Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Code Black

....And then there were eleven.

One of our youngest cats, Bindi, died today. "She of the short tail" had somehow developed acute renal failure and her little body couldn't take it anymore. She was fine, or seemed so, a week ago. And now, we just got through burying her little one-year old body in the backyard among those who have gone before her. We are still not sure what happened or how, but maybe in a couple of weeks we will get some answers when certain tests come back.

She was unique, vivacious, and very loving. She will be missed greatly.

In most hospitals, certain codes are called by specific colors, so workers know immediately what the situation is. Code black, in most places, means disaster, most specifically tornadoes. I had a dream about a week ago concerning tornadoes, and it was so vivid, I woke up with the sound still roaring in my ears. I remember in the dream, I was literally running from tornadoes, and it was one of those dreams that seemed to last all night long, when in reality, it was likely only a few minutes in duration. I remember I was not hurt, but had some of our cats with me, and I would lay on top of them to protect them as the tornadoes, sometimes four in the sky at a time, would roar by. First we laid in a ditch, then a closet, and finally a basement. As I abruptly awoke, I remember the words "The coming storm" echoing in my ears. I couldn't shake the feeling of impending doom all day long. At the time, all was fine, including the kitties. Now I get it.

This song may seem out of place, but it was playing when I drove her hurriedly to the vet hospital this morning, and it played again as I was taking her body home to bury this evening. I always liked the song, and now it will always be Bindi's song. I will probably always shed a tear when I hear it now. But I will also smile. She will always be loved.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Do It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Give this man an Emmy already!

John Noble has put on the performance of a lifetime for two weeks running now on Fox's "Fringe", not to mention three seasons' worth of fine acting. What does it take?

The interaction between Noble and his television son, Joshua Jackson, is the most complex, touching, powerful thing I have seen on TV. As good as Jackson is, he is still surely learning master class acting from Noble. And well he should.

C'mon, television academy, or whoever you are - fork it over! He has more than earned it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Please Protect Her

This is a repeat of a blog of mine from a few years back. In honor of Earth Day, I hope you enjoy, and do at least one kind thing for the Earth today.

I thought I would save you the agony of trying to figure out my photography in exchange for a more professional slide show here. It seems that once again scientists have discovered many ("hundreds") new species of ocean life off a barrier reef near Australia. It is the folly of man to think that he has discovered all there is to discover; it is our greatest joy and our humblest moment to find that there is so much more out there than we could have ever imagined.

Please, people, let's protect and preserve this planet even as she suffers the insults heaped upon her. I hope there will never come a day when there is no more to discover because there is just no more, period. And remember, she might take it back someday.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strange Inspirations

I would bet even money that I'm the only chick that thinks of Darth Vader during her morning cup of coffee. Really, it's inescapable. I can't help it. I know you're wondering just why "I am your father" echoes in my head every morning as I make my joe. Well, this is why:

Can you see the shape of Darth Vader's helmet in the lid of the pot? I didn't see this until I got the darned thing home. Now I'm stuck with it because I'm not spending good money to buy another coffee pot. This one performs just fine. Except I wake up thinking of Darth Vader.

And, of course, inspiration comes in good ways as well. "She of the short tail" Bindi and her littermates are all just about grown up now. They love to frolic in the spring air outside and chase bugs and other little critters. And they always encourage me to get outside and play more with them. And we play inside as well. I can hardly keep up with them. They certainly keep me on my toes. I was using an eight-foot ladder in the library one day and left to do something. Guess what I saw when I walked back into the library? THIS:

Yes, my kitties love to climb ladders, too. Anything they can get into, they will. It certainly gives us all such enjoyment, and helps me to strike that "balance" I have been in search for.

You never know what will inspire you. What are some of YOUR inspirations?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Don't Let It Consume You"

That's what SHE said. Really, that is what she said.

Early into my stint as lab manager, a former lab manager, co-worker and friend at another hospital said those words to me. They echo from time to time in my overwhelmed brain.

A year has passed, and I am still here. Amazing. Being a lab manager is one of the craziest, most difficult, most rewarding, most infuriating, most exhausting things I have ever done. I am challenged every day and take the small victories where I can get them. I hope every day that I make a difference for somebody - a fellow tech, a patient, a student- but most days I feel that I am just performing chaos control.

It DOES consume me from time to time. I have been trying my hardest this last year to balance work and family, work and friends, work and new kitties, work and work and work. So much of what I am is what I do for a living, and it has been thus for at least 23 years now. I wouldn't know how to separate my career from ME even if I tried. There were times in the past year that I would declare "It's just not worth it" and vow that I would never be a manager again. But of course, those feelings pass and I see the triumphs, the small battles won, and I know that I can't really imagine myself doing anything else. I consistently have to pull on knowledge and experience gained in that past couple of decades to solve problems and develop new avenues. I know that this coming National Lab Week will be better than last year's because I am more comfortable in my role and have fought in the trenches (or is that benches) with my staff for what we have now. I also know I have a long way to go before I am a "seasoned" manager, the same way 23 years ago I had a long way to go before I became a "seasoned" tech. But it happened. I worked, I dreamed, I studied, I acheived. And I'm doing it all over again. Only now, the stakes are much higher. I have never been a person who likes to fail. But now, if I fail, the lab fails. I know there are so many people I cannot let down.

So does it consume me? Yes. And no. I strive to keep my balance, and the kitty laying right here in front of my monitor, looking so peaceful, is an indication that I am doing at least something right. It is that silver lining, even with a touch of grey, that keeps me going. I have more than I ever dreamed I would at this point in my life, and even the wild thought that I would be a lab manager has come to pass. I am truly blessed with opportunity, hope and love. And it doesn't get any better than that.

Because she has sung my life for nearly twenty years now, I will once again let her say it in the only way she can. Alanis, you are my muse and my voice. And I know that even though I haven't really got it figured out just yet, everything is gonna be fine, fine, fine.