Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who Needs a Wake-Up Call?

I think this has possibly been the worst trip to Folsom which we've yet endured.

As you all know, Monday was prison day. No biggie, right? I should have known that the trip was ill-fated before we even left the house.

First of all, we overslept. Again. I didn't have a thing packed, didn't know which flutes I was taking, didn't know where my stuff was - in short, nothing was ready. We had hoped to get out of here early because I wanted to get some work done before I went to bed. Heh. This was the latest we've gotten out of here - almost 9:00 p.m. I couldn't find the book I wanted to use or the CD's I wanted to play, so I didn't have a lesson plan for my boys. Then there was the small matter of dinner. To make sure there was a restaurant open (I was in my traditional nighttime traveling garb - my jammies - so it had to be a drive-thru), we stopped for dinner at McDysentery's in the next town. Yummy. Then it was back on the freeway for our oh so scenic and exciting drive out to the flatlands.

We were staying at a new motel, since Chez Outhouse had jacked up their prices. The cheaper motels in town were downright scary, so we decided to fork over $10 more and stay at a LaQuinta. I've found that these can range from really crappy to sort of nice. This one was pretty nice. Our room had a balcony, a sitting area, a knitting chair with footrest (very important, especially since I could drag the lamp over), a bathroom that didn't look like it was from the 70's (and that was after remodeling), and a really comfy bed (no more springy snatch... uh... the bed, you understand). I had the saggy snatch problem corrected years ago after my hysterectomy, but I digress.

We got there a little before midnight, checked in, left a wake-up call for 6:00 a.m., and settled in. I tried to get some work done, but I wound up in the classic Yarn Goddess pose - chin laying on my ample bosom, knitting clutched firmly in my hands, and drooling like a rabid dog. Once the room came into focus, I noticed that my pay-per-view movie (Saw IV, clearly destined to be a classic) had long since ended, and Hubster was snoring like a chainsaw. In bed. Alone. So I put my knitting away, turned off the TV and all the lights (helpful soul that he is, he left everything on for me), made sure the door was locked and the "Do Not Disturb" sign was out, and crawled into bed. Ahhhhh. Comfy. I got to enjoy it for all of three hours. Or so I thought.

A little later that morning, Hubster finally got me awake. It was 6:50 a.m. Our wake-up call never came. It was only due to the static of the clock radio which I had set when we arrived that we woke up at all. I had a ciggie or ten, dragged my ass out of bed, and tried to get ready as quickly as possible. Despite my best efforts, I was still late. It was now the time I was supposed to be at the prison. So I tried to get ahold of Bill. No go. I got his voice mail. So I left a panicked message telling him I was running late but would be there and for him to call the tower to let my guys go. Mission accomplished, we headed down to the parking lot. Hubster let out a groan and said, "Ohhhhh noooooooooooooooooo". Huh?

One of our tires was as flat as my ass.

Another panicked phone call ensued. Another panicked message was left. This took a while to do since I couldn't get the damn phone to work. I hate Hubster's phone - he's had it for ten years - and I'm electronically challenged to begin with. He finally had to dial the number for me - with his work gloves on. His nice clean clothes were now covered in parking lot crap from laying on the ground and jacking up a four-ton vehicle. The only good thing was our location - we were right next to an America's Tire, and Hubster always goes to them (or did - there aren't any out here that I know of). I tried calling the prison again, but now the mailbox was full. Oh great. My boys were going to be patrolling the grounds and worrying about me.

We got into the truck and sped out to the prison. I didn't even bother asking if Bill had been to the guard shack - he was long gone if he had been - so I began the walk of death (no, not to Death Row - to the cell block). I only fell once this time, but I scraped up my toe and kept walking out of my sandals. Bad shoe choice. Note to self - do NOT wear ancient sandals anymore. I finally made it to the sally port where I was greeted by those dreaded words: "C Block is in lockdown".

"But I called!", I wailed. "They said just the Crips and Bloods were locked down!" The guard (who knows me by now and even deigns to talk to me) called over there to see what was up. In the meantime, I passed the time of day with the guard on the other side of the walkway. "Yep", he said when he got off the phone, "they're having TB testing done this morning. No duckets have gone out.". A ducket is a list of men who are to be released for a function. In other words, all classes had been cancelled. I just looked at him, said a few choice words, and began the trudge back to the truck where Hubster was waiting for a phone call from me to ensure I had actually made it inside. I had almost made it back to the main shack when this ear-piercing scream scared the shit out me. I looked all over the place, wondering if I should hit the ground, try and run (my legs freeze up from the knee down and don't work, so running is actually pretty much out of the question), get ready to fight, or what. Then I saw what had happened.

There is a large variety of wildlife in and around the prison - turkeys, deer, quail, etc. What had screamed was a peacock who had had a cat sneak up on it. There he was in full fan, that magnificent tail waving in the breeze, while the offending cat took shelter in the sewer. All you could see of the cat were his ears peeking up above the grate. That peacock stood there, turning a little this way and that, until he perceived that the danger had passed. Then he let his tail down to lay upon the ground and went back about his business. No wonder the sultans used to keep them to guard their harems! I finally made it out the gate, had the guard called Hubster so I could find the truck, and collapsed inside. Major bummer.

We went out to breakfast and then back to the room and air conditioning (it was hot already - I had forgotten just how brutal the temps in Sacramento are) where we intended to work for the rest of the day. We worked, alright - at snoring. Both of us fell fast asleep and didn't wake up until around 6:00 p.m. Bummer. Another day completely wasted. I had purchased a notebook computer to take with me so I could work on the shop while away from home. It sat there pristine and untouched. I decided to get ready for dinner and work when we got back.

Dinner was yummy, and the heat from the day finally disappeared. We sat down to work (damn, that computer is sweet), watched TV, worked some more, dozed, knit, dozed, and put in our wake-up call for 6:30 a.m. The whole reason we stayed two nights is because I had an early-morning doctor's appointment with the pain doctor. I had had to reschedule it because the dumbshit nurse had made it too far out to begin with - I would have run out of methadone (that would have been a bad scene). This time, I went to bed earlier so I could enjoy the damn thing. We both fell asleep instantly.

The next thing I knew, Hubster was shaking me awake. Once again, I didn't hear the phone. Maybe that's because it didn't ring. They never called us. The only thing that woke him up was the static from the clock radio again. Now I was late for the damn appointment at 8:45 a.m.; what's worse, they didn't begin answering their phones until 9:00 a.m., and we didn't know where the doctor had moved his office to - all we knew was that he had moved. We decided to wait until they were answering the phone, call, and explain what had happened. They were good enough to work me in so I didn't have to come back or, worse yet, stay another night. It turns out that my doctor had broken off from his partners and gone solo. I talked to him for a short time and told him what was going on with the falling and my legs not working. I'm now going to be the proud possessor of a gimp sign for my car so I don't have to walk far. It's a two-edged sword. I'm happy that I now have that privilege; on the other hand, it makes me realize that there's no turning back. The disease has progressed to the point where it's going to affect my walking for the rest of my life and isn't going to improve. I'm going to wind up being one of those nasty old ladies on a scooter with a basket full of rocks to throw at all the kids I pass.

Before we left, I called the front desk and began to bitch to the lady who answered my call about our lack of wake-up calls for two mornings in a row. She wasn't the manager but said she would comp us one night (nice) and would talk to the manager when he arrived for work. It turns out that the dude on the night shift had never entered our call either on the phone system or in the log. I hope they fire his lazy stoned ass. I bitched about it again on our way out - both managers were there, so I got a chance to give them an earful. I really just don't want that to happen to anybody else.

Back to the doctor. There was a lab right across the hall from the doctor, so I went over there to get my blood drawn (I've had these orders for months and keep forgetting to do it). Then the lady there informed me I had to do the pee in a cup gig. Sigh. I sat on that john for almost 30 minutes and succeeded only in glueing my ass to the seat. I ran the water. I dreamed of pools with waterfalls. I imagined what Tahiti must be like. I bounced up and down (partly to keep my ass from falling asleep). Hubster knocked on the door to see if I was still awake, on the floor, or just having problems. I couldn't go no matter what. The lady asked if we could come back later. Swell - that meant I had to stick around Sac for another day. I was already having trouble with the memories - we were too close to my old house, and it was beginning to take its toll. So Hubster decided to take me out to lunch, and off we set.

When we drive somewhere, he drives and I read aloud to him. It used to be the opposite: I drove and he slept. Anyway, my nose was buried in the book, and I didn't realize where we were headed. I looked up to see that we were way out by Rocklin. After asking him where the hell we were going, he remarked that he thought he could catch the freeway we needed from there. I told him nope, that we were way out by ... THE CASINO! He began giggling and grinning - he had hoped I wouldn't look up at all until we were there so he could really surprise me. I got treated to a Fatburger and a few hours of gambling. Fun! And at last, the golden waters flowed. Back to the lab, dropped off the cup, got a Jamba Juice, and hit the freeway for the ride home. Oh... I also got to go to Filati to see my old friends. I found a wonderful sock yarn I hadn't heard of before, talked briefly with Sally, and managed to find a swap pal gift. All in all, a wonderful end to the shittiest trip I've taken out there to date.

So now I'm back home recovering. We got home very late last night, so I tried to knit a little to no avail. I'm going to try and work a bit later, but I think that tonight is a knitting night while I recover. Then tomorrow, I'll be hitting the shop hard and working for the rest of the week on it to get a lot of new vendors up and reorders posted. I'll also be working all weekend on it. The Yarn Harlot is coming to a craft show across the water from me, and I was supposed to go with my buddy, but I won't be able to make it. Sigh. I just have too much to do, and the place will be swamped with people. I can't stand in line that long, so it would turn into a nightmare for me. Maybe if I ask her nicely, she'll get me an autographed copy of the book if she decides to go and wait in line. If not, there will be other opportunities. I'd like to hear the Harlot speak, and I don't know what the afternoon holds for her appearance. It's also going to be warmer this weekend, and I need to help Hubster with the jungle out front. So much to do, so little time, so very little ambition.

Before I close out this edition of the ongoing show which is my life, there's something that's been bothering me. About a week or so ago, I heard about MagKnits up and closing because of something someone on Ravelry said. I've seen this happen a couple of times already; somebody gets a wild hair up their ass and says something (or rather, starts something). Then all the women jump on the bandwagon like a bunch of rabid lemmings; they all knew it was going to happen, they all saw it coming, they all are experts on the situation, if only the person (or business) had done this or that, blah blah blah. They're not happy until they drive the person out, and then they talk about that until their teeth fall out or their fingernails drop off. It makes me sad and not at all proud to be a woman. What the hell is wrong with people, anyway? Are their lives so empty and devoid of compassion that they live only to see others suffer? Are they so jealous of another person's success that they feel compelled to destroy them? It really worries me that all it takes is a word from someone to start the ball rolling. I was afraid this would happen when Ravelry became so huge and so many groups began forming. Cliques are forming over there, and I've heard of several instances where friends of mine have been drummed out of groups because they had the audacity to speak their minds. The same is true of the yarn business; there are shop owners who are so large and powerful that both vendors and other shop owners are afraid to say anything against or about them for fear that they'll be drummed out of business. Why can't people just enjoy something without having to dominate the situation? Why do some people feel they have to get rid of people who are different? Why are some shop owners compelled to try and dominate the market instead of realizing that there are more than enough vendors - both indie and commercial - for everybody to represent? I don't understand it, and it's part of the reason I don't use Ravelry very much. I know of women who spend hours every day on there, who have logged every needle, every skein of yarn, every EVERYTHING, into every category, and if they don't, they feel like they've failed somehow. While Ravelry is a wonderful resource (and I do advertise over there and have found some wonderful vendors and made some friends), it becomes a powerful weapon if not used correctly.

Ladies, behave yourselves. The only ones you're hurting are yourselves. By getting rid of someone who has a different opinion or way of doing business, you're depriving everyone else of the privilege of knowing someone who could possibly be a good friend or teacher or business outlet. Think before you type. Put yourself in that person's place. Act like a human.

In other words, keep your fucking mouths shut unless you have something to contribute that isn't harmful to another.


Laura Neal said...

I hardly have time to be on Ravelry. I was one of the people who left a group because I was warned that my opinion offended the moderator. Uh, can you say this is America and I have freedom of speech? Or so I thought. I have a friend who is an indie dyer like myself who spends humongous amounts of time on there. I don't see what is so great about it. If I want knitting news, I read my blog roll. There are so many great ladies out there who knit and their projects inspire me. It is nice to see so many people knitting and keeping the craft alive.
Like my mom used to say, if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all.

conniecornell said...

Pam, Stephanie has a rule that anyone who needs to can cut the line, no questions asked. And all the knitters are very nice about it!