4. Repair pink afghan. See #3.
  5. I'd like to go to Stitches West in 2011. I have plans for 2009 and 2010, so 2011 is my first opening. (How did I manage to get booked so far in advance?)
  6. MLK weekend-well, already I have to put that on hold. I'm booked for that weekend. Darn-ola.
  7. Rag roll the dining room (that dusty pink is just off the mark) and then stripe it with painters tape and THEN paint over it with clear glaze. That will give me just the sheerest stripe that will just pick up the light.
  8. Cruise to Alaska. July 2009 (Paid for)
  9. Refinish my sewing table. I think I'll take it over to the coast and work on it over there. I want to strip it down to the bare wood (it's painted white now) and then stain it something dark to go into my little office off the master bedroom in the hotel.
  10. Zero out my credit cards. I think I owe less than $900, so I can do this by next month. I just have to write the checks. DONE
  11. Renew my teaching credential. Silly me, I thought last time WAS the last time. Once more. Maybe.
  12. Go thru my closet and actually get rid of my clothes that are too big. When we moved out to Plant Ops (2 miles from the parking lot) I lost FOUR SIZES. Even my equipment belt can't keep my pants up anymore. I need to toss out my slacks and actually buy new ones (okay-seven new ones that all look exactly the same) that at least fit.
  13. Recover my big huge couch with a leopard print velvety chenille (as soon as the upholstery shop reopens at the prison, or I couldn't afford what I want. I have the gimp and the fancy nails that I'll put on myself, along with the heavy fringe). The inmates will do the triple tobacco colored welting, though.
  14. I already have the fabric (on sale at the Cotton Ball) and the fabric for the over-sized cushy down pillows with the really luxe fringe (again, on sale from the Britex). Once that gets done, up into the hotel and cover with a set of Salvation Army sheets. Really, this fabric is beyond luxe and totally over the top. And the trim is something you would see in an old style Hollywood estate--totally and outrageously expensive (except I got the very end of the bolt for almost nothing and I haggeled over the price.)
  15. Make the fancy, elaborate Victorian lampshades to go in the hotel. It is all hand sewing and even I can do that.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Knitting weather and shots in my head

The weather has finally turned--it is 20 degrees cooler today than yesterday. Most of the crops are in, except for the cotton and the raisins and I wonder how the farmers will manage to get them out of the fields with out a few more weeks of dry hot weather.

The grapes are already on the ground, lying on the papers, so they will mold right there if it isn't dry and hot enough.
AND the cotton--well, those cotton farmers should go to Gambler's Anonymous is all I'm saying. Every year is a terrific gamble. At least with cows you can manage to get something. With cotton it is all pinned on the last weeks of October and the weather.

We spent two days in the San Francisco---pretty boring, with no lights, no action, no shopping. Staying at the Cathedral Hill hotel on Van Ness and Geary (spacious room, balcony, garden view, quiet, good parking) and then went to UC/SF early the next morning for some head shots for my migraines. Not as awful as the last go round.

I go back in January and I'm hoping that I can get Lisi to take me. Mike hates driving in the city and is on edge the whole time. Even I'm not so bad, but of course, I can't drive after having gigantic needles jammed up into my head. I stayed awake the whole way home (five hours) and we didn't miss a single exit. I did feel goofy that day and the next but I feel fine today. I think it is sort of odd to have my life defined by my headaches, though. It's the first thing I think of---the ONLY thing I thing of. How is my head? Sort of like having a colicky baby.

Next time we go to the SF, I think I want to go to Britex....if Mike doesn't go with. I'm going to set the guest room up as a sewing room because I really like sewing and I'd like to make some shirts for myself out of some nice (non-WalMart) fabric to wear to work. Just nice, plain can't-buy-to-off-the-rack stuff to wear with my plain don't-look-at-me slacks. I work in the SHU and wear riot gear, so I have a real narrow idea of what is comfortable and easy to wear.

And speaking of the SHU, I am really loving my little GED Express program. I'm still only about a month ahead of the students, but I get about 25 lessons in a week to grade, write my little notes on the tests and shoot them right back out to them, so we have that little dialog. They get immediate feedback and a new lesson, which hadn't been happening. At the end of each unit, they get a certificate. I test each week-once on the general population yard and then three days in the SHU in cages---which takes forever but in prison, time is really the only commodity anyone has. I think I have found my little niche. Now I just have to generate the numbers and progress to justify it to keep it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We get up early

Like 5, at the latest. Hop into the hot tub.Look at the stars, which have moved around the sky from last night. Feed the dogs. It is October now and officially too cold for swimming, which goes on from Easter to the end of September and has for, oh, the last 30 years. Which is a really long time, even when I had to use the city pool, which was heated and could have gone on for a lot longer.

So I'm dressed by 6 but it usually takes me another 15 minutes to find my shoes. Then it is a mad dash out the door, because I don't speed. I leave at the same time every day and I get there when I get there.

Lisi is coming over and spending the night, so it is Chinese take-out tonight. I haven't seen her for, oh, maybe a month. She is busy with second watch and overtime.