Friday, May 1, 2009

The Past 48 Hours . . .

wherein the Matron has had opportunity to utilize all of her God-Oprah-Allah-Buddah-Universe-given talents!

Wednesday evening, she managed to LOSE the adapter for her ThinkPad T500.   This mishap pretty much reshaped her entire life the past two days.  First, she LOOKED for the damn thing.  Conveniently, this meant retracing far flung footsteps throughout South Minneapolis, east of St. Paul to Midway, to home.  Local readers will already know that this meant hours.

Abandoning all hope, the Matron purchased a universal adapter for the tune of $129 only to discover, at home, that her laptop is not universally adapted, no sirreeee.  Special as all get out, indeed.  She needed to turn to the manufacturer:  IBM. 

After spending 20 minutes in the Automated Nightmare, she got a real person who sighed and said he could not help her -- she needed to call a different 1-800.  She did, only to be instructed to go the internet to get the information she needed in order to secure said part.  All in all, she spent two hours trying to order the adapter or talk to another human being.  

She gave up.

Last night, at about 10 pm, she decided to call the 24 hour line and give it another go.  She was half-listening while waiting so wasn't quite sure what that extra fee was about?

Operator:  "Can I further torture you?"

Matron:  "What was that extra fee for ordering after hours?"

Operator:  "Three hundred and ninety-nine dollars."

Here is where the Matron had her first real, full-throttle belly laugh all day (she is NOT making up that number!).

Three hundred and ninety-nine dollars.   This added insult to injury after the day spent, flogged and quartered, at this monolith's hands. 

Yesterday also included a police photo-line up of criminals that the Matron caught--and found our fair Damsel following would-be thieves in her mini-van.  Yes!  If the laptop loss didn't suck up all her time, the Matron's newly discovered Detective Talents took the rest.

There have been a string of neighborhood burglaries, all during the day between Certain Precise Hours.   Thanks to a very active neighborhood email list and residents who have startled said thieves and posted descriptions, the Matron was on the lookout for a tall skinny African-American teen wearing black and red.

She saw him!  Standing in front of her very own house!!  As he walked by, the Matron called the police and followed the perp (that's police talk, friends) so they wouldn't lose them.   Let's consider the wisdom of this later.

The short version?  When the police stopped him, they discovered he was carrying all the mundane household items one requires on a neighborhood stroll:  several knives, leather work gloves and a screwdriver.

Later, the Matron identified his accomplice in a photo-line up.  Who knew she was so sleuthy?!

Now if only she could deploy those skills on that damn adapter!  And readers have her husband to thank for this post.   Fifteen minutes into the IBM cesspool, the Matron burst into tears when she heard the following:  "If you want to identify an ID part number, please call (insert meaningless cruel hoax number here)."  

She immediately burst into tears and asked John to take over.  Within 5 minutes he'd located two adapters on craiglist.    Two days out of her life and he did this in 5 minutes. . . . she hates him?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Reviews Are In


They could be better.  At least there was no Suckification, but Ramona -- and the rest of the child leads -- have been deemed 'functional' in one and the tepid 'appealing' in the other.  

While the Matron would have preferred a straight dose of Ramona Adulation, she guesses being 'functional' at an internationally renown theatre - at 10 -- will just have to suffice.   

She wonders what Scarlett will think when she reads them?  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's the Matter with Merrick?

In alll the excitement over HERSELF, the Matron completely forgot to post about Merrick.    Remember how last night he laid on the bathroom rug, all 'wowwied'?  

Well, he also fell asleep around 7 pm.  Unheard of.  

He slogged off to school, as depressed as if he was already had that heart monitor strapped onto his scrawny little chest.  

When the Matron picked up her young man, Merrick's teacher reported that he seemed awfully tired.

The Matron put a hand to cheek.  Fever.

Poor darling!  A three day break and the fever is back.  So back too to the doctor tomorrow.  

The Matron is pleased?  frightened?  rueful?  to acknowledge that she may have reproduced another Alarmist.  Because upon learning about Merrick's downward plunge, Stryker panicked:  "What if it's the Swine flu?  MOM.  Have you HEARD about this.  The SWINE flu is really dangerous!"

There was real fear in his voice.

The Matron remembers being a child/teen, cowering before the unseen horrors of the world, horrors that were real and could potentially harm her -- horrors over which she had no control.  She remembers fearing (sorry some of you) Ronald Regan's hand on the nuclear button, lack of adequate oil, world war wrought by hostage situation in Iran and--and the complete collapse of the nation during Watergate.

M.A.T.R.O. so dated N.

Of course, Stryker would have none of the comfort she immediately swooped up and handed over.   He's a 12 year old boy.  Of course he shrugged and was all "i'm fine dont worry."  But she's still going to dish out extra love and comfort -- for both of her boys! 

Blethic . . . And a dose of Swine Flu Fever

Yesterday, the Matron had 165 readers.   She adores and relies on each and every one of you!   Some people write for themselves and will write, regardless.  Not her.  She writes for readers.   Knowing her prose actually lands somewhere makes her happy!  

A scultper once asked her if she had to choose what writing brought her, what would it be:  fame or money.

Fame.  No hesitation.

With that, he declared her an artist.  Why?  Because artists want people to engage with their work.  What good does that painting do if nobody ever sees it?  Same with the Word.  That hugely insightful essay isn't making a difference in someone's life if it's just stuck on your laptop.  But post something on a blog or magazine or somewhere-and who knows?!  You just might make a difference --- or brighten or complicate or confuse -- one person's life.

That's why the Matron loves this place so much!   Here's a spot created just for ordinary folk-uh, women--to spill the beans, spread the love or share their wisdom!  A lovely little cyber world where writing can meet reader -- even if it's not mass publishing, there's a ripple in the world, nonetheless.

Anyway, emboldened by her blog's steady upward growth (even though she knows the relationship is now sorely one-sided!  She just hasn't a minute to visit these days) the Matron has decided to add the "followers" widget to her blog, per dear Suburban's advice.  

And if you haven't shuttled over to the Women's Colony, please do.  Trust her.   It's the perfect place for a big piece of pie, unbuttoned pants and a cup of coffee. . . .Wait!  The Women's Colony might be safe from the global pandemic?  The Matron might have to move in.

Just so that Global Pandemic fears never fully leave her psyche, the Matron has secured a site that tracks its progress, death by death!    Isn't she so much fun at parties?!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pushing Ahead Full-Throttle

The Matron doesn't even need to take this online quiz. She knows what she is. Indeed, approximately one quarter of her very fine brain consists of the very unique Hypochondriacal Lobe.

She knows some of you have one. Bless you, sisters.

So the Lobe is lubed, friends. She of the delicate Implant is already constantly on guard against the dreaded Pressure on Tooth, Gum Disease or General tooth Could Potentially Fall Out any Second Problem.

Then there's this.

The whole issue of little Merrick-Man's visit with the pediatric cardiologist. Why is there always good news and bad news? The good news is that his little pumper looks fine! The ultrasound showed all clogs and kluges (arteries and veins and such) formed and flowing perfectly.

But his little rat-a-tat-tat? That odd gallop? In most people, 2-3% of total heartbeats are irregular. If the heart beats irregularly for 10% of its beats or more? Then it's a problem. And Merrick's little blips were pretty persistent. So Thursday, he gets a heart monitor for 24 hours!

This has caused that child no end of anxiety. (remember to transcribe those L's and R's into W's)

"Wiww it huwt?"

"Can I swim?"

"Can I wun?"

"Can I eat?"

"Can I stiww sweep naked?"

He really Truly, Madly, Deeply (oh my GOD -- see that movie if you haven't) does not want those wires attached to his chest. He would have none of the cardiologist's "oh you're going to be the coolest cat at school" pitch.

His presence during the entire two hour visit was solemn, suspicious and nearly wordless. Tonight, that child took the Matron's heart in his hands and winnowed it to putty. He laid on the rug in the bathroom, held his tummy and said: "I am wowwied about my heawt."

And this broke the Matron's, because she has been very very careful to play this whole issue light and mark the tests to precaution (because her rational brain, which dictates behavior around children (except the preteen) says this is true -- it's nothing).

Now if this isn't enough to keep the Hypochondriacal Lobe humming along (it works on her children too, even if it must try to fly under the radar), there's that dratted Global Pandemic. She doesn't care if the word isn't official: the word has landed on her ears, thus on the Lobe and therefore, Fuel Eternal.

So she is not making this juice up. She's at CVS waiting for a prescription and within a 10 minute time span, three people walk in looking for Tamaflu and surgical masks. There were none.

But this gave the Matron pause. She hadn't considered Preparation.

What if there's a run on homeopathic flu remedies? And if Kimchi cured Bird Flu? Well! Pigs are just a stone's throw in genetic structure (or so goes the Lobe). Really -- have you looked hard at a bird and a pig lately? There are just a few feathers between them.

Standing in line at CVS and watching the first stirrings of the masses' panic, the Matron knew that if she couldn't get mask and Tamaflu, she must immediately STOCK UP on Oscillococcinum and Kimchi.

This is the part of the story where she's on the cell phone to John and he says, "Please tell me you didn't. Fermented cabbage?"

She did.

Oddly, there was ooodles and ooooodles of homepathic potential and life-saving cabbage on the shelves of Whole Foods. The Matron was expecting police and riot gear. But the copious amounts of supply and query by the cashier: "Wow, your family must really be sick" led the Matron to believe that, just once, she beat everybody to the punch. Is leading the way.

She even managed to feel smug, beating the masses. Don't come knocking at her door when you are mourning your cabbage status!