Early this past week, the temperature outside hovered around 80 and there was a moment that I considered switching on the air conditioner. Between Wednesday and Thursday, something unnatural happened to drop temperatures more than 30 degrees and to make snow fall from the sky. Despite that nonsense, there were things that made last week good. Here are some of them:
- Lunch with Steve – I met Steve a few years ago when I started working on the book that I am writing. It turns out that Steve had made contact with Marcia’s family around the same time that I did. He wanted to ask some questions for research that he was doing about blood banks. The timing of our inquiries was strange in itself, but, perhaps the strangest thing is that Steve lives less than a mile away from me. Two people, working on two different projects but involving some things in common, making contact with a person in California around the same time – and we live within blocks of each other! I still marvel at that, and I am so thankful that we have gotten to know each other and share what we are doing. Friday at lunch we talked about one of my chapters, and just about stuff in general. He has let me borrow some of his old books on transfusions and I have loved going through them and both picking out the things that are useful to my work, but also enjoying some of the oddities of medical history in them. Like this:
Yes, that is a woman cuddled up to a sheep as she is connected to it to receive its blood. It turns out that those kinds of transfusions weren’t very useful. Lunch with my friend Steve, talking and reading about transfusion … definitely a good thing!
2. The griddle – To celebrate Cinco de Mayo at work, we had Quesadilla Day. We can do that because we have a wonderful griddle that comes out on such occasions. One of my co-workers rescued the griddle before it became a part of a cleaning out donation at her house. She wondered if we might be able to use it in our office, and I firmly gave it a thumbs up! The griddle has been used on Ultimate Grilled Cheese day, Reuben Day, Pancake Day, and now Quesadilla Day.
3. Mint julep in silver cups – I have always wanted to have pretty silver mint julep cups. Last year, I found some on line at a reasonable price. By the time I got them, however, our mint supply was in bad shape. Since then, they have sitting on the shelf, waiting. Over the last few weeks, the mint is returning in force, and the running of the Kentucky Derby made for a great opportunity to initiate the cups. Getting the cups down, however, I found that the pretty shiny silver was now tarnished. The homemade method cleaning method that I found that worked like a charm was toothpaste. A little toothpaste and elbow grease cleaned beauties up. With mint, bourbon, sugar, the cups, a muddler, and the nifty ice crusher that Dan found on ebay, we toasted Orb and the other horses that ran a muddy but exciting race on Derby Day.
4. My job review – I had my job review this past week. It went well, and I had the satisfaction that those who took the time to comment on my performance think that I get my job done well. What really meant more to me, I think, was the number of people who commented that I treat people well, that I am kind, and that I always make time for others. I do try to always be kind, and I do try to be there for others. I think that it makes a difference in how I feel about the job that I am doing, and it was nice to see that others appreciate it.
5. Bernie – Dan and I watched Bernie last night. I have heard good things about this movie for awhile now, so I had it in my Netflix queue. This is based on a true incident that was reported in the pages of Texas Monthly by writer Skip Hollandsworth. Jack Black plays Bernie Tiede, the assistant funeral director in the small town of Carthage, Texas. He is pretty much adored by everyone because of his kindness and helpful disposition. In the story, Bernie befriends the town’s wealthy widow (Shirley MacLaine), who is universally disliked because she is plain mean. As their relationship goes on, it becomes more and more emotionally draining to Bernie who must always be at her beck and call. One day, he snaps and he shoots her with the armadillo gun. Matthew McConeaughey is the town district attorney who has to prosecute a man that the town, for the most part, sympathizes with and understands why he would have shot her. It is crazy entertaining and makes me love Jack Black even more than I did before.