Sunday, April 30, 2017

My return to the past

According to my employer, you can go home again if home is where your job is.  In spite of my most optimistic views and crazy hope, they sent those who wanted to work at home to do the job there and the two of us who didn't want to work from home have to move back to the train station.  As noted previously, I am not a fan of the train station location.  It adds 15 minutes to my commute in each direction, it is always busy, you see some weird, uncomfortable stuff.  A former coworker saw a fistfight break out on the down escalator, complete with landed punches (she isn't given to hyperbole or exaggeration so I know it must've been a sight).  My ex-supervisor witnessed a family ride to the bottom of the escalator and just stop; she had to yell at them to get out of the way, fearing a pile-up.  Heaven help you if you get in the path of a commuting hoard; you could be trampled by the group, each of whom has the look of suburban blood in their eyes.  We city folk are also trying to get to work, but these lawnhead commuters look like they would crush you under their feet given half a chance.  (I solved that problem by not looking directly at them.  I didn't want to turn to stone.)

Tomorrow morning at 8:30, lucky me gets to return to that place.  Fingers crossed that I don't spend the day crying but I usually reserve that for when greedy, stupid, lying Republicans are elected president.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

40,000 of my new best friends

Yesterday, my sister and I joined our 40,000 new besties on the March for Science.  You know -- biology, astronomy, chemistry, botany, physics, zoology, paleontology.  Science!  Maybe you were good or not so good at science in school and maybe you do or do not find it interesting now, but it's science and it touches your life every day.  Can your kids drink milk without getting sick?  Thanks, Louis Pasteur!  Is polio eradicated?  Thanks, Jonas Salk!  Are you reading this on a computer?  Thanks, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their peers and those who came before them and since.  Is Facebook your drug?  Thank that Mark Zuckerberg fellow.  Men and women laboring in laboratories or setting up cameras that will be tripped by passing animals or gazing at the sky through giant telescopes in the middle of the night on a top of a mountain in the middle of a desert.  Science!

 So we marched peacefully to ask that funding not be cut for science projects and to note that science is everywhere in everything we do and to thank those who gave their lives for science.  Here are a few pictures to commemorate the day.

Maybe Trump's a Cialis man but science brought that, too.

And no, vaccines are not BS.

From the distant past to ask that funding not be cut!!

Science theory?  Science fact ... that cats like string.

And persists today!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Here is what happened

I lost 35 pounds over the course of about two years and I have thus far managed to keep it off.  Good for me.  What I had not lost was the wardrobe of someone who weighs 35 pounds more than me.  For  many weeks, probably a few months, two of my coworkers have been telling me I am going to trip on my pants.  About six weeks ago, one told me that the particular pair of pants I was wearing that day -- my favorites -- were going to trip me and kill me.  I said I pinned the waist and hiked them up pretty good so I wasn't scared.

Three weeks ago I dress up pretty nicely.  It was supposed to be a nice day.  I was strolling to the bus stop as I'd just missed one, another wasn't coming, so why not walk at my own pace?  The next thing I know I coming down fast and didn't even have the chance to get my hands out enough to block my fall.  I hit my jaw, I hit my head, and seriously scratched nonscratch lenses and bent 1/8" solid aluminum frames, removing a lot of the coating.   I had a gash in my underchin, a huge knot on my forehead above the eye, and ripped the heck out of my gloves.  Those gloves saved me from getting cut up hands.  Those glasses saved my life.

Long story short -- I went back to my building and called my boss, crying that I had to go to the ER.  My doorman wanted to call an ambulance but I knew it would take me to a hospital I didn't like.  I considered going to the dentist because my teeth felt like they were in the wrong place.  I really wanted to see the dentist but there was the nasty blood issue.  I walked to the corner.  The express bus that would get me downtown in 10 minutes if there were no traffic came.  There was no traffic.

Before I got downtown I texted my sister and told her what I was doing.  I fell, I hit my jaw, I hit my head, I was going to the ER.  She called me back and said she'd meet me there, which she did.  I got myself admitted, telling them that I was not concussed.  Nurses had me put on a gown, took vitals, and gave me chemical ice for the lump on my forehead.  My sister got there and I paid someone with a mobile payment device for my treatment.  She was very helpful and got me real ice for my head which felt better.  I saw an ER resident, an EMS student who flushed my chin wound with great gusto, and the resident ER doctor who poked my face with greater gusto.  My sister and I looked for Pokemon on our phones.  They took me for a CT scan and found neither a broken jaw nor a broken skull nor a swollen brain.  They found no brain at all!  Ha ha ha!  That's what I like to tell people.  I also tell them that those glasses saved my life.

I told my sister that I considered going to the dentist first and she told me she'd have given me a concussion if I'd done that.  Do not doubt this statement.

When everything was over and I had stitches and had used the restroom, I came back to find my sister stretched out on the ER bed, looking for Pokemon. She did not budge and barely looked up.  I told her I'd take a picture of her and send it to her husband and daughters and did.  I took pictures of myself every day to document this and that one is my favorite.  It says, "Oh, you're fine, now let me catch some Pokemon."  Pokemon and life both go on, after all.

I now have some new glasses, completely different from the others.  The sensational black eye has faded; there is only a trace of a bump on my forehead; the stitches have been removed but you can't see the scar because it's under my chin.  There is still some jaw muscle swelling which Advil helps.

The big pants are all gone, out of my life and probably already in the life of someone who shops at Goodwill.  Enjoy those pants!  They were all bought on sale and I am easy on my clothing so you can get a lot of wear out of them.

As for my coworkers, I confessed to one what had happened -- she was right, I tripped on my pants and might have killed myself.  The other was out of town the day of the accident.  When she came back she asked me what happened and I said the other would tell you.  The other just looked at her -- just looked!  -- and she said, "Oh, my god, you tripped on your pants!"  Yes, I did.

The moral to this story is if you lose weight, get smaller pants.  You might think I'd know that as I think I am so smart, but no, apparently not. 

Here is the weirdest thing of all.  Since my face-to-sidewalk incident, I've felt more like myself than I have in years.  Maybe it knocked some sense into me (but probably not).

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Not all done

Finishing the job.  Really this time.
After getting my post-accident stitches removed -- no, the details have not been mentioned here yet -- I figured I would swing by the post office.  I was already later than I said I'd be, so five minutes was not going to put my job in jeopardy.  There were four people working on what I thought was a done deal which is the renovation of the interior of the Loop Station Post Office in Federal Plaza.  One was an artsy-looking man who was shorter than me.  I asked what they were doing, and Artsy gave me a smart ass answer, but not mean smart ass, "aren't I cute?" smart ass.  So I gave him some "I am cuter than you" smart ass replies which Artsy liked and told me they still had to add the trim to the paneling.  There was the fellow in this picture and from the smart ass exchange, you knew that Artsy and this man had a solid, long-term relationship.  There were also two workers who did not understand that relationship at all.  I missed the picture of the man standing on the wall -- STANDING ON THE WALL!!! -- but I did manage to snap off this one.  As I was departing, the man above was trying to get Artsy to climb the ladder and look at something.  Artsy was not going to climb the ladder.  One of the workers said to the other, "Spot me, okay?" and he headed up the ladder -- which seemed short for the job and standing too straight for safety -- while the other worker held it.  Artsy seemed like the sort of guy who would charmingly put the ladder on its side when they were all up there and go to Starbucks for coffees for each of them.  They'd be on the wall, wanting to come down just to, oh, maybe use the restroom and Artsy would be across the street, in line for four coffees.  "Aren't I great?  I got COFFEE!"

Whatever, Artsy.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Flamingo from above with snow

It snowed here a couple of weeks ago, a major news event as this winter has been very mild and pretty dry (except for the torrential rainfalls and a tornado).  It settled on top of Flamingo, a view I'd not yet captured.  Further, even though I optimistically cling to the hope that we will not have to do so, we are supposedly moving out of our client's offices, going to work virtually at home or at the corporate HQ, respectively.  There are seven people and none of us wants this.  There will be no more views of Flamingo.  Long story short, we all could be happier.

So while I still have access, here is Flamingo with snow on top.  Next week I will share how I fell down and went to the ER but no pictures!

Flamingo from above with snow and window reflection, 2017
Here is a tip for those of you who may be in a position of power in the future:  do not split up a team that gets along swimmingly, that communicates well, that has various strengths that each person will share with the others.  It will make things decidedly less good.

When this was decided, a manager skipped over to me and said, "Isn't it great, you're going to work at corporate HQ again!"  I said, "If I wanted to work there, I'd be working there."  She then said, "You can work virtual."  I said, "If I wanted to work virtual, I'd be working virtual."  She said, "You'll be able to see your friends."  I said, "I saw the one friend on Saturday and am having dinner with the other tomorrow."  She decided to change the subject.

Don't poke the bear when the bear has an opinion.