Tuesday, April 24, 2007

book recommendation -- Peeps

Here's something weird. Last week, without talking to each other, my sister and I both happened to randomly browse our individual library's teen section, stumble upon the book Peeps, by Scott Westerfeld, and both checked it out. It's a good book, so we both read it last week. We discovered on Sunday that we had both read it at the same time...kind of spooky!

Anyway, Peeps is a fascinating twist on vampirism. And before you say anything, let me add: I do not usually read vampire books, so for me to have liked this one says something. Vampirism is actually a parasite, and it's spread by saliva or sexual contact. (And with that, realize that Peeps would probably be rated pg-13.)

I highly recommend this book, and in fact, I'm planning to read anything I can find by Scott Westerfeld. He's brilliant!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Just posting my next self portrait challenge pic. I had decided that I was going to give up SPC, because I was a little put off by the nudity on their website (the theme is the body, after all), but I decided I just won't look. I still want to participate. The body theme will be gone soon enough. Besides which, the nudity isn't alluring or anything. Just the opposite. Which makes it 'art' as opposed to something else. However, I don't really care to see you naked, whether it's art or not! But the main thing is, I still want to take pictures. So I will

thanks for the advice

Thanks to everyone who replied to my request for back pain advice! I ended up going to my primary doctor, and she referred me to a back specialist, and also to physical therapy. So I think I'll be set.

Meanwhile, sueing the university seems more and more appealing the longer this stupid pain lasts. They are paying my doctor bills, sure. But I want them to compensate me for the pain I'm feeling, my inability to exercise, my limited ability to clean my house, for the things I've had to miss out on because of this, and for the emotional pain.

I'm serious. The past 11 days have been seriously unfun. I have to sit down and get up using my arms. I really didn't know how good I had it, health-wise, until this accident. I mean, a bad back makes everything painful and more difficult.

But I'll stop complaining now and instead feel thankful for all the blessings I have. And I have quite a few!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Please give me your advice!

Okay, so I need your advice, especially if you've had back trouble before. But even if you haven't, please leave me a comment if you have any advice.

So here's the deal. I hurt my back, so I got x-rays. The x-rays came back with nothing broken, but with something that "might" be a muscle spasm. So I feel like I need more information. I may or may not have a muscle spasm, or I may have something different going on. And if I do have a muscle spasm, what should I do about it?

Here's my dilemma. Worker's comp is paying the doctor bills because it happened at work. (And they are so lucky I'm not suing.) But according to worker's comp, I can only see one doctor. Once I've seen a doctor twice, I have to stick with that doctor. Stupid, but those are the rules. So I need to choose my next step carefully.

I went to my primary care doctor for the initial check, which gave me the kn0wledge that I "might" have a muscle spasm. So I can still see someone else. SO HERE'S WHERE I NEED ADVICE: who exactly should I see?

My chiropractor? I like her; she's pretty good. A few session w/ her might resolve things. But Dr. Pam has an aversion to any western medical practices, which doesn't sit well with me. I don't trust western medicine any more than I trust any other type of medicine, but I still like to consider it a possibility.

An osteopath? This seems like a more holistic approach, which sounds good to me. But I've never been to one, so I don't know if they'd be able to help my back.

My primary care? She may be able to refer me to physical therapy, which I've done in the past and liked. But who knows if she would refer me.

Another option I'm not thinking of?

Seriously folks. I need help. Advise me. What would you do if you had back pain and a possible muscle spasm? Thanks for your help!

Friday, April 13, 2007

and the moral of the story is...

I'm going to attempt to explain the crazy circumstances that ended with me at home all day today instead of at work.

Yesterday at about 4pm, I was walking back to my office from a work meeting across campus. The wind was so bad that I had to close my eyes to prevent dirt and debris from getting in them. By chance, a co-worker and a student worker drove by in our office's golf cart.

"Can we give you a ride back to the office?" Of course you can! So, with cell phone in hand, a purse and some papers in the other hand, and a laptop bag slung over my shoulder, I hopped on the back of the golf cart, facing backward. I didn't have a free hand to hold onto the sides. Can you see where this is going?

Anyway, we got to our parking lot, stopped, and then the cart took off again. My body, unfortunately, did not take off as quickly as the cart did. I could feel myself sliding off, and I also knew that there was nothing I could do about it. So I flew through the air and landed pretty hard on my back. I said a bad word. But do you blame me? What would you do if you had just flown off a golf cart, landed on your back which now hurt like the dickens, and felt extremely embarrassed at the thought of anyone seeing what had just happened?

And people did see. They all ran over and crowded around me to see if I was okay. And I was, sort of. My back hurt bad enough that I didn't want to get up. But when a woman suggested calling the paramedics, I said no -- I mean, I fell off a GOLF CART for crying out loud! How badly could I be hurt? But she suggested that we call anyway, just to be safe. And that is what she did.

Two minutes later, I heard sirens in the distance. I was mortified. "Please tell me that those sirens aren't for me." But they were. A fire truck drove up to the parking lot. An ambulance was there. Five firemen came over to me, quickly checking my head and back for injuries. They offered to drive in the ambulance to the hospital. I said no way would that be necessary. Again, it was a golf cart accident.

I got home and assessed the damage. My back hurt pretty badly. My cell phone sustained some nasty road rash. Thanks, cell phone, for taking one for the team. That would have been my hand otherwise. My back hurt, but otherwise I felt okay. But then I tried to sleep last night and I couldn't. The pain in my back radiated down my leg, and the pain in my leg made it impossible to sleep. So I stayed up reading until I was so tired I knew I would fall asleep no matter how much pain I was in. Which I did.

But that decided it. I stayed home from work today, calling HR to get worker's comp information and made an appointment to see my doctor. Most of my day was spend reading and watching movies as I iced my back and tried to get comfortable.

The highlight was getting the back x-rays. If someone had told me that x-rays involves getting mostly naked and lounging in a hospital gown for 20 minutes in a waiting room full of old guys, I might have thought twice about getting said x-rays. Or I would at the very least have chosen my undergarments a little more carefully this morning. Ha!

But the bottom line is: I fell off a golf cart. And you can feel free to laugh about that. Because that is what I am doing right now, though I am cursing the golf cart in the same breath.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

top five tv shows from my childhood

In other news, I present to you the top five tv shows from my childhood (and possibly of all time):

The Smurfs
La la la la la la, la la la la la. Some of my favorite characters: Hefty Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette, Gargamel, Johan, PeeWee, Asrael. No cartoon has ever been better. (Don't even try to deny it.)

Family Ties
Alex P. Keaton reminded me of myself. Not that I'm a Republican (though back then I may have been), but because he did his own thing even when his family didn't understand him. And because he was selfish and self-serving, and let's face it - I can be that! He always ended up doing the right thing, though. One of those shows I watched faithfully.

Saved by the Bell
My six favorite TV friends. (As opposed to those other TV friends.) These guys graduated from high school the same year I did, so how could I not adopt them as my own? I was not as obsessed as another person I won't mention, but I did tune in almost every Saturday. "Hey, hey, hey, hey! WHAT is going on here?!"

Silver Spoons
I liked Ricky Schroeder. But I LOVED Jason Bateman who played Derek, the smarmy but lovable friend. I watched this show faithfully every day after school in junior high.

Three's Company
Two words: Jack Tripper. This show introduced me to words like "affair" before I could even comprehend what that was. So admittedly, it probably contributed to the corruption of a young Holli Jo. But I loved it anyway.

Honorable mentions:
Perfect Strangers
Who's the Boss?

I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting. What are your all-time favorites?

you're at your best with an ache in your chest

I'm an intelligent person and I can be fairly self-aware, which is why I don't understand why I'm so damn insecure all the time. Pardon my french. But it's the way I feel tonight.

Monday, April 09, 2007

pat's run 2007

Well, Pat's Run was simply amazing. We (me, John, family members) finished the race, and I even finished faster than I thought I would. I had planned on walking the course, but my enthusiasm took over once we got there, and I started the race jogging. I walked most of it, but it ended up that I jogged a mile or two. I'm really sore now as a result.

Anyway, I posted most of my thoughts on the matter here, if anyone cares to read it. If not, just know that it was a wonderful experience that I would do again in a second. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I went running yesterday, and plan to do more walking/running several times a week. I see a 5K in my not too distant future, as well. I'm inspired.

chance meeting at a birdbath

I met Jewell Parker Rhodes today. She is truly one of the nicest people I have ever met. She writes novels and she is the current director of the Piper House. I want to be like her.

Here’s how it happens. I had finished up with a meeting across campus from where I normally work. I was walking back to work but decided to take a little break first. I stopped at Piper House and sat beside a fountain, reading Girls in Pants.

Suddenly there was a bird in the fountain; he was black, and purple, and velvety looking. He walked around the fountain, eyeing me. Then he jumped in and splashed himself all over. I watched in fascination for a couple of minutes until the bird flew away. Jewell Parker Rhodes was suddenly next to me and said, “Wasn’t that beautiful?” She proceeded to tell me the history of Piper House, and how she had insisted that the fountain be put in, along with several other details that make Piper House so inviting.

I knew exactly who she was, but she of course didn’t know who I was. Yet she talked with me as if we were old friends. We introduced ourselves to each other. We exchanged our dream of writing a young adult novel (she writes mostly adult fiction). She asked me to email her so she could mail me a book. She said that we would bug each other until we had started writing our novels.

Meeting her has inspired me, not just to write (though she did inspire that), but also to be a good human being; to love and to embrace life. I am filled with light, just because of her wonderful spirit. I want to be that for other people. I feel so blessed to have met her.

Friday, April 06, 2007

ready for pat's run

My parents and sister are in town so they could do Pat's Run with us. There are seven of us on our team, and we are so excited! There is just something cool about thousands of 'athletes' getting together and running a race. I say 'athletes', because I don't really consider people like me an athlete. I just feel privileged to be among people who actually are.

Anyway, the race shirts are AWESOME, even though they run ultra small, there is a buzz on campus because of the race, and we have to get up bright and early in the morning to make it here by 7am.

We actually did another walk through of the race yesterday. I'm a little sore today, so I guess I didn't train like I should have. Tomorrow we shall see how I do! I'm getting very excited. I'll try to take pictures so I can post a couple.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

self portrait challenge -- eye of my storm

Here's my self portrait for the week, my first one ever. This one is called 'eye of my storm'. My weekend was rough; this week has been hard, but between all that, on Monday evening, I experienced a reprieve. John and I sat on our balcony, holding hands and talking about the future as we stared out at the view we wouldn't be seeing for much longer -- Camelback mountain where John proposed, the golf course, the lone palm tree off in the distance. Things have been rough both before and since, but for that one moment all was right.

To see more self portrait entries, go here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

i will get better

The doctor called to tell me that my hormones are not out of whack. They are completely normal. So that is not the reason I have had such emotional turmoil for the past few months. Perhaps it is the serotonin that is messed up in my brain.

I almost wouldn't believe that there could be a simple, logical reason for such an illogical and emotionally painful condition. People sometimes ask me why I am depressed, but the truth is that I often don't know. Other people don't understand why I am so sad when my life is so blessed. And the truth is that I don't know that either; that is part of the cruel irony of depression--that while the golden sun of good fortune is smiling its rays down upon you, you can't feel it at all. I feel like I have missed out on beautiful and wonderful moments of my life because depression robbed me of my ability to see and know and feel.

I have finally sought real help (again) for this condition, because I don't want to miss out on any more moments. I don't want to look back and read page after page of sad and confused journal entries. I don't want that anymore--not that I ever did want that, but now I realize I want something better, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get that something better.

So I wait for the treatment to kick in. I wait and I hurt and I fight back tears and pray. I am humbled. I wait some more. I know that one of these days the fog will start to lift and I won't have to try so very hard to smile or appear happy. And perhaps there will be a magical day when I can just *be* and enjoy the beautiful moments of my life.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

i'm going to take pictures

So much is going on in my life right now, some of which I plan to post about, to sort my thoughts out. But first, I just wanted to mention one thing. I signed up for Self Portrait Challenge. I've been wanting to for a while, but I finally did it.

Basically, they give you a theme for the month, and each week you post a photograph (a self portrait) you took that deals with the theme. I'm no photographer, but I want to be. I figure this is a way to get in the habit of taking pictures. So bear with me if I post some amateurish or bad photos. At least I'll be taking pictures.

This month's theme is: the body. So stay tuned.