I left the house today without a knitting project.
I was in a hurry, tired from staying up too late and wasting 40 minutes of my life (not to mention precious sleeping time) trying to get my HP* printer to print a simple but critical one-page document, and I totally forgot to grab my little traveling sock project before I dashed out the door at 7:09 a.m. this morning to do hearings at the SSA office.
It dawned on me about halfway to my destination that I didn't have my traveling sock project. "OK," I thought. "I've got a busy day of hearings, so I probably won't have time to even eat lunch, let alone knit."
Although we were busy with hearings, the judge I was working with schedules long hearings, so when there is a no-show, I'm left with a big chunk of time - and nothing to do except knit or poke fun at the Homeland Security guards. Yes, I tease armed men. Thus far, I have not been shot or arrested as a terrorist threat, although I came close to the latter early one morning when I was forced to pour out my coffee [whimper!] because it was in an aluminum-sided travel cup, and apparently Homeland Security has decided that the newest terrorist wave will strike Greensboro, NC, via caustic or explosive liquids carried in aluminum-sided travel cups. Now, bear in mind that I have been through a thorough Homeland Security background check (TWICE!) and submitted my fingerprints (TWICE!), and that Federal employees are not restricted from carrying aluminum-sided beverage containers into the building. Even though I see the same guards at least 3 times a week, I - as a lowly contractor - still have to go through the stupid bit where I empty my purse of anything that's going to set off the alarm thingie, show my valid photo ID, and walk through the metal detector -- and if I leave the building other than to step outside for a quick smoke (staying where the guards can see me), I have to go through that process again upon returning. And I am not allowed to bring a decent travel mug of coffee. The morning I was informed of this rule and forced to pour out that precious caffeine was not a good one. I was scheduled with a judge commonly referred to as "The Prince of Darkness," so I needed that caffeine, damn it. My reaction was - ahem - impressive. So much so that three hours passed before one of the guards worked up the nerve to come creeping upstairs to quietly ask the floor guard if I was still pissed.
Annnnyway, this morning, I apparently invoked the Murphy's Law of knitting - you know, the one that says when you DON'T have your knitting at hand to keep you from stressing out, every freaking thing in the world will seek your last nerve and tap-dance on it. We had one no-show, two that were late, and I had nothing to do in the dead time. You can only poke so much fun at men with guns before you start spooking people. I ended up in a minor spat with an attorney who thought it was my responsibility to go interrupt another judge's hearing and give the hurry up order because he had an "important appointment" and he didn't want to miss it. Yeeeaaaaahhhh, administrative law judges just love it when attorneys try to boss them around. I declined, but I did offer to let him come into the hearing room hallway and knock on the other judge's door so he could issue the hurry up order.
I think maybe if I hadn't added, "Hope that suit of yours is flame-retardant," he'd have been stupid enough to do it. I almost wish I'd kept my mouth shut just so I could watch him get knocked on his butt and through the opposite wall by the ginormous fireball that would have issued from the judge's bench after he issued his hurry up order. Come to think of it, it's probably a good thing I am not allowed to carry an aluminum-sided travel mug into the building, because I just might have clonked the moron upside the head with it.
Lunch sucked, because, after scrambling with our late arrivals, I didn't have enough time to go anywhere to get something decent. I ended up at Hardee's (gag-o-rama), where, apparently, "no pickles, please" means "triple pickles, please" and napkins have become the new form of legal tender. After looking around for a napkin dispenser and not finding one, I asked the zombie behind the counter if I might have a few napkins.
Her response: "How many?"
This irked me - since when I have to commit to a specific number??? So I said, "Sixty-eight."
She actually started to count out napkins, and got to five before she looked at me and said, "I don't think I can give you that many."
It took all the willpower I had to refrain from saying, "What, you can't count that high?"
Came home to a find that one of the cats had lovingly deposited upon the couch a hairball so big that I half-expected it to have a pulse, and then I checked my messages and hear: "This is Karen from XXX Insurance, calling in regards to the claim that was filed in regards to the XXXX Dodge Ram. Please call me back and reference claim number XXX and the date of loss, April 22, 2009."
DATE OF LOSS???????
DBF drives a Dodge Ram! I called his office number and got no answer (thus increasing my panic). Reached him on his cell phone, and learned that some airhead sideswiped him this morning, leaving a huge scrape-and-dent mess down the side of his truck. He's fine, and far less stressed out about this than I was. My stress was largely due to the means by which I learned of this event and the ridiculously verbose insurance-speak "date of loss." Why the hell can't they just say "date of accident" or "date of incident"???? "Date of loss" had me wondering if the frigging coroner was going to answer my boyfriend's cell phone!
Tomorrow, I am definitely taking my knitting!
*The manufacturers of Hewlitt-Packard would have you think that HP stands for the company name. In my house, it stands for Heinous Pieceofsh*t, because that's what my printer is.