Saturday, May 13, 2006

Antibody titer

Who uses it: Doctors and blood technicians
What it means: A blood test that uses a serum to precipitate out (titrate) antibodies to a particular disease, in order to determine whether someone needs a vaccination booster.
How you can use it: Actually, it's hard to imagine this coming up in casual conversation. But if your doctor will do this for you, you might not need any more booster shots.

Dizzy had an antibody titer for his distemper/parvovirus vaccine yesterday, and also had a test for Lyme disease and heartworm (negative, fortunately). He's the only dog I've ever seen who's happy to go to the vet. He wasn't happy about having blood drawn, but got a cookie and a new toy out of the deal, so I guess he figures it was a net win.

It was raining when we got home -- it's been raining for the last several days -- and when we got out of the car, the cranky lady next door was on her porch. Oh boy, I thought, but she wasn't planning to yell at me.

"The mailman left a package at your door, and I think it's a mistake," she said. "I tried to tell him, but he just drove away."

It was raining, but the package was in a plastic bag; I thought she must be saying it was a mistake to leave it out in the rain. "I see it," I said. "It's in a bag, so I think it's okay. Thanks."

"No," she said, in a tone that suggested she was speaking to a moron. "The package is for me. He delivered it to the wrong address. So could you just bring it over here?"

I didn't know what to say. "Uh -- I'm expecting something, too," I said. I wasn't, specifically, but I get two or three deliveries a week: manuscripts, books, screenplays. The FedEx guy and I are on a first-name basis (he calls me Clair, since that's how most of these packages are addressed), and he always has a biscuit for Dizzy.

"But I'll take a look," I added quickly. "If it's for you, I'll bring it over."

The package was from Gateway, the long-awaited new battery for my laptop. "Yes, it's for me," I said. "Sorry."

After I got over being taken aback by this whole exchange, I felt sad about it. Maybe she was waiting for a Mother's Day present. Whatever it was, I hope she got it.

This afternoon is a joint anniversary party for Sisters in Crime and Kate's Mystery Books, at Kate's in Cambridge. If you're going, I'll see you there.

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