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My day started out at 5:30 AM, when I woke up unexpectedly, and then wound up just not going back to sleep. I got out the door in time to catch the 6:30 bus, which was less crowded than the usual 6:45 bus. I waited around at the plasma place. This time, Mr. Wheel 'n' Deal had a spare crate for me to sit on; I happily took advantage of this -- away from the smoke.

(I am sensitive to tobacco smoke. One good lungful of secondhand smoke drifting my way on the breeze will raise my pulse by ten beats per minute or so. Breathing smoke closer to me or in a tightly enclosed space can sometimes make my pulse double and stay double for an hour or more. A good half my death-on-cigarettes stance, and almost all my "smoking should not happen anywhere that I can breathe it" stance is based on this medical issue, which has been an issue all of my life, as far as I can tell.)

Everything went fine in the plasma place up until the needle stick. This felt as if the needle had been jabbed into my soft fleshy bits instead of into my vein, or into a nerve or something. My entire arm became hypersenstive, so that the phlebotomist brushing up against it lower even hurt. I don't ordinarily make a fuss about expected pain, but this had me hissing and wincing and yelping. Adjustments made me whimper. I had low flow going in; the phlebotomist adjusted it. All went smoothly after that (though there was still sensitivity) until the return. It was a high-pressure return. The phlebotomist called someone else over to help, and adjustments were made, all of which hurt dreadfully. Joggling it caused it to do this, that, and the other, and no one could figure out how to seat the needle so it was in the vein right. The return finally came to a halt after someone slowed the pump speed and got me with my blood back again, and then came time for the next draw. No flow. Yet a third person became involved with my bloody problem, this one higher in clout than the first two. I became a very pale and pained-looking Lunatic, whimpering in deep discomfort. The third person asked me if I'd like to have a re-stick. I said yes, please. Of course, my other arm had no vein that they could find, so I got sent home with a slight red blood cell loss (and full pay).

Instead of going straight home, I went to the library. Now, last Thursday, I lost my month bus pass, so I've been paying for all my bus rides and getting transfers. (I should really get a book of day tickets for my Thursdays.) Of course, I couldn't find The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency there, not even with the help of the nice librarian. I said it was no problem -- I'd pick it up at Burton Barr, as I'd be that way this afternoon. (Ha.)

Came back on the bus within the time limit of the transfer (I'd been debating visiting some of the shops in the mall, but it was so late by the time I was done looking for books that it wasn't going to fly on that transfer) and then zipped over to Hancock Fabrics to get elastic, get patterns, ogle Ravenclaw scarf yarn, and inquire about sewing machine repairs. (The Bernina people charge $60 something for a checkup, oil, clean, and tuneup. This machine is broooooken, with things falling out and all. I'll see what the guy at the whateverth and Peoria Hancock is charging first.)

I would have crashed after I came home, only there was LJ-ing and chatting and things to be done before I went off for writing group. So I did those instead, and then repaired to bed with a book for half an hour to soak my ear with eardrops (Swimmer's Ear making a flare-up under all this stress) before doing my hair and zooming off to the writer's group.

Somewhere in there, I got the MoveOn.org e-mail about the neighborhood candlelight vigil in mourning for the 1,000 US people killed in the action in Iraq. I noted it down and decided that while it was unlikely that I would be able to make any officially organized one, that I bloody well could start my own. So in addition to the assloads of black fabric shoved into the backpack so easalle could start on the harem pants, I shoved in a box of tea lights (including some of the ones from you, starbrow -- they are lovely and ever so useful!) and some lighters.

The magicgeeking document failed to save to the floppy disk. Dammit. I e-mailed it to myself instead. I think the disk drive's days are over. This is not really a problem -- I don't have any information of import on floppies, and I don't need to use Sneakernet for much anymore.

I headed off in a tizzy, with high hopes that the afternoon would be less painful than the morning. I caught the southbound 19, then decided to get off at Glendale to wait for the Red Line (based on lack of occupation of bus stop).

Alas, my hopes of having a peaceful wait at the bus stop were all in vain. A fellow motored up and tried to engage me in conversation based on what I was reading. He was evidently not a fellow avid reader, because after I'd wordlessly showed him the cover (Tanya Huff, Relative Magic), he tried to enage me in further conversation.

"Do you do magic?"
"It's interesting," I said, as I'd had the sudden instinct to not give very much away to this person.
"Do you know Jesus Christ?"
"He's interesting," I said.

He proceeded to lecture on how Jesus Christ and magic do not go well together, and Magic is Dangerous. I bit my tongue on "Jesus was a Magician, buttmunch, learning his Divine True Will just like I am, and if you think the proper implementation of powers gotten via the Divine True Will in accordance with same are incompatible with Jesus Christ, you're more screwed than I thought you were. Feel this -- does that feel like the Devil? Learn, man!" and instead sat and smiled and read.

He tried to get my name out of me and tell me how concerned he was for me. I smiled and didn't give my name. Wordless eye contact is evidently a little spooky for some people.

We both got on the Red Line, but I sat in the back, and he and his motorized wheelchair/scooter were strapped down in the middle, so there was no more conversation. There were a few "Where did that beta go?" moments reading Relative Magic, but all of them were little things that could have been fixed by a slightly more attentive beta with no real impact on the actual content.

Things got interesting when I got on the Eastbound 17. I showed my transfer to the driver. The driver told me that this was from yesterday. I had a WTF?! moment, and pointed out that I'd been given this today. The driver said this was impossible. I told him it was too possible, and specified that it was the 19 southbound that had been at this street at this time. I grudgingly paid for another fare, and discovered that my wallet was not in the pocket of my purse that I leave it in. I searched the purse quietly but frantically, and eventually came up with a change purse that had the 25 cents more in it, but was still missing the wallet.

I got to freshstartwrite right after V. The lady with as much pain and angst and possibly even more operations than wiseheron was there again, yay, and there were two other people (new). easalle arrived slightly later with The Artist's Way, her new awesome neon rainbow plaid hat and matching skirt, and an embryonic migraine (ow).

I excused myself briefly to call marxdarx and check on the possibly urgently problematic status of my missing wallet. It was eventually located under a CD folder by my computer by the alarm clock. The status was downgraded to "mildly annoying" rather than "urgently missing"; if it was just at home instead of in someone else's possession, I had no need to worry.

There was much fun had by all. V left early to hit the candlelight vigil, and told us all about where to find it if we were so inclined. I read excerpts from the bit about the guy and "Girls just wanna have fun"; the group was in stitches. I should really tighten that and write it up properly. That's an outtake from the original version of Home Movies from the Cutting-Room Floor, I think...
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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