Tue 26 Sep 2006
Yesterday I was pulling out a bag of garbage at my work when the unthinkable happened: the can went with the garbage and than dropped down with force on to my big toe. “YEEEOWW!” My toe immediately turned pink, red, purple, and then settled into a horrible shade of black. The pain was so intense I felt nauseous. I mentioned it to my boss–because, you know, I was injured on the job–and she said, “Oh, yeah, that happened to me once.” I shook it off and went into auto-pilot mode, trying to get shit done so I could close the place up and leave. I gimped to my car and drove in rush hour traffic for forty-five minutes while steadily ignoring the waves of pain and nausea.
When I got home I tried to distract myself with bad television…but it was no good, I couldn’t ignore the horrible pulsing of blood collecting under my tonail. I finally gave into fitful crying, freaking Josh out and prompting him to call around for advice at local medical centers. This proved to be useless, because before advice could be dispensed, we had to prove we were insured with said medical center. This involved being put on hold for along time. At one point an on-call gynecologist from the women’s center contacted me only to say in all sincerity, “well, I guess if you’re in horrible pain you should go to urgency care…I mean, this isn’t really my specialty, being a gynecologist and all.” We finally wised up and turned to the internet and this is what we found:
- Apply ice and elevate the injured area as soon as possible to minimize swelling and relieve pain. Acetaminophen will also ease discomfort.
- If you have severe, throbbing pain, make a hole in the nail to relieve the pressure. (Do not do this unless you are confident you can do it without burning yourself. Do not do this if you have diabetes or circulation problems.) Follow these steps:
- Straighten a paper clip and heat the tip in a flame until it is red-hot.
- Place the tip of the paper clip on the nail and let it melt through. You do not need to push. This will not be painful, because the nail has no nerves. Go slowly and reheat the clip as necessary. A thick nail may take several tries.
- As soon as the hole is complete, blood will escape and the pain will be relieved. If your pain is not relieved by this procedure, you may have a more serious injury, such as a broken finger or toe or a deep cut. In this case, you should see your physician.
- Soak the finger 3 times a day in a half-and-half mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water.
- If the pressure builds up again in a few days, repeat the procedure, using the same hole.
OK, so I’m sure this is all much easier to read than to actually do…but Josh and I gave it a try. The first attempt, I ended up putting too much pressure and feeling a bad burning sensation from the paper clip. I ‘yeow-tched!” and “aaack-ed” my way through several attempts with Josh using the paper clip and me applying the flame. After calling my Mom and blubbering over the phone she quoted back to me the same instructions above. I decided this was getting serious…who wants to show up to the emergency room with a black tonail? Not me, I’m not that big of a baby. So I iced my toe for twenty minutes, handed Josh a BBQ torch and an unbent paper clip and went to work. My toes are pretty thick and gnarly from years of dancing. It took us many tries, but we worked down a system where Josh would fire up the torch until the paper clip glowed red and I quickly wedged it into the growing hole in my toenail. Finally, finally, we heard a snap and blood SPURTED straight into the air and glug-gluged all over the kitchen floor. The relief was incredible…within seconds my tonail went from being solid black to purple and then a simple shade of red.
My tonail looks like it has a little bullet hole in it or something, but I may actually keep my nail. I know this is a pretty gross post, but I just have to share this amazing technique. It saved me from agony, turned my tonail back to a normal color, and returned my appetite! Next time you squash one of your appendages, remember this post.
Mon 25 Sep 2006
The last day of summer ended with a camping trip in celebration of Kris’ 30th birthday. Josh has been itching to go camping so this was a perfect opportunity for him to drag out all our old camping gear before it is officially put into storage. I even had a brand new mummy sleeping bag that I have never used, which came in handy since it was COLD at night.
The camping trip was also a great excuse to get out of the city, something that I definitely felt the need for toward the end of the week. After a terrible day at work on Thursday, I came home to learn about a shooting that had occured three blocks from our new house. At the time I was so depressed from the day’s events, that this news merely added to my overall depression. Several days later, it still disturbs me and I’ve taken all sorts of steps to avoid driving through this intersection until the lingering feeling of ’shit going down’ goes away. It’s at times like these when I question wether or not I’m cut out for city living. Of course, shootings happen in every neighborhood regardless of how ‘nice’ they are or not. Many folks simply write it off as either ‘wrong place, wrong time’ or ”circumstantial.’ I have always been very sensitive, so even though I can dismiss such events as horrible but unapplicable to me, I still feel very, very bad. And why does the proximity to my house matter so much? Not so much because it could have happened to me, (chances are it wouldn’t, I certainly don’t pick fights with people who ride in strange cars), but because I could have witnissed it…and that scares me more then anything else.
Despite questioning my urban life, I don’t think I’m entirely cut out for the life of a nature loving camper. My grandfather once said he didn’t understand the appeal of camping…after all, our ancestors spent years of hard labor and grueling life on the prairie to eventually allow us a roof over our heads. After years of living off the land in wagons, eating what little could be found, and surviving harsh winters, our ancestors would be shocked to learn that we go out and mimic this life style for the pure fun of it. I am inclined to agree, and while I have only been camping a handful of times, I am pretty certain that my grandpa’s theory applies to me. When I was a kid I never cared to sleep over at a friend’s house because I didn’t want to spend time away from the comfort of my own bed.
The thing is, Josh LOVES camping. And it was Kris’ birthday. So, we went. Like most camping trips there were some great positives: hiking up to a water fall, hanging out around a warm fire after being cold all day, and s’mores; I ate so many, I can’t recall anything tasting so decadent. Unfortunately, our air mattress deflated both nights, leaving us shivering in the middle of the night trying to pump it back up. I fell trying to get down to the stream, resulting in my backside getting a big bruise and my fingernail being bent back at a weird angle.
It was very cold, although we were lucky it didn’t rain–hurrah! We ate delicious meals of potatoes, carrots, and onions wrapped in foil and baked in the fire.Â We read off trivial pursuit cards as we zoned out near the fire, the flames mesmerizing us.Â For camping pictures, I’ll refer you to Kris’ flickr page. Â As soon as it dries, our camping gear goes away…until sometime next summer when Josh decided we must abandon our city life and live amongst the chipmunks again.
Wed 20 Sep 2006
Our neighborhood has not done well for the local cat population: Several dead cats have turned up on nearby city streets, obvious victims of cars. I’m not sure what’s happening, except we’re in an urban neighborhod with more people living in houses than apartments. Perhaps people let their cats wander around at night, with no collar, to run into the middle of the street. I just feel that, unless you’re on a highway going a million miles an hour, it’s cruel to hit an animal and leave it to die at the side of the road. I lost a cat, Fox, this way…my poor sister found him when she went out to wait for the school bus.
And I have an awful confession to make, something that I never, ever talk about: three years ago on a rural highway, late at night while driving to Aspen, CO, a cat skittered into our path and fell victim to our tires. The sound of impact was hideous and we were paralyzed with what to do: Find an off ramp and go back? Slow down from 55 mph and look? We were filled with anguish and ultimately decided that it would be too risky for us to pull over and perhaps get run over ourselves (although wouldn’t that have been karmic justice).
Of course, a lot of this is case by case. Sure, I could see if someone is late to work and they run over a cat the last thing they want to do is go back and look at a dead animal…but these people are hard. Go check the collar, go see if it’s still alive, call the sanitation department, if anthing…Now, live animals running around poses a different question, particularly in regard to dogs. Josh and I have both been known for rushing out into traffic to rescue a run-away dog. I don’t even particularly like dogs, and yet I found myself running across a highway in Summit County in pursuit of a stray dog. I convinced him into my car and called animal control. I’ve even pulled over and not been able to convince animals into my car, only to find a nearby business and called animal control from there. There is something really heart breaking about a dog running around, freaked out, and lost.
Many of you will make the case for keeping your pet indoors…you’re right, it definitely decreases their risk.Â I, however, have always let my cats outside to roam free.Â I also had a friend in college who had all these animals stuffed into her tiny apartment and her cats started to chew their fur out.Â “It’s a reaction to staying indoors in such small quarters,” she explained.Â The idea of a sad, neurotic, cat chewing itself in response to being denied the outdoors kinda of stuck with me.Â OK, I know many of you have indoor cats that love it, they’re fat and happy lying around your house all day…after seeing several flattened kitties on the road, I may have to consider it.
Fri 15 Sep 2006
We finally broke down and painted the kitchen a shocking yellow…It wasn’t meant to be that shocking, but I chose paint from the ‘Brights’ catagory at Lowe’s. Specifically, I thought “Golden Butter” would be soft and appealing–fung shui highly reccommends yellow for kitchens because it emulates ripeness (hence painting a kitchen blue or purple is negative because it reminds people of spoiled food). This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time: a gold kitchen, how romantic. Well, it’s not quite gold…it’s more like sunshine, which isn’t all that bad. Our kitchen is extremely dark and the paint has really brightened things up.
In an effort to make my house unusual I have embarked on an unusual hobby: painting face plate covers. I’ve always felt painting a light switch cover is a sneaky way to include a little extra art into one’s home. This is something I always felt unjustified in doing for a rental; I certainly couldn’t imagine myself swiping the covers and reusing them everytime I moved. So, I drummed up a design that, admittedly, is borrowed but is something I’ve wanted to see on a face plate: Van Gogh’s Starry night…
Sun 10 Sep 2006
The house is not haunted…however, it’s so old that you can hear everything within the nearest proximity. If Josh is roaring with laughter upstairs I can hear him easily in the living room. The clothes washer cleans so vigorously that the entire house shakes (SHAKES) during the spin cycle.
Hobbes has taken to crawling into weird spaces and corners–behind the TV or under a bookshelf–and meowing. She spends long hours on the front porch, surveying the scene. She’s had multiple run-ins with neighboring cats, standing her ground with a fat tail but refusing to throw the first punch. I’ve chased cats out of our yard periodically, anxious for Hobbes to feel as if her territory is asserted.
Josh was gone for almost an entire week and I realized how utterly and completely unfeminist I felt. Useless! I lolled around and felt grouchy. I missed him so much I couldn’t sleep…ended up hiding out in the spare room with the rationalization that our bedroom was just too big for one person. A mother and her teenage daughters engaged in a verbal smack down in front of our house at 10pm and it totally freaked me out. I’m all alone in a strange new place and there’s screaming and hollering going out right outside my doorway. I hung out in my bathroom for a little while–the room furthest from the front door. Luckily, things settled down and the family retreated into their house a few doors down.
I walked for miles up Seward Park Drive, totally intent on reaching Seward Park…never made it, just too far. Went to the Colombia City Farmer’s Market and felt cheered by the boxes of end-of-season fruit, local farmers selling the last of their harvest, and the overpriced homemade goods. Went to an Open Improv Jam downtown and did well, received a few laughs, met up with old performing buddies, and stayed out late. Unpacked as many boxes as I could physically carry, but still fell short of fully unpacking. Decided against painting the kitchen gold…will wait until another weekend opens up. Realized that I have writer’s block, artist block, and dancer’s block all at the same time.
Josh returns and everything feels different…just having someone else roaming around and shaking the walls in the house with each step of the stairs makes me feel better.
Tue 5 Sep 2006
On my way to a dance class in Capitol Hill I passed several young hippie vagabonds on the sidewalk.Â I watched the girl in the group carefully apply black lipstick, a gesture I found intriguing.Â While I was walking past one of them asked, “Do you want to leave your life behind, get in our van and travel the country?”Â I turned back and said, “It’s really tempting but no thanks.”Â I chuckled at the proposal.Â “You’d have one sexy girl and two sexy guys for company!”Â He called after me.Â I moved on,Â envisioning in my head what it would possibly be like to drop everything and travel the country with three strangers I’d just met in Capitol Hill.
Mon 4 Sep 2006
I spent the weekend with a myriad of people, including my sister and long-time friend Kimberly. Gina graciously brought up my painting and she and Justin came with the goal of trying out several vegan places they had heard about in Seattle. We ended up at Araya’s in the U-district, a vegan thai buffet. It was incredibly cheap at $6.99 for lunch, and absolutely wonderful in its variety of thai delights. From phad thai to black bean pudding with coconut milk, we stuffed outselves–by the time Gina discovered the bowl of peanut sauce, I was too full. I took Gina to a vegan-only grocery store and talked her into throwing down the big bucks for a decent pair of Vegetarian Shoes. They were so ridiculously cute, she just had to take them home and maybe, just maybe, retire a pair of her very worn out Converse. Afterward we walked to the beach and Josh and I bought popsicles (I’m a biter, Josh is a licker):
The beach was less then a half mile away, and we watched the ducks, geese, and one white goose swim around in the murky water:
Gina and Justin took off and less then two hours later Kimberly was at our door. The following morning we filled up on pastries from the local bakery in Columbia City. We dropped Josh off at the airport so he could go off for Leadership Training in St. Louis, MO. Kimberly and I went to Capitol Hill and because she felt obligated to get a true cup of Seattle coffee, we had lattes at Vivace’s. Famous for being the first in the states to create foam art, the owner of Vivace was recently on NPR. The long detailed description of his latte foam works of art filled me with such longing I had to turn the radio off. I vowed that if I were to indulge, I would do it at Vivace and I was not at all disappointed. That latte scratched an itch I’ve been unable to stratch for three months now. We further indulged by getting our nails done, something I’ve rarely done but love to splurge on. When debating on what nail color I realized that the practical side of me was going for the light, pale, unoffensive-if-chipped colors. I conferred with Kimberly and went all out with bright, indecent, red: Why spend the money on a color no one can see? Kimberly and I went downtown and had sushi and clam sandwiches at McCormick and Schmick’s happy hour. Then we went ACT theater and saw A Number by Caryl Churchill. We spent many hours debating politics, theater, and Kimberly put up with my manic, inconsistent driving. The company was much appreciated, as I will be all by myself for the next four days. In an effort to fight off lonliness and find out new and different places in my neighborhood I walked the mile to nearby Pritchard Beach. Very cool, very small, complete with a life guard chair and a floating dock covered with birds. Tommorrow I hope to scope out more of Colombia City and Seward Park.
Mon 4 Sep 2006