Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Doesn't it seem like sometimes the Fates conspire against us? Or as current parlance goes: "It's the universe telling you not to do something."

In the next week, I have a 3-1/2 hour promotion test, possible jury duty and possible medical treatments, all on the same day, maybe at the same time. Add to it my home situation is in chaos and the job situation up in the air. I feel like I'm surfing; what wave is coming next? I'll be making some decisions.

On the plus side, I finished reading the last Harry Potter (so-so) and have heard a rumor that Rowling is now writing a detective novel. I hope it's set in Edinburgh where she lives and where I would love to live. I've visited twice (not during Fringe or Hogmany) and fell in love immediately with the stone city, the coolest castle in the world, the city of Jekyl and Hyde, of Rebus and closes and men walking around in sexy kilts.

A city where, as my son put it, everyone looks like me and my relatives.

In 2000, I saw flats for sale at around $40,000. Since then, prices have gone up to San Francisco levels. It's ironic that a city that was undeveloped for decades because of its poverty has retained its charm and wonder and is now some of the most high-priced property in the world.

Kilts are actually Irish but the more I delve into Scots-Irish history, the more entwined the two countries are. For centuries, Celts have gone back and forth and have almost created a new sub-nationality.

Here's a "Millineum Kilt" which is unisex and rainbow-like (who needs clans?)

I doubt any Scot would be caught dead in anything this flashy but it looks like fun.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


For loved ones who haven't seen LB for awhile, here they are:

We did a bubble bath this morning with a Lush bubble bomb. The kids loved it and afterwards, because Daddy was a little whiffy, he took a soak too. Then they went off to the museum and I took a nap.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I'm looking forward to seeing Stardust soon; it opens this weekend. I'm a Neil Gaiman fan and tried to read the book, but it started out too slowly to keep my interest. Witches, pirates, princess, etc. I hope there are a few fairies or trolls in it. I'll take my 12-year old buddy if his mom approves.

I'm reading Paula Poundstone's book with the long strange title and it's funny in her way. She shows some wit and lots of wisdom about raising kids. Show business hasn't seemed to have affected her one bit, much to her credit. After reading her book and thought processes, I'm beginning to think like her. Kind of scary.

I love listening to her on NPR's Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. I mean, Carl Castle and Paula Poundstone on the same show--fabulous. What more could you want on a Saturday morning while you're cleaning house?

My hands still hurt and not knitting is making me crazy. Maybe I'll try with really big knitting needles. It's the little tiny stuff that makes my hands numb and tingly and sends the pain shooting up my arm. I've done a little felting at home and want to get new photos of Los Bebes up, but after sitting at a computer all day, I don't have the heart for it at home. For fans of Los Bebes, I'll try.

Monday, August 06, 2007


On July 10th, while counting out dozens of dollar bills (not mine), I experienced sharp shooting pains up my fingers and wrists. Went to my supervisor who sent me to the Civil Service Clinic where my doctor looks like Jed Clampett and most of the staff looks like they just got out of prison (very visible tattoos, piercings, signs of past living rough). Our Civil Service always goes with the lowest bidders.

The dollar-bill counting was part of a "re-assignment" of work duties, but after 3 days, the 4-year-long (since I've been in this office) moderate numbness and ache in my hands/wrists turned into sharp pain and total numbness in the fingers. My supervisor asked me why I didn't complain officially before. I told her I was raised as an Irish Presbyterian. The supervisor didn't get it, but a fellow Irish Presbyterian coworker in our office did; she told the story of how proud her aunt was for having a heart attack at the bus stop and walking home before she called the ambulance. Hard to explain this stoicism and denial of physical limitations. It's bred in the bone, I think.

I've been going to physical therapy three times a week for the 15-20 minute ice torture, heat treatments, electrodes, stretches and exercises. I wear wrist braces day and night. I always thought these wrist braces were silly, but they do help by immobilizing your wrist movement. The problem is I feel like a grizzly bear with them on, lumbering around knocking things over. For the occasional moments of feeling a bit of sensation in my fingertips again, it's been worth it.

Add to this my grown son moving back in with me in my tiny house while he completes his externship as a phlebotomist and other family/neighborhood flutters, and I've been wiped out. I still have the grandkids on weekends also and I love them dearly, but the one-year old is teething and suddenly burst into writhing pain and disbelief, accompanied by screams and flailing of strong not-so-little fists and feet.

Also have gone to an acupuncturist, which a very sweet friend recommended and even helped pay for since insurance doesn't cover it. The acupuncturist sees the problem going up my arms to my upper shoulders. Working where I do, it's a miracle, everyone here isn't sick or injured.

I'm told that in a few weeks, I'll probably get the "nerve damage tests" which are about as painful as they sound, according to coworkers who have had them before. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I've been assigned back to my old duties, answering phones, sorting and processing mail, and other misc office duties for now. The pain doesn't get any worse, but healing is slow.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I haven't blogged for awhile and will explain that later. Thought it wouldn't make a difference, but two friends who lived out of the country told me they enjoyed the blog and kept up with things through reading it. My friends are back in the USA but far away, so I'll soldier on.

My biggest recent thrill occurred while walking to work after a physical therapy appointment (ice torture) and approaching McKinley St on Bancroft in Berkeley, I came across a camel, standing on the sidewalk near an animal trailer. Looking into the trailer I spotted a miniature horse, about 3-1/2 feet tall. The camel was about 6 feet tall, at the humps. A camel in Berkeley.

Okay, here's a photo:

This is the only photo I could find of Kazzy the camel on the Lyon Farm website. She was terribly sweet and nuzzled me like a dog when I cooed to her.

Turning around from Kazzy's kisses, I saw a parking enforcement officer who had stopped her car in the middle of the street and was pointing open-mouthed, saying, "Is that a camel?" So we are witnesses for one another. An elderly neighbor came over and asked Kazzy's human, "Is she moving in to the neighborhood?"

Kazzy was accompanied by her humans as well as her mini-horse friend. They were all en route to Alta Bates Hospital to do some fun animal therapy with kids who need incentive to reach, stroke, and jump up and down in joy at seeing these lovely animals.

I hope they enjoy these creatures as much as we all did.