May 26th, 2004

Rainy Day

(no subject)

I got a call from my sister on my way home from softball, telling me to call Panamá right away. Naturally, I expected the worst.

The situation basically hasn't changed. Sometimes she's worse; sometimes she's better. She could go in a matter of minutes; she could last weeks. I have to be prepared to fly at a moment's notice, but I have to go on with my life.

But this whole situation is making it difficult, simply from a financial perspective, to move on. I need to have funds set aside for a trip to Panamá. I also just successfully auditioned for the Summer Opera Workshop at NEC and have to find a way to pay for that. My credit card company refused to even consider a credit line increase, despite my excellent record with them. If I didn't have to keep a reserve for travel, this wouldn't be an issue. I'm getting a couple of thousand dollars in website payments in the next couple of weeks, but I need to pay my registration this week and have enough left to travel at a moment's notice. <sigh>
You can&#39;t guard me!

(no subject)

First softball game of the year today. We were predictably rusty in many phases. Our defense, which has been our strong point in previous seasons, was crap (mostly thanks to me at first base and the two corner outfielders). But our offense is very promising. All the girls are swinging the bat well and showing good judgment at the plate. Several of them hit the ball hard. All the guys are hitting the ball hard. One guy had a homerun that cleared the (very tall) fence with plenty of room to spare, not an easy thing to do with these flight-restricted balls. Another guy hit a triple and then was awarded home.

And I hit a homerun as well (big surprise, especially since it was an inside-the-park homerun)! I got on base every at bat. And I came oh-so-close to hitting another homerun in my last at bat. I pointed to left field, a la Babe Ruth, and got a hold of the next pitch, driving it deep to left...and just inches foul!

We got shellacked anyway. But we may get a forfeit win out of it. I noticed in the last inning that one of the opposing players was wearing loafers during the entire game, a violation of the rule that clearly states that sneakers must be worn. I have protested the game on account of this and will learn the outcome tomorrow.

But, win or lose, we had fun and got a workout.
Attack of the Killer Chihuahua!

(no subject)

If this woman -- Collapse ) -- ever approaches you and offers to pay you money to take some blood samples from you, run, don't walk, as fast as you can as far away from her as you can. Your very life depends on it!

When I agreed to sell my blood a month or so ago, I was approached by Noah in the lab. When I learned that she, not Noah, was to do the arm stabbing, and that I was her first victim, I got nervous. She couldn't seem to find the vein and kept pointing at different spots on my arm and asking, "So I'll go in here, then?" Thankfully, Noah noticed the pleading look in my eyes and took over before she attempted a poke, and I gave plenty of T cell-rich blood without any problems.

When she asked for more blood yesterday, I said yes. But then I learned that she would be drawing. It felt rude to back out, and, after all, she's had a bit of practice since her aborted attempt at me. So I decided to proceed. That was a mistake.

I am convinced she stuck the needle in the right place the first time, but poked clear through the vein. I say this because blood showed up in the small plastic hose for an instant then stopped flowing. So she probed around with the needle still stuck in my arm, twisting here and then there, a full ½- to ¾-inch arc, until I finally told her I thought she was getting close to a bundle of nerves. She pulled the needle out and decided to try my right arm instead.

She stuck the needle in. I doubt she was anywhere near a vein...or maybe she nicked it. All I know is that the needle was hurting me, not unbearably, but then these little blood-drawing needles don't usually hurt me. And no blood was flowing at all. At least not until she pulled the needle out. That's why I suspect she may have nicked the vein, with all the bleeding that occurred after the needle came out.

She decided to find someone else to stick me. Good thing, because I'm not sure I would have let her stick me a third time! This other guy studied my arm intently for a full five minutes. Then he very decisively stuck the needle all the way in. He was going to get blood whether or not there was a vein to give it! And the blood flowed, a nice, thick, deep red broth.

I had to fill eight test tubes to complete a unit. Our initial pricker took over the blood drawing. When it was time to change tubes, she forgot to clamp the hose. She removed the filled tube from the hose, and blood started spraying all over the place -- onto the floor, the furniture, her clothes. All that good blood, gone to waste! And then I dried up, after only 3½ tubes. All that effort for so little....

I look like a heroin addict now: a few holes in my left arm, a hole and a large bruise in my right arm. And both arms are a bit sore. Plus, they want to pay me less than the full amount because I didn't yield a full unit of blood. I think I earned the full amount, darn it!
You know I&#39;m sexy!

How does one respond to this???

After our softball game, several teammates gathered at T Anthony's for pizza. I happened to be sitting next to N when the conversation at the table drifted to relationships. I then asked N whether she knew if her co-worker C was seeing anyone. She said that, as far as she knew, C was single.

And then she gave me a funny look. The look caught my attention, and I sat there wondering, "Uh-oh, did I go and open my big mouth inappropriately again? Does she have an interest in me? So I basically just shot her down?" So, I asked her about the look.

"Um," she said, "you mean you're not married with two kids?" This is not the first time I've heard that people think I'm married and have kids. Hell, no wonder I can't get any! <grin> So, I set her straight, and we joked about it for a few minutes. She told me that I had been the subject of conversation on several occasions at her office. "That's not necessarily a good thing," I joked. "No, no," she said, all of them (in an all female office) have been impressed with my recent weight loss. The talk has been all positive, she averred. So I'm thinking, Cool, this helps my chances with C.

And then N remarks, "Heck, if I knew you weren't married with two kids, I would've made my move long ago!" Oooookay.... How exactly does one respond to that? Not knowing what to say, and not wanting to say anything inappropriate, I hooked onto the "married with children" angle and ignored the "would've made my move" overture.

Later in the conversation she brought C up again and said, "I'm going to try to set you and C up, but knowing her she's just going to try to set me up with you." Enough, already! I'm a guy; I'm not equipped to handle this sort of thing! So I responded jokingly, "That's okay! I certainly don't mind playing that game!"

So, how does one handle such a situation? <sigh>