Monday, November 24, 2008

Achilles' Heel

Our kitchen is tiny. For some people, this would be a minor annoyance, perhaps not even a blip on the radar as they heat up another Lean Cuisine or unwrap the deli containers. For this Foodie Girl, it's a big fat pain.* There's not enough counterspace for cooking and our kitchen stuff, so we store most of our small appliances on top of the kitchen cabinets when they are not in use. It's not exactly visually pleasing, but having enough room to cook is a much higher priority to me than the chance at showing up on the cover of House Beautiful.

However, problems can arise when someone is trying to put the crockpot back on top of the cabinets while talking on the phone, in which case the heavy crock might slip out of your hands and shatter on the kitchen floor with an amazing CRASH.

And then, a couple of weeks later, said someone's wife might be padding about the kitchen early in the morning, getting ready to make coffee, when she makes the unfortunate discovery that not all of the shards were cleaned up post-crock-shattering. And that discovery might be especially unfortunate due to the fact that the rogue shard ends up embedded into the heel of her foot.

This was not especially great timing. I had a doctor's appointment that morning, and I had to wait well over a month for a slot to open up, which meant I was not going to miss it. So I had Ash bring me the tweezers and a flashlight. And then a needle. And then the peroxide. All to no avail. In fact, we both had a go at playing surgeon, employing our home version of instrument sterilization (matches and hot water) and trying to dig the stupid thing out before I finally had to concede defeat and just admit that it was NOT coming out without some professional-type medical assistance.**

Which is why Ash and I found ourselves in the urgent care center just in time to watch a horrifying few minutes of Rachel Ray's talk show while waiting to be taken back to the treatment room. The nurse practicioner smeared some lidocaine cream on my foot and sent me to have x-rays. Having confirmed that it was relatively superficial, the nurse practicioner started the procedure and it was all going swimmingly. I could hear her cutting, but I couldn't feel anything until suddenly WOW I TOTALLY FEEL THAT, and so she casually grabbed hold of my foot and announced, "OK, this will probably burn" and I FREAKED OUT.

Have I ever mentioned my needle phobia before? Because I have one, and it's bad.

I mean, yeah, nobody likes needles. Usually, when I tell someone that I have a needle phobia, they say "Ohhh, yeah, me too", but I am not talking about the garden variety, I'm-nervous-about-getting-poked-with-a-needle fear. I am talking about full blown hysteria, and no matter how much logic you try to impose on it (yes, I know that it doesn't hurt for more than a second), I just flat out panic. In that moment, she could just as easily have said "OK, I'm just going to go ahead and chop the foot off" and I would have had the exact same level of panic.

So she decided to go ahead and finish the procedure without any anesthetic.

Had I been capable of rationality at that moment, I would have instructed her to let go of my foot, back up, and give me a moment to get (as much of) a grip (as I possibly could). Then I would have been able to calm down enough to handle the shot*** and we could have gotten on with the thing. Instead, what happened was that I strained my other leg straining against the pain of having ceramic cut out of my foot.

What a lot of drama for a small piece of ceramic.

My foot was good and sore for a couple of days, but it's already pretty much healed now, save for a small scab on my heel. I do believe the kitchen floor needs a good washing, just to make sure that we won't be repeating this embarassing little journey again.

*Don't get me wrong, as far as I'm concerned, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make if it means not having to live under the Frathole and next to War Movie anymore.
** That medical degree Hulio and I were earning by watching TLC did not seem to come in handy for some reason.
*** Most likely without much grace. I'm sure lots of tears and sobbing would have been involved.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maybe Not the Wisest Choice

Is it just me, or was it really kind of poor taste for NPR to follow a story on the Somali pirates who stole an oil tanker by playing a clip of the theme song from Pirates of the Caribbean?


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Laundry Night

Jenna's favorite day is laundry day.

It was still sort of warm from the dryer. Another few minutes and she would have been burrowed completely into the pile.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Back in the day when I was blundering my way around Bavaria, speaking my own little blend of terrible German and misguided Bavarian, I was delighted to learn that German has a word for people like me: Morgenmuffel. I hate, hate, hate mornings. I am grumpy and cranky like a two year old who missed her nap. So if I can drag myself out of bed at 6 a.m. to vote, there is no excuse for the rest of you.

Adventures in voting, 2008 edition:

Ash called his sister at 5:30 a.m. her time to tell her to get up and vote. Personally, I would be getting my car and my rifle ready if I were her. Ash claims that she thanked him.

When I said that I got out of bed at 6 a.m., that wasn't entirely truthful. I was awake at 6 a.m., sort of. It took me another 15 minutes or so to get moving for real, and the whole time, Ash was pinching and poking and prodding, "I want to be there when the polls open! Get up!" This is not necessarily a great tactic for getting me out of bed, but it is a great tactic for getting yelled at, maybe even kicked, except not really, because I can't really coordinate that much effort when I first wake up. Morgenmuffel, remember?

When we got to the polling station about five minutes before it opened, there were lines, and they looked pretty long. I've never had to wait in line to vote before, not a real line. I mean, sure I've had to wait my turn for the booth to open after I checked in with the poll workers, but I've never had to stand in line. The mood was kind of intense, but people were in pretty good spirits. There was a guy in the line next to us voting in his first election, and he was practically vibrating with anticipation, which is really exciting.

Ash has been walking around for days, worrying that they might not let him vote because he hasn't gotten a new voter registration card since changing his address after our recent move. I kept telling him not to worry about it because a) they probably won't notice, since his driver's license also shows the old address, and b) we moved from apartment #1A to apartment #1B in the same building, so they probably won't care. When we got to the head of the line, who did they not want to let vote?


My name did not show in the Big Book O' Voters. They couldn't find a ballot card with my name on it in the Big Box O' Ballot Cards. "Don't worry," they told me, "you can vote with a provisional ballot."

Ummmmm... no. I want my vote to be counted, thankyouverymuch.

The poll worker moved me off to the side to discuss with the elections judge at the polling place. Just as they were deciding to call the County offices downtown in order to obtain a court order allowing me to vote, another poll worker called over that they'd found my ballot card, misfiled in the Big Box O' Ballot Cards. I was very nearly ready to cry. Still, I was prepared to go all the way, call in sick if necessary, in order to get my vote cast properly.

That's how important I believe this election is.

Please vote. And unlike election day posts of the past, I do care if you're voting for the candidate I'm supporting. Barack Obama is our best chance of regaining the promise of this country, and of giving those of us who didn't inherit or marry wealth, a family name, or connections a chance to reach that elusive American Dream. I don't post political stuff very often because the atmosphere in this country has gotten too divisive, and if I'm going to be honest, because I don't think I could possibly say it as well as so many other people out there in the Interwebs. I believe strongly that this is a critical moment for our generation in particular, and I want my country and my government to stop acting like an egomaniacal bully. It's time for a change in the leadership of this country, it's time to stop pretending like the only people who matter are ourselves, it's time to start repairing the damage that eight disasterous years of Bush policies have wreaked on the poor and the middle class.