As you all know, Monday was prison day. Because of the bad wake-up call service, we were going to bring our own alarm clock. It didn't quite work out that way - we left the thing at home. When we got to the hotel, we tried to call down to the front desk to place a call order and found that the phones weren't working. Oh goodie. That meant I had to rely on the clock radio on the nightstand to wake me up. I made sure that the station was coming in good and clear, set the alarm, and turned the thing up full blast. I finally got to sleep around 2 a.m. and slept the sleep of the dead.
At 6 a.m., the radio went off. I actually heard it and woke Hubster up. I then promptly fell back asleep, waking up at 7:30 a.m. Swell. Two hours on the phone then ensued, with me calling everyone from the watch commander to the lieutenant to the sergeant to the warden himself, trying to get the class released. They finally told me to come in, send in a list of men, and they would release them. Yay!
I hurried to get ready and took off for the prison. Mind you, it was already 80 degrees. The chaplain was on vacation, so I had to trudge all the way in. Everything was fine until I was one cell block away. That's when the first incident happened.
I suddenly found myself sprawled face-first in the gravel with my ass sticking up in the air.
That was bad enough, but a guard drove right past me without stopping to see if I was okay. So I had to pick myself up, brush off all the gravel, and continue my trudge. I made it to the cell block, checked in, and entered the yard. My guys weren't anywhere in sight, so I had to navigate through about 300 men, all of them wanting to come up to me and say good morning. I think it was the sundress that did it. I made it to the chapel, got inside, and no more than a minute later, someone banged on the door. It was one of my guys. Word had gone around the yard that I was there and made it to him; he then hotfooted it to the chapel. This all happened in less than two minutes. Amazing.
As it turned out, none of my guys had been inside the chapel for over two weeks because of the chaplain being gone. So we got the names, gave it to someone, and he took off for the watch commanders' office to turn it in. No problem, right?
It wouldn't have been, except the guards decided to call a count, which meant that the yard had to be cleared. That meant that my guys were returned to their cells and not allowed to come to my class. So I had two of my guys in the office with me. No class, but we sat around and bullshitted for a couple of hours. Then I had to leave to go to the doctor's. One of them stayed behind to do some work; the other walked me out to the door. That's when the second incident happened.
The alarm went off, the inmates all hit the ground, and the guards all went charging across the yard with machine guns, the medics went running with medical supplies, a litter was carried to bring out a body, and I didn't know what the hell to do. So I hit the ground along with everyone else. That's when a guard approached me and asked whose cane I was holding on to (the guy who walked me out walks with one and offered it to me so I could lower to the ground). He thought that the guy I was with was trying to take it from me or something. I told him it wasn't mine, whereupon the guard invited me to come stand in the shade with those who were watching the yard. He also said I didn't have to be with "them". I thanked him and said I was quite comfortable. It turns out that I don't have to hit the ground when the alarm sounds - I just have to hug the wall and walk to the exit door. I wanted to see what was going on. Apparently someone got killed in the dayroom - probably stabbed - but I had to leave before I saw a body come out. Yeah... I've got a sick and twisted sense of adventure.
Walking out wasn't as bad as walking in, even though the temperature had now climbed to about 93. It was horrible. But I made it, climbed into the truck, and off we set for the doctor.
(this is where the title really makes sense)
I didn't have to wait in the waiting room very long and was taken to a room to wait for the doctor. The usual stuff was taken - blood pressure (102/60), pulse, etc. I talked to the gal who did all this and told her why I was there (I was ordered to come in), and settled down to read a magazine while I waited. That's when it happened.
One minute, I was reading about Brooke Shields; the next minute, I was face-first on the ground with my right cheek pressed against the floor, my legs tangled up in the chair, and my ass sticking straight up in the air with the chair still glued to it. And I couldn't get out no matter what I did. It HURT. So I began to scream for help. Nobody heard me for almost five minutes; then, I heard the doctor saying "What is that?". I yelled some more, she opened the door and saw me, yelled, "Oh my god, someone help!" (there's a doctorly reaction), and she and the nice lady I was talking to earlier began to pull on the chair. Oh no no no no. I yelled some more and began to cry. It took both of them almost five minutes to untangle my legs from the chair. I had to have my sandals pulled off. Then it took both of them to lift me off the floor into the now upright chair. Shit. My knees were already turning black and blue, and it hurt like hell to even move. I asked my doctor for a handicapped placard, and she didn't even quibble. I couldn't have tangled myself up at a better time. You know how they say that the couple of days after an accident are the worst? They're right, whoever "they" are. I can barely move, and my knees are a lovely shade of deep blue and purple. They're also swollen and filled with fluid. I'm such a glamor gal.
So now, on the eve of the big 50, I'm officially a gimp. At least I'll get really good parking spots and can probably drive right up to the cell block. There are benefits. But then the dreaded piece of mail arrived:
My AARP invitation.
I've been expecting it but, even so, expecting it and actually getting it are two different things. I'm now a sort of proud member of AARP. I get senior citizen discounts on all kinds of things.
Just shoot me now, would you?
Some good news arrived today. I got my anklet (it's turquoise pillows with multi-colored jade, crystals, and silver sunflowers hanging down), and a very large crate from Golding Fiber Tools of Vermont. I've been expecting both, but it's the crate I was dying to open. The thing is about 3'x2'x2.5'. Hubster had to unscrew several screws to take off the lid. And there, sitting on the bottom and filling the entire crate, was this:
Here's the carving work on the whorl.
This thing weighs a ton, so I don't have to clamp it to a table to use it. You don't have to put any tension on the yarn coming off the swift; in fact, the instructions say not to. There are two extra belts which are stored on the bottom of it. I can't wait to use it, so I might just wind some skeins tonight. Tom Golding, who made this marvel of machinery (all out of black walnut), is also going to make me a custom spinning wheel with three bobbins on it (two for spinning, one for plying). I put down a deposit to hold my space. The wheel will be designed in 2013. Yep. You read it right. He's booked that far in advance. And when I say designed for me, that's exactly what I mean. We'll collaborate and decide on a design that's all my own. It will have something to do with a Native American shield - probably with eagle feathers and birds of prey carved on the spokes of the wheel, the mother of all, and the top knob. Take a look at his site - it's his DPN's that I use and adore. As for knitting, all my orders are filled, so I'm going to rest my aching legs and knees and knit for the evening, too.
So that's what I've been up to. Next week, I get to go to the DMV for a new driver's license (and the gimp sign), go to Mom's to celebrate her 71st birthday, and hopefully go to a new knitting group I've been invited to join. Then the following Monday, it's the big day. Sigh.
I hope I'm able to celebrate without my ass waving in the breeze.