An African-American man sat across the aisle from me on my row, and he wore brown sunglasses—for what reason I couldn't tell you as not only was it not sunny this morning, it was quite foggy; a polo shirt with horizontal stripes of blue, black, yellow and white; some tennis shoes that were the exact same color blue as the blue stripe in his shirt, but in and around that blue were patches of a black shiny material (I mean like patent leather black so shiny you could see your face in it); khaki pants; a diamond stud in his left ear just under the circumference of a dime; earphones (not ear buds) that completely covered his ears; and a wire that lead from the headphones to his Sony Discman or some such knockoff thereof.
An African-American lady sat in front of me on a center-facing seat so that I looked at her profile. She had Capellini thin dreds and Manicotti thick thighs in jeans that were in a fight for their life against the denim. She had something embroidered on the bottom of her right pant leg that I at first thought was a unicorn, and then thought might be Timon and Pumbaa in the Hakuna Matata scene from The Lion King, and finally decided that it was some kind of Alien Being with tentacles coming out of its head.
I received an interesting phone call during work today from one Eric Sweeney, who was calling as part of an audit he was doing for his company.
"Mr. Martin, I'm calling about an immunization you received on December 9th."
"Oh, the H1N1 vaccine?" I asked.
"Yes, that's correct. As part of my company's quality assurance program, I'm auditing the form you filled out to get the vaccine. You checked that you're 50 years of age or older; is that correct?
"Yes, I'm 52," I said.
He went on, "And it says here that you received the spray vaccine; is that correct?"
"Yes, that's correct," I replied.
"Well, Mr. Martin, I don't want you to get alarmed or anything, because there's no danger whatsoever, but the spray vaccine is not approved for those 50 years or older. The shot is approved for those over 49 years old, but not the spray. You should have been given the shot. But there's no difference in what's in the spray versus what's in the shot, so there's no danger. You could check with your doctor if you want to see if s/he would recommend being re-vaccinated, but I would be very surprised if s/he thought so."
I said, "It's interesting that this happened, because I said to the nurse, 'I'd rather have the shot than the spray,' and she said, 'You're not eligible for the shot,' and proceeded to spray my nose."
"Yes, Mr. Martin. I can see that you clearly checked that you are over 49 years old. She obviously wasn't paying attention. This was a medication error. And frankly, it's not the first time for this nurse. She will no longer be doing vaccines for our company. She has been let go."
Before hanging up, he again assured me that no harm has been done, but he insisted that I write down his name and number just to have it.
During lunchtime, I made a trek to the post office, where I deposited 50 pieces of mail into the mail slot inside the lobby of the University Station branch.
I went to Sadlack's for lunch, where I had the Skillinator X and chatted some with David, the proprietor and my friend.
This really appeals to me, as the inability to do this has been one of the banes of my existence! (Well everything appeals to me except the pronunciation as "accrost" for the word "across" throughout.)
Best two-and-a-half minutes I've invested in in a long time. Can't wait to try it.
Two characters of life overheard on my bus ride home:
Guy 1: They ain't no jobs. They's nothing I can do about it, though. So, I'm goin' home and takin' me a nerve pill."
Guy 2: Uh-huh.
Guy 1: Worst thing I ever done was go back to work. Should've stayed on unemployment. It's one damn aggravation after another. I got 10 dollars in my pocket.
Guy 2: Uh-huh.
Just two good ol' white boys commiseratin'.
I've often heard "older people" (which now means over 60 since I'm over 50) refer to "nerve pills" as Guy #1 did. I don't know what a "nerve pill" is, but when I hear it, I always get thoughts like these in my mind: nuclear accident → neurons → nuclear inclusions → nerve damage → nerve pills.
Once home from work and after dinner, I rode out to the CVS off Tryon, which was not easy to find, and bought four $5 gift cards, and then stopped by the McDonald's on Western Boulevard, where I picked up 4 books that each contained 5 one-dollar paper gift certificates.
Thoughtful bumper sticker spotted while out running around: Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
Back home, I played online Scrabble with Robert, while chatting a little, and then chatted with Joe for a bit.
After that, I created a poll to schedule our Salon meetings for the first half of 2010.
I got in the bed at a decent hour, and I don't think I've yet mentioned that I've started Three Cups of Tea, our next Mostly Social Book Club book, and I read a little of that before conking out.
I'm well into the third chapter, if not close to the end of it, and so far I have to say that I'm not finding this book compelling. It's interesting enough, but not compelling, especially considering all the brouhaha about it in the press—Oprah's Book-of-the-Month, Tom Brokaw's endorsement, and comments like, "That book changed my life."
I'm willing to give it more time, though.