Dixie Peach: February 2009

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Getting Nowhere Fast Edition

We still haven't gotten anywhere with the new wheelchair for B thing. Remember how Mr. Medical Supply promised he'd call by the end of the week to let us know what was going on after he had an opportunity to give the health insurance company the information they'd requested? Information like how old B's current push wheelchair is? I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that he didn't call by by the end of last week. And as of yesterday he still hadn't called so B called Mr. Medical once again. This guy hasn't called us back ever. If he says he'll call back you can be sure he won't.

Anyway Mr. Medical said he still hadn't heard anything from the insurance company and when B suggested that he'd like to call the insurance company's state headquarters, Mr. Medical said that B should call the local branch here in Magdeburg. B did call the office here and I wasn't even vaguely surprised to hear the clerk say that there was no file on record for B requesting a new push wheelchair. While we waited she tried to reach another person at the state headquarters office to see if there was a file for B there and the lady who would handle it wasn't there. We got the number for the lady at the headquarters and called her this morning. And I doubt you'll be surprised to hear that she didn't have a file for this case either. I was, however, mildly shocked when, after giving this woman a rundown of all that's been going on since September she replied that the insurance company wouldn't even ask how old B's current push wheelchair is. Mr. Medical had told us more than once that it was one the primary pieces of information that he needed to supply to the insurance company.

Right now I can't decide on what irks me the most - the fact that Mr. Medical Supply has done nothing to get B his wheelchair or the fact that he repetedly lies to us. He's lied to us about when he'll be in touch with us again, he lies about what sort of contact he's had with the insurance and he lies about why things are taking so long. Why lie about anything? Why not just get B his wheelchair?

The lady at the insurance company said she'd call the medical supply company herself to see what is going on and that if the supply company didn't call us by the end of Monday that we should call her Tuesday.

I know it's not good to wish ill upon others but to me it wouldn't be wishing ill as much as saving others from being jerked around if at the end of all this Mr. Medical Supply got fired. I'd say that he perhaps should become Mr. Ditch Digger but why have an incompetent liar make the other ditch diggers look bad?

Let's shuffle.
  1. Magnificent - U2
  2. Far Pavillions - ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
  3. Good Lovin' - The Rascals
  4. The Ballad Of John Henry - Joe Bonamassa
  5. Fingertips, Part 2 - Stevie Wonder
  6. Laisse tomber les filles - April March
  7. Sleepless - The Decemberists
  8. Oh No - Andrew Bird
  9. The Song Remains The Same - Led Zeppelin
  10. There's A Place - The Beatles

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flaming Lips

It's a bit sad to me when I get a gift that I thought I really, really wanted and end up not enjoying so much. All that effort and expense that someone put out to get me what I asked for and in the end it sits on a shelf, unappreciated and unloved. This doesn't happen terribly often but when it does I actually feel sorry for the shunned object.

Fletcher the iPod in no way fits into this category. I love him. He is with me at all times. Not only can I tote around with me so much more music than I could when I used Bixente the iPod but now I can carry with me podcasts. Until now podcasts had to be enjoyed by me while I sat at my computer and often I wouldn't bother with them because it's hard to write when someone's chatting in my ear. Now when I'm doing chores or running errands I'm as likely, if not more, to be listening to a podcast as I am listening to music. Podcasts fit my love of hearing stories and learning an amazing amount of trivia.

Last week I heard on the This American Life podcast a fascinating story of a boy who, nearly 100 years ago, went missing in a swamp in Louisiana and was later found. Two families claimed this boy to be theirs but the wealthier family ended up with the boy. Later the descendents did research to find who this boy really belonged to. As I shopped for groceries I was completely hooked into that tale. has a bunch of podcasts that keep me entertained and I've learned all sorts of trivia about redheads, going over Niagra Fall in a barrel, the Jefferson Bible, the Spanish Inquisition, medieval torture devices, moonshine and so on as I clean the toilet or go fetch bread at the bakery. National Public Radio has a treasure trove of podcasts. There are podcasts about books, movies, music, politics, food and my favorite is Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me - an on air game show about the previous week's news events. And it's the one that caused me a bit of trouble tonight.

Tonight as I listened to the latest episode of Wait, Wait... I was making Spanish rice for supper and in my distraction I seem to have spooned in way too much cayenne pepper. The first bite wasn't so bad but as I ate more my mouth began to burn to the point where I'm surprised that my tongue and palate aren't blistered. My eyelids were sweating.

Maybe I should email and suggest they do a podcast about how hot peppers work.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Low Battery Edition

B was sick during the night. Some stomach ailment - it's better now but I wasn't able to get to sleep until nearly 5am. I can't ever sleep when he's very sick. I get worried that he'll need me and not be able to wake me up so when he's sick I sit up with him until I'm certain he's sleeping okay or he's feeling better. Last night had me curled up next to him listening to podcasts. I'm sleep deprived but am much more knowledgeable about Franklin Roosevelt, precocious puberty and how one becomes a squatter.

Fletcher the iPod and I are low on energy so let's get on with the shuffle.
  1. Wandering By - The Bishops
  2. Around Again - Five Way Friday
  3. Gloria - Them
  4. In The Morning - Razorlight
  5. Streets of Bakersfield - Dwight Yoakam with Buck Owens
  6. Hold Tight! - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (The best part of watching Death Proof)
  7. I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
  8. Consoler Of The Lonely - The Raconteurs
  9. Send Her An Angel - Jackson Waters
  10. Heavy - Collective Soul


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jumping Through Hoops

Waking up to a cloudless, sunshiny sky when I was expecting snow or at least some sort of depressing overcast nonsense had me up and ready to head out the door in record time. Why hang around home when you can go shopping for stuff you're not going to buy?

First though my husband needed to call the guy at the medical supply shop. B's been trying to get a new push wheelchair since....I don't know. Like October or November. Go dig back in my archives if you really want to know because I'm sure I mentioned it when we first started the process. Here's how the process goes. Mr. Medical Supply comes over and finds a push wheelchair that will suit B's needs - in other words one that will comfortably accommodate his 6'4" long body and will fold up so I don't have a big ass wheelchair cluttering up our flat. I already have one of those, thanks, and don't need another. Then B gets a prescription for the wheelchair from the doctor, gives it to Mr. Medical Supply who then gives it to the insurance company with some paperwork. The insurance company says yes or no or asks for more information, Mr. Medical Supply gives it to them, they approve it, chair is ordered, delivered and the old push wheelchair we have that's currently in my way because it's so ancient it will no longer fold up is taken away. I get that there's going to be lag time but shit fire, we're halfway through February now. I sent the prescription to Mr. Medical Supply long ago - I think it was even before the Christmas market opened. We waited for a couple weeks and then B called Mr. Medical Supply to ask for an update. He asked how old B's current push chair is because the insurance company asked why B needed this specific wheelchair and how old his current one was. B told Mr. Medical that he'd had the push chair since around 1991 or 1992. And then we waited. We waited over Christmas and we waited over January and when we were staring down the middle of February B decided to call Mr. Medical again.

B called him last Monday. Mr. Medical said he needed to check his paperwork and would call back during the week. After no return call B called him again yesterday. Mr. Medical said he'd call between 5pm and 6pm. No call again and B called him back this morning. Mr. Medical apologized and admitted that the paperwork for this situation had been neglected but he'd heard from the insurance company and they wanted to know why B needed this specific chair and needed to know how old B's current push chair was.

Excuse me. Did I just get sucked back into time ten weeks?

B gave him the information again and Mr. Medical assured B that he'd call back during the week. I hung up the phone and went berserk. That lying SOB! Acting like he'd just heard from the insurance company and hadn't already asked B these questions. This guy has completely ignored this and I reckon if we hadn't called the paperwork would have sat on his desk until the end of time. It pisses me off no end how handicapped people are treated as if they're too stupid to know that they're being dicked around and that they're too timid to speak up for themselves and it pisses me off no end that people can't do their jobs properly. You sell medical equipment. Wouldn't you be better paid if you...oh I don't know...maybe sold some effing medical equipment to someone who's asking for it?

My idea for handling the situation was to go over Mr. Medical Supply's head and get his supervisor involved or me simply shoving my size 7 shoe up his ass. B's idea is to tell Mr. Medical Supply that B will contact the insurance company directly because if he talks to them they'll want to know why Mr. Medical hasn't already resolved this and will contact the manager thereby getting Mr. Medical's ass in a sling in a way that can't be ignored.

So then I went out into the sunshiny day and bought some white and purple tulips to celebrate the impending ass kicking of Mr. Medical Supply.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Flowers and Music Edition

At the risk of pissing off some of you, I have to say that I don't understand folks who foam at the mouth at the mere mention of Valentine's Day. It's an optional day. Celebrate it or don't but if you don't celebrate it or feel any sort of need to be especially romantic with your partner on that day or if you don't have a partner at all, why get hacked off at the rest of us who like Valentine's Day? Why tell us we're wasting our time, wasting our money, and are being slaves to the candy, flower, and greeting card companies? Some of us like to do something a little extra for our sweethearts on that particular day. There's no need for y'all to be pissing in our Wheaties. I never got to be a mother and never will. Is that an excuse for me to get all wound up about Mother's Day and throw a wet blanket on the celebrations others are having? Of course not. If you don't celebrate Valentine's Day because you just don't care for it or because you don't have anyone with whom to celebrate it that's fine, but if you begrudge the rest of us enjoying that day, please unknot your underpants before they become wedged in your colon.

Wow. I don't know where that came from. I didn't start out with that little rant in mind but I have to say that I feel better for having let it out. Thank you for indulging me!

Time for some picture magic. The daffodils I bought today here seen at about 2pm. Roll your cursor over them to see them as they appeared at 8pm.

They're the flowers B instructed me to get for myself for Valentine's Day. I think he had something a little more fancy and traditional for Valentine's Day in mind but I liked the price tag on these - three euro. Hey - I'd rather take the money I saved and spend and hour poking around the iTunes store. I may be romantic but I'm also practical.

Speaking of iTunes, it's time for Fletcher to shuffle.
  1. Atlantic City - The Hold Steady
  2. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  3. Whip In My Valise - Adam Ant
  4. Thunder Island - Jay Ferguson
  5. I Made A Mess Of This Town - Scott Miller & The Commonwealth
  6. The Rake's Song - The Decemberists (Fletcher shuffled this up out of habit - I haven't been able to stop listening to this song for a week now.)
  7. While You Wait - Mark McAdam
  8. Satisfaction Guaranteed - The Firm
  9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
  10. Instant Karma! - John Lennon


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Please pardon my absence. You didn't notice that I haven't written anything in nearly a week? Lie to me and say you did. I beg of you.

In the past week I have put aside many of my regular ways of filling my days, including writing blog entries, in favor of beginning my spring cleaning. It being only February doesn't matter. I'm slovenly and if I want things done before it actually turns summer I have to begin now. I've had my head stuck inside the oven for so long that I am considering changing my name to Sylvia Plath and I've been so intent on scrubbing the bathroom tile grout that I believe we've become best friends. I think the grout is getting me a valentine.

And the empty cardboard boxes. Oh the boxes! Those devil boxes! I can have every best intention in the world to not let them build up before taking them to the recycler but best intentions inevitably turn into "How in the hell did so many boxes get in here?".

I can't wait until the spring cleaning turns to going through my clothes closets. I know I've got some definite wardrobe gems in there.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Honesty Can Be Brutal Edition

One of the best things about a friendship is that you build a bond of trust. When you feel close with someone you feel as if you can trust them with a very important question: "Do you like it?". Your friend can mean "Do you like this dress?" or "Do you like this wine?" or "Do you like my new haircut?" or "Do you like this cake?". I'd like to believe that for the most part our friends give us an honest answer when we ask that question. They'll let us know if the cut of that dress doesn't flatter our figure but sometimes they won't. Sometimes they just don't have the heart to say your new haircut makes you look like a yeti or that the maple walnut cake you baked tastes like something you scraped off your shoe.

Now one would think that when it comes to family one would have even more freedom to be absolutely honest because, after all, they're family and you're stuck with each other but that's not always the case. Sometimes you can't find it in your heart to say to your sibling or your mother that what they like is, to you, a complete horror and that's when you've got to start getting creative. Or start lying like a rug.

This is the new wallpaper my MIL has put up in her livingroom:


Yeah, I know it's got fold lines in it. She had brought over this sample last weekend and it had been folded up in her purse. Still, I don't believe the fold lines detract from the shiny, peachy-colored background and the raised, poop brown pattern. My MIL brought it over last weekend so she could show it to B and she said "Do you like it?". I kept saying "Oh! Wow!". B was more non-committal and would only grunt "Hmmm!". My MIL didn't seem to really notice our lack of enthusiasm but did say that I would need to get a picture of it the next time I was over at her place so B could see the full effect on the walls.

I did have to go over there the other day to fetch something and unfortunately I forgot my camera so I can't show you the aforementioned "full effect" but let me just say this. Ho-lee-shit. I can't begin to describe what a horror this wallpaper is. First, my MIL's living room is fairly small and it is stuffed full of furniture. A huge cabinet that covers an entire sixteen foot long wall save for about six inches on each side. A three seater sofa and two large upholstered chairs. An enormous aquarium. A sideboard that covers most of an four foot long wall. I reckon my MIL and Gerd (and I'm blaming this all on him) didn't feel hemmed in enough and thought that slapping up that wallpaper would give visitors a more cozy feeling - that is if being in an MRI machine is your idea of cozy. I've been in that room a jillion times but this time it felt like the walls were going to move in and squeeze me to death before the visit was over.

And naturally my MIL wanted to know how I liked it. Being completely honest and saying "Are you kidding? It's awful! Tackiest thing I've ever seen. This room looks like a combination of a tunnel and the waiting area in a bordello!" was out of the question but saying "Ohhh! Nice! Very nice!" was equally out of the question so it was time to get creative. At first I said "Wow! It's something, isn't it? Very impressive!" and then when she kept on about how nice this wallpaper was I switched to saying "It's certainly unique!" and finally had to start giving the truth a beating by saying "It really is elegant!"

My claustrophobia was starting to kick in so I grabbed what I came to get in the first place and got out of there before I had to start complimenting the great job Gerd did with hanging the wallpaper. He didn't. He left the old wallpaper up - textured wall paper - and you can see the texture through the new stuff. Any non-offensive comments I might make about his handiwork would be out-and-out lies. I gotta draw the line somewhere.

Time to shuffle.
  1. Oh No - Andrew Bird
  2. Problems - Alter Me
  3. My Way - The Sex Pistols
  4. My Girls - Animal Collective
  5. Standing On The Moon - Grateful Dead (Can we just pause here a moment to marvel at the fact that a Grateful Dead song is on my iPod?! I have three of them now, as a matter of fact. The impossible may not be impossible after all!)
  6. Books From Boxes - Maximo Park
  7. That Certain Party - Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis
  8. Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces
  9. Dance With Somebody - Mando Diao
  10. Goodnight (I'm So Sorry) - Christopher Jak

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Custom Built

I have to admit that I like doing for others more than I like doing for myself. It's not that I don't like making or doing things that are just for me. The drawback seems to be that what would be unacceptable for another becomes perfectly fine when it's for me.

Case in point - these socks:


Pause for yarny talk:
Pattern: King Charles Brocade by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill
Colorway: Spring Frost

I almost never knit socks for myself but I made an exception and knit this pair for just for me. I simply loved the yarn and I greedily wanted it for myself (Thanks for the yarn, Kay!). I'd grown tired of knitting lace and decided on a pattern that would be textured without it being ribbed (ribbing tends to bore me).

Now I have somewhat chunky calves so I decided on using a larger cast-on number than what is usual for a lady's leg, especially since I didn't believe this pattern would give much stretch like ribbing and lace can. It's a fun pattern to knit, fairly easy to do but honestly probably not the best choice for this yarn because the variegation of color in the yarn makes it harder to see the crosses. Or diamonds if that's where your eye is drawn to on the pattern. Had this been a sock for someone else I would have ripped it back and started over with a different pattern but hey...they're just for me.

I also figured that when it was time to knit the foot the larger calf wasn't going to do for my more normal sized ankle and foot so I would have to decrease from 72 stitches to 64 stitches to get a proper fit in the heel, ankle and instep. Unfortunately with this pattern you can't make the crosses run down the instep with 32 instep stitches. I could have adjusted the pattern to center the crosses on the foot with some plain side stitches but hey...they're just for me. Having just a plain-all-around stockinette foot is fine.

I finished the socks and upon after seeing them on the sock blockers I declared them to possibly be the goofiest looking socks I've ever knit. A baggy-looking calf, a heel flap that looks way too short for the sock and an uninteresting foot. But then I put them on and declared that, while I seldom ever knit socks for myself, these were definitely the most comfortable socks I've ever knit. The yarn is dreamy soft anyway and while the calf turned out to be a bit too wide for me, it's stays up and doesn't bind my leg anywhere. The heel is perfect and the foot, while being plain, is wonderfully comfortable on my foot when I'm wearing the socks with shoes. All-in-all these socks are not very attractive. They're full of quirks and changes that I likely would never make with a pair of socks I'd knit for someone else but that's what makes them just right for me.