Friday, January 26, 2007

seriously, i'm in mint condition

Here we are in winter. It finally caught up with us. I was sick as a dog last week and missed some work.

Speaking of “sick like a dog,” my poor puppy tore her dew claw on the car seat two weeks ago. They had to remove the whole thing. She was in a soft cast for a few days, but now its pretty much back to normal. Of course, she has had to adjust to the cold weather. She has to wear her red coat now, and her little boots. She has to go through the suiting-up process even for a by-the-door pee because the ice crust on the snow tears her skin as if it were paper. It has been around 0-10 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning lately and lower with the wind. Walking on the little bit of snow that got sleeted on and then glazed with ice is like breaking hundreds of plates. The old New Englanders (like my grandma) used to say, “As the days start to lengthen, the cold starts to strengthen.” No shit. They are forecasting as low as -20 F for this weekend. Everyone is sick, not just me.

The day I tried to go to work and had to leave was the worst. I ended up on the bathroom floor, tearing through the little first aid kit like a heroin addict. I was tossing shit over my shoulder, looking for anything that would help me in any small way. I had gone through the aspirin a long time ago. All I scored was some ointment for my nose and some electrolyte tablets that I didn’t dare take, in the end.

I listened to a client that I have worked with for a long time while she rehearsed her victim-impact statement (to be read in court the next day). My eyes were running and I had tissue literally shoved in my nose, since it was running like a tap. I was sneezing so hard I needed an adult diaper. The bad news is that I didn’t have one.

Fortunately that client and I know each other quite well, so she didn’t mind seeing me like that. She had actually been taking her dog to the vet when I had Star there for the dew-claw amputation. That’s a small community, for you.

She sat with me while I was on the waiting room floor with my seventy-pound Greyhound in my lap. Poor Starry had her tongue hanging out and she was all wrapped in blankets. The vet kept coming out and checking her heart rate and stuff, waiting for her to come out of the anesthesia enough to get in the car. I was a basket case because my Lucky boy (also a Greyhound) died under anesthesia about a year ago, while he was in recovery from having a tooth extraction. Bad, bad memories. I had tried to leave Star there and go to work, but I started hyperventilating. Fortunately, I work for an agency that runs a 24 hour crisis hotline. I called it. Really.

My colleague was great and commanded I just go back and be with my dog. She cancelled my gigs for me. No matter what we go through or how I bitch about my job sometimes, I am lucky to do this work and know that caliber of person. Or – some other term that isn’t so firearm-oriented.

Anyhoo, the whole day was just really fun. Yet I was very grateful that my dog didn’t die. Then the next week I got sick.

Obviously, going to work with this cold was a big mistake. But the thing moved through its critical period pretty quickly. That was a blessing. And we had a snow day when I was about to try going back to work (and probably shouldn’t have), so that was another blessing. It was Friday, too!

I am at the church and I expect a client within the hour. Of course, I have learned the hard way not to count on callers until they actually show. It is cold out and people tend to get the hibernation mentality if they have a choice about it. So we’ll see.

Then I have to leave in about an hour to go do a set of gigs at a grade-school. They got postponed when the dog got hurt, so I’ll be glad to get in there and have it over with. Tomorrow I’m doing a joint presentation at a local college with sexual assault, the SART (rape kit) nurse, a cop and a victim witness advocate (from the DA Office). And tomorrow, my friends, is FRIDAY!

Let’s see – we need something green. Allow me (actually you don’t have a choice) to quote from The Wisdom of Nature: The Healing Powers and Symbolism of Plants and Animals in the Middle Ages (Werner Telesko, Prestel Press). Because, why? Because, it’s here. Okay:

Menta piperita L. – According to Greek mythology, the nymph Minthe was transformed into mint by Persephone. Various mint species were used in medicines by the Egyptians, Israelites and Romans. The Egyptians and Greeks also added mint to their beer and used it in beauty care. Charlemagne’s Capitulare de villis (795) and the famour plan of the monastery at St. Gallen (around 820) recommended the cultivation of several mint species.

In place of smelling salts, mint is said to have an invigorating effect on someone who has fainted. Mixed in pomegranate wine, it cures hiccups and nausea. The liquid obtained from the whole plant in a distillation flask is described as an effective cure for nose bleeds. Milk does not curdle, so it is said, if a few mint leaves are dropped in it. Peppermint tea is used to treat diseases of the respiratory tract and digestive organs. Peppermint oil or menthol is applied externally as an ointment, balm or liniment to relieve pain.

The text describes mint as hot and dry in the third degree. Small plants with dense foliage are best.

** So, there. I’m thinking I need a shitload of mint.

Stay warm, ljl J

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

my god ate my homework

Excuses. You gotta love excuses. Almost as much as you gotta love insomnia.

In my job, I hear a lot of excuses. Unfortunately, for a reason that remains a mystery to me, I spent most of last night with a few really good ones running through my head - grinding like a truck stuck in the mud. Brain mud.

The cool one from yesterday was an abuser who couldn't get to his whatever (restraining order hearing, divorce mediation, assault case, whatever) because he was offshore on a deep-water fishing boat. Although our attorney represents the guy's ex, the guy wanted our lawyer to go in and ask for a continuance.

Hmmm. Let's just pretend for a moment that there is any excuse for getting on a shark boat and heading into international waters when you know you have a court appearance scheduled that week. Pretending this, we can move on into the fake-o-rama smackdown that our attorney and I envisioned after getting that phone call (complete with fake sound effects on each side).

Perp: "Hi, I need a continuance because...ah...I' the ... ocean." (insert sound effects of waves and gulls - "swoooosh, swooooosh" "squak, squaaaaaaaak!")

Lawyer: "Oh, hi. Yeah. Well...ah...I can't get you a continuance because I'm, erm...I'm....on the moon." (insert rocket noises and strange beeping)

Perp: "What's that? I can't....oh, my god! A giant lobster just raked the boat! (flush toilet into phone)...Sweet Jesus, help us! We need a bigger boat!"

Lawyer: "Sorry, you're breaking up. A giant rocket just went by! (run hairdryer by phone)...Ow! My ears just popped!"

Perp: "Ohmygod, pirates! We're being attacked by pirates! (plays episode of Spongebob loudly in the background).

Lawyer: "Ohmygod, aliens! Sorry...gotta go. There's an alien menace! (plays episode of Battlestar Galactica loudly in the background).

Both make fizzing, swishing, roaring noises into their phones before hanging up.

So, I won't even tell you how many hours I lay in bed thinking about this, last night. Suffice to say, way too long. :)

Friday, January 05, 2007


We are updating our files at work - putting our hundreds of written records into a new computer system manually (typing, no scans). We are totally insane. Some of that came out in our early morning conversation about a world where carnivorous koi live in every toilet. Then one of my colleagues resorted to funny hats (the oldest trick in the book). Thank Christ and the Goddess that it's Friday and I AM NOT ON THIS WEEKEND! Neither are any of my crazy cohorts from this office, as far as I know. YAY!

Peace, out!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas Fun

The unwrapping is over but the playing has only begun! The cats did the tree-destroying and the dog did the present-shredding. She finally passed out on her heap of gifts. So far about half of them have survived into the new year. Post-holiday good wishes to you all. Peace!