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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Due to a complicated combination of food poisoning, mis-scheduled doctor's appointments, and exhaustion, I stayed home from work today. Last night I ended up falling asleep around six, getting up around ten, and going back to bed around eleven, where I slept through the rest of the night and had dreams I was shopping in a bookstore owned by Abbie Hoffman. Who, for the record, is looking pretty good for being seventy five years old and dead. He gave me a comic book, it was a whole "the mysterious bookseller knows what you need without asking" thing.
I spent most of the morning sitting around doing nothing much. I'm letting Dead Isle settle a little before I do anything else with it, and using the month between when I finished it and when my deadline was to write pornography about ancient Romans. Which, if you're going to write porn, Romans make it pretty easy to write.
I've learned through hard trial and mortifying error that I can't force a story -- either I get caught up in it or I don't, and if I don't, even if I finish it, it's generally no good. I heard Octavia Butler speak one time about writing and she talked about "dead stories"; she kept forcing her story Blood Child until she killed it and had to start completely over. It's a little like that, and honestly I figured I'd try to force this story for a few days and then give up.
But I got caught up in it, and in the research, because the Imperial Era of Rome is fascinating. Horrible in many respects, but fascinating all the same. And I forgot what an interesting web of relationships were formed around Julius Caesar and his Senate in the wake of Pompey's defeat in the civil war. There's an especially delicious situation where Brutus and Cassius are close friends and also brothers-in-law; Cassius married Junia Tertia, who (depending on which rumours you believe) is either Brutus's half-sister by their mother Servilia's second marriage or his full sister, them both being the product of Servilia's long-standing affair with Caesar. This mostly becomes delicious if you are, like me, writing a story where Brutus and Cassius are lovers, meaning Brutus and Junia are for all intents and purposes sharing the same man.
Seriously. For any kind of sex, from nobly romantic to super-kinky, and sometimes both at once, you really can't beat the Romans.
Well, you can, but they'd only enjoy it.
Oh man that was not how I expected my afternoon to go.
So, the doctor told me to fast from 11am onwards because I was going to have bloodwork done at my 3:30 appointment. I had breakfast around eight and thought, ok, no more food. I arrive at the doctor's office at 3 for my 3:30 appointment, because I'm like that, and they said "No paperwork! Go ahead and have a seat."
Round about 4:10 I got up and asked if maybe I could get an ETA on when I would see the doctor. I know doctors get behind sometimes, I was cool with waiting, but it's unusual to be half an hour late and not even put someone in an exam room.
Turns out not only is he running late, but they forgot about me. So, and I only found this out around 4:45 (yes, 4:45) when they put me in an exam room, they bumped me to after the patient behind me, making me the last person the doctor will see that day. At 5:03, I decide my doctor is not going to be my doctor anymore; he can write me a scrip and then he is fired. He is super fired when I hear him checking his voicemail in the next room at 5:20.
At 5:30 it ceases to matter, because a different doctor shows up and says he's filling in. We talk, I get refills on one prescription and a change of another, and he mentions that the lab techs have gone home so I will not be getting blood tests today. He decides, I don't know why, to take my blood pressure at this point.
My blood pressure is 140 over 90, not surprising, as one of the reasons I see this doctor is elevated blood pressure. But he says "That's a little high". Now, I'm tired and hungry so I'm crankier than usual, and so I reply rather drily, "Well, I have been here for two and a half hours now."
And he says, "What?"
So I explain what happened, and he says "I'll be right back" and then I hear shouting. I'm pretty sure I caused some kind of doctor fight. Which was not my intention, but I can't say I'm upset that finally someone went to bat for me.
Then he came back and apologised to me and said I could go, and we'd get the blood work done next time. And I took his business card.
And then I came home and ate an apple without chewing it, the end.
So, it occurred to me I never really talked much about what it is we do
at my work. There are articles out there about it, but they're mostly about making us sound like creeps and telling you how to avoid us, so let me give you the inside scoop.( What Prospect Research is. )
Prospect Researchers do a lot. We know a lot of things that maybe we shouldn't, but we take care to keep them within the fundraising system and maintain respect for our donors. Our job is to guide our fundraisers to the people who want to give to us, and give them the tools to put those prospective donors at ease and help them give.
And if you love research and enjoy working with dorky introverts, we may be the job for you!