Thursday, April 28, 2011

Done whining. For now.

The Hand Guy has decided I need surgery. As my best friend says it is just like me to break a wrist with such spectacular brilliance, I require surgery to fix it. And I really was skating super fast, just like a jammer would.

Before going today to schedule surgery, I checked with my parents to figure out when they would be available to deal with me having outpatient surgery. Sometime next week was about it for them. But then the physician's assistant told me they could get me in tomorrow. I had a moment of panic fearing I would have to turn down such a lucky surgery schedule because I had no one to drive me or help me after. Within 20 minutes, though, I made contact with 3 friends, all of whom promised to do whatever I needed. And a 4th promised me a ride to the wedding on Saturday as I don't think I could drive myself so soon after even minor surgery.

So maybe I'm not entirely in this alone.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yes, I'm whining, but I have multiple broken bones, so cut me some slack

On the whole, I'm not a big fan of being single. I greatly preferred my coupled-off life to the "life" I've led over the past year. Still, being single has its moments. I can even appreciate that there are times when being single has its advantages. The time when your wrist is mangled, immobilized in a splint, and needing surgery is not one of them.

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a life partner right about now. Someone to pick up the slack that I just can't in my current condition. In just a few days, my house has gone to hell because simple things like bathing and getting dressed are so time-consuming. It would also just be nice to have someone here each night so I didn't have to have that nightly reminder that I really am ultimately in this alone.

It's not that I can't just suck it up and take care of myself. I can and I will. But I'm tired and in pain and it would be so, so, so much nicer if I had somebody to lean on. And somebody to get me water and ibuprofen at 3 am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here's a story that infuriated me. A teenage boy wears high heels to school, gets taunted by classmates, so the principal's response was to instruct the kid to remove the shoes. According to the teacher and the principal, the shoes were causing a distraction in the classroom.

Really? Because I thought the distraction was the kids who were doing the taunting. The appropriate response to this kind of taunting and bullying is not to reinforce the idea that whatever they're picking on is something to be picked on. You don't agree with the taunters. You punish them. The kid wearing shoes he liked was not the problem. The kids picking on him were. Requiring the taunted kid to remove his shoes does not in any way, shape, or form deal with the problem.

Shame on you, Principal. You blew that teaching moment. Big time.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


So in the space of the last 24 hours, I have learned a lot about doing things with only one hand. some things are fine, like channel-surfing, drinking wine, eating food that requires only a fork. Brushing teeth only requires one hand, though opening and closing the toothpaste requires some mouth action. I can text with just one hand with the best of them and I've done pretty well typing (though I'm hoping my work can offer me a dictation software system for the next 6 weeks).

Some things are unnaturally tricky, like going to the bathroom. (Seriously, try pulling your pants down with only one hand.) Opening that bottle of wine would have been tough had it not been a screw cap. Dressing is, of course, a trick. My dear friend saw more of me last night than she'd ever expected since I hadn't picked out my Saturday night outfit thinking "which sleeves will easily fit over a splint?" I am glad that I thought to have that friend put my thyroid and allergy meds in a ziploc baggie because childproof caps are out of the question right now.

Some things will be beyond tricky, like showering and dish-washing. How do you do these things when you have to keep one arm away from water? I'm also very unsure how I will put fresh sheets on my bed. I will find out tomorrow how the driving thing will go.

But the thing I am most worried about is knitting. In the last year, knitting has been my go-to thing, almost my savior. I don't know how I will get through 6 whole weeks if I can't turn to my #1 relaxer. Here's hoping that within a week or two my wrist is strong enough and my fingers loosened enough that I can resume knitting.

There is one thing I can guarantee I won't be doing anytime soon: roller skating! (I think, though, that if I still had my old Smurfette skates, this wouldn't have happened. Smurfette would never have hurt me like that.)

All in all, I have to say I do not recommend breaking/dislocating the wrist. I would give it two thumbs down, but only one thumb is mobile.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Once gone, youth can never be recaptured. Childhood is fun and magical and full of wondrous activities. We may want to revisit those times, attempt to recreate the magic. Sometimes, maybe we even can feel a little bit of the old magic.

But more often than not, we fall on our butts. And break a wrist.

I do not think I will go out for roller derby after all.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011


In case you weren't aware, dating sucks. It's torture. The awkward greeting. The small talk. The self-conscious awareness that everyone else in the place can tell it's an early date. The horrible uncertainty of how to end. Every conversation lag is so loaded with the worry that you really have nothing to talk about. Every decision (what do I order? Beer? Wine? Just water? Who pays?) is so fraught with the potential for disaster. I am convinced that humankind has never invented anything so awful as dating.

Ok, maybe genocide is worse. Maybe. You might have to work to convince me of that right now.

Is it really too much to ask that I could meet someone I'm excited about? Someone I'm interested in getting to know? Someone I don't want to stop talking to? Someone who can text me the day after a date without eliciting a groan?

In short, is it really too much to ask that I could meet someone who would make me forget about Him? Apparently it is.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Death of a Birther...bill

The following words are incredibly painful for me to utter, but I must. Well done, Gov. Brewer. I don't think much of you, but this is one thing you got absolutely right. Vetoing that ridiculous, ill-considered "birther" bill was the only sensible thing to do. You have saved your state hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of dollars in litigation costs. The litigation could well have been endless since the bill allowed any state citizen who disagreed with the Secretary of State's determination of any individual candidate's qualifications to be on the ballot.

Not to mention that the standards of proof required by the plain language of the bill would have left many U.S. citizens unable to qualify for the Arizona ballot, myself included. I don't have anything like a "long form" birth certificate. My only and original birth certificate lists the bare minimum information. I have no idea what hospital I was born in. I certainly don't know of any witnesses, except the two we can all guess were there. I don't have any baptismal or circumcision records. I seriously doubt I could track down any medical records from my birth many decades ago. (It's not polite to ask how many decades ago, but I will tell you I am eligible to run for president.) Rest assured, if I had wanted to get on the ballot as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate and the Secretary of State of Arizona told me my official, certified birth certificate from Massachusetts wasn't good enough, I would absolutely have pursued every legal avenue to challenge that decision. And I don't even want to be president. I'm guessing somebody who really does want to hold that office would fight even harder and longer than I would.

Even before Brewer vetoed the bill, though, the sitting Secretary of State in Arizona had already indicated that he was going to read the bill's requirement that the birth certificate include the name of the hospital, doctor, witnesses, etc. as an "if applicable" section. The Secretary also stated that the certificate issued by the Obama campaign lo so many years ago would have sufficed, assuming he got a properly signed, certified copy instead of just a photocopy. Which, of course, is the only sensible answer. Because it's a legal, valid birth certificate. Good enough to get him a US passport and security clearance at the highest levels.

Can we please now put an end to all this birther nonsense? The President has shown us a birth certificate, the only kind he can get now from Hawaii. It's properly signed and certified. It says he was born in Hawaii.  What possible reason is there for any thinking, rational person to conclude a signed, certified official document from the state of Hawaii isn't sufficient proof of a person's place and date of birth?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The nature of a funeral is closely tied to the nature of the death. There are those funerals following shocking, unexpected, sometimes violent deaths. Funerals for those deaths we were totally unprepared for are dreadful, attended by people struggling to make sense out of the random cruelty of life. We're bemoaning the person who died far too young or senselessly. Having recently attended one of these funerals, I sincerely hope I won't have to face that again for a long, long time.

There are funerals for people who have dealt with long illnesses. Those funerals are always a mix of sadness and anger at the unfairness of illness and a certain level of relief that the suffering of a loved one is over. The best funerals are for the 90 year-old who passed away peacefully in his sleep. Families gather, share meals, and reminisce. There are tears, of course, but no tragedy. Mostly it's a celebration of a life well-lived.

The funeral I have to attend this week is not any of these. This week my family will say its final good-bye to a man whose life was lost 20 years ago. Alcohol claimed his life long before it finally stopped his body. We don't actually know what he died from, whether it was a heart attack or a stroke or even alcohol poisoning. We didn't bother with an autopsy because we know what killed him. None of us were surprised to get that phone call. We're all a little surprised it didn't come years ago. We're mildly pleased he actually had a home to die in. Had this happened during a homeless spell, who knows how long it would have been before we knew. And almost universally, we all shook our heads and called it a shame. He had such a hard life. He was a kind, generous, sweet man whose life feels like a terrible waste because he could never show that kindness to himself.

Initially, there was talk of not even having a funeral. Maybe there was a reluctance to have us all gather where we would be faced with our collective failure to help him overcome the demon of addiction that dominated the last half of his life. There was the thought that this life was not one to celebrate. And I think his brothers, his cousins, even his daughter, may have already felt like he was dead, or at least the man they'd hoped he would be was long gone.

But I'm glad there will be a funeral, because I will tell them all how I will always remember him. He was 23 when I was born and the baby of his generation. My first memories of him are from when I was 6 and when I picture him, I still picture him at 29. He was handsome and tall (not really, but everyone is tall to a 6 year-old, especially one as small as I was). And he was always willing to play with me. I always smiled when my parents told me he was coming over because I knew he would play badminton or push me on the swing or do whatever other thing I asked him to. He never ran out of patience. He made me feel like I was the person he'd come over to see. I had no idea how he struggled, how unhappy he was. I just knew that he was my favorite and I felt sure I was his.

I agree that his life and death were tragic. I agree that it's a shame he lost so many jobs and loved ones and years to the bottle. But I can't agree that his life was a total waste. Because once upon a time there was a 6 year-old who had a mad crush on him. And anyone who can get a kid to love him that much did something right.

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