Saturday, February 10, 2018

I better not get the flu.

Most colds have an incubation period of 3-5 days. Today marks exactly THREE days since I was in the emergency room waiting room visiting someone dear who'd been admitted for an emergency appendectomy.

I've been sniffling all day and I can't tell if I'm about to get slammed with whatever these people had or my nose is just being weird.

There was NO ONE in the waiting room but us and they were standing RIGHT next to me, coughing and sneezing and generally spraying the plague in my direction. They were all wearing masks, which hospital personnel confirmed, "Anytime someone comes in exhibiting flu symptoms, we make them wear that." (We'll find out soon enough if that works or it's just a big cloth placebo.)

How come, given an entire waiting room that was empty and open, people flocked right over to me? It happened ALL night. Especially the sickest of the sick. They wouldn't even sit, because that would mean they couldn't get close enough to me. NO, they chose to stand right next to me so we were almost touching arms. I got up and moved once and that was awkward, but seriously.

There was an entire inviting cavernous expanse of space full of chairs and sofas with which to writhe to one's heart's content, why throw all that away just to STAND next to the only other person in the waiting room? I don't understand.

If I get sick, I'm going to be pissed. I can't miss work next week, it'd be a terrible time to be out. Two weeks from now I can probably schedule a good flu, but not right now.

Wandering around the hospital, one notices things:

I didn't see anyone using these hand sanitizing stations
but us but at least they were there.
"Nourishment" -- I guess they couldn't quite bring themselves to call it "food":

When the hospital doesn't have a marketing arm:
"What should we call what's behind this door?"
"The kitchen?"
"Well, is what's in here really food?"
"Good point..."
On the hospital menu. I kind of feel like if you need your corn muffin pureed, can't you just wait until you can actually eat it? Is it really that urgent?

Pureed Diet menu.
The first item is one big giant breakfast shake that comes in a bucket.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Slippery ad lingo

How many minutes does it take before location advertising should not say "within minutes"?

"Within minutes to the beach!"

"Within minutes to the metro!"

"Within minutes of the airport!"

When they say "within minutes," I think they mean less than 10 minutes but it seems they mean up to 59 minutes.

That is not within minutes!! It's within an hour!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Travel planning...

Sheesh, a "bomb cyclone"? Not the best timing for a trip, maybe. "Ooh, let's go right to that little patch of red danger zone in N.J.!"

I can TELL that you didn’t check it.

Me (at car repair shop): "Please look specifically at the windshield fluid tank. I tried to fill it up and it all leaked out so something must be wrong."

Shop: "Yep, we'll be sure to check."


Shop: "Your car is ready!"

Me: "Did you check the windshield fluid reservoir?"

Shop: "Yeah, it was fine."

Me: "Are you sure? I dumped a whole bottle of fluid in it yesterday and it all immediately leaked out right at my feet."

Shop: "Yeah, no idea why it would do that. It was fine."

Me: "Can I talk to the mechanic who checked the car?"

Shop: "He's gone. And anyway it's fine. Just come pick it up."

Me: "Can I come tomorrow when he's in?"

Shop: "Um, okay."

Me to hubby (installing inner Jersey Girl): "I know they didn't check it. Why would it suddenly be fixed?? I'm going there with a giant jug of water tomorrow and pouring it into the tank right in front of them! I want to see if it leaks out."

Next day:

Me (holding giant jug of water): Hi, I'm here for my car. Can I talk to the mechanic?

Shop: "Uh, okay... one second..."

5 minutes later: "Huh... funny thing. Turns out that the windshield fluid tank IS cracked after all. So weird!"

I knew it! Do not test the Jersey girl!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Another convo at work

Friend: At 1:30 I have my yearly appraisal meeting, in which I display the blackmail pictures I have of everyone in my office, thus allowing me to continue to be employed. 

Me: I hope you brought in the gorilla suit so you are properly dressed.

Friend: For this one, a clown suit is more appropriate.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Day 1: The day you find out

You get the call, your breath catches in your throat. You're shocked. You keep saying "no" and waiting for the "haha, just kidding, no one died" but they never do.

It's real.


What to do?

They're pulled over on the side of the road trying to breathe and you are 30 minutes away, but you say "I'll come get you" and start walking to your car.

They collect themselves and say okay, okay, I think I can drive home.

You say okay, if that changes, I'll come.

You walk back into the house, lead anvil in your chest.

You start calling family. You reach someone. You lose composure the instant they answer. This is alarming, because now they think the exact same thing you thought when you first got that phone call 15 minutes ago (that your loved one was in a ditch bleeding). You want to reassure them that you're okay but you're crying too hard to get the words out. F*ck.

You make more phone calls, sobbing uncontrollably, but the second time you have to say the words "___ died" you can at least get exactly two words, and not one more, out at once without gasping.

After you get off the phone, your brain begins playing an instant slideshow of every moment you had with the person who died. And then every moment you were supposed to have together.

Your sweetie will come home.

You will cling to each other and sob.

You pack a bag. You don't know how long you will stay. You'll pack all the wrong things anyway because it won't occur to you to check the forecast.

It's bedtime, and you're exhausted, and in a state, and a little scared by the grip grief has on you.

You'll cry all night. You'll cry yourself to sleep, you'll sleep 1 half cycle and wake up crying. You'll fall back asleep and wake up crying again. This will happen for a few wretched hours.

You'll have weird dreams, dreams like the deceased getting a brand new car that she was supposed to get as a present but never saw. This isn't something that happened in real life but your brain will make it up as a metaphor for all the missed chances.

This will all suck just as much as you imagined, and even more.

When you finally rise to face your horrid new reality, you won't recognize yourself in the mirror. Your eyes will nearly be swollen shut. You shrug. I guess I'll just be ugly now, you think.

You'll leave the dishes in the sink and drive.

You'll arrive at your father-in-law's house. He's in shock. You all drive to the funeral home. No one knows what happens next, so you go to the place where they've done this before.

You get out of the car and break down when you walk into the funeral home.

You'll turn away, embarrassed at your awful social skills. Whatever. This is your life now. Not only are you now ugly, but also rude.

The funeral director walks you through what needs to happen next.

When do you want to have the funeral? The clock is ticking. Where should it be? What cemetery? Do you have a plot? Let's make an appointment with the cemetery, you can go there next.

The funeral director will talk about everything from the release forms you must sign to transfer your loved one from the hospital where they died to the funeral home, to the difference between an obituary and a death notice.

You look at the line items.

It will cost more to run a death notice ($300/day) than have a limo take you from the funeral to the cemetery ($150) during the service.

You'll spend 4 hours numbly talking logistics.

On the table are breath mints and tissues.

The furniture in the funeral home is just as old, dark and depressing as you'd imagine funeral home furniture to be.

Why didn't you order pizza? You're suddenly starving and dying of thirst.

(This is good practice, however, because you'll spend the next three days at appointments like this.)

You drive mechanically from the funeral home to the cemetery appointment.

A "family services counselor" discusses plots and pricing with you in skillfully sensitive ways.

They avoid referencing all the buried bodies and instead refer to regions of the cemetery as "occupied."

You learn that it's not enough to buy a casket, but that you have to buy a "liner" too. Otherwise the earth sinks in and the ground cannot be made level. Liners are thick AF. Some are "moisture proof" but those cost more.

You can pay as much as you want for a casket and a liner. The cheapest option is a pine box for $700.

The fanciest caskets will cost $10k but a decent, average one is about $3,500. (Later, in a dark mood, you will search Amazon and find the same one for half price. The pine box is available in a do-it-yourself kit for $350).

Eventually everything is done for the day and you leave and get into the back seat. Your phone battery is on 2%.

Everyone has been texting you to see if you're okay. You don't know what to say. "Hanging in there," you write, wanting to be honest but not too TMI.

And that is day 1.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Unwitting observance

Celebrating Yom Kippur unwittingly. Observance involves the following 5 conditions, which can be met either on purpose for holiday practice, OR by accident, when planning a funeral. #sucks #starving

. . .

The traditions are as follows:

  1. No eating and drinking
  2. No wearing of leather shoes
  3. No bathing or washing
  4. No anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions
  5. No marital relations

A parallel has been drawn between these activities and the human condition according to the Biblical account of the expulsion from the garden of Eden.[9] Refraining from these symbolically represents a return to a pristine state, which is the theme of the day. By refraining from these activities, the body is uncomfortable but can still survive. The soul is considered to be the life force in a body. Therefore, by making one's body uncomfortable, one's soul is uncomfortable.[9] By feeling pain one can feel how others feel when they are in pain.[10] This is the purpose of the prohibitions.

(Sent from my phone)