The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Flunking Tests and Making a Dress

Posted by thedarwinexception on February 18, 2008

 Yeah, I know, you all want to hear how the stress test went. Well, I flunked. So there. That’s how it went. I think that’s the first test I ever flunked in my life.

But, to be fair, they didn’t give me a chance to finish. They stopped the test early. So really, they *made* me flunk it. There was one guy monitoring my blood pressure and one who was running the heart monitor, and the guy taking my blood pressure read the last reading, got up, went to the heart machine, typed some numbers in, and the other guy said “OK – I’m stopping the belt now”. I looked at him and said “That’s it?” And he said “For you it is.” I thought that was rather ominous.

It took more time to get all those sticky things on and off me than the actual time spent “walking the treadmill”. I only go to the first “OK – the belt is going to incline slightly and go slightly faster” before they stopped the test.And I wasn’t even feeling “stressed”. There was no crash cart in the room, I knew the guy taking my blood pressure readings – he was the one who did my blood pressure in the ER, I didn’t have to have an IV, and Leslie the Chamber of Commerce lady had brought me and was with me – so I felt really good and not stressed at all. I didn’t get stressed until he said “For you it is.”

But, I guess I flunked.


It’s a damned good thing Leslie the Chamber of Commerce Lady and I went to McDonald’s afterwards, because otherwise I would be *really* pissed that I had to get fucking dressed and go out for nothing.

So, I called my real doctor and told him I flunked the test. And he laughed. He said “No, you didn’t flunk, it’s just that your blood pressure was getting too high to continue.” But really, folks, isn’t that flunking? The doctor is getting the results from the hospital – he said we would go over them when I came to see him this week.

In other, more exciting news, I am entering the Joann’s nationwide sewing contest. You have to make a prom dress. I’m making one for Ray and Lynn’s kid, Karissa. Remember Ray and Lynn? They ar ethe ones who have the annual New Year’s Eve Party. Karissa is their youngest daughter. Their other daughter was my favorite teen kid around here – Katie. Until she got knocked up. Now, not so much.

But Karissa came over and picked out the pattern she wants and we talked about embellishments and changes to the pattern and color. We are starting with this pattern:

And we have a few changes we want to make to it, and a few embellishments. See that band around the top? We are going to use the Gemmagic and put rhinestones all along that. Good thinking, huh? Seeing how the judging is going to be based on workmanship, originality and DETAIL, I want to put a lot of detail into it. And she wants a baby blue fabric. I’m thinking either silk or charmeuse. Just because charmeuse drapes so nicely and has a light sheen to it. (And where’s Rami when you need him, huh? Because that fucker can drape!)

Oh, and here’s a picture of Karissa – this is her graduation picture. I think it will be nice to work with her on her prom dress – and she has a real body – she’s not one of those stick skinny teens that won’t look good in anything you make for them. I don’t expect to win any prizes in the contest (let’s be real, it’s not like it’s an “Upstate New York” contest – or even a Malone contest – it’s a Nationwide contest.) But since I would have made her prom dress for her anyway, and since I would have bought all the shit for it at Joann’s anyway (do I have a choice?) we might as well take a couple of pictures of her in the dress and send them off with the Joann’s receipts.

You’ll never guess what I got in the mail this weekend. Picture a box – no, bigger than that. Picture a BIG box – really, really big, and really, really heavy. That’s what was sitting on my porch when Paul went to take the dog’s out. He had to struggle to lift it and get it up the stairs. And all the while he was struggling I was swearing up and down I didn’t order anything. (well, not anything *that* big.)

So once Paul drags the box upstairs, I open it. It’s FULL of fabric. Hundreds of yards of flannels, stretch knits, solids, novelty prints. Un fucking real. Given to me by an anonymous donor. I haven’t teared up like that since my kids were born. It was like I was looking at the Holy Fucking Grail. It was a religious experience. And now I need the Pope to come and build me another shelving unit. Or Lisa the Domestic Diva needs to pay a visit and get me fucking organized. I have way too much fabric and way too much yarn to store. Way too much. And Joann’s keep having sales. The bastards. 


23 Responses to “Flunking Tests and Making a Dress”

  1. NJGill said

    you should knit her one of these to go over the dress:
    silver, with a matching blue satin bow

  2. Veronique said

    So cool that you are making Karissa her prom dress! My only concern is the color…light blue can look fabulous on blonds, but can be tricky with darker hair or darker skin color. So before you buy 17 yards of silk, wrap it around her and make sure it really sets off her coloring.


  3. HT said

    Ha, when you described the box and it being heavy, I thought maybe ZL was in it. Sorry to be so gross.

    Well, crapola. The stress test. Yep, they made you flunk it for sure. Hope they gave you a reduced rate since you didn’t get to finish it. Oh, this is America, it doesn’t work like that. A long time ago when I was in college, I remember a professor said we need to have a health plan like China. I swear he said China. Anyway, you pay the doctor as long as you’re healthy but when you get sick, you quit paying him or her. So then there’s an incentive to get you well again. Well, I thought I’d just throw that in for the hell of it.

    I won’t be commenting much on the dress thing. I’m sure you’ll do well and she looks like a good model and pretty too. I’ve never had a prom dress on in my life, or off for that matter. Ha. Too poor for that kind of thing.

    I’m upset. The house next door to me got broken into yesterday morning when the woman was at church. My doorbell rang at 9:00am and when I answered it, a little skinny punk looked mighty surprised. He took off running. I didn’t know it but at that moment they were carrying shit out of my neighbor’s house. I found out later. Obviously, I was next on their B&E Sunday morning routine. Little bastards. Last week they hit the house across the street in broad daylight. I’m telling you, they are brazen.

    Well, anyway, I just had to spout off. Sorry.

    Not so Holy Toledo

  4. mbmb said

    Hi Kim,

    I’m so glad you are all right! Even if you did flunk the test. I’m sure if your BP was too high they would not want to push you too far. Then they would’ve needed the crash cart for sure!

    I love the dress, and I will bet you will win the contest. Karissa is a beautiful young lady.

    How sweet of one your blog follower’s to send you a huge present. That just has to let you know how much you are loved and appreciated.

    Love & Best Wishes,

  5. Caroline said

    Beatiful girl and a beautiful dress, think Grace Kelly accepting her best actress Oscar. She was wearing a strapless light blue charmeuse dress – Classic! This young lady will always remember this gorgeous dress that you are making especially for her, Haute Couture in Malone! What colour sequins are you going to use? My recommendation would be to go for the tonal look.

    As far as the stress test, you did fine if you were really “flunking” they would have hospitalized you STAT. Glad your back, I was worried about you!

  6. Caroline said

    One more thing, see if you can google a picture of Grace Kelly in her dress, she also had worn an elegant stole of the same blue charmeuse fabric – courtesy Edith Head!

    For HT – I had a similar experience last week, my dog started going ballistic barking and running around. I look out the window and see this obviously tweeky piece of shit standing on my front porch trying to look in the window next to the door. So I open the door and confront him. He was already down the stairs ready to open the gate and head off into the backyard. When he sees me he stops in his tracks and asks if I have any work for him, “he only needs $15”. As soon as i said no, he took off down the street and I called the cops. I KNOW he was casing my house. Little did he know almost everyone in my neighborhood is retired and most of them are retired cops or parole officers and we all have guns. Meth is the scourge of our society. I hope some homeowner shoots his ass coming in thru a window.

  7. luvgabe said

    Given your still-high BP, a stress test should not have been scheduled in the first place. Surely there must be some other tests–MRI?–to diagnose what’s behind your high BP. I guess we’ll have to wait until your appointment this week with your regular doc.

    The prom dress pattern/idea is simply lovely. Karissa’s one lucky gal!

    Take care of yourself, dear Kim.

  8. tess said

    I am glad that they did the stress test. Make sure that you keep your follow-up appointment.

    The prom dress will be stunning. I agree with veronique that Karissa should sample different shades of fabric. Sometimes what you like is not what looks best. Anyway, the pattern is beautiful and with details it will be a stunning classic. What a lucky girl. I think you will have fun making it too. Good for you.


  9. Sandy said

    You continue to amaze me. All going on and you keep finding more to do and always for another. I remember sewing my own prom dresses. This will be such a joy for you. Never say never, you are very capable of winning the contest.

    Yeah, Rami. No, you don’t want him. Your sweet gal would be covered head to foot with all of his draping. Admission to reading spoilers on shows and saw photos of all the final designs. Rami draped less than more, so there is some hope. Also read spoilers on Lost, but am still totally lost. Amazing someone came up with LOST for the series name. Must have been a plan in there somewhere cause they sure got it right.

    Jeesh, they just let you go and didn’t say anything else? Like go home, rest til you see your doc, keep track of your blood pressure. Nothing? Good for you having Val along. I agree with Luv and even question their getting you on there. Me thinks you should be benched for a while.

    Am so glad you will be seeing another specialist and your own physician this week. Go, get all done, and don’t let us hunt you down for an update. We can wait, albeit always a slow wait. I know each of us are concerned about you and want the very best outcome.

    The breakins can make one feel very vulnerable. Either the media or reality, seems like this is happening more often and spreading into areas less expected. Sounds like you guys had the stupid ones, but I’d be more worried about stupid on the safety side. Keep safe.

  10. Hank said

    Being this is Malone, perhaps you should make the prom dress with an expandable tummy section, just in case. And, having a dress that can serve as a regular prom dress or a maternity prom dress both might win you points with the contest.

    How do these people get your address, anyway?

  11. HT said

    Thanks, Caroline,

    Sorry you had same scare. I have two loaded guns. I just hope I don’t have to use them. And if I do, that I’m a good aim.


  12. HT said

    Hank, good one but let’s hope not because Kim would feel terrible. Light bulb….a built in chastity lock, just in case the dress is TOO sexy.


  13. HT said

    I agree with Veronique that light blue might not be best color considering her hair and skin tone. She’d look fabulous in champagne I think. I bet you didn’t expect a “sister” to get in on the prom dress discussion. Neither did I.


  14. Cathy said

    Ditto to the “take Karissa with you when you buy the fabric.” Not so sure about the baby blue on her. She’d probably be better off not in a pastel like that, but rather in a nice pure vivid color, not something subdued. Not ruling out blue, I guess I’m saying no pastels. Very cute girl though and I know the dress will mean lots to her!

    I do love the pattern though, I had a thing for Jessica McClintock stuff when I was, ahem, younger. And the rhinestones will be a very nice touch, a pretty detail that will look so nice in her prom night photos.

    I think the good thing about flunking the test is the doctors now know what to do with you. Or they better know what to do next. Still, it would be nice if they put a name to what is happening to you …

    Avoid the sodium!

  15. A.D.A. said

    Oh, I can’t believe you went to MCDONALD’S! You are sooo bad!

    That’s a beautiful dress, and I hope you win the contest.

    I’m so happy (and jealous) that someone left you the ultimate box of fabric, and you teared up! See how people love you? We all worry about you, too, so take care of yourself.

    HT-Sorry your neighbor got burglarized. That’s terrible.

  16. Dana said

    I love the pattern, too, and Karissa is beautiful. How about a nice rich periwinkle? Still soft, but more vivid against her dark hair.

    RE mineral intake: Are you getting enough calcium and magnesium? Deficiencies can raise blood pressure. Oddly enough, sodium restriction lowers some people’s BP, and actually *raises* it in others, so keep track. Potassium plays into this, too, but some BP meds proclude taking supplemental potassium.

  17. mbmb said

    I so agree with Dana on this post:

    I love the pattern, too, and Karissa is beautiful. How about a nice rich periwinkle? Still soft, but more vivid against her dark hair.

    I think it may be the Perfect color for her Prom Dress.


  18. luvgabe said

    Tests will be ordered to check for causes of high blood pressure and to assess any organ damage from high blood pressure or its treatment. These tests may include the following:

    *Blood tests including measurement of electrolytes, blood urea, and creatinine levels (to assess potential kidney damage)
    *Lipid profile for levels of various kinds of cholesterol
    *Special tests for hormones of the adrenal gland or thyroid gland
    *Urine tests for electrolytes and hormones
    *A noninvasive, painless eye examination with an ophthalmoscope will look for ocular damage.
    *Ultrasound of the kidneys, CT scan of the abdomen, or both may be done to assess damage or enlargement of the kidneys and adrenal glands.

    Any of the following may be performed to detect damage to the heart or blood vessels:
    *Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a noninvasive test that detects the electrical activity of the heart and records it on paper. ECG is helpful for quantitating any damage of the heart muscle, such as heart attack, and/or thickening/hypertrophy of the heart wall/muscle, common complications of high blood pressure.
    *Echocardiogram is an ultrasound examination of the heart taken through the chest. Sound waves take a picture of the heart as it beats and relaxes and then transmits these images to a video monitor. The echo can detect problems with the heart such as enlargement, abnormalities in motion of the heart wall, blood clots, and heart valve abnormalities. It also gives a good measurement of the strength of the heart muscle (ejection fraction). The echocardiogram is more accurate than an ECG, but also more expensive.
    *A plain chest x–ray primarily provides an estimate of the size of the heart, but it is much less specific than echocardiography, which looks inside the heart.
    *Doppler ultrasound is used to check blood flow through arteries at pulse points in your arms, legs, hands, and feet. This is an accurate way to detect peripheral vascular disease, which can be associated with high blood pressure. It also can depict the arteries to both kidneys and sometimes depicts narrowings that can lead to high BP in a minority of patients.

  19. luvgabe said

    Hi, Kim: I finally succeeded in posting to this blog! I tried many times yesterday, but to no avail.

    I found the information in the preceding post on tests that should be administered to find the cause(s) of your dangerously high BP–instead of the treadmill stress test. Was any of these tests done when you were recently hospitalized for a week?

    Perhaps when you see your regular doc this week, he will run these tests on you?

    Take good care, Kim. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

  20. luvgabe said

    Hi, Kim: I finally succeeded in posting to this blog! I tried many times yesterday, but to no avail.

    I found the information in the preceding post on tests that should be administered to find the cause(s) of your dangerously high BP–instead of the treadmill stress test. Was any of these tests done when you were recently hospitalized for a week?

    Perhaps when you see your regular doc this week, he will run these tests on you?

    Take good care, Kim. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

  21. Hey Kim!

    You are so bad…McD? LOL (not that I’m any better). I hope they figure out what the heck is causing your high BP.

    How exciting–creating a prom dress! She’s such a pretty girl! I’m thinking you should do it in silk shantung–it’s delicious and has a wonderful hand. What about a wisteria blue or soft kiwi green? If you need silk, just let me know–the NYC fashion district has an awesome selection.

    Now onto the motherload of stuff you’ve just acquired–what am I going to do with you? LOL

    With friendship,

  22. mbmb said

    Hey Kim,

    Have you looked at the last entry in Sprocket’s Blog? It’s just too funny. I know it will cheer you up a bit, or piss you off! Here’s the link:

  23. Sandy said

    Well, I just wrote something long and ranting about the photos. Hit a key and it away. But can’t keep my mouth shut.

    Bottom line…their antics are just wrong, although nothing surprises me with these two. Anyone else would be head to head with legal counsel during every moment possible. Isn’t the next court date in early March? These two lack moral respect and a bunch of IQ points.

    Did you notice her bra shows under her arm in the lame photo? And a good photo shop is needed for the head of those “whatever are you planning” beach shots.

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