Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Facebook, Please Stop Freaking Me Out

I joined Facebook a couple of months ago, and promptly became an addict. That hard-core addiction seems to be lessening somewhat, but I still spend about half an hour a day there checking up on things, feeding my pet, etc. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Facebook people to please, please ban the ad that uses this photo:
All of the ads on Facebook are annoying, but THIS BABY FREAKS ME OUT. People, my state of mind is tenuous at best. I really don't need things like this looking out of the computer at me (and possibly trying to steal my soul). Thank you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

This Just Made my Day

I was killing time this afternoon, waiting for my husband to finish up work so we could head home. (We carpool, which generates enough confrontations to merit their own blog post.) Having perused all the new posts in my Google reader and checked my email accounts, I was amusing myself by re-reading JD's archives at I Do Things So You Don't Have To, when I noticed something interesting. Namely, that my humble little blog had been included on JD's "I Read These Blogs" list!

JD, I am touched and honored and all kinds of other goopy emotional things. And now I'm really going to have to step up my game, since I'm hanging out there with great bloggers like Jeff, Kathy, and a bunch of other really cool folks.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Back in September, I wrote about my most recent injury. Short story: I felt something in my shoulder area pop when I pushed the sprinkler into the ground. The kind folks at the walk-in clinic said it was a strained pectoral muscle, and it should feel better in two to four weeks.

Six months later, the constant pain and lack of sleep finally sent me to the doctor. After two doctor's appointments, an MRI, and a rather painful physical therapy session, I finally have a diagnosis. Because I am not medically inclined, I will use diagrams to explain my condition.

A healthy shoulder:
My screwed-up shoulder:(Mad PhotoShop skillz, I haz dem.)

Apparently, there's a torn supra-something tendon, and a torn labrum (maybe?), and some bursitis. At least I think that's what it is, because my doctor has a pretty heavy accent and I can't always understand her very well. While she was telling me the diagnosis and recommending an orthopedic surgeon, I was surreptitiously reading the MRI results on the computer over her shoulder, so that I might have some comprehension of what she was saying.

It looks like the next step is the orthopedic surgeon...on March 19th. That was the earliest available appointment. Thanks, guys. I should be a raving Lortab addict by then. Until then, I will have two torture, um, physical therapy sessions each week. If you've never needed any kind of physical therapy, you should consider yourself lucky. They do all kinds of weird things to you there. But that will be the topic for my next post, I think.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Get the Best Ideas in the Shower

As I was showering this morning, I had some brilliant ideas for new inventions just pop into my head. Some science-y person will actually need to design and create the products, but that should be no problem once the ideas are out there, right? I believe that these items will benefit all mankind, and even more importantly, make me eleventy bajillion dollars. I will then use that cash to retire to my own private island, and hire Gerald Butler, Hugh Jackman, and Patrick Wilson to sing to me and bring me fruity blue drinks.

We've all been hearing about the need for alternative fuel sources lately, and I believe I have the answer. Sound waves are energy, right? That's why an opera singer can break a glass, or stereo speakers can blow out car windows. (I'm pretty sure I saw that on "Mythbusters.") We Americans make a lot of noise. Think about it--sporting events, concerts, parades, protests--millions of people screaming, every day, all over the country. Why can't we harness the energy produced by all that yelling, and use it as a fuel source? Teenage-girl screams are probably extra-powerful, so all a city would need to do is schedule a couple of Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana concerts each year, and they would be set.

I'm going to try to be delicate here, because I don't even really like talking about this subject. Every woman is supposed to endure that annual torture ritual known as a pelvic exam, and no woman likes it. You're naked, in a room with people you don't want to pursue the usual naked activities with, and it's just uncomfortable and embarrassing. Well, I think I may have the answer. A couple of months ago, I received a medical magzine with an article about one of those surgery robots. The doctor sits in another room, controlling the robot via computer, and the robot performs maneuvers that are too intricate or delicate for human hands. Wouldn't this be the perfect setup for gynecologists? The patient could be in the room alone, with just the robot, so all that nakedness-embarrassment factor would be eliminated. The robot could be temperature-controlled, and very small. And I don't think I need to say anymore about that.

No-Squoze Pantyhose
We have perfected space travel, nanotechnology, organ transplantation, and cloning, and I still can't find a *#%@ pair of pantyhose that doesn't make me feel as if my intestines are going to come shooting out of my ears. Why does the "panty" part have to be so tight, anyway? No matter what size I buy, they squeeze me in two. The leg parts could be so large that they make me look as if I've contracted that elephant disease, but I still won't be able to eat more than a pea and a grape for lunch, or the top part will explode. Here's my solution, and all of you pantyhose-making people should listen closely, because most of the women I know hate your products. Take a regular pair of women's comfy underpants, like this:

And then sew the usual pantyhose legs to them. Was that so hard? We could be appropriately dressed for all those occasions that require that the legs be covered, but we wouldn't have that wonderful rubber-band-around-the-midsection feeling of traditional pantyhose. I will even consider giving this brilliant idea to the pantyhose companies free of charge, if it means that all womankind can henceforth be freed from the shackles of their garments.

So, those are my brilliant ideas. Any science-y types who are interested in drawing up the blueprints and stuff should contact me, and I will give you a cut of my eleventy bajillion dollars. Oh, and Gery, Hugh, and Patrick? Pack your swimsuits, fellas! Brush up on your blue-drink bartending skills, and start practicing those show tunes.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A New Direction

It's been hard for me to think up blog topics lately. I've had what seemed like some good ideas, but they either fizzled out as I tried to write them, or I didn't have the technical know-how to make them work.

Everyone says that you should write about what you know, and the thing that I know best is, well, me. I have been going through a great wave of nostalgia for the 80s lately, since I reconnected with a bunch of old friends on Facebook. So, without further ado, I am going to present a semi-regular series of posts called:

Why I Loved the 80s

Part 1: My First "Real" Concert

In the 80s, I pretty much lived to watch MTV. Oh, I went to school, hung out with my church youth group, had a part-time job, babysat, and all the other things that teenage girls do, but all free time was devoted to MTV. And, if you were watching MTV in 1986/'87, you know that there was no escaping Bon Jovi.

To say that my stepsister, Melinda, and I were obsessed with Bon Jovi would be an understatement. We had the tapes and the posters; knew all the words to all the songs; and went into fits of ecstasy when the videos aired on MTV. When Melinda and I heard that Bon Jovi would be appearing at Rupp Arena (in 0ur hometown of Lexington, KY), in March of 1987, our joy was quickly eclipsed by despair, because we knew that we would never be able to afford tickets. Neither of us had jobs at the time, and it took a LOT of babysitting hours to buy a concert ticket. We were disconsolate.

The day of the concert arrived: March 21, 1987. Anguish, gloom, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, various other forms of melodrama, etc. (no one does despair better than a 16-year-old girl, after all). Midway through the afternoon, my mom came in and told Melinda and me we should start getting ready to go out. We asked why (gloomily, of course), and she said, "You want to be ready for the concert, don't you?" In what was probably their single coolest act ever, our parents had bought us tickets for the show.

Oh, how the air filled with AquaNet then! We quickly put together our coolest outfits, pushed our hair to the limits of poofiness, and headed out to Rupp Arena. I had been to a couple of concerts when I was little, but this would be my first "real" show. Excited? You have no idea. We got there early, found our seats, and settled in. The opening act was Cinderella, who I loved at the time. (They must not have left much of an impression, though, because I can't remember a single song they sang.) We screamed, but we were reserving most of our excitement for the Big Moment.

Bon Jovi hit the stage with "Livin' on a Prayer," and the screamfest was on. The only time we settled down was during "Never Say Goodbye," and I was worried at that point that the dude behind me was going to set my heavily sprayed hair on fire when he held up his lighter. (The lighter wasn't the only thing that guy fired up during the show, but I was too naive at 16 to pay attention to all the people around me smoking doobies.) Melinda and I screamed pretty much nonstop through the whole concert, and had the time of our lives. We didn't stop discussing it for weeks.

I couldn't speak, at all, for four days. My choir director was fit to be tied, because our Easter program was the next weekend and I was supposed to sing a solo. Despite a very stern lecture about how screaming can damage the voice (and the fact that I totally lost interest in Bon Jovi a couple of years later), I still count that concert as one of the best times of my life. And that's one of the reasons why I loved the 80s.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Notes from the State of Emergency

It's been an...interesting week in Kentucky. We've had a major ice storm, and it seemed like pretty much everyone in the state was without power for a while. My husband and I had many, many friends and family members who either stayed in their freezing homes (huddled close to fireplaces), or headed out to spend a few days in a hotel. Fortunately, it's beautiful out today--sunny with temps in the high 40s--so everything is melting. Most of our friends have power back in their homes, and everything is finally returning to normal. I learned a few things during the past week, though:

Someone deserves a Nobel Prize - I don't know who invented underground power lines, but they deserve some kind of major award. Our neighborhood has been through two ice storms in recent years, and kept power each time. During the 2003 storm, our house was not yet finished, so we spent a week in my in-laws' garage apartment. As nice as it was there, it was MUCH better to be at home. I am now much more aware of (and thankful for) the presence of electricity.

It's hard to justify being a wimp at work when all your co-workers are tough - I hate driving on snow and ice--it's white-knuckle time for me. So, in years past, I would simply not go in to work when the weather was bad. Now, I work with a bunch of hardy, dedicated public servants who not only refuse to stay home in bad weather, they won't even come in late. I had to either "man up" this week and just learn to drive on the icy streets without freaking out, or risk looking like a huge wuss compared to my co-workers. I drove every day, only got stuck once, and my husband said I did a pretty good job.

Winter weather can be rough on dogs - Imagine for a moment that your entire bathroom is made of ice--floors, fixtures, toilet, everything. Now imagine that you're trying to get, er, comfortable for your usual bathroom activities, and your feet are sliding all over the place. When your feet slide, your rump dips down onto the ice, which startles you, which makes you flail around even more. This is what happened every time we let our dogs out to poop on Tuesday and Wednesday. We tried really hard not to laugh at them, but we were completely unsuccessful. It was just too funny. It made me wish I had a video camera.

One thing is certain: those of us who made it through the ice storm of '09 will never forget it. Now, when's the first day of spring, again?