Misremembered

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It’s now firmly a part of our lexicon. Thank you Roger freaking Clemens.

I listened to bits and pieces of his testimony before Congress Wednesday regarding his use of illegal and banned substances and was shocked and appalled by the behavior on both sides of the conversation.

The day was all about tossing people under the bus.

Chuck Knoblauch, a bit player at best, tossed Clemens under.

Andy Pettitte, Clemens supposed best friend, whoosh, tossed Clemens under the bus.

And then Clemens went ahead and tossed his wife right on under.

Good times.

And in the finest hour, Clemens said that Pettitte, his best friend, must have “misremembered” when he told investigators that Clemens had used performance enhancing substances.

And the Congressmen were no better firing off supposition and innuendo. What we have here is a modern day McCarthy trial. These Congressmen are so keen to go after the superstars that they’ll listen to any sub-Mendoza Line player who got name checked in the Mitchell Report who wants to squeal out names in order to distance themselves from the circus.

Re-freaking-diculous.

It was bad what they did to Bonds. It’s bad what they are doing to Clemens. It’s bad for baseball.

And in the end, baseball will prevail. Because it will.

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”

–Terence Mann, Field of Dreams.

Glad I watched this movie again last week. Because I need to believe again in the magic of the game I love.

Am I a baseball purist that expects each player to be pristine and au natural? No. But do I condone steroids? No.

I just want to put this awful witch hunt behind us and move on.

Did anyone even notice that Giants pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training, uh, Wednesday?

I choose to think about that. And pray to whichever entity you choose that I can “misremember” the events of this week.

Now. Gentlemen, play ball.

Photo by Karen Fayeth

This day in Obvious News

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News Flash!

This just in: The longer couples are together, the more they irritate each other!

Reeeeeally? Wow, I’d *never* have guessed!

How is this news? And yet it is.

And you know what else researchers found?

That this phenomenon is *normal*

Whoooooooa! There’s some groundbreaking research there, folks!

When I mentioned this article to The Good Man last night he replied, “Anyone who is surprised by this did not grow up in a home with two adults in a long term relationship”.

He’s very wise, that Good Man of mine.

Hell, I get irritated with myself if I spend too much time with me. It only stands to reason.

But then again, I know I’m *perfect* to live with and surely will never irritate The Good Man.

heh.

Happy Friday, ya’ll. May you and your respective partners have only mild irritation this weekend!

Sometimes doing the right thing is a really hard road

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(settle in, it’s a long post today)

Yesterday afternoon, late afternoon, I got a voice message from Stanford Blood Center.

They call me quite a bit. Being an O positive means the stuff in my veins is in demand.

Lately instead of whole blood, I’ve been giving platelets. It takes longer to donate but is MUCH easier on me. They take the blood, spin off the platelets, and return everything else back to you.

But back to the message. They said they had a patient at the Stanford Hospital with whom I was an exact match in terms of blood panel (something called an HLA match). And this person desperately needed platelets on Saturday (it takes two days to test) and could I come in right away and donate?

Honestly, my first thought was “I can’t be bothered”. I’d taken the train in to work so I didn’t have my car. I was tired. And usually before giving platelets I like to make sure I’m ready by eating right and drinking milk before hand (donating robs calcium).

Then I stopped and thought, “What the hell am I thinking?” and called them back. I said I would be there. They gave me a 6:30 appointment.

Ok, so I looked at the shuttle and train schedules. I could take an early shuttle and train that would get me home by quarter past five. Enough time to get home, eat, drink milk, and get to Palo Alto.

Cool.

So at 4:30 I waited for the shuttle that would take me to the train. The shuttle that never showed up.

I tersely called dispatch. I was put on hold for about five long minutes. Long story short. The bus had broke down.

Ok, so I asked could they promise the NEXT bus at 5:11 would show up?

They couldn’t.

I didn’t tell the dispatch my story, I just said “I have to get to the train station”.

So they sent out one of the intercampus shuttle vans (our work buildings are spread far and wide so there are vans that take employees hither and yon) to take me to the station.

Ok, with train schedule in hand, I worked out when I might get there, what train, what station and could The Good Man come get me? (he was working from home)

The shuttle bus driver, hearing my story, offered to drive me all the way to Palo Alto (which I thought was cool) but I said no, I’ve got it worked out.

So I waited for my train, anxiously bouncing my knee and watching the clock. Suddenly giving my platelets to this unknown person with an unknown malady was really, really important to me. I didn’t want to let them down.

So the train was due to arrive at 5:37. 5:37 came. And went. No train.

Deep breathing.

5:43pm, the train rolls into Mountain View. Yes!

I wait for disembarking passengers and I climb on. There are plenty of seats, just as I select my fave row, the lights turn off and the sound of the engine winding down fills my ears.

Noooooooooooooooooooooo!

The *last* time I got on the train and the lights went out, it was due to a busted cable they had to repair. So we sat on the tracks while they did. Then when we took off, we were chugging along and the part fell off. We had to stop again. Good times. So I was imagining this happening again. In horror.

I had to employ many of my new “calm down” strategies. Deep breaths. I told myself however this worked out it was supposed to work out that way. I thought about being in Half Moon Bay this weekend. The sound of the ocean. Breathe.

After about five minutes, the lights didn’t come back on, but the engine was revved and we were moving…in the dark.

Fine.

I only had to make it to the NEXT stop. Just one. Just make it to Menlo Park (one town north of where I needed to be). That is all I ask!

And we did make it to Menlo. Cool! Only about 15 mins late. Still enough time to make my appointment.

Except, the lights were still out. Usually with the train, when it makes a stop, you hear a “ding ding”, then the doors automatically open. There is a brief window of opportunity when everyone who gets off has to get off and everyone who has to get on gets on. If you miss the window, you are, in the vernacular, screwed.

So several fellow passengers and I waited at the doors.

No power. No “ding ding”.

Uh oh.

We looked and couldn’t find a manual lever. Now, panic is starting to rise. The Good Man is at the station, but I can’t get off the train.

One helpful passenger said, “hey, the door is open in the next car”. So like a herd of wildebeests, we turned en masse and began stampeding down the aisle of the car, overturning passengers who had just gotten on.

“We need to get off!” the gentleman in front of me said loudly.

I took up the charge as well. “Help! We need to get off! Please, let us by!”

We got to the platform between cars where indeed, the doors were open enough to allow passage.

And just as the man in front of me got to the doors, the power came back on, and the doors slammed shut.

“Nooooooo!” I wailed.

And in what can only be called a Herculean effort, the guy in front of me sacrificed important appendages, placing both hands between the rubber edges of the closing doors. Then like Superman pulling apart jail bars, he grunted a little unmasculinely, but got the doors to open and leapt off the train.

“You rock, thank you!!” I yelled as I bounded off behind him. The guy behind me turned to look and gave me that headshake and “whatta ride” smile.

“It’s a weird night,” I said, and he nodded and walked off.

The Good Man was waiting right where his text message said he was, and we plunged into the night and the traffic on El Camino. Terrible.

So we turned off and using one of the newest iPhone features, “Skyhook” (basically a GPS system that uses cell towers to locate you) we meandered on Palo Alto back roads, took a few wrong turns, made heroic u-turns and found the donation location.

(Have I mentioned that my Fiancée is, without a doubt, my personal superhero? This is but one of many heroic things he’s done for me.)

Parked then in we went. There was a brief kerfuffle with the paperwork, but they got me set. The folks at the donation place were like, “are you the match?” It was kind of funny. “Are you the one?” to which I wanted to reply, “Yes, my child” but showed restraint.

Next challenge? Well, I tend toward anemia and have been turned down before based on low iron.

So I told this to the intake nurse. We used all the tricks we both know. Holding a cup of warm water (dilates the vessels), rubbing hands together vigorously, and shaking them. My hands were nice and warm and red when she took the sample.

You have to get a minimum reading of 12 on their little iron counting machine.

The intake nurse waved her hand over the machine while it worked. “Pixie dust” she said.

Then she said, seriously, “The Doctor is here tonight (Director of the Blood Services) and he can make an exception of we need one.”

The machine thought for what felt like an eternity.

And pronounced a reading of 12.3.

Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Soon I was strapped in, needle in arm, machine whirring away, book open in front of me, platelets filling a bag and all was well.

I asked my body to give up only the finest platelets so that the person who needed them most could benefit. It took about 70 minutes to give a two-bag donation. The person who gets ’em has a much longer fight on their hands.

I was left a bit shaky and weak when it was done, but The Good Man took me into custody and made sure I was ok. Plied me with juices and soup and lots of clucking worry. Giving platelets always makes me freezing cold. And I was hungry too, but I was ok.

And on Saturday, I hope my platelets find their way to the veins of a sick person who needs help.

The Blood Center folks didn’t know what the platelets were for, but they suspect it was to assist along with a bone marrow transplant.

I enjoy thinking that the recipient of my platelets will wake up Sunday morning craving a heaping plate of huevos rancheros with extra green chile, and wonder why.

We all know that green chile is a curative, right?

By the way, if you don’t do so already, and you are physically able, donate blood please. It really does save lives. And when you do, ask about being tested to see if you can do platelets. Thanks!

(Found this photo online. This is the center where I donate, and that’s the exact chair I sat in but not the machine that was used. The gentleman on the left in the lab coat was working last night but didn’t do my donation. He’s a friendly guy but is a little rough with the needle stick.)

Bill! Don’t make me like you!

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The Cute Boy™ is very into politics. He can speak about them intelligently. Profoundly. And he knows what he is talking about.

After being harangued by dear old dad in my formative years regarding politics (papa leaned so hard to the right it’s a wonder he didn’t flop over. Daughter tends to be more than a skosh toward moderate). And when I say harangued, I mean dash from the room at a dead run to avoid the inevitable lectures.

That being said, I’m trying. But I find I can’t tolerate listening to any of the current candidates speak. None. Right. Left. In the middle. Out in left field. I just can’t. It is just so false. I get the same tense-in-my-chest feeling that I get when a sales-weasel puts the full court press on me at work. I find it distasteful. Disingenuous. And just not ok.

I have been following the trail of Oh Fair New Mexico’s own Governor with mild interest, mainly because I’m curious to see how this all goes.

When I first heard he was running, I made barfing sounds and stamped my little feet.

See, when I was living in my home state, I didn’t like ol’ Bill all that much. It’s ok. I own it. (Don’t tell Jim Baca, ok? I like Jim a lot and don’t want to get on his fighting side.)

It started with that g’damn cheesy billboard on I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If you lived there long enough, you remember it too. “Bill Richardson welcomes you to Northern New Mexico”. Bill leaned across his desk, fixing you, the driver with that jowly stare.

AAAAAAGH!

Then I came to dislike him more because both my folks worked for Sandia Labs and for a while were located at the WIPP Site in Carlsbad.

If you are unfamiliar…in a quick nutshell…the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant or WIPP is an experiment in the disposal of low-level nuclear waste. The WIPP site is located way down in some ancient salt beds. The theory (this is me, a layperson and not a scientist, so give me wide berth) is that a properly sealed container could be placed into a hole made in the salt. And over time, due to some fluids in the salt, it will migrate. Meaning the salt will close in around the container, encapsulating it, thus keeping it safe and sound and away from contaminating anything else.

Obviously, this plan has met with a lot of opposition over the years. The moving brine water means that folks are concerned with contaminating water supplies. And other such (legitimate) concerns.

So my folks worked there back in the early 1990’s and the site was dug out, ready to go, but faced massive political opposition to opening. Or even *trying* out the storage of some low level nuclear waste (like gloves, jumpsuits, etc from workers in nuclear plants).

One of the biggest voices of opposition was our own Bill Richardson, congressman from the northern part of New Mexico. Vehemently.

Except when he became the Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton.

Yeah. El Flippo Floppo.

I guess after hearing my dad rave on about the evils of Richardson, much of it took hold in my head. Again, for the folks following along at home…dear old dad was a staunch Republican. In hindsight, that *may* have colored his view…just a skosh. But to be fair to my pops, those were frustrating years at WIPP because they were fairly *begging* to be given the chance to at least TRY their theories and see if they worked. And Richardson issued a firm “nyerhe, no, nada, nope”. Didn’t make my folks big Richardson fans.

And well, after all of this time….I’m not a fan of Bill either. Just not. Or was not, I should say.

As this campaign progresses, my mind might be changing.

I’ve listened to some speechifying over the past week. I thought I was an Obama girl, but I really listened to a speech he gave in Iowa and was sort of turned off when it was done. For a variety of reasons. I think Jim actually put it best in yesterday’s post about worrying that he’s all hat and no cattle.

As a woman, I’d like to like Clinton. I just…can’t.

Edwards is sort of blah to me. And I think he’s putting on that accent a bit. I know it’s natural, but he seems to Hee Haw it up a bit, in my opinion. But so far I’m ok with him. Not sure I’m Team Edwards yet…I’m team no one yet, really.

And forget all the Republican candidates. I listened to their first debate and was like, uh, no.

So. Sunday night I watched the Democratic candidates debate with each other. Well, I watched the end. Listened to much of it while working in the other room then came and sat down and watched. It was the last question that intrigued me.

Moderator Charlie Gibson asked the question, “Of all the debates that have been held so far what have you said that you wish you could take back?”

Clinton went first. And didn’t answer the question. Blathered on about how the real thing to concentrate on was the difference between the Democrat and Republican debates. I kept yelling at the TV “ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!”

Richardson went next. He told a funny, charming story about one of the early debates where he was asked who was his favorite Supreme Court Justice. It was endearing, self-deprecating, and got a laugh from the audience and candidates (and me).

Edwards said his was when he made fun of Hillary’s jacket early on. Ok, at least he answered the question.

Obama said he agreed with Clinton and blathered about the differences between the two parties. He also didn’t answer the damn question.

So at the end I was like “oh my god…Richardson *may* have just made me like him.”

Wow.

I don’t know what to do with that.

It may be for the best that dear old dad has (sadly) passed on from this mortal coil. Because I think if I voted for Richardson it would send him into convulsions…

I have until February 5 to figure out exactly which name I’ll put the mark next to on the ballot. I may have to do like I did in that whacked out election for California Governor…pick the most outlandish candidate and give them my nod. Not very mature, but it made me feel better when I left the polling place.

Ok. All this talk of politics is making me twitchy. Wonder what Britney is up to today?

I have served my debt to society.

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(Gad, I’m *such* a drama queen….hee!)

: hand to forehead :

As of today, ladies and gents, I have fulfilled my obligation to God, humanity and the Superior Court of Santa Clara County.

You may recall that back in October, I ran afoul of one of California’s finest. Yes, our fair heroine was taken down by the CHP. She was only trying to get home after a terribly long day at work. And in order to get home sooner, she thought that going 90mph in a 65 zone was appropriate.

Now if you knew my hoopty of an automobile, pushing it at 90mph is no small feat. I’d considered going to court to fight it since the officer said he didn’t have a radar. Instead he set his cruise control at 75mph and said I was pulling away.

I came home and Googled the officer’s name and found out he’s a highly decorated and well-respected member of the force. So I knew that was a losing battle.

I also looked at the table of fines and realized I *may* have been doing more than 90mph, but he gave me the ticket at 90. Were I cited going faster than 90mph, the penalties (meaning the cost) went up dramatically at that clip level. So he kind of sort of did me a favor. Also, I didn’t have my most current insurance card in the car (I’d *just* gotten it in the mail). The officer could have cited me for that, but instead looked it up online (my insurance reports to the DMV so he can see if it’s current).

So after careful consideration, I decided to just pay the “bail”. And thus a point was assigned to my driving record.

A fact I’m cheesed about. Did you know that in the ten almost eleven years I’ve lived in California I’ve never, not once, gotten a ticket for speeding? A couple parking tickets, yes, but nothing else. Indignant! Yes I was.

Well, California offers the opportunity to take driving school and thus mask the point on your record from view (meaning your insurance company is none the wiser). They’ve recently begun offering the driving school online where you can work at your own pace.

So yesterday morning in the midst of the Storm To End All Storms, I decided to begin work on my online driver’s training. I had until mid-February to complete it.

Well…let me tell you…this online driver’s course was no easy thing. Time consuming. And BORING. True, I got to work through it in my jammies and in the comfort of my home, but DAMN!

About a third of the way through a very LONG day, I told The Cute Boy™, “boy am I sorry I did 90mph!”

So it worked. They got remorse out of me.

It didn’t help that the power went out after I’d been working on it several hours. Ugh. I finally finished at 9:00pm last night. It was a long grueling trudge to the finish line.

Today I went to the “in person” location and took the written test to thus complete the course and end this debacle. And because I’m such a freaking overachiever, not only was I nervous, but I got 100% on the test.

So now, gentle audience, it can be said that I, the criminal, have done my time, done my penance, paid my debt to society, suffered for my sins, carried the cross of my shame, and can tear the scarlet speed limit sign from my chest and begin to rebuild my life as a member of society.

(And to reward my hard work, The Cute Boy™ took me to see a movie. The Golden Compass. Yay!)

Thus ends the drama of the Nice Girl Who Turned Bad on Highway 280.

fin