Wednesday, December 30, 2009

That chickadee feeling

So, when one's car is still being held hostage by an inept and inefficient parts delivery system, and work is hellacious, and one's patience is stretched to the brink by people who seem to operate under the assumption that their failure to plan should launch others yours truly into crisis mode, there's only one solution:

Channel St Francis of Assisi, and feed the birds.

The downy woodpecker and the mourning doves kept their distance, but my beloved little chickadees hopped right onto my outstretched hand, and picked up their sunflower seeds in the swiftest, most delicate fashion.

The birdies have already got that whole "channel of thy peace" thing down cold. If only we humans could follow suit.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why'd they have to go and make everything so complicated?

On my way into Target yesterday, I picked up a "lucky" penny from the asphalt.

Big mistake.


Okay, not so huge, really, but I'm blaming the penny for an annoying cascade of events.

I had gone to Target to pick up a bag of Hershey's Kisses, with which I planned to make some Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. Simple, right? Actually, it wasn't that simple. It took a good five minutes, standing in the candy aisle, to find a simple bag of unadulterated Hershey's Kisses.* They were buried amidst the various combinations and permutations of Kisses which the purveyors of those fine confections have foisted upon our collective sweet tooth: Cherry Cordial Kisses, Irish Cream Kisses, Kisses filled with the nectar of the topmost blossom of a rare flower which blooms only once every 42 years, and only on a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.**

But find them, I did, and onward, I went, back to my beloved and trusty Amadeus. Amadeus is looking particularly spiffy these days, having just been outfitted with a set of Blizzaks to charge through the North Country's frequent snows. The symphony that is Amadeus' start up procedure began, and then was rudely interrupted by the off-key alarm signal, informing me that there was an "Air Bag Fault." Umm, okay .. that was rather unexpected!

I secured an appointment this afternoon at the local VW dealership. I brought my knitting, for even though I was confident that this was a minor problem involving a loose wire, I've learned that a stitch in time saves Rosie from a psychotic episode when dealing with the testosterone-soaked environment that is a car dealership.

After about two inches' worth of progress on the latest sock project, I was informed that the problem did, indeed, originate from a loose wire under the driver's seat. "It should only take about half an hour to fix it." I welcomed this as good news .. perhaps I could get all the way to the toe of the sock at this rate. As The Yarn Harlot says, I don't knit because I'm patient. I'm patient because I knit.

I didn't quite get to the toe before I was informed that, because Amadeus is nearly brand-spanking new, the VW dealership doesn't have the necessary, new-fangled "harness" to secure the damaged wire. Oh, and it won't be available until next week. Oh, and for safety reasons, VW could not let me drive Amadeus until this problem was fixed.

Breathe in .. breathe out .. knit a few more stitches ..

To their credit, the fine folks at VW assured me that they would provide me with a rental vehicle for the duration of Amadeus' convalescence. Oh! Okay! I said brightly. Can you get me a Beetle?

Ummm, no, that's not very likely, said the purveyor of the bad news.

Still brimming with the optimism which came with the aforementioned "lucky" penny, I said, Well, I guess that's okay. Just as long as it has snow tires.

Ummm, no .. they're all-season radials. But this will be a really nice, top of the line rental.

Yeah. I could see where this was going. More to the point, I could see where I wasn't going. Did I mention that this is my first Christmas off in three years? And that Amadeus, with his trusty Blizzaks, was going to take me and mine to visit my parents?

Still imbued with the buzz of serenity that only a few hours of knitting can provide, I asked if this top-of-the-line rental was equipped with heated seats, which are right up there with good snow tires in my prerequisites for civilized winter driving.

Jaws dropped in the testosterone-soaked waiting room. Geez, you don't want very much, do you? said one dude.

Actually, I don't think my expectations are particularly high. I spent many, many night shifts up to my elbows in fecal material - and I mean that both metaphorically and literally - in order to be able to buy Amadeus and his spiffy new Blizzaks. I expect a new car to function properly. And call me crazy, but when glitches occur, I expect the dealership to actually have the requisite parts to repair the problem in a timely fashion. At the very least, I would like them to join the 21st century and become familiar with the wondrous invention known as FedEx Overnight Delivery.

If that makes me a diva, so be it.

And this diva is going to slap one of these stickers on Amadeus when he comes home:

*Side note to the folks at the helm of the Hershey Chocolate company: A Kiss is just a Kiss! Stop complicating things!

**I miss Douglas Adams!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I don't even like golf ..

.. yet I find myself strangely obsessed with the Tiger Woods drama.

I'm also obsessed by the public obsession with this case, if that makes any sense.

Here's a guy who has everything, and he risked losing it all for some cheap thrills. What could have possibly driven him to step out on his beautiful wife? Why would he betray the mother of his children? How could he be so monumentally stupid?

His car wreck is, well, like a car wreck! I don't want to know any more tawdry details, but I can't help clicking on each link which breathlessly announces the latest dirt in this scandal.

At some level, I think all humans are pre-wired to do monumentally stupid things. I've been thinking about this quite a bit of late. The other day, I took care of a relatively young stroke patient. At this point in time, the patient suffers from both expressive and receptive aphasia. In other words, words fail him. His road to recovery will be long and rocky, and I feel deep pathos for this man and for his family. Their lives have been turned upside down.

On the day that I took care of this patient, my workload was blissfully light. I was able to accompany this man on a much-needed walk up and down the corridor. At the end of our ambulation session, the patient said something to the effect that he wished he could have picked up a carton of cigarettes on our walk.

~~~~ insert face-palm gesture here ~~~~

I don't know if smoking was the sole cause of this man's stroke, and it doesn't matter at this point, anyway.

But for those of us who take the ability to walk and talk and function independently for granted at this time .. there's a lesson in there! Be grateful for each unimpeded breath, and be really excellent to yourselves and to those whom you love.