November 23, 2003. Falling down and hurting things. (posted December 7, 2003)


Iím totally injured over here. I have a bad knee and a sprained ankle! Itís positively tragic.


A couple of weeks ago we went out for some much delayed dancing fun. We hit the strip and went to a fine specimen of bar/dance club called Chemistry which was complete with attendant in the bathroom, perhaps-professional dancer in shiny red satin pants (pleated!) and an equally shiny blue shirt with some kind of small metal decoration studded all over the collar, and crazy dancing man who stood on the highest flat surfaces around and demonstrated the most flexible midsection Iíve ever seen on a fellow his age. And, it was fun. I was dancing around like an idiot and then:


My knee went out, and I fell. Someone screamed! I couldnít stand up. My whole left leg was beat up, and I was in so much pain. Michelle helped me to a stool and I put my foot up on a bar table and sat there for a while, cup of ice on my knee and an ice pack that the best bar back ever brought me.


Long story short, I sprained my ankle. Short story long:


          I opened the towel around my wonderful ice pack (a towel! I donít even use one of those at home on my ice packs. This bar back was FANTASTIC.) to readjust it a little and there was an Icy Icy HAND! It was a rubber glove filled with ice. It ruled.

          These drunk guys stopped by to check on me. As the first one asked after my health the second ran his hand up my leg solicitously. My very very hair leg. He was totally unflustered, but did walk away quickly. Hee.

          I made friends with a guy having a bachelor party. He walked out after I did (well, I didnít walk. I was the hopping queen.) and got to witness the people standing on the second floor deck yelling filthy ugly things at us. Jerks. So, we, being classy ladies, yelled back. They yelled some more, and someone who will remain nameless winged the rubber glove of icy hand at them. They winged something at us, and I pulled out my cell phone and pretended to call the cops. And then we hopped to the corner where our ride had graciously pulled around to pick us up (having to bravely maneuver around the drunk-bus on the corner).


And then, we needed crutches for me! I hopped all over the place on Sunday, asking people for rides and jumping around like a fool. I had to go to school to do work, and then to a study group at a classmates house, and while I was away Michelle reconnoitered the scary basement and found a pair of crutchers to use. It was so relieving.


The next day my trip to school was excruciating. I had to get in early to finish more homework, so I caught a 6 AM bus. It was awful. It took me 15 minutes to crutch the three blocks to the corner, and I am sure I donít have to tell you it was nearly dark out then. I ran into my chemistry professor at the bus stop but neither of us noticed the other, really. I got off at the stop before the short cut I took, which wasnít really a short cut. It took me 40 minutes to crutch across campus on the Iím-not-really-sure-it-was-a-short-cut short cut. And then I climbed 3 flights of stairs, because thatís where the trail took me and I sure as heck wasnít about to go around to the flat side of the building. An hour later, I was in my office. The trip involved some angry muttering, some frustrated tears, and two monster blisters on the palms of my hands. After that, I looked for rides where ever I could. Tuesday I got a ride from Paulina who has a 10:30 class. Wednesday there wasnít any school, and that was just fine with me. I drove in to take care of some errands. And then it was thanksgiving weekend and visiting Gabulo could drive around (and show off her new hybrid civic in the process! V. nice).


And for those of you who really want to know what the doctor said: Monday they thought about sending me for x-rays. I reminded them that I had opted foolishly for plan 3 health coverage, which includes a very attractive and as yet virgin incredibly high deductible. They told me to come back on Wednesday. So I did, parking illegally in a fraternity parking lot across the street and crutching my way over. They said perhaps I had structural damage in my knee (yuck) but that my ankle was doing fine and here are some exercises to try out. They also said acupuncture was not a bad way to go, but it wouldnít help with my structural injuries which I should totally get checked out when I had a real form of health insurance (goo).


Want to see some totally pixelicious and nearly indiscernible pictures of my ankle? These are from 12/2/03, which I can do because this is an entry that I wrote after the fact and put up even later than after I took pictures. So the swelling is MUCH better than it was, and the bruising is MUCH better than it was too.


Itís kind of hard to see, isnít it. These are the two big bruise areas.

This is where my ankle bone used to live. Itís swollen!

Big fat ugly bone. Big fat ugly swelling.

Hereís more bruise. You know, if youíre into that kind of thing.


So thatís the tragic tragic story of my falling down. Usually I just tumble, and donít hurt myself badly. Remember the ďare you an athleteĒ story? Thatís usually how it goes for me. But not this time. Itíll take a little bit longer to clean up from this one.




November 30, 2003. A Thanksgiving Story. (posted December 7, 2003)


This thanksgiving was at the same time busy and not busy. It was wonderful.

I had thought of taking a little trip to Albany to visit the family seat, but I heard that 1. it takes 8 hours to drive and 2. Michelle wasnít sure if sheíd have Friday off from work and 3. I had a big chemistry test on the Monday following, and I donít want to get a C in chemistry. C does not stand for Chemistry, as far as Iím concerned. Iím pretty sure B does, but would be pleasantly and shockingly surprised if I found out later that A stands for chemistry. Not likely!


So, I decided that in light of my terrible schedule Iíd just stay home. And in light of my terrible ankle injury, itís a darn good thing I did. I can drive the stick shift around a little bit but lordy I donít need to do that for 8 hours straight. So we made plans to go to Auroraís house for a big sumptuous thanksgiving meal, prepared by herself and her culinary school fiancť. And Gabulo came out for thanksgiving as well.


And also, I was asked to care for two cats and two turtles. By two turtles I mean feed one turtle and ďcheck in on Claire while youíre at our house doing your laundry, ok?Ē So I was waltzing around with 4 other-persons keys on my key ring. As waltzing as you can get while youíre on crutches!


Wednesday night Michelle and I went to Mariss and Kellyís to do laundry. That was great. We ordered in ridiculous sandwiches (why do warm sandwiches in Pittsburgh have lettuce on them? Thatís so strange) and sat around until very late. And then I locked up and went home.

Thursday morning Gabulo showed up and we went over to Jaredís to feed his cats. Now, as I may have mentioned before, Iím on crutches. That means Clumsy. So I dropped my keys on the way out of his apartment. Then home, where we mashed up about 3X to many potatoes and whipped up a green bean casserole: one of my favorite foods, but also one I cannot justify making for myself and myself only. And itís a pretty special food that I canít justify making. The dinner was wonderful and the spread amazing and the company super duper. We played parlor games afterwards and went home a tiny bit too late in a gentle snow.\


And then I realized that 2 of the 4 other peoples keys were missing. Yikes!

So I tore through my bag, and through all of my pockets, and got the flashlight and crutched down the driveway to see if when I had moved my car the keys had fallen. And I checked my car and Gabuloís car and no key. It was terrible. Luckily I was totally exhausted so I was able to get to sleep ok, but when I woke up on Friday morning too early I could not get back to sleep at all. I kept going over in my head where they keys could have fallen off of my key ring. This was especially frustrating because I donít usually lose keys. Iím a very good person to give things like keys and pieces of identification and other things to. And worse, one of the keysí missing was to Mariss and Kellyís house, and theyíre so nice about letting us use their washer and dryer that I didnít want to have to tell them that their key was missing.


I figured the keyís were in two of three places: either in Jaredís house near the table Iíd tossed them on when we first got there, out side of his apartment where I dropped the keys, or gone for freakiní ever. We got up and went out to lunch at our wonderful and super and delightful new cafť and then headed over to Jaredís where first Michelle tried to Ďbreak iní to his apartment through a window (all locked) and then I started buzzing people. The first guy I buzzed came out all disheveled and sleepy and I said ďyou donít know me but Iím supposed to feed come cats upstairs and I donít have the key, can I come in?Ē and he kind of grunted and stepped back. Yay! I we went up up up and . . . There were the keys! Right on the floor where Iíd dropped the whole right. I was so happy, and we all stayed and petted Jaredís cats for an hour or so before heading over to feed the turtle.


That night we went back to our new cafť for some live music. It is a fantastic place there. Itís just a few blocks away from our house and is right on the edge of several incredibly different neighborhoods. The proprietress is a cool lady and fun to chat with, and the coffee is the best Iíve ever had, and definitely the best Iíve had since Puerto Rico. Is it strange that I only like really strong coffee? I hope weíll have a chance to go back there often, and really, I think itís so great to have a local place with live music and a good atmosphere. After 4 years in Spanish Harlem itís especially appreciated.


Saturday we spent all day doing laundry. It was amazing. And then we went to an Ouve show, starring Friend Bruce. Theyíre fantastic, they always are. Sunday morning we had brunch at the coop (another wonderful local place) and saw Gabulo off. Michelle and I went back to Cafť Bliss and spent a few hours doing work there, and then I regrouped for Chemistry Fun with my classmates. After, you know, I locked Jared out of his apartment and he had to break in for real. Yikes! Iíll never be asked to watch the cats again!



When I was little we had to go around the table and say what we were thankful for this year. Thereís so many things Iím thankful for, but this weekend I was most thankful Iíd found the lost keys and that I had good friends with me to look for them.