mousey blog

rants, raves, and ruminations from the mind of mouseywerks

Monday, April 17, 2006

Well, I'm... Hot Blooded... Check it and see...

 

I should have known.  I didn’t feel like knitting.  I was too uncomfortable to surf the web.  And I couldn’t focus on a book for more than one paragraph.

 

I was sick.

 

Oh, and the fact that I had a fever of 103ºF (okay, it was only 102.9ºF.  I’m rounding up.  If the Department of Revenue can do it, so can I), and a very sore throat, and my body felt like it had been beaten all over with a baseball bat to the point that no position was comfortable enough to fall asleep, and I had the dreaded “pus sacs on my tonsils”… yeah, those might have been clues, too.

 

I very rarely get sick.  In fact, I’ve worked for my current employer for almost six years (five years, ten and a half months to be exact) and this is the first time I’ve used the health insurance and gone to a doctor.  Most of the time, I can tell if I’m “sick” or just “feeling crappy”.  I know my body, and I’m not the type to go wailing to a doctor when I feel icky.  99% of the time they tell you it’s a virus and to go home and get lots of rest and fluids.  Well, I don’t need to pay someone $200 to tell me that.  I don’t care if their Hummer payment is due.

 

But the foreboding combination of a high fever and those nasty pus sacs, which were not subsiding after 24 hours, told me what I needed to do.  Another Easter Sunday, another trip to Urgent Care.  The last one was a couple of years ago when Jay broke his ankle.  At least it wasn’t busy.

 

Three doses of penicillin and a lot of orange Hi-C later, and I’ve improved from “somebody give me a sedative so I can escape this body” to “ugh, I am so sick” to “I feel like dog doo” to “minorly crappy”.  And it’s time to go home.  At least this strep had good timing.  I didn’t have to take any sick hours.

 

When I can pick up my knitting needles, then I’ll know I’m all better.

 

------- xoxox -------

p.s.  Major Hugs and Love to Jay, who was (and still is) a wonderful nurse throughout this.  Even after the sound on the bedroom TV crapped out and I was cussing and throwing the remote, he still took care of me.  Although he did keep his distance for a bit there.  I don’t blame him.  All that lifting at work has built up the muscles in my throwing arm.

 

12:10 pm cdt

Friday, April 14, 2006

Not what we expected

 

Last night was an event we were looking forward to with great anticipation.

 

Jay and I have become fans of the ABC show “Commander in Chief”.  We were really looking forward to sitting down and enjoying the first new episode since… well, I can’t remember.  It seems like that show has been on hiatus for most of this season.  So we fired up the old telly at two minutes to nine and had brief thoughts about getting comfy on the sofa.

 

That’s when we noticed the blue bar at the bottom of the TV screen.  The one with text scrolling across it.  The one with the big yellow letters that spelled “Severe Thunderstorm Watch” followed by half of the counties in southern Wisconsin, and even bigger orange letters that spelled “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” followed by the other half of the counties in southern Wisconsin.

 

Our county was one of the orange ones.  This was a bit unexpected, as the local meteorologists had been predicting storms for three out of the last five days and had come up with a big fat zilch in the rain gauge.  Yeah, they’d forecast a chance of thunderstorms for tonight, but we figured that they had gotten bored, started playing with the multi-sided dice from their D&D game, and rolled a thirteen or something, and decided that meant there would be severe weather this evening.  We didn’t think the situation was going to get serious enough for them to ramp up the threat level to orange.  Lime green, maybe; even chartreuse, enough to freak out all the yuppies that got their Beemers washed today.  But nothing as critical as orange.

 

As the alert message crawled across the screen with all the speed of a turtle on quaaludes (yeah, I read just a little faster than your average person), I looked out the window to see what was going on.  Nothing.  No rain, no wind, no horsemen of the apocalypse… for about thirty seconds.  Then I saw some lightning.  Then some more.  Then it looked like the whole panoply of Greek gods was trying to beat Zeus at a bolt-throwing contest.  So I (in my infinite wisdom, and with one whole storm-spotter class under my belt) went out onto our balcony to look at it.

 

Jay (in his even more infinite wisdom) grabbed his digital camera and went outside.  It still wasn’t raining.  There was just non-stop cloud-to-cloud lightning.  And it was really, really weird, because there was no thunder at all.  It was like someone had pressed a cosmic mute button.

 

This went on for at least fifteen minutes.  Jay came back inside to upload his attempts at photographing the celestial pyrotechnics.  I was still on the balcony, trying to get an idea of how bad the storm was by the glow of the lightning, and muttering towards the cars driving down the road below me.  Ya’ll might want to get home before this gets nasty, I thought out loud as they whooshed by.  Plus, you’re covering up the sound of the thunder.  Because there has to be thunder.  You can’t have this much lightning without it, and I know I haven’t gone deaf in the last twenty minutes.  I can still hear “Commander in Chief” blaring away in the living room.  I don’t know what the heck is happening on the show, and I don’t even care, but the fact that I can hear it is proof that I can still perceive sound.  Yeah, there’s a rumble.  Okay, there is thunder.  I think.

 

Except it wasn’t your typical, thunder-y sound.  It didn’t boom or crack or pound at my eardrums.  It was just a low, constant noise, kind of like the sound of a jet coming in low for a landing.  Except it wasn’t moving.  It wasn’t dopplering across the sky.  It was just there.

 

And then I realized it was getting louder.  I stuck my head inside the patio door and told Jay that he’d better come outside and listen, because this noise was one of the weirdest things I’d ever heard.

 

No rain.  No wind.  Only this bizarre noise, increasing in volume, until its roar filled the air.  It didn’t have the chugging sound that is typical of a tornado, and it seemed way too loud to be just rain, even rain heavy enough to make you wonder where you parked your ark.

 

Then I heard it.  Puck.  It sounded like a rock hitting the street at an incredibly high rate of speed.  Then there was another one.  Puck.  More silence.  Puck.  What the hell is happening?  Puck.  Puck.  The roaring noise pressed against our ears, punctuated by a staccato Puck.  Then more.  Puck-puck.  Puck.  We peered out at the street, trying to figure out if we were just hearing the biggest raindrops the world had ever known, or what.  Puck.  Puck.  Puckety-puck-puck-puckety-puckety-puckety-puck-puck-puck-PUCK-PUCK-PUCK-PUCK-PUCK-ROAR!

 

The biggest hailstones I had ever seen were being hurled out of the night sky.  Giant rocks of ice pelted down, littering the street, the lawn, and the sidewalk.  They thudded on the roof so fiercely that it sounded as if they were punching right through the shingles.

 

At this point I started to get a little freaked.  (Okay, Jay would say a lot freaked.  But I wasn’t dashing about the apartment grabbing my valuables and heading for the cellar, so we’ll call it a little freaked.)  In less than ten minutes, the hail had subsided and the torrential rains had begun.  And when that was over, we went out to survey the destruction.

 

I went out on the balcony and took these pictures.

 

Lightning.

 

Stage One:  Lightning

 

(Notice the size of the hail in relation to the small flag that got knocked to the ground)

 

Stage Two:  Hail

 

Jay went down to the street.  His pictures were even more astonishing.  These were just three hailstones he happened to pick up.

 

Stage Three:  Big Ass Hail

 

 

As for our TV show, I guess we’ll have to wait for a rerun to find out what happened.  I just hope that when it does re-air, Mother Nature doesn’t decide to once again add her own musical accompaniment.

 

You know.

 

“Hail to the Chief”.

 

8:37 am cdt

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Are all your ducks in a row?
 
Every morning, as we drive to Jay's work, we have to pass BB.  You all probably know it as the store with the big yellow price tag, the one where they say they have thousands of possibilities, but when you go inside all you can find are a bunch of pimply-faced boys in blue shirts talking about their latest Everquest adventures.
 
It's not unusual for us to see lines in front of BB.  People camp out overnight to be the first in the store, and not just on the Day After Thanksgiving.  No, they'll pitch their tents for the latest Xbox, or ipod, or whatever technological gizmo the media has brainwashed them into thinking they "must" have.
 
But today, the line was a bit startling.  I can only wonder what they were waiting for.  Was it the release of "Crash"?  "The Chronicles of Narnia"?  The sixth season of "Dawson's Creek"?
 
Ducks in a row
 
And it looks like they were successful.  They were first in line to get into the store.  Never mind that it didn't open for two more hours.  They were there, and they were going to be the first to own the most-quacked-about film of the year.
 
Brokebeak Mountain.
 
8:16 pm cdt

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rants, raves, and ruminations from the mind of mouseywerks