Monday, March 26, 2007

Surprise! I found out this morning that my job assignment will be extended one week. My new end date will be April 6.

That's nice. First of all, I like working there, and second, this will make up for the fact that I missed 4.5 days of work between March 16 and now. (I ended up leaving work on Friday by 12:30... I was just too ill to last the entire workday.)

'Bout time I have a bit of GOOD job news to report, no matter how minor.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Good morning. I want to go right back to sleep. Instead, I'm sitting in a subway train at 6:35 AM.

Why? Because the temp agency called me yesterday and harangued me for missing so many days recently. It was implied, but not stated, that my Future Relationship With the Agency would be strained if I called out today.

So I'm going in, even though I really shouldn't, just so I can keep that particular option open for future long-term assignments. Though what I feel like telling The Agency right now would certainly impair my chances of getting another assignment in this lifetime. It'd be an unfeasible suggestion, anyhow. I mean, is it even possible for a temp agency to attempt a biologically impossible reproductive act? I have my doubts on that score.

Bunch of scrooges. All they want is their profit, which they only make when I report to work. Beyond that, I can drop dead for all they care. Hey, at least the rules we're playing by are crystal clear to me now. Knowing where I fit in the scheme of things will make that much easier on me from here on out. Temp workers = cash cows. No more and no less.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Whew. What a mistake it was to go in to work on Tuesday! By the time I got home, the fever had skyrocketed and I spent yesterday and today at home.

I also saw the doctor, who diagnosed infections of my sinuses and both ears. (I never seem to have one of those without the other, anyway.) And, also as usual, the throat has joined the party with laryngitis and a persistent cough.

But at least now I have some prescription meds to battle the symptoms with. One antibiotic and one decongestant, to be precise.

Which is good, because I'm going in to work tomorrow if it's the last freaking thing I do. I am NOT going to have a truckload of undone work stacked up to the flippin' ceiling when Renee comes back on Monday. There's likely to be some backlog remaining, but no way am I going to have nearly-this-whole-weeks' worth of stuff left untouched.

I'm going to go wilt now. Crud, I'm tired.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Uh oh.

I spoke too soon.

101.5 was not the number I was hoping to see. Then again, I wasn't hoping to wake up feeling lousy at this hour, either.

*&%#$+!!! My last two weeks of this assignment and and I end up missing time. I don't need this.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The fever *finally* broke at about midnight. So I wanted to come to this afternoon's game, which meant going to Mass this morning. (Because you can't be too sick for church and well enough to go out and do other stuff.)

So I've spent a pretty much normal Sunday and I don't feel like death yet. (I have laryngitis and *sound* like death, but that's another story.)

I think I can go to work tomorrow with no problem.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

AGAIN the temp is up to 102. *%&$#!!! Three days and the fever hasn't broken yet. The only change is that a sore throat and a cough have shown up to keep the aches and the fever company.

OTC stuff hasn't been getting the job done, and I want these symptoms *gone*. Time for the BIG guns. I have some prescription-strength ibuprofen, and I just took one. That should help. I hope.

In other news, Mark's channel surfing brought us to the last 1/3 or so of "What's Up, Doc?" I roused myself from my torpor to watch it, because that's one of my favorite comedies ever. The mark of a *really* funny movie is if you have the thing practically memorized because you've seen it so many times, but you still laugh. Or, in today's case, you know that laughing is likely to trigger a coughing spell, and you laugh anyway. :o)

Time to get back to watching the Flyers game.

A few days in advance of last week's bus trip, I downloaded an hour of white noise. I saved it on both my MP3 player and the memory card on my cell phone. I got it so I could play it on the bus ride home and override the ambient noise in the bus. I couldn't sleep, an issue I often have on a moving vehicle, but I did get to rest in relative peace. As I discovered at the end of the ride, when I turned off the white noise and removed the noise-reducing earphones, I had successfully masked not only most of the DVD that was being played, but also most of the ambient conversation and ALL of the bus motor, the a/c, and the whooshing of the pneumatic windshield wipers.

I've discovered a new use for a white-noise device: drowning out the show on TV that you'd *really* rather not hear while you're trying to nap.

I still don't feel well. Resting on the sofa with one or two purring stripey critters for company is about all I'm fit to do. Mark, meanwhile, is channel surfing. No problem.

Until I overheard this emanating from the TV set: "She's seen here using her roommate's toothbrush to scrub the toilet bowl, then putting it back as though nothing happened."

OK, there went my drowsiness. Now I was wide awake, and queasy into the bargain. "EWWW! What in heck are you *watching*, anyway ?"

It's some program called "Caught on Tape". From where I sit, if you're setting up hidden cameras to catch your roommate pilfering your stuff (as in another scene from the same program) or playing revolting pranks, you're faced with two options. Either upgrade your roommates by moving in with SANE people, or fly solo and live alone.

But in any case, I didn't want to watch OR listen to this program. Hello, sound masking. Cell phone: on. Earphones: in. White noise file: looping. Goodbye, unwanted TV audio.

Eventually, Mark surfed to some other channel. But I didn't have to listen to any more disgusting stuff in the meantime.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Whoop-de-do. The temp's down to 101. I'm not celebrating too much, though, because like I posted yesterday, people's temperatures tend to keep climbing well into the evening.

For the first time in 11 seasons, I think I'm sick enough to miss a Phantoms game. That's in part because I feel awful and need rest, and in part because I don't want to give whatever this is to anyone else.

The weather's hideous anyway. It's sleeting and the roads and pavements are icing over: my un-favorite weather conditions, to be sure, regardless of my health status.

At least the cats are happy. They love having Meowmy home during the day, particularly when she's like a 5'3" heating pad for them to sit on. I'm even better than sitting in front of the heating duct, because I give out skritches. ;o)

Good morning. My temperature is 102. I ache everywhere and generally feel like I've been run over by a steamroller.

This explains why I've felt abysmal all week. I was wondering why it seemed to be taking forever to recover from that lost hour of sleep. The answer is, the lost hour's not the issue here.

I took some Alka-Seltzer a little while ago. That should get some anti-fever, anti-ache, anti-nausea med into my system, along with some fluid. Now I'm going back to sleep. I hope.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rats. I finally got around to taking my temperature. (Read: I finally decided that pretending I was fine wasn't working, because the fever-like symptoms I posted about a few days ago haven't subsided.)

Yep. My temp's elevated. It's 99.5, minutes after coming in from the freezing cold. I'll try again in an hour or so. At this time of day, if there's a fever afoot, it'll continue climbing as the evening wears on.

Thank goodness for the purring, orange heating pad who has parked his fuzzy, striped self on me. It helps relieve the chill. :o)

You know you're in for an interesting morning when you've already awarded the "Pinhead of the Day" title to someone, and you haven't been out of the house more than five minutes. And by "interesting", I mean like in that Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times".

When I was in the U-turn lane on Sourh Broad Street, which allows drivers to pull into northbound traffic and access the entrance to the Park-and-Ride, I got a red light. As I waited, I noticed that the car in the neighboring lane had pulled way too far forward. He stopped with at least the front half of his car hanging out into oncoming traffic. Bad idea, to put it mildly; the cars heading north on Broad Street tend to drive like they're trying out for the Indy 500. After a few near-misses, he gets the hint and backs up a little. Not enough to suit *me*, had that been *my* car, but hey. He's the one who'd have some 'splaining to do to the insurance agent, so it's his decision as to what constitutes an acceptable risk. Apparently, for this guy, having the front 1/3 of his car stationed in oncoming traffic is OK.

Eventually, we get the green light, and Mr. Risk-Taker cuts in front of me as we pull into the Park-and-Ride lot. I wasn't surprised, after seeing his impatience at the red light, but I didn't care much. After all, giving the attendant $1 and getting a parking receipt takes what? Five seconds? Who cares about waiting an extra five seconds?

Or in this case, ten seconds. Twenty. Thirty. A minute.

Finally, I looked more closely to see what in HECK was going on up there. Through the rear window, I could see the silhouette of Mr. Risk-Taker rummaging like crazy for something. "Oh, don't tell me he hasn't GOT a dollar!" I thought. "Thanks for cutting me off and then making me sit here and get old waiting for you. I could have parked a dozen cars by now."

After another minute of rummaging, he finally pulled forward. Not a moment too soon, either, as cars were lining up behind mine and now we were ALL waiting for him to finish. But instead of heading into the parking lot, I noticed that Mr Risk-Taker had pulled over, near the attendant's booth but away from incoming traffic, and resumed his search.

I parked. I walked to the subway entrance. I looked back and saw Mr. Risk-Taker was still stopped near the attendant's booth. For all I know, he's STILL there. And so, for risking his neck in his haste to park, inconveniencing other commuters, and for having to wait longer than anyone because he wasn't prepared once he got done hastening to the Park-and-Ride, I hereby dub thee, Mr. Risk-Taker, "Pinhead of the Day".

Unless I run into an even bigger Einstein between now and the time I get home. It's unlikely, but the day is young and anything's possible.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I had an "Oh, shoot!" moment this morning.

It came about because for the past few days, my knee has been killing me In particular, it seems to want to ache like murder if I've been sitting for any length of time, as well as right when I get up in the morning. If I walk around a bit, the pain begins to subside.

Then I remembered a word I learned during my stint at the rheumatology clinic. "Gelling". It's pain and stiffness of the arthritic joint(s) first thing in the morning or after a period of inactivity. It's a symptom associated with osteoarthritis.

Oh, shoot! Have I graduated from merely having arthritic symptoms at times, to having flat-out OA? I'm not sure.

So now I'm going to monitor this for a few days, to see if it clears up once the incoming rainy weather is done. If it does, yay. If not, well, I have a doctor's appointment coming up in a few weeks, anyway. I'll mention it then.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I saw Mr. Air Freshener on the train again. I tried to sneak in a photo as I passed his bike on my way off the train. Sorry for the blur. Taking pictures sans flash, while the train is pulling into the station, is a bit of a crapshoot.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Well, the Phantoms didn't win on Saturday. The officiating flat-out killed us. Were we perfect? No. But when one of the opposing team's fans tells your group, "You guys got screwed", you know the ref was downright abysmal. For details, and so I needn't launch into Rant Mode from sheer aggravation, see the game-day thread on the Phantoms Phorum: http://www.flyersphans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76163

Meanwhile, I'm thinking of posting signs around the neighborhood. "LOST: One Hour of Sleep. If found, email it to gabey8 at aol dot com." Sheesh, I hate when the clocks spring forward. As if I'm not tired enough most of the time as it is.

Then again, today I don't think the weariness is solely due to the shift to Daylight Saving Time. I ache all over and I'm freezing, and have pretty much felt that way all day. I have an unhappy suspicion that I'm battling some sort of cold or other germ, because the ache-all-over thing is something I normally only experience when I'm running a fever.

When I get home, I'm going to nap the SECOND I get in the door.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

We arrived early enough to see the arena workers doing some last-minute preparation prior to the game. (I think there was a concert here earlier in the day.)

We also disembarked from our bus just in time to see the Phantoms' team bus heading for the player entrance on the other side of the building. Well, at least we know they got here and the game's on. :o)

Stephen Wood, a Phantoms alumnus who now plays for Bridgeport, came out from the tunnel and waved hello to a fan who is wearing his Phantoms game-worn jersey. We sat with him and his g/f at the Phan Club banquet last year. What nice people they both are.

We have great seats, not far from the Phantoms bench. It should be easy to take good photos from here.

Welcome to the Arena at Harbor Yard!
We just passed Stamford, CT. I'm not sure how far it is from here to Bridgeport, but it can't be all that far.

Boy, did we ever pass a collision on the other side of I-95! The whole southbound side appeared closed for abrief time; not one car was coming down the highway. Meanwile, traffic on the northbound side was baked up a long way, as newsy people slowed down to see the accident scene. (Rubberneckers drive me crazy! Grrrr!)

Luckily, traffic is back to normal now.

We're just wrapping up boarding the bus for the Phantoms Phan Club trip to Bridgeport. Incredibly, the temperature in Philly is 61 degrees (!). What a turnaround from earlier in the week, when temperatures were in the single digits!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Random thoughts...

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the sight of an Eagles *baseball* jersey left me with a feeling of cognitive dissonance. Well, that's not the only clothing-induced "what's wrong with this picture?" moment that I've experienced. Have you seen little preschool girls in shades-of-pink, camouflage-pattern parkas? I have. I'm still trying to decipher that particular fashion statement.

I've noticed that the trees are starting to go into "yawn and stretch" mode. The tiny little leaf buds that have sat on the branches all winter, barely noticeable, have noticeably increased in size. It shouldn't be long before we start to see them open up into leaves. Hallelujah, I'm looking forward to it. Spring can't get here soon enough, especially after the nasty cold snap we've had over most of the past few weeks.

I've seen several red-tailed hawks over the past few weeks. To my surprise, one of them was perched on a streetlight at 16th and Oregon in South Philly. If you haven't seen that intersection, trust me: it's about as citified as you can get. (Karla: remember that spot where, every time I had to make a right-hand turn from Oregon Avenue onto 16th Street, it seemed like some knucklehead or other was double-parked in the right-hand lane and I had to go around him? THAT intersection.) I couldn't have been more surprised at thee sight of a hawk landing on that streetlight. But I think it's a good thing if they're starting to increase their range and populate more of the city. That should help keep the numbers of other birds, including pigeons, in check.

It's much less surprising when I spot a red-tailed hawk out where I work. The landscape is so much more wide-open and it just LOOKS like a more natural habitat for a hawk. But while I was waiting for the train a couple of evenings ago, I saw something I've never witnessed before: there was a hawk actually hunting, right over the train station. The first thing I saw was the hawk fly overhead. He went out of my line of sight when he flew right above the train station, and I figured he'd just keep going in whatever direction he was headed. Smaller birds were upset at the sight of the hawk, and started heading in the opposite direction as quickly as their wings could carry them.

Suddenly, I saw three little sparrows flying in a bunch, full-speed ahead. To my surprise, a few yards behind them was the hawk, who apparently had circled back toward the train station. I wasn't sure if the hawk was actually trailing the three little guys until they started to take evasive action. Everywhere they turned, the hawk followed. Some of this drama took place above the train station, so I couldn't watch them constantly, but I wondered if I was going to actually witness a hawk catching its dinner.

I didn't. After a couple of minutes' worth of chasing, the hawk apparently gave up and flew away, in the direction of the various office buildings in the area. Maybe a minute later, I saw the three little sparrows flying together, heading nowhere near the direction that the hawk had gone. I thought, "If birds have nine lives, those little guys are all down to eight lives apiece."

In other news, we finally had to take my car to the mechanic, because the "refusal to start on the first try" and the "stalling at inopportune moments" became a major issue. I'm lucky that there's minimal traffic early in the morning on Broad Street, because on Friday, the car stalled as soon as I made the turn onto Broad Street. Had that happened during rush hour, I'd have been lucky to avoid being hit by another vehicle. So Mark retrieved the car from the Spectrum parking lot and drove it to the mechanic on Friday evening. The problem turned out to be twofold. First, it desperately needed a tune-up, which it got. Second, the spark plug wires and the distributor cap were all original equipment. Uh, yeah, I'd say that 18 years of faithful service from those particular car parts is more than plenty. The wires and cap were replaced, and now All Is Well. That's a relief.

OK, lunchtime's nearly over. Time to hit "send" on this post.