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To me!

Huzzah!

And, of course, to anyone out there with a birthday in the neighborhood of today. Happy, happy!

I do something to my shoulder that makes it go back to the “hurty” phase of this whole damn saga.

I decided that my liver needed a break after two straight months of low-dose Al3v3 every day, so I haven’t taken any for a handful of days.

Saturday night, I don’t know what I did but it hurt. And it’s still hurting. Back to the Al3v3. And I only have one physical therapy appointment this week. Maybe I still need two. *sigh*

And it’s my left shoulder in the vicinity of my rotator cuff, where I’ve got the hypermobile issues. The left side has always hurt more than the right. My guess is that that’s because I over-compensated for injuring my neck and right shoulder blade by doing everything with my left hand, and the muscles just weren’t up to it. And now I’m terrified of over-compensating with the right arm and re-injuring my oh-so-delicate right shoulder blade. GAH.

But I got through my day without extreme amounts of pain, which was good, and tomorrow is guaranteed to be good.

Know why?

It’s my birthday. 🙂

Life has been scattered lately. So has my brain.

We’re making massaman curry chicken for dinner. I’m super excited. And hungry.

Easter was lovely. Good time with family, and lovely to see my grandparents doing well. Of course, after the left, things got even livelier–liar’s dice and lots of wine were involved. Lovely.

Not so lovely: I’ve been wondering if things don’t work for me in experiments because they just don’t, or because I’m not good at this whole science thing. Other people can make similar experiments work, so I’m starting to feel it’s just me. And I already feel like I suck at science, so this isn’t helping.

On a positive note, though, I got dismissed from being on a jury last week because the case involved disputed scientific evidence of the sort that I am familiar with. Neither the defense nor the prosecution wanted me. I’m guessing one side thought I’d agree with the evidence, and the other side thought I’d agree with the dispute. So apparently this science thing is somewhat worth it. And thankfully I won’t miss two weeks of work!

We went “fun diving” this past weekend with James, Cara and Sydney. We saw a thornback ray. The conditions weren’t great, but the ray was awesome. Plus hanging out with the three of them was awesome.

We’ve got a scuba class next week, and I’m super excited. Sydney is taking it, and I think I’m going to be allowed to carry gear, and hence be a useful member of the staff, so it should be awesome. And if involves boat dives! Whee!

I’ve managed to get rid of most of the tension and pain in my shoulders and back. Now I’m just working on making my muscles strong enough to do normal everyday things.

For the first time in about three months, I don’t have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning. So excited. And starting next week, I only have two a week instead of three!

I’m allowed to bike again, and Elizabeth and I went out this past weekend. It was freakishly hot, but well worth it. We got in a good 15-20 miles, and had a blast. There are plans for a repeat this coming weekend!

My mom, too, is doing really well. No further complications from surgery, energy recovering, doing well. We keep getting favorable reports from John’s mom, which are much appreciated. And I get to see my mom with my own eyes in just over a month. Sweet!

On the flip side, John’s grandmother went into the hospital with lung problems again recently. It didn’t look good, to the point where we were ready to pick up and fly home, but thankfully she too is recovering and back at home.

I still miss my bunny, but it’s getting easier every day. I’m starting to even think of doing something with his cage. John has vetoed that “something” being filling it with a new bunny. Bah. Though I really appreciate all the condolences.

Randomness of the brain: Sometimes helpful. Sometimes not.

Once upon a time, a girl went a the pet shop with a friend. The friend wanted a pet bunny, but the girl was the one who fell in love with a little gray ball of fur who climbed all over her shoulders. The baby bunny was all gray with a white tummy, and a small ring of brown fur just between the white and gray. As she played with him, the girl also realized he had a little spot of brown between his ears, just above his nose, where he particularly liked to be petted.

The girl wasn’t sure her apartment allowed pets, and she was leaving on vacation for a while, and so she decided she’d leave her fate in the hands of the bunny. If he went home with someone else, she’d wish him well. If he was still there in three weeks, and her roommates and apartment manager approved, she’d bring him home with her.

Three weeks later, the girl and the bunny were reunited. She spent quite a bit of time finding the perfect bunny house, and making sure her new baby was comfortable. The bunny, a bit bigger now, didn’t crawl all over the girl’s shoulders, but he was content to snuggle in her arms.

As the years progressed, the girl and the bunny were happy together. The bunny would jump up on the girl’s bed and help her study at school, or would snuggle up against her if she was laying on the floor watching TV in the living room. He would sit and clean his ears in an adorable manner, and snatch carrots or broccoli stems out of the girl’s hand in an effort to eat them quickly. He was ornery, but the girl still loved him. She made up funny little songs to sing to him, and snuggled him whenever he wanted to come out of his cage.

Eventually, the girl moved to California with a boy who had two cats. The bunny made the three day car trip in much better condition than the cats, and was unfazed to meet his new family members. The cats, on the other hand, were a bit unnerved by this strange creature who jumped around. The girl was very relieved that the boy’s cats wouldn’t pose problems for her bunny.

The bunny still snuggled up to the girl when she laid on the floor to watch TV or read a book, and they spent many pleasant weekend mornings together, the bunny with his carrot and the girl with her coffee. The bunny tried to snuggle up to the cats, too, but they were always a bit wary. In the end, the bunny had the run of the living room, while the cats watched from high perches.

Five years passed, and after returning home from a Christmas trip, the girl noticed the bunny wasn’t coming out of his cage to play anymore. She could convince him to come out by luring him with food, but he wasn’t interested in galloping around the room, or playing with the ends of the blinds, or even snuggling anymore. The girl was concerned, but there never seemed to be anything wrong with the bunny.

Then, one day, just after Easter, the girl came home to find the bunny laying in his cage very listlessly. He hadn’t eaten all day, the girl could tell, and hadn’t used his litter box either, so he likely wasn’t drinking. The girl tried to tempt him with a carrot, but he turned his nose away. The girl tried to snuggle the bunny, but he didn’t respond.

The first thing the next morning, the girl called the vet. The bunny still hadn’t eaten or drunk anything, and most telling of all, the carrot was still mostly intact in the cage. The vet made room on her schedule to see the bunny that morning.

The girl took the bunny in with a heavy heart. She was very afraid she would not be returning home with him, as he seemed so listless.

The vet examined the bunny carefully, and even took x-rays, but could not find anything obviously wrong with the bunny except some indications that he needed more timothy hay fiber and less alfalfa hay fiber. She gave him a little IV to prevent dehydration, a shot to help with the fiber problem, and sent the girl home with some antibiotics and instructions to feed the bunny a timothy hay mix, baby food, and fruit juice for the next 3-5 days. The girl was very happy that her bunny would be okay, but was still very worried.

The girl and the boy dutifully gave the bunny his medicine, and tried to get him to eat some fiber gruel. They even picked up some pureed carrots at the store especially to tempt him. The girl spent much of the evening cuddling the bunny and feeding him apple juice with an eye dropper.

Finally, late that night, the boy told the girl she’d done all she could. She laid the bunny back in his cage, as he was too weak to jump in by himself, and put him to bed for the night.

The girl herself went to bed, too, caught between fearful thoughts that her beloved bunny boy wouldn’t make it and the reassurance of the vet that he would be okay. It was a long night.

As soon as she awoke the next morning, the girl rushed into the living room, only to find that her little boy, her little gray ball of love, had died during the night. The boy tried to console her, but she felt very guilty for not having done more to help her little bunny.

The boy called the vet, who said to bring the bunny in. The vet examined him, but could still find nothing wrong with him. The vet told the girl that bunnies weren’t hardy creatures, and that maybe he just didn’t make it. The girl said that the bunny was 5 and 1/2, almost 6, and maybe it was just his time. The vet agreed, and the girl was relieved to know that there likely hadn’t been more she could have done, though she still felt horribly sad and guilty.

The girl tried to cuddle the cats, both to reassure herself that they were still there, and for comfort, but they were not amused. She resorted back to cuddling with the boy, and occasionally just bursting into tears at the sight of the bunny’s old cage. She felt as if she’d lost a family member, but the boy was kind enough to remark that, truly, she had. Her bunny had been a part of their family.

A week passed, and the girl missed her bunny terribly. She still had his cage set up, and felt as if getting rid of it was a final step she just wasn’t ready to take. Her friends had all sympathized, and had even taken her out to dinner, going so far as to raise a toast to her little bunny. The vet’s office had sent a sympathy card. Her family and the boy had been very comforting.

The girl was still sad, but she was reassured but the fact that her little baby bunny, her little boy, had been loved and had been well-taken care of right up to the end. And she wondered if, someday soon, she might be ready to have another little ball of fur come into her life.

The little bunny boy

Hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family!

(Political-related rant, sorry.)

For my status on F*ceb**k last Friday, I put up something to the tune of:

“Congratulations Iowa! Way to lead the way for California and the rest of the states!”

This was in reference, to those of you living under a rock, that the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the rights of gay couples to marry. This was based on the decision that a state law limiting marriage to a “man and a woman” violted the constitutional rights of equal protection to all.

I like to see people open up, to go against discrimination, to stand up for what is right. And to have Iowa do it? Pretty cool. This is a state that is fairly liberal in the cities, but not so much in the rural areas. And it’s got a fair share of haters, I’m sure.

Many of my friends from high school and college were putting up similar messages, with one exception.

A kid from high school had put up how this was wrong and un-Christian and horrible, etc, etc, etc.

I disagreed, strongly, but I moved on. No use in trying to change his views on F*ceb**k, I’m sure, nor in starting a pointless argument. And really, I use it more as a social site, less as a way to enforce what I believe on others.

But within minutes of changing my status, guess who commented on mine?

Guess who told me it was wrong? That God didn’t ordain it or recognize it? That if you lived by those morals, then you didn’t live by God’s?

Despite a number of approvals from many friends, this comment rankled me. After all, I didn’t go after his status, did I? Why couldn’t we just live and let live?

Or why couldn’t he have agreed more with another friend who, although he didn’t like the ruling and didn’t approve of gay marriage, pointed out that he was not casting stones, as it (a) made people dislike Christianity when it was used as such and also (b) that it was wrong to pick and chose when to take the Bible verbatim.

I can live with that. Agree to disagree, and not cast aspersions on the opposite side.

John likes to point out that Leviticus says that we shouldn’t wear clothes of mixed fibers, women should sacrifice turtle doves after menstruating, and rabbits are wrong to eat because they chew cud. None of which people follow, for the most part, I’m sure. (Oh, and rabbits don’t chew cud. I’m just sayin’…) So again, why pick and choose? I appreciated the sentiment of the second person.

My response to the comment was to say that any God who believed in discrimination wasn’t a God worth believing in, and to politely ask him to refrain from commenting on the subject on my page. In more words, of course, but very polite and straightforward.

I got a large number of agreement comments and “congratulations” comments, but among them, I got another rebuttal from him, saying that what I considered intolerance was what he considered the right thing.

Apparently I should have asked him how a marriage between two people who love each other but happen to have the same equipment threatens the sanctity of my marriage to John. Because, really, I don’t think it changes what we have at all. So why should I deny what we have to anyone else?

With absolutely no amount of sadness or remorse, I unfriended someone, him, for the first time.

Alas, alack.

Why can’t we all just get along? And when will we learn that discrimination in ANY form is wrong?

C’mon, world!

Last week, on one of the days John had off, I left work somewhat early and we went out to one of the bayland parks for a walk. Since my activity involving shoulders is so restricted, walking is about my only form of exercise. I’m feeling slothful.

Anyways, we’ve been going out to the park, walking and bird watching. Yes, I apparently am my parent’s daughter, seeing as how I’ve finally admitted an interesting in figuring out what bird I’m looking at and putting it on a “life list”.

Plus, it’s been fun to just walk with John, to catch up and meander and be together.

So last week when we were out there, we’d walked about two miles around the outer park loop and had four ahead of us. It was freakishly windy, so instead we turned back to redo the two we’d already done. There were a lot of little estuaries, most of which were mud as we walked out, but were slowly filling as the tide came in on our way back.

And then, there it was.

A snake.

A big snake.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. John says 3 feet, at least. Brown. Trying to swim across one of the estuaries.

Away from us, at least. Right up until it gave up and came back to the bank that we were on.

I spotted it, and John immediately put the binoculars to good use. He joked about a diamond pattern. Funny guy. Hmpf. (My dad, the snake expert, says it was probably a gopher snake. He was much more excited to hear about it than I was to see it.)

In true form, I froze, but mostly just did that. A bit of shaking, a bit of tear-welling, a bit of jumping at rustling bushes, and a bit of keeping an eye in all directions. But mostly I just stood there. No binoculars for me, but no extreme panic.

I spent the rest of the walk back to the car with one eye in all directions at all possible times, and was a bit jumpy, plus I was pretty thankful to be back safely in the car, but I thought it was good progress.

So apparently, even if I didn’t see a sea snake in Fiji to test out my “okay-ness” with it, the therapy worked at least a bit.

There’s probably more therapy in my future, as I wasn’t entirely okay with the situation, and I still don’t know what I’d do if I came face-to-face with a snake instead of being 40 feet away.

And as I just jumped at the NHL Stanley Cup commercial with a snake in it, and as one of the dive sites in Papua New Guinea is called the “Snake Pit”? Some work still needed, clearly.

Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be doing that dive, mmkay?

I’d just like to say I won my NCAA men’s basketball bracket group!

Granted, maybe not a whole lot of people in it, but I still won!!

Go me!!

Thanks, North Carolina!

Well, the secret was. As in, it no longer is. Those of us who knew/know are a strange mixture of heartbroken and angry, but the people it most directly impacts seem to be coping well. With the way things have fallen out, I think that’s all I’m going to say. Sorry.

I’m not sure that I really need to keep it a secret here, except for two things. One, I said I would keep it a secret at the time, and now the conditions aren’t something that I would want bandied about if they were about me. And two, I wasn’t sure how much of a secret it would be here. Yes, I realize posting things on the internet isn’t really good at “secret keeping”, but I wasn’t sure who, if anyone, that I knew in person would be reading this.

After all, when I posted about my mom’s surgery, I hadn’t told many people and intended to keep it that way. Cara and James F. knew, as they were there on Friday when I found out that the surgery was moved. Sydney knew, and was very helpful, both as a friend and medically. She even didn’t describe anesthesia to me as “dangling someone on the brink of death” until after the surgeries were over! And finally, Nate and Shelly knew, as I had dinner with them that Wednesday night and was finally ready to talk about it, having heard that my mom was out of surgery and doing okay.

But I told no one else, save you guys, mostly because I didn’t want people asking me about it when I had no answers, especially during the 12 hours of waiting. And frankly, it was rather personal, both for my mom and for me, and I didn’t feel like sharing it with anyone more than my close friends and you guys, who have been great for moral support. And I wrote about it here because I needed to write about it.

So I was a bit taken back to have a classmate ask about it awhile later. Not upset, but surprised. I mean, I’m sure my lab mates figure out something was up when I jumped every time my phone rang, or when I was Skyping with my mom and she was clearly in a hospital gown in a hospital bed, and we were talking about all sorts of hospital-related things. Nonetheless, it was a bit startling to have someone else bring it up in conversation first. Not something I really expected, to be sure, when I was just trying to grab a beer and make my way over to my friends at happy hour. The sentiment was appreciated, and it was long enough over that I was willing to talk about it, but still.

So I think I’m just going to respect the privacy of my friends. I’m sorry to lead you all on. Any spare thoughts for comfort, health and happiness you could send out would be appreciated, though.

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I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment here or send me an email at: arizona (dot) girl (dot) 2007 (at) gmail (dot) com