Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Kingdom for a Boring Life...

But then, would I even bother with a blog at all?

If my writing style is kind off today I'm blaming it on the fever (though once you hit the "sweats" part it means you're finally coming down from it, according so some of the web doctors I started reading...others think I might need to be hospitalized so I'm trying to take the middle road here and just take advil and drink water and see how I feel later.)

I'm at a loss where to begin and it all feels like old news already...but let's start with the fire, as there aren't any pictures of that, and move on to other things which I'll try to "pre-post" so as to not inundate my very dwindled reading population with more posts in one day than I've done in a year, shall we?

But wait, we may need to back up a bit more as it won't explain why the alarm was so dreadful to me by Wednesday. How about let's start with a wee bit more background:

So Monday Andy left for Ohio, and as much as I love living with people and know I will miss them terribly as some point in their absence, I was kinda looking forward to a quiet, empty apartment for the few nights he'd be gone. It'd been a rough week before and I was definitely in the more "I hate everybody" mood, which solitude does wonders for.

Tuesday evening though, I last-minute like (as in I had my bag and sweater over my shoulder for the whole thing) said I'd stick around for the reception my work place had (having moved to the new and kewel building and wanting to show off the lab and workshop, I can't blame them). There might have been more glasses of wine that I thought I'd drunk and some super greasy, but yummy, appetizers that do so very little for absorbing those too many glasses of wine.

I am officially now super grateful that I only live blocks from work, because I am also officially a teetotaler in my mid thirties, really, ask anyone, and the wine and greasy food were just not the right combination for my no longer experienced tummy and liver. But by bog, I was going to get home and watch LOST if it killed me! But I was already passing out as I sat down on the couch.

With how horrible things like too much fish, pork and salt are for my body? I think I might add duck to the list. When I woke up to a very beautiful black man trying to sell me "men's aerobic" products via the tee vee at 2:30 AM? I was not doing very well at all. The room, and my tummy, were spinning...and I had no one to blame but myself. I put myself to bed, admonishing myself for being such a fool, and swearing off both wine and duck empanadas, because they are not the more healthful or wise combination for me, as my swollen fingers were testament to this.

Bleary and in a little pain, which I chalked up to being hung-over and maybe a little poisoned, I went to work, and worked hard. Thank you advil. Thank you makers of vitamin water. Thank you co-workers for leaving me alone. Somehow I made it through the day and my goal was to go home, collapse, and be a new woman on the morrow.

This is where I was/what I was feeling when at 1:30 AM the loudest alarm clock in the world woke me up, and spoke to me. I may have tried to hit the snooze bar on my alarm clock before I realized that my alarm clock did not TALK to me.


"No no no no no nooooooooooooo" was what I said out loud and ALMOST pulled the covers over my head. We'd had sooooo many false alarms in the last couple months (3 that I quickly recalled), but never on my floor. Never with that voice. Never with so many voices in the hallway.

So I got up (the room, kinda not quite right) and possibly channeled the younger me who used to live on a boat and woke up that one day to stand in inches of water on the Napa River. I don't think I ever got dressed so fast. But dressed I decided to be as I live on the 17th floor. 17 flights of stairs in my slippers? Not going to happen. 17 flights that ended up with us standing out in the rain (not the lobby?) in my inadequate for the temperatures PJs? Not going to happen.

When I went out the door (then doubled back to make sure I had my wallet and cell phone), there were others milling and one determined floormate that opened the door to the stairs and said, "We should all go." We all did, and it wasn't until we were sitting in the lobby waiting for the firemen to arrive theorizing if it really was a fire or another false alarm that he told us all to go because he passed an apartment on OUR FLOOR with smoke coming out from under the door, but hadn't wanted to mention this as he was all for avoiding a panic/mad dash/trampling/drama. Dude, my hero.

But yeah, 17 flights. We stopped a couple floors down to see if we could just hold out on like the 15th or 10th or maybe the 8th floor (where they have a patio and stuff that I never use) but after opening a few doors and hearing alarms and more WHOOTS and not being sure if it was just the echo of ours, we decided that we should just head all the way down, just in case.

And if I hadn't, I'd have never heard that it was the apartment two doors down from mine that was ablaze and that the fire had actually set off the sprinklers and that the apartments to the sides of the inferno should go back up and check on the status of their apartments. However, one wee caveat...the elevators would be out for hours. We could go back to our homes, but we'd have to take the stairs.

17 flights. All I could think of as we passed the 8th floor and my thighs gave their first tremble? I had been offered a place on the 8th floor. By the time I got to the 14th? I was staggering, gasping for air that smelled very much of smoke, and those aforementioned thighs? HATED ME.

I opened the door to my hallway and was met with a lake of water to my left. My apartment, however, lay to the right. It was now 2:30 AM and the adrenaline was pumping, but at the same time my body was balking and so instead of trying to see past the bodies of the fire and maintenance men and catch an idea of what-all had happened, I staggered home and collapsed into my desk chair and emailed work. (Yes, there was electricity.)

There is nothing like a 2AM email to work (this would be my second...the first was the one I wrote after coming home from the emergency room after having been run over by that orange F150 pickup truck a few years ago.) In some ways I think it's worse than the 2AM phone call, because you don't think to just write the minimum, you know, like the voicemail you cut short because your voice starts cracking?

Anyhow, as I told them, I am fine. The apartment is fine. The water damage (I'm told) stopped about 3/4ths of the way across my next door neighbor's apartment. Even the smoke I inhaled too much of in the stairway was being whooshed out by a HEPA500 fan when I finally did get up to go to work the next day. How I managed that feat I will never know.

My body hated me, first for the overindulgence, then for the lack of sleep, and especially for the adrenaline that seemed to seep through my veins like that asthma inhaler I was prescribed that time I had bronchitis so bad it was turning into pneumonia. (Never a dull moment...) And this is where I plug in how much I love my work. They all pretty much said I should go home. This was especially needed by me as I promised Andy I'd pick him up at the airport late that my day had begun at 1:30 that morning? This was not something I was looking forward to and almost pulled a HUGE favor card and had someone else get him. But I am stupid that way and decided I could do it.

No, I do not have a terrible story associated with that part of my night. I think, except for delaying the flight for 40 minutes (which gave me time to finish my fingerless mitts) the gods had finally decided to look elsewhere for their amusement.

But yeah, both my boss and his boss are ready to have an intervention when it comes to me and everything that always seems to happen to me. I am so with them on that one.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Not Just Me...

Bloglines is having issues picking up feeds.

This explains why I felt like everyone'd gone off on vacation and left me absolutely no way similar to that movie with the kid and the family and the vacation...which my mom told me all about sometime in the first year of her retirement when she was finally, FINALLY able to watch a movie to completion without anyone wanting to change the channel.

Okay, I am tangent girl...

Anywho, if you got desperate and just started clicking on your bloglist to see if anything new was going on in the world, like maybe I did...I am still here, not on vacation/winter break/etc. Though I was very much longing for a warm dry climate the other day as my internal barometer started to mess with me.

Instead I'm nursing an inner-ear-like-infection (I refuse to acknowledge it completely, you see). I'm at the "if I close my eyes I feel like I'm on the deck of a pitching boat." Makes for fantabulous times sitting in my office chair staring at the screen and trying to kingdom for the kind of sudafed I used to be able to get in Mexico...sigh.

I'm going to go look and see if anyone else is updating now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"You Must Have Wanted the World To Know..."*

I am in such a deep fog today.

With so much going on, why do I get bogged down by dreams that suck me into memories of things that happened so very LONG ago now...

I had one of those extended high school era dreams last night, the common denominator being that of one Dr. Gerald Todd, former science teacher at my high school. I tried using the google on his name, but though a number of people popped up, the Dr. Todd of my youth doesn't seem to be on the internets where I can find him.

Is this why I'd drowning in nostalgia? I can't even blame FaceB00k seeing as I'm hardly ever on there and don't stalk people as heartily as the news media think I would. Maybe I can blame the Nivea hand lotion I just got last night. Do you all remember Wondra Lotion in the white bottle with the sky-blue, sometimes lime green top that was really the base because it was of the new generation of lotion bottles that stood up upside-down so you could get every last drop out? (I tried looking for a picture, but wikipeadia tells me it was discontinued in the 80s...except I thought I saw something using the name recently...whatevers, use your imaginations, 'kay?)

Well, my new Nivea hand lotion smells a whole lot like it. No really! I've forgotten a lot of things in my lifetime...more than I'd really like to admit, but certain smells? Definitely stay with me and are bringers of memories past, whether or not I want them to be. And after putting the cream on my hands last night, it's not that much of a stretch for me to be transported to decades past, when life was much more me-centric, and if not simpler, definitely more memorable (otherwise why am I dwelling so much?).

There were no Flock of Seagulls hairdos or Peggy Sue Got Married moments, but at one point a number of us were sitting on the sun-warmed steps of Cantwell Hall shifting through our notes and trying to figure out just what Dr. Todd's quiz was going to involve. I had him for both Chemistry and Physics, and yet, I could not tell you which set of notes these were for.

Gah, high school. I didn't have too rough of a time at all. It was fun in the general sense of the word. But yeah, really and truly was all about "me." Or "you" or "your best friend." The description of teenagers being ego-centric? Well, duh, of course they are. What else could they be if they are healthy and whole? I would hope that they're more worried about whether or not Jake knows they're alive than, say, what they're going to feed their younger brother for dinner and whether or not there will be a place for them to sleep next month.

It's said we infantilize our children a great deal more in these current generations than we ever have...but looking at what the 18 years later Mary has to deal with compared to the me then? I'm glad I had that time to just worry about quizzes and what I was going to wear at Carla's birthday party or whether I could sneak off to UCLA to buy that notebook I really wanted.

When I woke up? I was exhausted and lost in my thoughts...which I'm having a hard time wading out of.

*I was listening to the soundtrack for Romeo + Juliet and couldn't get "Little Star" by Stina Nordenstam out of my head...Yes, I did have to look up the lyrics....not the easiest song to sing along to.

Friday, February 05, 2010

I Love the Internets!

So it was like something out of a bad 80s b-movie...

There I was writing up an email asking for alternative project codes for a payment (okay, even bad 80's b-movies might not revolve around the exciting world of Accounting) when I looked down to refer to my backup and see these weird red splotches all over the paper...deep dark red that you only get from fresh flowing zombie wounds...or my dark red-inked pilot precise roller ball pen, which was sitting innocently at my elbow...uncapped.

I've mentioned the manner of my measuring the suckiness factor of a work day by how many pen marks end up on my arms, yes? Well, when the pen marks are actually on the sleeve of a cotton, non-white, long-sleeved shirt? Yeah, pretty mega-sucky.

The only thing I could think of, aside from whiting-out the red marks all over my document, was to blot as much of the ink off and hope that my mom might be home and could tell me what to do.

Yes, I know about the hairspray trick. Do you? GREAT on ballpoints. Use a damp sponge and get as much of the ballpoint ink off the fabric, then douse it with hairspray and toss in the wash. 99% of your ink will magically disappear. The cheaper the hairspray the better. I used to own a wee can of it solely for such times back when I was teaching and there were more ballpoint pens in my life.

Liquid/felt ink pens? Completely different animal, as I found out when my favorite red cloth lunch napkin was left too close to one of the black liquid ink pens...also uncapped (you'd think I'd know better by now...). It's now my favorite dust rag...COULD NOT get the ink out of the cloth...but I didn't try very hard as it wasn't a piece of clothing, you know?

Mom was not home...and the work day progressed and I kinda forgot to try I went home and sat, dejected, at my desk and randomly googled "remove ink from cotton shirt" and was rewarded with a slew of suggestions and videos...including one that covered both ballpoints as well as liquid ink! (They called them felt pens, but he was holding a pilot precise roller ball!!!)

I'd inadvertently followed the first two steps:
1-Blot out as much of the ink as possible. (I did that bit just so I could stop marking up my arm as well as all the paper that lives on my desk...oh yeah, and the desk itself!)
2- Air dry (Like I had any choice!)
3- The third step called for something I wasn't all that sure about...but the more I think about it, I'm guessing the video is from like Canada or someplace where they call things by different names (chesterfields and toques and the like) because as he held up a common $0.99 bottle of rubbing alcohol he said dab with denatured alcohol, getting more of the ink out, and toss in the wash according to the garments washing instructions.

So I did. And then I just washed that sleeve in the sink and hung it to dry to see if I had to budget a shopping trip (I only have so many work shirts after all) or if it could be saved.

This morning? I could barely tell that something bad had happened to that part of my sleeve. I think I might be able to use it again!

So...yeah, it's a measure of how sucky my week has been that this makes me so very happy...

Monday, February 01, 2010

Lacking Unique Title...

Don't you just hate it when your browser crashes and you lose the entirety of the beginnings of a disjointed post?

Me too. Must learn to click the "SAVE NOW" button more often.

I had a great image in my head of one of those sweatshirts from the 80s that were all cut up flashdance style with the no neck, sleeves and ending all rolled up at the mid-drift. Mostly because Andy tried on the sweater I've been knitting him for the past 5 or so years and um, yeah, it ends just below his pectorals currently. No he wouldn't let me take a picture.

So yeah! I've ditched the idea of knitting myself a cardigan in favor of making Andy his sweater. And just in case you actually remember my posts about his sweater? (Here's one.) I should mention that I took the entire thing apart (again) and restarted it as a top-down raglan. Two reasons for this:
#1 As I was cleaning up my bookshelf, this pattern literally fell into my lap.

#2 This occurred the same day I may have accidentally washed Andy's store-bought (AND SUPER NICE) wool raglan sweater with my "darks." Super oops, but I have a really nice though semi-felted sweater I can wear now...

So...all coincidences aside, I thought I should get knitting. And like I said, I'm just below the separation of the arm-holes/sleeves and working down the million inches of body length...Andy is 6'3" if you all's a super long torso for which I'll be knitting for years...and don't remind me that his arms aren't stumpy or, no pictures of that, but here, I'll show you what I gave him for Twelfth Night instead:

Some-a body was a good boy:
Does anyone else do the gift-in-the-shoe thing for el Dia de Los Reyes/Twelfth Night? No? Well, it was a great place to put gifted socks, lemme tell ya :). And yes, those might be Hello Kitty

Here's another picture:
I could tell you yarn and pattern details...but it took me so long to make these that I have seriously forgotten...US 1 needles you see. Size 13 shoe... Or maybe twelve. At a certain point I don't think it matters much. It's Lornas Laces in Forest...I think. I want to say it was a Twin Rib stitch for the leg over 80 stitches. Boring heels and toes as I've not bought any new sock books since the first Sensational one. I just love that they almost match.