Thursday, February 13, 2014

The New Normal...

I wasn't due for a booster shot for another 2 or 3 years (I've already started to forget the date, such is my talent.  No really, I completely spaced that Valentine's Day is tomorrow about 20 minutes after ordering my mom's flowers.  It's not that I forget things - yey calendar reminders - it's just that dates are not my thing, it seems.  I know your birthday is sometime in February, or March, or July...and maybe have the date written down somewhere...but if I call or email you ON THE DAY OF, most likely it was serendipity unless I put a calendar reminder to call/email ON THE DAY.  This is the long-winded way of saying I'm sorry if I've missed your birthday this year, I guess.  Heh.  Where was I? Booster shots!) but apparently the last one was prior to PANDEMIC WHOOPING COUGH or whatever increase in worry there is this year, and my doctor disliked the idea of my catching Pertussis.

I too am anti-coughing my lungs out if at all possible, so unlike my avoidance of the flu shot - because I did come out and say, "No, thank you," when they offered, I told them to make it quick and not make me cry too much and just give me TDAP jab on Monday morning.

Insert your favorite curse phrase here.  That tiny little not-even-a-sting?  Barely noticed in the middle of jibby-jabbing with the nurse?  Holy unsuspected boomerang smack, Batman!  I was jolted awake at 3AM Tuesday morning when I rolled onto that shoulder.  And then!  Because it was so freaking sore! I couldn't use my arm to help me roll back off!  I lay there flopping and crying and cursing and generally wondering why I am so good at jolting myself awake in the middle of the night.  This is not a talent I need to cultivate.

It wasn't until after 10 AM that the 2nd dose of Advil finally kicked in enough for me to get dressed.  And it wore off promptly as I got to work.  I had a floppy dead arm because ANY MOVEMENT incited such awesome gobs of pain that yeah, I could even taste it.

The worst, of course, was involuntary or automatic gestures.  You know, like when you shrug your shoulders?  Or, as I found out, and now you will too, apparently, when I find that $3K in a 26 tabbed spreadsheet, along with the my "Yes!" cry of victory, I raise my arms in a Rocky Balboa Philadelphia Steps accomplishment.  This time though?  My cry of victory became a very loud dog-getting-hit-by-a-car whimper, and my left arm only came up a little past a shrug.  The pain was excruciating.

Yes, I know I am a wuss.

I'm just setting the scene here though because after days of no knitting and jolting myself awake and did I mention no knitting?  This morning I got up and started my daily routine and noticed that the pain in my left arm is now about equal to the constant one I feel in my right shoulder (since my bike accident of over 5 years ago - that date thing again) and realized I could totally handle the stinging ache because now, finally, it was at a level I was used to.

Let me rephrase that: The pain, if it so chose, could stop diminishing if it wanted/needed to because we'd reached my "normal."

This thought actually mad me happy for the first few minutes of realization.  You know, before I started wondering what the hell is wrong with me?  Why being in constant pain is something I consider normal.  And if that is the case?  Just how crazypants bad was this soreness (and my aforementioned wuss-ocity) if, with twinges aches and stiffness and lowered mobility, I'm considering myself "all better now?"

People, I am not even 40 yet.  I am so not going to age gracefully.  I hope they perfect the portable morphine drip when the time comes, that's all I'm saying.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

There is Trouble In the Gypsy Village*

I took the weekend off.  I had no choice; had I ignored the balloon that my left ankle had become by Friday night, I might have severely injured and possibly incapacitated myself, again.  Seeing as I walk the .8 miles between me and work, and I really and truly can't take time off just now, this is just not an option.

So I joined the 61% of America and binged on not just "QI" (no spoilers, I'm only at Series 9, "I"), "Doctor Who" that I have seen (Season 1, all of "#9's" time),  but also my most recent guilty pleasure, worse than teenaged vampires in Virginia, so please keep this between you and me..."Family Guy" (season 8.  Yes it's horrid, like a train wreck though, I just can't stop watching.) while I kept my leg elevated and furiously knit away on one of two baby hats I needed to have done weeks ago.

I thought I was all better by late this afternoon, as the swelling was gone.  Not that that really means anything and I should know better but la la la, as it doesn't hurt (and it doesn't, this is what really makes this stink) it must be okay, right?  My ankle is not sprained, you see, nor strained.  Not even "bent funny."  The horrible swelling is how my posterior tibial tendonitis lets me know I've been bad.  Or walked too hard, or far, or something; some day I will know that triggers it.  The pain is on the tendon itself, way above the swelling on the inside/back of my shin.  Once triggered it is tender to the touch.  Very very tender.  Accidentally-brush-against-it-with-your-other-foot-while-you-are-sleeping-and-shock-yourself-awake, tender.  Sleeping the last few days?  A bit difficult.  Did I mention this all just sucks?

Anyhow, feeling a bit stir crazy, and getting low on milk, I went off to the store.  By the time I got back...yeah, you guessed it, my sock was threatening to cut off the circulation in my toes.

Grrr.

I know, I know,  I'm too much in a whiney/feel sorry for me mood.  I can't help it.  This was a rough week for me.

It started with jury duty.  I do feel awesome about fulfilling my civic duty.  I do, really, no sarcasm.  I really wish there was less sit-around-and-wait time.  But would it be government if there wasn't?  As this was the first jury duty of 2014, and they had a full docket (thank you "Night Court"), we had to be there the full two days required by the state of Washington to see if we'd be chosen for a jury.  Two very long whole days.  Two very long days where knitting needles (but any kind of crochet hook) were NOT ALLOWED.  Two very long whole days that ended with me going in to work afterwords so that I wouldn't fall too far behind.

I didn't get chosen for a jury.  I'm still torn about whether or not this was good thing.  I kinda wanted to see what it was all about from start to finish, but having gotten to the voir dire portion of the selection (I was one of 50 in my group), I realized that I couldn't be a part of the trial I'd been picked for pretty early on.  My oddball life experiences had me thinking too much...and a bit prejudiced against the system.  Oh, hi, is my Santa Cruz showing?  Working at a global non-profit whose mission is to make the world a better place does not help.  What about the horribleness of this world put the man who was on trial in these straits?  Why did he have no other options?  This is what I wanted answered before I used the logical side of my brain to take in all the information and decide if the State had proven their case.

But we were all excused before we got to this moment.  The accused (innocent until proven guilty), changed his plea.  So no closure.  Just lots of anxiety and questions, and turmoil.  And I was behind on work to boot.  So I spent the next three days working way too many hours and making my head and tummy and shoulders ache.  Because, talent!

By Friday I was exhausted, dehydrated, sore, irritated, and yeah, the ankle thing.  So swollen that walking up the hill home was difficult.  Okay, it doesn't hurt, but it does impede movement.  I should have been paying more attention as to why it was so hard to walk, even down the hall.  See, no excuse.  Except maybe the Cleopatra Syndrome.  You know, heh heh, living on denial?  (The Nile? Hee!  It's late, shoot me.)

And as I was just reminded it is a "school night,"  I need to try to get some sleep.  Ice packs, advil, and traumeel, all ready for me to take to work tomorrow.  Um, yey?


*According to "QI," this is what the direct translation of the Greek phrase they use for "I don't care." This is why you have to watch QI.  Well, and Stephen Fry.  And Alan Davies. And all the awesome comic and science-y guests (Brian Cox!) It's all on youtube.  Go look.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

So Very Lost in Translation

All my mom wanted for xmas, apparently, were wool leg warmers.

  • Me: Leg warmers?  Not leggings?  Cuz you described leggings to me, not KNITTED wool tubes for your legs, which, you know, I could have made for you!


  • Her: Oh yeah, huh? (Or my translating abilities paraphrase for you.)

This makes me giggle just a little as it was 80 degrees in LA, just a couple days ago, when I found this out.  It's not like she was sitting there freezing at the moment.  But she was trying to decide whether or not to keep the footless tights I hunted down for her all over Seattle, ones almost thick enough to be leggings that would fit her diminutive figure!  (Yey for gift receipts!)

But seriously, were I a religious person, I would swear on a stack of bibles that it was footless tights that she painstakingly described to me (or so I thought).  Including telling me that I used to buy them at UCLA when I was in high school (or so I heard).  That was what cemented it into my head.  They could only be footless tights, or those god awful white waffle-patterned thermal underwear bottoms. (It was an all girls school, warmth beat fashion any day on cold days, even in LA.)  Because when I was in high school leg warmers had gone off the school uniform list.  But she insists that what she had actually said was what that the girls used to go buy across the street at UCLA.  The girls...she worked there for over 27 years.  "Girls" could mean anyone between 1976 to 2003...(sigh.)  I will, of course, give her the benefit of the doubt.  Cuz hey, I get to knit for her!

I've hunted down a pattern and pulled out the only skein of Machine-Washable Cascade 220 wool in a color so not my mom's (dark purple) to test out this pattern.  See, the issues my mom will have with regards to obtaining store bought leg warmers, of course, is that they aren't wool, and (she measured for me) they need to be not much more than 12" long.  Yes, not a misprint, 12.  Standard leg warmers? Acrylic and ~19", or so I found out when I started looking for a twelfth night gift for her.

I'm probably not going to make the deadline, I'm only halfway through the first one, and that's okay.  And if they aren't her style (and definitely) not her color, they are just the right size for my niece.  And if she outgrows them before the next time it's cold enough in LA for them to be used, she can use them as arm warmers or something.  Those are a thing, right?


Friday, December 20, 2013

There was Wrapping Paper and Free-Form Pie...Why do I Feel Hung Over?

There is snow on my windowsill!

And the ugly tree in I can see through my window as I write this, the one they planted int eh "alley" of the building behind mine that makes NO SENSE because it gets maybe an hour of sunlight (during the summer!) a day, is beautiful!

And I want to crush in my own skull if it will make it stop hurting.

Okay, maybe just my nose and around my eyes.

I know I got a wee bit uncomfortable in Tahoe when it would start snowing, why yes, I am a human barometer, I know, but this is ridiculous.  If I'm going to feel this sick from sinus pressure, I might have to start drinking again so that the hung over feeling at least has someplace to call home.

I want to go out and see snowflakes!  They really are pretty in real life and when you don't have to shovel.  Oh my, the shoveling, I don't miss that at ALL.  Or see a miiiiillllion of them as the obstacle between you, and work.  Every. Day.  For a whole season.  Snow on an off day in Seattle?  Rock on!  Let me see the cars slippy sliding and the pretty decorations nature had given us to hid the ick of Seattle City Living!

But first I need to let the meds kick in.  Which sucks!  I am a whiney complainer, I know.  I'm embracing it.

Happy one day of snow, Seattle!  I'd commemorate it with a picture but my head is splitting just looking at the dimmed down computer screen, I'd probably bust a vein going outside to the brightness of the almost white snow and overly reflective cloudy sky...so let's just pretend I did and use our imaginations!  Yeeesss.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A 28 Degree Walk to Work, Of Course I'm Craving Pineapple...

My mom used to say I was a backwards kid.  But for the wrong reason.  She thought it completely bonkers that I ask for ice cream for dessert in winter.

Hello?  I have ice cream for dessert no matter what the thermostat says.

But today, this morning, I walked to work in the coldest weather this year thus far...yes, even colder than the January oh-my-toes-and-fingertips cold.  This is Seattle after all, not the Midwest.  We don't have snow, just frost on the streets.  Mild is as mild does and all that claptrap.  But 28 degrees is still 28 degrees and just a wee bit painful and obviously wintery.  And I craved pineapple so badly I stopped in at Whole Paycheck for some on my way to work.

No, not preggers.  Just desperately missing tropical weather, I think.  It's going to be 82 degrees in Hilo today.  Yep.  Just putting that out there.  If we're lucky we'll see 37 today.  That is just...so...yeah, not tropical.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

What I Did This Summer...

It's August 1st.  I know, I know, the inevitable, "how did that happen"wants to be keyed in immediately as  my fingers fly across the keyboard.

And fly they must.  I drop in to make sure my BFF from elementary school knows I'm still alive (waving frantically) but time?  I no have.

My work life is "full."  I am being challenged daily.  I love it.  I'm less and less afraid they will realize they've hired the wrong person...but still.  FULL.  And my brain feels a little melty at the end of the day, often.  Still.

My non-work life has been awesome.

  • I've seen Dylan Moran, live!  
  • As well as Bill Maher!  (And didn't freak out TOO badly with 2900 people surrounding me...too badly.)
  • And been to a couple fancy car places to drool over fancy cars in search of something a friend is/was/has now purchased.
  • I got to sit in a Ferrari 328's driver's seat.  This may be the only time I'll do this.  Even off, with keys no where near the ignition, it felt FAST.  Maybe because the engine was still warm?
  • I've had more than my share of fancy burgers and yummy fries (or so my jeans are telling me).  
  • As well as Fish 'n Chips in West Seattle...having traveled there in a sweet classic car ('65 Mustang that I'll miss dearly - not mine.)
  • And I don't want to toot my own horn, but I will....I think I've figured out, based 99% on the link, a very good chocolate ice cream recipe.  It has a lot to do with the actual chocolate, just FYI.  Think Scharfenberger.
  • I've knit some hats (no, no pictures) have ALMOST finished the cowl I need for winter (again, picture? HA!)
  • Have been to Bainbridge for a mimosa-brunch and YARN SHOPPING...cuz I am hep like that.  Any outing that involves a ferry ride is cool.
  • I bought a couch!!!  My first real piece of real furniture from a store (and not my landlady) since moving to Seattle!  Okay...this one doesn't feel real yet, mostly because it still has a month or more to go before it is in my living room.  But the order is there.  Cardinal Red.  Cuz, um, yeah.

I can't recall at this moment if there is more...these are the things that popped out in my 10 minute limit.  Yes, timing myself again.  Before the summer is out I'd like to explore a little more.  We'll see.  The trick here is NOT to get hurt.  And that is hard for me, as well all know.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Smell of Baking Cookies...

They're sort of experimental.  I needed something to ready me for my evening.  Maybe, maaaaybe, I'll even update this post later with a final picture.

Until then, there is just the smell.  You know, the melting chocolate smell.  Not chips though.  This is my second time using chocolate bars that somehow ended up mine...but not something I'd eat.  Dark Chocolate with Orange?  Not my thing.  Milk Chocolate Hazelnut?  Ehhh.  I am picky I guess.  Give me a just plain dark chocolate, you know 60-70% dark?  Yeah, that's my vice of choice.

I looked up "chocolate bar cookies" with the naivete of someone whose idea of cookies are the round things that fit in my mouth and make me go yum.  Silly rabbit, cookie bars...I knew of their existence, I have yet to dive in.  Probably because cookies already come in serving sizes and though I will stand there and chop chocolate bars by hand instead of zipping them through the Cuisinart, I am kinda lazy.

Also, it's not part of my cookie making routine...if there is one.  It's not exactly a positive thought here, but I will consider myself blessed beyond reckoning if I ever gather around me friends who know what my cookie baking actually means.  I stress bake.  But it's even more than that, it's as close to an identifiable OCD-style routine I have.  If you've stalked me on this blog thus far, you know I'm rather borderline.  Or maybe I'm just kidding myself and am really one that holds papers showing my citizenship in that world. Where was I? Right, the routine.  In my more manic states, it's what talks me off the ledge, as it were.

Read, parse the recipe, measure, read again, measure again, chop, separate, read it one more time, beat together, it isn't hodgepodge stew, this is baking, chemistry required.  Logic to realign my scattered head, magic to sustain my being.

The world will not end if they don't come out.  And sometimes?  I don't even have to get beyond the dough point. (Cookie dough freezes, people, oh yeah.)  And once you have a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe down?  It really is about how I can make chocolate bars and left over coconut...and possibly some powdered butterscotch "chips" that I was not going to use for ice cream again...come together and make someone happy. (Office mates? Happy Friday!)

No idea how these will taste....but the smell...yeah, I needed the smell of baking cookies in my apartment this evening.