Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best. Neighbors. Ever.

It's 57 degrees out right now, and I looked out the window a few minutes ago to see...snow! Odd, thought I: it's awfully warm. So I took a better look, and sure enough, white stuff was falling very lazily from the heavens. Really gently falling, like the first few flakes of what will become a Storm To Remember. And I've seen 50-degree temperature drops in a single day, so I don't know, maybe it is snowing.

But the sky is crystal clear.

So I went downstairs, opened the door, and confirmed what I'd already begun to suspect since standing up: fire. And fire in this neighborhood almost always comes from the same source. After standing on the porch just long enough to tarnish the smell of my clothes, I ran up to the attic room and peered out to the southwest, where to my utter lack of astonishment, I saw the perpetrators throwing their trash on a fire whose flames easily reached 6' to 8' in the air.

Now, we all generally accept that fire is pretty much the mortal enemy of civilization, more so than floods, snow, or any other major element. Fire destroys without discrimination, and leaves NOTHING in its wake. So I did what I've done numerous times before: I called the police.

When I explained that these wondrous folks were disposing of their trash on the pyre, the operator didn't pause a second before saying "I'll send the fire department." Burning trash is a big no-no in Henrico County.

Seeing as how this is probably the 4th or 5th time I've had to get the fire department dispatched to that house, the owners have become clever. The truck showed up, I pointed them around the corner to the fire, and the folks doing the burning said they were "cooking". Turns out if you have food and say you're cooking, you can burn all day long without consequence. As long as your trash isn't sitting in a big pile right next to the fire.

So my neighbors are cooking cardboard boxes for dinner tonight. I wonder if I'll get an invitation.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just got hired! The position is contract-to-hire, which means I'll work for a contracting company for 90 days and then be hired directly by... Tredegar!

My first day is 1/5/09.

Monday, December 15, 2008

With apologies, we've been too quiet

I've resisted the temptation to blog on unremittingly bad bouts of pessimism. You see, there hasn't been much to be optimistic about lately. I've been fairly happy, spending time with Amanda and Alastair, but things just haven't been good for a while.

Amanda's typical neutropenic fever didn't happen typically. Usually she gets hit hard by the chemo about 8 days after getting home, and then at day 10 gets pulled back into the hospital with a fever, and stays there for 3 days. Well, this time she's just been bed-ridden on and off for about 2 weeks. Last Monday she went in for an overnight to get an extra dose of the biologic element of her last chemo, and she's been fighting nausea and and lethargy ever since. She's hardly eating, losing weight, and the random bleeding continues.

Yeah, I'm officially worried. I've told her I'm going to start marshalling her: forcing her to eat on time and to consume reasonable portions or switch to a liquid protein diet.

A couple of weeks ago Alastair brought a wonderful case of bronchitis into the house, and the three of us have been passing it around liberally. He and I are mostly done with it, but Amanda seems to be getting worse and worse, often coughing to the point of gagging, and this morning coughing so hard she couldn't breathe.

Now it turns out my stepmother has shared in the delectable soup of bronchitis, as has Amanda's mother. Both have sought medical treatment, and in the case of my stepmother, the test revealed a spot on her liver that may well be cancerous.

Good news all around.

So I've been reluctant to say anything. Generally I like to temper the bad news with some glimmer of hope, but frankly I'm not seeing one.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fast-Track to Political Stardom

I've figured it out: I now know how to get a top advisory position in the US Government, and I should be able to get it knocked out in 2012, if not by 1/20/2009!

All I have to do is run against Obama! Just look at his appointments: rife with former political rivals and old classmates. I can't hope to become an old classmate, but I can run a hopeless bid for office.

So what should I go for? Sec. of State? Sec. of Interior? I like that one. Ooh, maybe DHS?

There's probably not time to mount a campaign for this year, seeing as how the election was last month, but who knows! Put the word out: AHAMOS for president!