Commonplace Book

First lines

Some first lines are very well known, i.e.

“It is a truth universally acknowledge that young man in posession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife.” – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

“Call me Ishmael.” – Moby Dick, Herman Melville

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” – Mrs. Dalloway (duh), Virginia Woolf

And so on.

I’d never ran across this one:

“On top of everything, the cancer wing was Number 13.” – Cancer Ward, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Apologies if I mucked up any quotes; the only one I checked was from Cancer Ward.

Current book-in-progress: Middlemarch (still, I recently heard this described as a soap opera and I agree; however, characters have yet to come back from the dead – played by a completely different actor)
Current knitted item: Guess I’m back to blue socks
Current movie obsession: The Muppet Show season 2!!!! Oh yeah baby!

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black cloud · random · rant

If I went crazy no one would blame me.

And if you do, I’ll kick your butt. I mean it, I’ll be crazy.

Insurance adjusters (particularly the one I’m dealing with) are scum. This one also happens to be stupid. And selectively vision-challenged. And rude. And not particularly interested in maintaining good relations with clients. AAA is going to get an earful.

I’m about to be screwed 110 different ways over this car accident (and also, by extension, my parents as well because they are nice people who try to help out thier kids). I love it. I get plowed into at a red light and I’m the one who’s going to take it up the rear, if you get my drift.

IRB is officially pissing me off. Usually it’s only informal irritation.

I watched some movies this weekend because that’s all I could concentrate on. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix released so yay. Watched a 1982 production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon starring Jennifer Penny and Anthony Dowell (now Sir Anthony). Manon is not generally a ballet that I like, there’s far too much exposition between the major points of action, but the redeeming quality of this performance is to watch Anthony Dowell dance; he has the most beautiful ballet line, Royal Ballet trained all the way, and such beautiful control in the adagio. Unfortunately, he’s been retired for the last 20 years, so I have to watch on DVD. Sigh. I also slogged through The Squid and the Whale which is a short movie, but absolutely excruciating in the way that the film is so truthful. Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels are excellent and the actors playing the kids are very good as well. A well-made movie.

Current book-in-progress: Middlemarch
Current knitted item: Christmas sock #2 is mostly done
Current movie obsession: Harry Potter #5

black cloud · too much work

STRESS!!!!!!

Anymore these days, when I get really stressed out it all goes to my stomach. It gets upset, doesn’t want to digest anything, etc. etc. The worst part is that it will growl for food then pretend there’s no room for food because of all the acid reflux. Prevacid is wonderful.

I’m stressed because we’re starting a new clinical trial Monday. And I have to consent every admit to both units because the trial is at the unit level, but the patients have to consent so we can access their medical record. And I have to keep all the product stocked on both units. And answer all the questions. And do all the ICU unit surveillance (which really ought to be done by the medical staff). And do whatever random crap the boss asks for. Sigh. It really stinks because there are three RAs and I feel like everything gets dumped on me because the other two have a tendency to mess stuff up (which brings up the other question of why they’re still working for us, but don’t get me started). The clinical trial really is a good thing because we’re trying to do good things for patients but it is very labor intensive. All my labor. No one else’s.

And…I’m stressed because I got rear-ended two days ago, right when we were finishing the inservices for the clinical trial. If you haven’t heard this story, truth can be stranger than fiction. The guy who rear-ended me was driving a big, old pickup, so lots of damage to my car, minimal damage to his, and he plowed into me at a red light. I couldn’t even accelerate to get out of the way. The cop was going to cite him and let him go until I pointed out the guy had been driving about 20mph in a 40mph zone without headlights before he hit me (this was about 6pm, so it was dark out). So the cop asked me to wait in my car and went to talk to him again. Then another cop showed up and they gave the guy a sobriety test. Then an ambulance showed up and took the guy to the hospital (I was thinking, “Damn, that guy got wasted pretty fast”).

This is when it starts getting really weird.

I realized that both cops left in the ambulance with the two paramedics. WTF? Then this other woman got out of the front seat of the second squad car – she had witnessed the guy side-swiping a vehicle up the road and the cops brought her down to my accident to identify the offending vehicle. So the cops left us there at the scene of an accident. By ourselves. After about 5 minutes a third cop showed up to sort us out. Then he realized that my ID, registration, and insurance had gone off to the hospital with my responding officer and the guy’s paperwork was left in the squad car (brilliant). So I got sent on my way (1 hour late for my shift at the bookstore) with assurances that my paperwork would be returned to me shortly.

Ha.

At 9:30pm I had to call dispatch and remind them to send my identification (I mean, what the hell was going on?). So my responding officer showed up right before we closed. Turns out the guy who hit me had a stroke while the cops were administering the sobriety test – holy crap. When I pointed out that he had left two women alone at an accident scene with two empty squad cars (one unlocked and running), he was completely dismissive of my concerns that something could have happened – we had adequate warmth and he didn’t think it was neccessary to tell us both officers were leaving and another squad car was on the way. So long story short, I got really pissed off and compained to his watch commander. Now, Sgt. Clarahan was understanding of my concerns, which mostly centered around his having abandonded the victim and witness of an accident scene with no information whatsoever and then being rude when compained to; so we worked that out without having to go up the food chain.

So…gah! My car, the new car I’ve only had for maybe six months (that we got a really great deal on), has about $3000 damage. Luckily, none to the frame. I’ll let the insurance companies duke it out.

Current book-in-progress: I finished Why We Read What We Read so just Middlemarch and Idylls of the King
Current knitted item: I went back to the blue sock because I don’t have to concentrate on it (I turned the heel last night).
Current movie obsession: Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead

new books (yay)

Hi, my name is…

…and I might have an addiction to books.

Employee Appreciation Days is here at the bookstore and I bought a ton of books. Nevermind that it’s Christmas – I bought gifts, too, so I’m not a total book hog. I’d been coveting The Knitter’s Book of Yarn so that went in the bag as well as a couple of other knitting books (Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch, Sensual Knits, and The Best of Interweave Knits); also bought The Pillars of the Earth in a non-Oprah format, The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Raintree County (thanks to Ilana for bringing that one to my attention), the 80th anniversary edition of The House at Pooh Corner, and Artist to Artist (a book that collects samples of art from children’s book illustrators – and a letter from each artist – explaning their art to children, but I think it’s good for adults, too; besides, the proceeds benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art).

Oh, and presents. My nieces are spoiled.

I might have a problem.

Current book-in-progress: I’m almost done with Why We Read What We Read, still working on Middlemarch
Current knitted item: Christmas stocking
Current movie obsession: Angels in America is so awesome