A Sort Of Update

HEY GUYS.

I promised I’d be back. And I even updated my other blog. 

The short story is that I missed blogging. The longer story is that I started feeling unsure of what to write about.  Apollo is always a good source of writing fodder, but I fear turning into the blogger I dread – the blogger who can’t stop blogging about her cute baby/dog/cat when no one else cares.

But I feel ready to write again, and to share stories.  I like being somewhat private so I’ll avoid blogging about the more boring details of my personal life, but I feel keen to share misadventures, music, fashion, and essentially awesome beauty items.  I’ve started subscribing to Ipsy Glam Bags and will be getting my first bag tomorrow (hopefully), so I’ll be doing a review here soon!

To give you a brief update of what I’ve been up to in the past month or so:

  • Workworkworkworkworkworkwork
  • Puppy training classes.  After Apollo chewed half a bow off one of my adorable new flats I bought from Target, it was GAME OVER.  He’s doing really well with the classes and I note a huge improvement. He’s graduating on Wednesday (squeeee), so I’m sure I’ll post a picture of the cuteness.
  • I went to my first bachelorette party two weeks ago. I missed the memo that you’resupposed to bring lingerie as your gift (dur, self).  My dad offered to drop me off but I declined because I figured it would be awkward to be driven to your first bachelorette party by any male member of your family. He let me borrow his truck, which led to much nervousness as I drove it.  I ended up having a lot of fun (and there were no strippers, thankfully.  It was a classy affair.)
  • I had to rush Apollo to the vet two weeks ago after some god-awful screaming. He had strained his paw, I think from jumping off the couch (I wasn’t in the room when it happened, but had just heard the horrible screaming).  I never want to hear that screaming again, it was awful.  I think at one point we were both screaming because I was like, “NO NO NO NO!” in despair.  Poor puppy. He’s fine, though. He was back to jumping on the couch immediately after we returned home from the vet (sigh…)
  • On Friday, a two-hour car drive turned into four and a half thanks to a nasty storm that passed through.  That was the worst driving experience I’ve had yet.  At least when I got stuck in a tropical storm three years ago, the experience was over in fifteen minutes.  There was a lot of water on the road and I pulled over several times to let the storm pass, since apparently I was traveling with it. I ultimately decided to keep going after my de facto weatherman told me that the storms had passed over the route I was taking and wouldn’t be severe anymore. I was never so happy to get out of that car.  “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” came on the radio when I reached my destination – I took it as a note of TRIUMPH.

I leave you with a song I’ve been obsessed with. Something tells me that I should consider this song a guilty pleasure, but I don’t CARE because it’s catchy as FUCK and I LOVE IT.

STAY AWAY, FIRE

So last month, there was a fire at Boyfriend’s apartment complex.  The occupant who lived above Boyfriend’s next-door neighbor left something cooking on his stove as he walked to the corner store.  It was on a Sunday evening, and Boyfriend and I had been relaxing when we wondered why we were smelling smoke.  Moments later, Apollo started barking frantically and we saw the living room fill with smoke.  We grabbed the essentials – I grabbed the puppy and my purse, while Boyfriend grabbed his laptop that held all his research data.  Then we ran outside, where a fire department was already battling the fire.  We stayed outside for an hour.  Apollo shook the whole time.  Boyfriend got interviewed on the news, with Apollo panting frantically in his arms.  Luckily no one was injured and all units (save for the source of the fire) were relatively unharmed.

Even though the fire happened about a month ago, Boyfriend’s apartment still smells like someone had an indoor barbecue in it.

This evening, I had just finished taking Apollo for a walk.  I was doing chores when I smelled something…familiar.  I looked at the dog.  “Apollo,” I said seriously.  “Is there a fire?” I inspected the apartment and to my alarm, I could smell smoke. I grabbed my purse and cajoled Apollo into my arms with a doggy treat (he’s going to puppy classes next week, incidentally).

I walked around the apartment building and didn’t see any fire.  Hesitant to call the fire department unless I could visually spot the fire, but not wanting to lose any of my belongings, I went back upstairs.  I knocked on my neighbor’s door.  We met this year; he has two beagles that Apollo is very fond of.

“Um, do you smell smoke in your apartment?” I asked. “Oh yeah, that was me,” he laughed.  Guess what happened?  He left his pan on the stove and walked to the leasing office.

DAMN IT.

I really want to make a public service announcement on billboards everywhere – “DON’T LEAVE YOUR FUCKING STOVE ON IF YOU’RE GOING TO STEP OUT OF YOUR APARTMENT OR HOME.  GOD.”

And now this place smells like smoke. But not the barbecue smell that Boyfriend’s apartment has, just smoke. Lovely.

An Aborted Attempt At Breaking My Limbs Part REALLY?

I am tired.  It is late, and I am cleaning a bit before bed.  I had a coughing fit earlier and am crossing my fingers that it is not a sign of something more serious on the horizon.

My kitchen has pretty much been taken over my puppy.  He is currently sleeping in his little kennel, which is right next to the oven.  His puppy bed (which I had to sew tonight since he chewed a hole in it and started eating the stuffing enthusiastically) is sitting on the other side of the kitchen.  Various toys litter the floor.  Puppy gates are set up on either side of the kitchen.

In other words, TRIPPING HAZARDS ARE ALL UP IN HERE.

Guess what.

The past two attempts I had at breaking my limbs involved running while tired.  This time, I was simply tired.  I attempted to step over the puppy gate but did not clear it properly.  Cue Jenny falling on the carpet.

You can bet that this internal dialogue was happening:

Me: NOOOOOOOOOO. NOT AGAIN. My shoulder just started feeling better!  I can’t hurt it again! I have field work tomorrow!  NOOO. NOOO. NOOOOOOOOOOO.

I landed on my right side, with the impact mostly at my wrist.  I am lucky – nothing feels weird or out of place. My right arm feels slightly, slightly stiff, but I could just be overthinking it. I think that falling on the carpet is really what saved this aborted attempt from turning into a success.

I need to go to sleep.

And seriously, body, STOP TRYING TO BREAK YOURSELF.

A Much Needed Break

Well, this crazy 7-day shift of field work is finally done.  I’ve been working on this project on and off since May. It was an interesting project.  It challenged me and put me outside of my comfort zone (driving for at least 8 hours a day; driving a 4-wheel drive pickup truck up hills).  It’s funny thinking back how, when I first starting working on the project, I was terrified at the prospect of driving up hills in the 4wd truck.  I was convinced that it would just roll over.  But it quickly became very easy and it went from being a worry to something I hardly thought about.

The report was submitted on Friday too, finally.  I tried my best to accommodate everyone’s schedule and do the best I could with it after putting in over a full day in the field every day.  Maybe it wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped, but whatever.  At least it’s done and I did my best with the circumstances.

Last week was full of interesting moments – nothing bad, but just enough frustrations to annoy a person.  Expense report issues – oh man, you guys don’t even KNOW how ridiculously Office Space-y these expense reports can get.  Making really stupid driving mistakes since I was so exhausted. Oh! And getting a speeding ticket. I got that on Friday morning.  That really topped off the week. I mean, I deserved it.  You can only go 65 mph in a 50 mph zone for so long before getting caught.

I got stopped in March in a notorious speed-trap. I don’t know how fast I was going; fast enough to get a ticket. My registration was also expired for nearly three months. But I was all dressed up, and I’m not saying that this is why I got out of the ticket(s), but I find it interesting that I was given TWO warnings.  (When does that happen?!) But this time, I was in my field clothes without makeup and looked like a 16-year-old girl emerging from gym class. I was definitely getting a ticket.

Oh well.

I took a day off since I basically would have imploded without one.  I slept until ten this morning and have been lazily lounging on the couch all morning.  I wanted to go running since I am trying to get back into decent running shape (not marathon shape), but it’s getting hot outside, y’all.  The AC is much more appealing.

I have more vacation time scheduled soon; a half day Friday, some time off next week for the 4th of July (and my birthday.  Am I really turning twenty-eight?)  I feel guilty for taking some time off, but I need it.  Also, probably everyone else is too, so why stay in the office when no one is there?

I think I will spend today learning this song. I love it:

(Don’t worry, Boyfriend, this song is not about you.) I just love the set-up of the song, the breaks in the verses.  The whole album is actually pretty good.  I’ve always been more partial to Fiona Apple than Norah Jones, but I have been liking her more lately.

Files of a Clumsy Child – Kicking a Hole in the Wall (While Pretending to be a Figure Skater)

Do you know when I started liking figure skating?  During the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal, of course.  Didn’t everyone? I was nine-years-old and highly intrigued by all the gossip.  My mother and I discussed it a great deal, and I would even do an imitation of Nancy Kerrigan screaming, “WHYY?” after getting hit in the knee with a iron club (I was a terrible, terrible, terrible child).

Intrigued by the gossip, Mom and I started watching the 1994 Winter Olympics, and were hooked.  My father and brother would groan whenever my mother and I would find a skating competition and sit in front of the television for several hours watching it.  I loved the costumes, the music, the grace with which the skaters moved.  (As you can tell from this blog, grace is a quality that I sorely lack.)

My obsession probably peaked during the 1998 Winter Olympics.  It was such a showdown – Tara Lipinski versus Michelle Kwan!  I was fascinated by the jumps – triple axels, triple loops.  While watching the Olympics, I saw one of the contestants prep for her jumps off-ice and watched her execute a perfect loop without her skates on.

“That looks easy!” My thirteen-year-old self did not have any concept of the immense training these athletes had to undergo since they could basically walk to pull off a maneuver like that.  Since it looked so simple, I was determined to learn.  I decided that I could practice my jumps myself.  After school, I would go into the backyard, run around backwards, and try to perfect my jumps.

God, this is so embarrassing.

I became obsessed with practicing my jumps, especially since my concept of self-awareness was still developing and I had no idea how stupid I must have looked.  I practiced my jumps everywhere – outside, in my room, in the hallway (when no one was around).  One night, I decided to try a jump.  I paused, pulled my leg behind me as I had seen the skaters do on television, and jumped.

BAM.

“Jennifer Nicole, what the hell was that?” my dad called from the kitchen.  Note that this house was very small, so there was no hiding the noise I had made.  “Uhhhh,” I stalled, and looked down.  To my horror, there was now a hole where my heel had punched the wall.

There was no escape now.

My dad walked into the hall, bent down, looked at the hole, and then looked at me incredulously.  “How did that happen?” he asked.

Okay, so about me – I was the perennial good girl. I never lied, especially to my father.  And now I was very nervous.  I couldn’t come up with a plausible story to fool my father.  So I told the truth.

“I was pretending to be a figure skater and was jumping around.”

He looked at me and then started laughing.

My misadventure spread through the household very quickly, which was unfortunate, since it gave my then nine-year-old brother perfect ammunition to make fun of me.

The hole remained in our house for the remaining eight years we lived in it.  Eventually, the teasing about my being a figure-skater wannabe stopped, and everyone else seemed to have forgotten about it.  But not me – until we moved, that hole was an embarrassing reminder about my brief foray into the world of fake figure-skating.

Files of a Clumsy Child – The Dangers of Stuffed Animal Tags

Today I took a First Aid course at work. I always enjoy them because learning about different lifesaving techniques is fun, even though I certainly hope I never have to use them.  It’s an opportunity to be silly with coworkers as you mime lying motionless on the ground as they assess why you aren’t “breathing” (though I failed at that completely, as I was laughing too hard).  The lame acting on the videos is always a treat too.

As I’m sure you have gathered by now, I’m a fairly clumsy person, so taking a first aid course is beneficial just so I know what to do in the very likely event that I injure myself.  For instance, as I was watching the lesson about burns, I remarked, “That guy is dumb” because the actor was juggling two cups of coffee in one hand when they spilled and burned him. This is coming from the same person who, just several months before, burned herself because she grabbed a hot pan that she had just taken out the oven moments before.

Watching the various first aid emergencies depicted in the video reminded me of the fun I put my parents through as a clumsy child.  I have an entire list of them in my misadventures tab, with the promise that I eventually will blog an entry for each one. You know what? It’s time to start.

I’ll start with…the time I was trying to lose my index finger from lack of blood supply.

I distinctly remember that it was nighttime and that my mother was pregnant, so this had to have been 1987. I was three-years-old and playing in my room with my stuffed animals.  My dad was watching TV downstairs, and my mother was relaxing in their bedroom, about ready to go to sleep.

For some reason, I decided that twisting the tag on my stuffed teddy bear around my finger would be a great idea.  So I ran around my room, twisting the tag around my index finger.

I then noticed that the tag was wrapped around my finger pretty tightly.  I tried removing it but had no luck.  Since I was three and thus stupid, I had no idea that this was a bad thing.

At some point, my dad must have noticed that I was quiet, because he came by my room.  “What are you doing, Jennifer?” he said.  “Look Daddy!” I said and thrust my index finger in front of me with the teddy bear attached to it.

My dad took a look at my finger.  I can only imagine what must have been running through his mind – Are all toddlers this stupid?  Maybe the second one will be smarter.  Maybe she’ll grow up to be pretty, at least.

“Come here,” he said, and I followed him to his bedroom.  My mom was reading a book, her pregnant tummy making a round shape in the covers.  “What’s going on?” she asked.  My dad showed my mom my finger.  I don’t remember her reaction, but my dad must have calmed her down, because I don’t remember her participating in any first aid.

Luckily for me, my dad was either training for first aid at that time or was about to train to be an EMT.  Either way, I was in good hands and he knew what to do.  He took a small pair of scissors and gingerly cut the tag off my finger.  It was starting to turn a different color.  Maybe blue? My memory is only so good…I want to say it turned blue, but then I think my dad would have been more freaked out about it if it had.

My dad applied first aid and then had me stay up with him so he could monitor my finger.  I remember snuggling up next to him, watching TV and feeling special because I was allowed to stay up so late.  My finger was fine.  Crisis averted.

The next day, my mother went in my room and cut off the tags on every single one of my stuffed animals.

Next time, I’ll share how I tried to kill myself at age two by sticking a key into an electrical outlet.

 

Another Aborted Attempt At Breaking My Limbs (That Nearly Succeeded)

Spoiler alert – I didn’t get quite as lucky this time as my last misadventure in falling.

I do note a slight trend in these two instances of spectacular falling – they happen on a longer run, and they happen when I haven’t had as much sleep. The morning started auspiciously enough, though – beautiful, crisp and cool.  I had been initially worried about this run.  In between all the traveling I’ve been doing, I haven’t been able to do a long run in weeks.  I ran a 4-miler on Wednesday and it sucked; I felt so plodding and slow that I was worried that I was losing my shape.

Though I took this run at a comfortable pace, my fears subsided and I began to enjoy my run.  I didn’t have an iPod with me, which allowed me to get lost in my thoughts. I didn’t want to stop, and around the 40-minute mark, I extended my run so I could run another twenty minutes.

At around the 45-minute mark, I was running on the sidewalk by a McDonald’s.  I saw a truck waiting to turn right, and I thought I recognized the truck as one from my complex.  As I looked at the truck, it happened again – that horrible feeling when you feel yourself falling, really hard, and knowing you can’t stop yourself.  Like last time, I don’t think I tripped over anything in particular. I think I was just tired, distracted, and I simply fell.  My inner dialogue went something like this:

Mind:  God, NOOOO. NOOOO. Not again! THIS IS NOT A GOOD ANGLE TO BE FALLING AT. Stop! Stop! I STILL WANT TO HAVE ARMS!

Body:  Chill out, I’m trying my best here. I can’t. I can’t! OH GOD.

And what felt like three minutes later, I finally fell and slid.  Imagine a baseball player desperately running to home plate, extending his arm out in front of him as he slides.  Or Superman, flying with one arm extended in front of him.  That’s kind of what I looked like.

And like last time, the first pang I immediately felt was my bruised pride.  I fell right in front of a McDonald’s along a busy road, which is right across the street from a school; I’m sure more than one teenager laughed at me as I munched it.

I stood up, feeling for scrapes and bruises. I knew right away that something wasn’t quite right with my right arm.  I knew just from the angle that I’d fallen at that I couldn’t be so lucky again the second time around.  It just felt…weird.  I started shaking it around. Something didn’t feel right.  It felt numb but different.

Then I felt my shoulder pop back into its socket.

OH.

HELL.

NO.

Let me say right now – I cannot stand bone injuries.  I don’t consider myself a queasy woman by any means and can watch those surgery shows without feeling sick.  But I cannot watch a bone being broken, even in movies. Do y’all remember that movie Descent?  It was not scary like everyone hyped it out to be, but that scene where a chick breaks her leg and the bone breaks through the skin? SCARIEST PART OF THE MOVIE. OH DEAR GOD.  It’s been like six years since I’ve seen that movie and I can still remember that shit.

In conclusion, I would much rather be lying in a pool of my own blood than dealing with a broken bone.  I am incredibly relieved that the only bone injury I had was a dislocated shoulder; if I’d broken my arm, I probably would have curled into the fetal position on the sidewalk and started crying and sucking my thumb.

Not even kidding.

I had about a mile to walk back to place. I did not cry.  I just cradled my increasingly sore shoulder, trying to move it, and alternately telling myself, “Stupid girl,” and “FUCK.”

I was dreading the moment I got back to my apartment, because I was afraid that my arm was hanging at some weird angle.  It wasn’t; my shoulder was sore, for sure, and a bone seemed to be popping out ominously. I also have some sexy contusions on my elbow and leg.  I’m unsure if it’s still partially dislocated, or if that’s just my bone’s way of dealing with, you know, being dislocated and located again in a span of thirty seconds.  I hope it’s the latter, because if I have to go in and get that shoulder set, someone is getting karate chopped in the face.

My shoulder is still pretty sore, but I iced it thoroughly when I returned home, and I took ibuprofen before going to work.  We’ll see how it goes this weekend. I really don’t want to go to the doctor, mainly because I don’t want to have to karate chop anyone in the face.

I read on the internet that you’re supposed to seek immediate medical attention if you dislocate your shoulder, even if it pops back into place. Eh.  I had a small fracture when I was a kid and didn’t really know it, and it ended up taking care of itself. I am hoping that the circumstances will be similar here.  (Of course, I was also 12, and my body healed itself a lot faster.)

Keep your fingers crossed that I will cease this streak of stupidity and actually stay upright for my next run.