Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for March, 2010

A Homework Day

Posted by Lissa on March 18, 2010

I’m heading up to New Hampshire to do homework for a day.

Yes, really!

The reason behind it involves a favor for a friend, but the long and short of it is that I’m bringing my Eee (and of course my iPhone) and plan to do massive amounts of “homework” today.

Since I’m not in school and I won’t be in my home, you might wonder what such work entails.  Allow me to elucidate*:

  • I’m going to call my doctor and schedule speech therapy
  • I’m going to create a contact list using Google Contacts
  • I’m going to Sync said contact list to my iPhone so I can have birthdays and addresses and cell phones and home phones all in one place
  • (broadband allowing) I’m going to work on my (sadly neglected) wedding album

All worthwhile tasks that I’ve been putting off . . . and putting off . . . and hey, I have to wait until lunch break . . . and I think I’ll surf the web instead . . . and putting off . . .

Almost makes me miss college.

Majors and exams and twenty page papers and job searching and midterms and finals . . .

Hey wait, no I don’t!!

*Words like this occasionally pop out and surprise me.  I have no idea where I picked this one up or why I couldn’t just type “clarify” or “elaborate” or “explain.”  I blame reading Anne of Green Gables at a young age.

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A visit to the ENT

Posted by Lissa on March 17, 2010

“Mike, can you look up the Vanguard place in Kenmore Square and text me the address and directions?”

Dammit, dammit, dammit.  When will I EVER learn to look this stuff up the night before?  Why aren’t I a prepared, responsible adult?  I know I should be at this point!

He promptly did so and sent me the directions from the Fenway stop on the Green Line.  So, naturally, I got it into my head to get off at the Kenmore stop.  Because I’m brilliant.  iPhone to the rescue!  I popped up the Maps application and the Vanguard address and, huddled up under my umbrella and desperately shielding the precious technology from the torrential downpour, made my slow way over the bridge to Fenway.

First I picked the wrong entrance and had to go back into the rain.

Then I got it into my head that I was there for an endoscopy (correct) so I went over to the Endoscopy department (wrong).  I sat there for ten minutes before I could check in and then they couldn’t find my appointment.  I resigned myself to the idea that I’d made a mistake; that there was another Vanguard building in Kenmore; that I was going to miss my appointment; and that it all served me right for not double-checking this stuff the night before.  I waited in calm despair, calling myself all sorts of nasty names, until the nice receptionist found me in the system and directed me to ENT.

I sprinted over to ENT — now five minutes late instead of being five minutes early — and breathlessly apologized to that receptionist.  Then I discovered that I’d skipped the general check-in receptionist and had to trudge back down the hall to hand over my co-pay.  (Thank you, FSA!)  All in all, I was a distressed, distracted, emotionally worn person by the time they actually went to stick a camera down my throat.

I’m putting the rest below the fold.  If you have a severe gagging reflex, you want to skip this part.  I have no wish to make anyone gag onto their keyboard!

Read the rest of this entry »

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A terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day, only without real tragedy.

Posted by Lissa on March 16, 2010

I’d like to preface this whinging post by saying that nothing truly terrible happened, just a lot of middling irritations and sorrowful weeping.

It’s never a good thing when your ceiling starts crying.

It makes you want to cry right along with it.  Especially when the weepy part isn’t near any sliding glass door or window but is on a direct line to the sprinkler head.  Ruh-roh! We blotted up the water from the first bubble in the middle and hoped the job was done; the tears flanking the burst bubble appeared later in the day and we called maintenance.  (Our maintenance folks live in our building.  That’s very nice in that when the hot water goes down they have as much cause as the rest of us to fix it quickly!  I do hate calling them out on a weekend though.)

We were assured that it was not the sprinkler line, which is a relief.  It seems that there is a shelf/eave between our floor and the floor above; when the rain and wind combine just right, it blows into some little crack and then comes leaking down our wall.  It has finally, FINALLY stopped raining, so it should dry out pretty quickly and then they can cut-and-paste some new drywall.

Helping to dry it out is this noisy-box . . .

. . . otherwise known as a dehumidifier.  I don’t mind the background noise so much, but the resulting water flows through a long, long coiled tube into my kitchen sink.  And the coils are hogging my drainboard.

My wall was not the only thing crying on Sunday.  I had to take the train into Boston to usher for a choir concert.  The rain and wind were an unholy mess, doing their best to soak me from the knees down despite carrying an umbrella as big as I am.  (As for my soakedness, I thank the lord for the invention of knee-high pleather boots, for sure.)  I got stuck in the lobby during the performance so I couldn’t watch, but at least I could hear the music.  I could also clearly hear the woman getting violently ill in the women’s restroom; poor thing, she was pretty sick.

Why is it that some people just suck?  And those people can’t keep their sucky-ness to themselves, of course.  Noooooo, they’ve got to share their sourness and nastiness with the rest of the world.  Givers, that’s what they are.  This dried-up constipated skinny prick of a man reamed me out because the concert hall had no easily accessible wheelchair access to the men’s room.  Not that he needed wheelchair access, mind you, and I did apologize for the difficulty and start to fetch the concert hall manager who could get us access to the elevator.  He sneeringly declined my offer and stalked off.  Oh, and he was wandering about the lobby because the music was so boring it was putting him to sleep.  I’m so glad he shared that with me.

And at the end of the concert?  He asked me if there was going to be an intermission before the next part.  I confusedly explained that this WAS the end, at which point he informed me snottily that that was impossible, as there’s no way THAT had been worth a concert.

I hope he develops a bad case of hemorrhoids.

I was glad to usher for the concert, but it reminded me quite clearly that my voice is gone and I miss it.  Or perhaps not gone; just broken.  All my life when I’ve been the most sad and depressed and anguished I’ve sung to make myself feel better.  Knowing that my voice is broken and not being able to sing away the sadness wears on my soul.  Combine that with another problem (not suitable for blogging) and, well, I ended up in a huge crying jag, my arms wrapped around Mike and begging for reassurance and comfort.  (He does the comforting thing quite well.  I told you there were a few brights spots in my 24 hours of misery.)

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my visit to the ENT.  For now, just believe that I went to bed completely wrung out and exhausted.

And my walls continued to weep.

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It’s been a miserable day

Posted by Lissa on March 15, 2010

Really, it has.  There have been a few bright spots — you know who you are — but on the whole the last twenty-four hours have been utterly unappealing. 

I’m hopeful that by tomorrow morning I’ll be able to describe today’s trials and tribulations with less whining and more humor than I can manage today.  In the meantime, does anyone have a smile or a bit of sunshine they could loan me?  I’d be ever so grateful!

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I overslept, so here’s Mike shooting a .50 cal!

Posted by Lissa on March 12, 2010

I was so evil, too!  First he was careful not to shoot off his thumbs:

And then we all thought I didn’t get the video on the first two shots he fired . . . so I made him shoot it again.

Happy Friday!  BOOM!!!!!

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Brisket = Food of the gods!

Posted by Lissa on March 11, 2010

Good morning all!  Did you know that brisket is super-powered?  No seriously!  You take a slab of meat roughly the size of your torso and, by a mysterious process of alchemy, transform it into meat gold.

Dr. Boyfriend diligently carved and trimmed and seasoned the beef on Friday night and tenderly laid it in the smoker.  By making the painful (but admirable!) choice of choosing food over sleep, he was able to tend it periodically through the night before popping it into the oven to finish at 200 degrees.  When it was finally ready to eat, I took a bite and my eyes rolled back in my head.  Flavorful, tender, savory, juicy meat-gold, y’all. I think I went into a food stupor and was unable to talk until I’d had two helpings.

(We didn’t starve Friday night, mind you; we feasted on pork loin.  And remember, I don’t usually like pork; I have very poor luck having it retain even a drop of moisture.  Apparently the secret is to pan-sear it all over in a cast-iron skillet and then pop the skillet directly into the oven.  I think it might have been finished on the stovetop too?  Supremely moist and tender!)

Elektra Blu was MOST helpful, offering to dispose of any unwanted bits and pieces.  (Well, she also offered to dispose of the whole damn thing, but she had very good food-manners; she begged less than my cat does, and without the little vocalized “Mew!”s.  Which is good, ’cause that would have been weird.)

Shoothouse Barbie was kind enough to let me feed her the first night to cement my identity as a member of the pack.  Sooooo cute — you get the cup of food and walk over to her dish, then instruct her to sit.  The first time she sat for me, she did so with her nose in her bowl; I sternly “Hey!“d her and she sat bolt upright.  Then you pour the food in the dish and she has to wait until you say “Okay!”  Even though she’d barely known me for a couple of hours she obeyed.  Such a good puppy!  Such good doggie manners!  Which is a good thing, because I fear my ideas of pet enrichment may be rubbing off on SB . . .

"Save me, Obe-Dog Kanobe, you're my only hope!"

I fell just a little in love with this puppy.  I mean, she was SUCH a sweetie!  She loves attention and occasionally “pets” you with her paw and gives hugs by snuggling her head between your legs and — well, just LOOK at her!

Shoothouse Barbie and Dr. Boyfriend are fabulous hosts, by the way.  They fed us gourmet food until we lolled around in gluttonous stupor and let me walk the dog and even put a pitcher of water and two clean glasses in our room and were just the most thoughtful and polite folks ever.  And oh, the conversations we had!  Everything from chemistry to engagement rings to puppies and kitties to family to politics to the caliber wars to meth dens to AR-15 triggers to spin classes and gym mixes to the proper composition of a breakfast taco to digital cameras to crock pot recipes to retirement savings to cargo pants to Johnny Depp to dove hunting to lots of other stuff.

So, the friends (furry and otherwise) and food component of this mini-vacation were an A-plus.  Tomorrow — our trip to the range!

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Please set my caffeine meter to “Shrieking”

Posted by Lissa on March 10, 2010

I’m ashamed to admit that I abused Shoothouse Barbie‘s hospitality.  How?  Well, Dr. Boyfriend didn’t notice it, but I stole the sling off one of their rifles.  I’ve just wrapped it around my left bicep and tightened it with my teeth; I’m now ready to take the quickest and most effective method for getting coffee into my bloodstream.

(Of course I didn’t; I don’t steal.  The closest I came to abusing hospitality were fleeting thoughts of dog-napping.)

I am EXHAUSTED, y’all.  We had the unexpected pleasure of dining with old college friend CC last night.  I finally managed to give him Ambulance Driver’s autographed book*, something I’ve been meaning to do for a year.  (He says thanks, AD, he’s really excited to read it and was psyched by the note!)

CC’s years of EMT-ing and medical response leads him to have the — dare I say it? — cynical, off-the-wall, biting-yet-good-humored hysterical stories I’ve found common in the EMT world.  He told us stories about breaking in new physician assistants, and a woman with very unfortunately placed necrotizing fasciitis, and the similarity of drug reps to pole dancers, etc., and we laughed ourselves silly.  A lovely time was had by all!

But it meant we didn’t get home till 10:15 PM.  Another night of short sleep for Lissa and Michael!

So, rather than give short shrift to my trip to Austin, I’m holding most of it until tomorrow.  However, I shall give you a teaser!

*P.S. En Route is now on Kindle!  If you haven’t already bought a copy, do it today!

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It took sixteen and a half hours to get home yesterday.

Posted by Lissa on March 9, 2010

Good morning all! You might think that I’m about to hit PUBLISH for a long, detailed account of my Texas trip, rich with pictures and sparkling with merry wit. Obviously, you’d be wrong. But there’s no shame in being wrong. After all, I was convinced this morning that I was going to get ten hours of sleep, then awake to Mike offering me a light breakfast of freshly brewed coffee and beluga caviar. Then the cat head-butted me and the dream evaporated.
I did get the freshly brewed coffee – thanks sweetie! – but I’m gulping it on the train to a roundtable. Before I go to a doctor who will stick a camera up my nose. Before I get on the train to come back to the office. And I’m tired enough to feel blearily nauseated.
In other words, no pix til tomorrow. Patience, my minions! When I conquer the world, I shall tell the flying monkeys to eat you last.
P.S. Send Shoothouse Barbie some good karma today!

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Stuck in O’Hare!

Posted by Lissa on March 8, 2010

Greetings all! We had an absolutely marvelous weekend with Shoothouse Barbie and Dr. Boyfriend, marked by an abundance of good food, good wine, lots of bangsticks, and of course fabulous conversation and company. Oh, and a puppy! I’d write all about it and show y’all lots of pictures … except I’m currently marooned in Chicago because our plane to Boston ate a bird. Naturally, I’m grateful they didn’t put us on a defective plane, but I won’t be home for a while . . .

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Off to play with Shoothouse Barbie!

Posted by Lissa on March 5, 2010

We’re off to Texas to play with Shoothouse Barbie, Dr. Boyfriend and Electra.  And boomsticks!  Lots and lots of boomsticks!  Cheers!

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