Monday, June 30, 2008

doing fine

Last week was the National Weather Service's official Lightning Awareness Week.

In a bizarre coincidence, I received a text message from my Mister while I was out of town over the weekend which read:
My cousin.
[Your cousin] was hit by lighting yesterday. Doing fine.
Ack! Like a soldier who has returned injured from the war hasn't had enough traumas for one lifetime?

From what I've pieced together out of calls from family and an email from my cousin, he was mowing the lawn when he was hit by a lightning bolt that first struck a tree, then traveled through the ground to him - blowing his boots off and frying his cell phone in the process. It sounds like it was one of those sneaky bolt from the blue situations.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

brains, bandages and robin hood

Did I mention that the only thing my brain MRI found was a brain? Happy news, that, even if it does mean we still can't explain my wacky test results and symptoms.

I'm lying on the couch with my leg elevated right now and wrapped like a mummy because my lymphedema has gone nuts. I got a crash course today on lymphedema wound care when what should have been a tiny scratch became an big nuisance. Not infected, and I won't go into the gritty details here [edit: click the photo of the first aid kit if you want details], but suffice it to say I've got more layers of bandages on that little scratch now than I had for my laprascopic port incisions after my surgery.

lymphedema first aid kit

I've been watching an episode of Robin Hood on BBC America - via my DVR - while my leg is elevated. The episode I have right now is "Get Carter" and I must say it's one of the better episodes in this series so far, IMHO.

The series has it's pros and cons. Notably, on the pro side, is Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne. Hubba hubba. (Wait, did I say that out loud?) Also, the Sheriff of Nottingham is ridiculously, selfishly, snivelingly evil (in a good way), and is well played by Keith Allen. The story lines for each show are entertaining and sometimes pretty creative.

On the down side, Marian's makeup, hair and costumes are often so modern as to make her fit in like a shoe vendor at a snake convention. Other random characters periodically wander through wearing equally out of place clothes. I mean, I'm not particular about the costumes being historically accurate for the period. It's a fantasy story, after all. But Marian frequently looks like she didn't get the memo about the theme of the party.

Lucy Griffiths as Marian, however, seems well suited to her role. I quite like Griffiths, and the rest of the cast, though I don't find Jonas Armstrong as Robin very compelling. He's growing on me in the role in the latest season, but he's still the weakest link in the cast for me. Maybe I'm being to hard on him? I think Michael Praed cemented himself in my brain as Robin of Loxley in the 1980's Robin of Sherwood series.

Suggested listening for this post: Re Your Brains by Jonathan Coulton and/or Oo-De-Lally by Roger Miller (as Alan-a-Dale in Disney's animated version of Robin Hood).

flower favorites and flickr recommendation

Originally uploaded by peggy.
There's a new flower in my list of all time favorites. The one in the photo taken by peggy. on flickr, is a butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea). So simple, so lovely, so beautifully formed. According to Wikipedia it's also a nitrogen fixer and can be used as a natural food coloring.

Too bad I: a) have the world's least green thumb and b) live in totally the wrong zone for growing my favorite flowers. My mister would pity even a weed if I were trying to grow it.

By the way, peggy. has a lot of lovely photos (including a gorgeous macro of one of my other favorite flowers, bougainvillea) so I highly recommend popping by her photostream and surfing around a bit. If you're in need of a virtual vacation, don't miss her Grand Cayman, April 2008 set.

Friday, June 20, 2008

FSM in action

Avast! It's His Noodliness in all his meatball-blinking majesty!

Pastafarian Idanbd created this masterpiece and shared it with the true believers via YouTube and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


MRI done

Had the MRI of my head done last night. I had been warned by a lot of people that I was likely to discover a level of claustrophobia I hadn't been aware of before, but fortunately, I had no problems with it.

They had a little plastic nest for me to rest my head in, and a white cage kind of thing that went over my head, maybe an inch away from my face. Since it was my head they were scanning, I only needed to be slid into the MRI tube to just past my shoulders. I wore headphones playing music from an XM radio channel, and part way through they slid me out to inject some contrast liquid into my arm.

For once my fatigue came in handy. I just did some quick breathing meditation, and then let my mind wander until I drifted in and out of half-sleep, so it seemed to be over in no time.

I expect to hear something about the results this afternoon or Monday. Today is harder than the test itself. I hate the "not knowing". When we were planning and then doing the MRI I was at least doing something. Waiting with all the possible outcomes circling around like birds of prey around a prairie dog colony is much harder for me than laying in an MRI tube with my head in a cage. I can't just drowse through the day or 3 it will take to find out if we've even got answers or not. So my nerves nibble away at me and, along with my fatigue, sap away my ability to fucos.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ups and downs

Let him shout a rage so strong
A rage that knows no right or wrong
And take a little piece of you

~Peter Murphy, "A Strange Kind of Love", Deep

* * *

My friend and I went for a fabulous dinner at Nami before the Peter Murphy show on Monday at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis.

I don't get out much lately. I got lucky and had a better than average day, health-speakingly-wise, and Peter Murphy is hands-down my favorite musician, so the evening had a celebratory feeling to it. And dinner was, in a word, splendid.

Even though I took it easy, I was a wreck the next day. But this was one of those events that was well worth it.

The audience was small but enthusiastic. The intimate setting allowed a lot of folks to be close to the stage without being squashed. There were people there from 18 to late middle age, in all sorts of modes of dress from goth to "just got off work at a 9-to-5", jeans & t-shirt, to miniskirt and combat boots. There were tables and chairs, dinner, cheesecake and drinks being served before the opening performer, Ali Eskandarian, started his set. Everyone watched from their tables or the bar while Eskandarian played, but abandoned their seats just before Peter took the stage.

When Peter performed "A Strange Kind of Love", there was nothing strange about the rapt expressions in the crowd.

The volume of the music overwhelmed Peter's voice just a bit from where I was standing, but it was wonderful being so close. And what a lovely voice he still has after all these years! We could easily see the blue of his eyes and his expressions as he sang.

The acoustics may have been better further back, but there's something more human about the experience up close. That said, I'm not one of those people who thinks celebrities owe it to everyone to be touchy-feely, probably because I'd hate being constantly grasped at by strangers. I know, price of fame, blah blah blah. IMHO, shaking hands upon being introduced is one thing, but just grabbing at a person who doesn't know you would be uncomfortable for me. And Peter Murphy is fairly well known by his long-time fans for being a private person. So I was impressed by how few people in the audience tried to take advantage of the lack of a barrier between us and Peter. One tall fellow pushed his way up in front of me, jumped up and down (squishing my toes - not my puffy foot, thankfully - a few times) spent some time trying to get Peter to touch his outstretched hand, and then drifted off to another spot after Peter finally did so. The few others who tried reaching for him were more willing to take the hint when Peter looked at them but did not reach back.

My favorite songs of the night: Huuvola, Crystal Wrists, and She's in Parties.

* * *

In other news I am scheduled for an MRI tomorrow evening. Results should be back from that on Friday afternoon or Monday.

Monday, June 16, 2008


1669, from Fr. fatigue "weariness," from fatiguer "to tire," from L. fatigare, originally "to cause to break down," later, "to tire out," from reconstructed adj. *fati-agos "driving to the point of breakdown," from Old Latin *fatis (of unknown origin, related to adv. affatim "sufficiently" and to fatisci "crack, split") + root of agere "to drive" (see act). Fatigues appeared 1836, from sense of a soldier's non-military duties (1776).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Too tired to knit, much less go out for a ride, or to take photos and post them on the web. Too tired to cook dinner, or follow the plot while watching a movie. I can read for a bit, but the meaning gets tangled and I have to re-read every third paragraph to sort out who said what. Too tired to want to leave the house. Food is unexciting. Climbing the stairs is exhausting.

Had a good day the other day... got some dishes done, got some errands run. Today I feel like I slept under the mattress. The price of a good day is being so tired I ache. So tired my vision is blurred. Dark circles under my puffy eyes. I'm tired and cranky and frustrated.

Up and moving around, I start overheating. It's like being under one of those lamps where they stick fries until the rest of the food is done. Sleep comes too easily. But it doesn't refresh. Too tired to think straight. Too tired to focus.

What was I about to say?

I'm too tired to remember what it was.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

nom de plume

click for more lolcats

I can has humor? IMHO 1 of teh best lolcats EVAR.


Friday, June 6, 2008

no answers yet

Woke up aching from head to toe to day, like you would with the flu, but without the rest of the things that go with a flu. I feel like I'd slept under the mattress last night instead of on top of it. Joy.

My regular doc is booked until middle of next week so I went to see another doctor in her office.

This other doc had a few more blood tests taken that involved two tubes of blood - a thyroid test and I don't know what else. She told me I should see my shrink soon to rule out psychiatric causes for my symptoms, and said if I didn't feel better in two weeks I should see my regular GP.

So I've got the soonest possible appointment with my psychiatrist (in about a month) and I booked a follow up appointment with my regular GP for a week from now, just in case, and crossed my fingers that I'd get some answers before that.

A while after I got home I got a call from Dr. A's (my oncologist's) nurse, Joan. She touched bases, said I'd hear from Dr. A shortly, and then Dr. A called. He said he's playing phone tag with an endocrinologist because my last set of tests were so funky, and wanted me to know he's working on getting some answers for me. Bless both him and nurse Joan.

In the meantime, he's given me a prescription that should help with the symptoms.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Noodly Co-Pilot

Be kind unto others whether they are kind unto you or not, for it maketh you the better person in most situations, and occasionally it doth piss off an idiot, which is funny unto Your Lord the Sauced One.

A quote from the Loose Canon of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

More of the same type of wisdom can be found at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and in The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: Traditionalizing in Cyberspace by Carrie Iwan.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Big Night in St. Paul

We got into the Obama event last night, much to my great joy.

The camera gets shaky for a moment as everyone in the hall (including me) leapt to our feet to cheer our hearts out.

I've posted more photos on my flickr page, and will be writing a bit about the experience soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Final Stretch

The race for the Democratic nomination is rounding the last bend tonight, or it should be, as the last primaries are being held today. Barack Obama will be speaking in St. Paul tonight, and my Mister and I will be trying to get one of the 18,000+ seats at the event.

Meanwhile, according to NPR in their article, Clinton Denies Plans to Concede Race to Obama (, June 3, 2008):
Clinton said Monday that Obama could get a majority of the delegates now at stake. But as for the total number of delegates needed to win the nomination, the Clinton campaign refuses to concede that 2,118 is the "magic" number.
And in the same article:
The Clinton campaign maintains that she is ahead in the popular vote. This is only true if the disputed Michigan numbers (where Obama was not on the ballot) are counted — and if four caucus states won by Obama are not counted.
I live in one of the caucus states that Obama won. I participated in the Minnesota primary caucus, which was run, as far as I know, fully within the rules of the Democratic National Committee and the Minnesota DFL party.

Hillary Clinton either a) lives in a parallel universe b) her math skills are worse than my own, or c) she's trying to pull a fast one on the US public out of a selfish hunger for power that has driven her to keep draining Obama's campaign of the resources it should be saving up for the run against McCain, rather than admitting she's lost fair and square.

That "fair and square" bit being debatable, since she had no business demanding (or receiving IMHO) delegates from two states that didn't hold their elections according to the agreed upon rules that the rest of the states observed.

First she said all that mattered were the delegates. Then she said it was the popular vote that really matters. Along the line she retconned her role as First Lady regarding the level of her influence in creating international policy and her composure under ( imagined ) sniper fire. Now she wants to fabricate a win in the popular vote using Rove-esque math, and keep dragging us through the divisive mire of further appeals of the delegate allocation process.

Let it go, Hillary. Let us move forward with time still left to patch our party back together so we can face the Republican Party in the coming months as a re-united party, rather than a squabbling pack of ill-mannered children.

Who's side are you on anyway, Hillary?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Any word?

Nope. No word yet. Still waiting to find out what, if any, tests my doc will request to follow up the last set.

This photo was taken in the parking lot at the doctor's office just before my physical therapy appointment.