I’m a casual baseball fan. I used to be a big fan but after the Pirates lost all their great players and stopped winning games I stopped following it as much. I tried to rekindle my love for Anahiem, and the 2002 series certainly didn’t disappoint, but it just didn’t get me going the way it used to. When we moved here I thought I’d try to be a Mariner’s fan…………. but we all can guess how that went. It’s hard being teamless, but it does allow for you to throw your support behind a great story. At this moment, I’m glad I have no loyalties. I’m certainly not a Red Sox fan, but hell, how can you not be rooting for them right now? Game 6 hasn’t been as exciting so far as 4 and 5, but I’m actually hoping they won’t go into extra innings on this one – I actually have other things I need to do tonight. While the ALCS games have been pretty awesome, I can’t say the same for the National League. My dad would kill me for saying this, but if the Cards keep playing like they’ve played the last couple of games – they don’t deserve to go to the world series. I’d like to see them in it. They had a killer season, but those last two games were just poor. I don’t know anyone who isn’t hoping to see Boston and St. Louis in it this year. Of course, that’s cause I don’t know any Yankee or Astro fans – if you’re a Yankee fan, know that I hate you 🙂 Not as much as any Braves fans, but close. So while I sit here and enjoy Boston’s lead I’m going to do a bit of complaining – about somoene I dislike not as much as an average Braves fan, but again, close. Ooh – hold on – you can’t slap the ball out of somebody’s hand. Let’s see what the umps are going to say. Wooohoooo – Yankees fans are not happy – back to a 4-2 lead for the Sox. Ok, back to annoying bastards. I was all set to watch this stupid Fahrenheit 911 movie just so I could say I’ve seen it. My reasons for not looking forward to it weren’t that I necessarily disagree with it’s message, but that I can’t stand to see anyone stomp around, waving their hands in the air, and screaming about the injustices they believe surround them. I didn’t buy Ann Coulter’s books either. I’m sure some would say that’s not wise and that I should “listen to the truth” or “know my enemy”. But I would say to them – I know my enemy, it’s the damn misrepresenters of fact. I know their game and I know how easy it is to manipulate facts any way you want. Well, I was going to watch the movie anyway, but I’ve changed my mind. For the same reason the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth make me want to vote for John Kerry, Michael Moore makes me want to vote for Bush. This guy is beyond obnoxious. I was already peeved that he’s a complete media whore….
Baseball break – they’re bringing out police in riot gear – I’m going on record right now – the American League playoffs will be more exciting than the World Series. Not that this is uncommon – Frequently, the “big game” is a disappointment compared to one or two of the “smaller ones” leading up to it.
Media whore …. now he’s working on a new film. Apparently, he dug deep into his vat of knowledge and decided that the pharmaceutical industry was bad and needed to be exposed. Why he chose this as his new target is a mystery. I mean, both Bush and Kerry have singled out drug companies as a big evil contributor to the “disaster” that is our health care system. The average person is going to be with him from the beginning. Mainly because the average person is a moron and says to themselves, “yeah, when I had syphillis I had to pay a lot of money for the medication to treat it, and these drug companies are getting fat while I had to eat ramen noodles for a month to pay for my drugs…. drug companies are evil.” The average moron (Michael Moore included) doesn’t consider the billions and billions of dollars that go into R/D to make a pill that will lower your blood pressure, heal damage to your esophagus, allow you to play chess with your grandson, and cure your venereal disease. So yeah, drug companies are evil – let’s make laws that make it an unprofitable industry so that all the good developers quit – great plan. Here’s my next reason for why this whole thing annoys me. Moore has offered Doctors $50,000 if they’ll let him install hidden cameras in their break rooms and sample closets, and $5,000 to any pharmaceutical rep who’ll give him info. This is the same logic employed by Mike Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High – “If you put out the vibe to 50 -60 girls eventually one of them’s gonna bite.” If he succeds, he’ll find some bad reps , but big deal, I could find some bad teachers, factory workers, lawyers, programmers, or ministers. Also, no decent rep is going to risk his or her job for $5,000. If they do, they were on the verge of getting fired anyway.
Did you know that the Sox are one out away from being the only team in baseball history to come back from a 3 game deficit?
This suspense is killing ….. .oh, it’s over. Get those boys out of there before there’s a riot. Game 7 is on – Did you know that God touched Curt Schilling? That’s what he says, he’s also proud of his teammates. Uh – oh, coach says Schilling got through on heart – now I’m confused, was he touched by God or did his heart pull him through?
Ok, bad drug reps – they exist. Michael Moore sucks, and just to make sure I mention something about all the things in the title: loosing weight, the low carb craze pisses me off. There is one way to loose weight – burn more calories than you eat. If you follow healthy eating habits and exercise, you will not be obese. Unless you have a real condition that prohibits this – and I mean a real condition, not some imagined, “I’m big boned”, “I have a thyroid problem”, “It runs in my family” line of crap.
I recognize that a real thyroid problem can result in weight problems, but the percentage of people who blame their weight on this far outweighs the percentage of people actually afflicted with it.
Before I begin this review, I want to acknowledge two things: 1. This review may contain a few spoilers. If you haven’t read the book and want to some day, consider yourself warned (though if you possess half a brain, there’s not much I can give away that won’t be obvious within the first 100 pages) 2. I predicted it would take me 2 to 3 weeks to read this book – don’t take the 3 months it took me as a sign that it would really take this long to read it. In fact this is a 2 week read – I just spread my 2 weeks over a course of months due to a couple of snags.
Being a reader all of my life, I have indentified certain criteria for which I judge the merit of a novel. I expect anyone who has spent a good portion of their free time with books has done the same. My standards are:
- Plot – Not just that the story itself is good, but that the story moves along well and is both plausable and unique.
Characters – I want the characters to be well defined and three – dimensional. It’s also important for at least one or two of the characters to be likable enough that I care what happens to them.
Atmosphere – I need to feel that I am standing next to the characters, experiencing the story as they are. If I’m not brought into a novel, there’s no hope of it evoking an emotional response from me – which is important.
Grammer and Style – I don’t read a book, red pen in hand, ready to make corrections. I want an author to observe proper form and usuage only my for my own ease of reading. The two things that annoy me more than any other are bad dialog attribution and wordiness.
Knowledge – While I read primarily for pleasure, I feel slightly let-down if I close a book without gaining some knowledge. It doesn’t matter if what I learned was how a small town in Maine smells on an autumn evening or the motivation behind the French Revolution. I just want to come away from the book with a new bit of information.
Based on these standards, this is my opinion of Atlas Shrugged.
Plot: This is a great story. I never thought a railroad or a steel mill could be so interesting. The story is merely a backdrop for theory, but it’s a good backdrop. The story does drag in a few places, but these instances are usually due to elements other than the plot itself.
Characters: Overall, the characters worked. Dagny and Rearden were well defined, believable, and likeable (to me at least, I understand there are some who took the looters’ perspective). I had a problem wtih Eddie Willers simply because he seemed very flat. It’s debatable as to whether or not his character was even necessary. I personally feel he wasn’t, the only information he held was obvious from the beginning. Clint thinks he was necessary to bridge the gap between the great minds and the workers – and I agree that a bridge was a good idea. I just don’t think Eddie Willers really offered us much to relate to. Francisco was both laughable and endearing so I can’t complain about him. My only real complaint is that we weren’t given any backstory on the Washington boys to explain their reasons for behaving as they did. Jim Taggart gets the most backstory, but it lacked any real substance. I was also a bit disturbed that so many of these men were so “beautiful”. How can both Rearden and Francisco be the ideal of a man in Dagny’s mind. I’m glad that Ellis Wyatt, Ken Dannager, and Owen Kellogg weren’t so devestatingly attractive or the book could have been retitled “Dagny the Slut”. Interestingly, Clint cites Francisco as his favorite character – I would choose Rearden.
Atmosphere: Again, overall very good. Ayn Rand did an excellant job of luring me into the setting and making me feel as if I were actually seeing and hearing rather than reading words. I feel that I could navigate my way through the Taggart Terminal, or recognize the face of Francisco d’Anconia. I felt pride for the accomplishments of the industrialists and digust at the actions of the looters. Of course, I grew weary of hearing about Dagny’s angular appearance and the mouth that was sensual in spite of the nature of the woman. Halfway through the book I was wishing desperately for an accident that would render her armless or blind so that I could get a new description. I was aware that she was thin by chapter two – why keep bringing it up?
Grammer and Style: Ayn Rand needed an editor. Everything that is wrong with this book is the direct fault of Rand’s shortcommings as a writer and the absense of the editor. Where was the editor? I don’t know – but this book should have been about 400 pages lighter. I said that I have two pet peeves – bad dialog attribution and wordiness – this is rather unfortunate for the author. Let’s start with dialog attribution. Take a look at this sentence:
“We … can’t … let … this … happen …”, Bob said slowly.
I ask you, is “slowly” really necessary? The three dots in between each word indicate Bob said it slowly.
How about this one:
Ann slammed her fist on the desk. “Get me that report now.”, she cried angrily.
Is “angrily” necessary? No, we know she’s angry because she slammed her fist on the desk.
I don’t like having my intelligence insulted or my time wasted by this kind of drivel. I also dislike having to go back to the beginning of a discussion to count lines so I can figure out who the hell is saying what. I don’t know if there is a standard on how many lines one should write without attributing dialog to a speaker, but I’m guessing somewhere around 6 is the limit for the average reader. This book is full of useless adverbs and confusing exchanges. If you’ve made it past 500 pages, you’re aware that if Jim Taggart says “I can’t be blamed”, he shrieks it. If Rearden says “What do you want?”, he says it in a flat and confident tone. Ayn Rand failed to respect the intelligence of her reader in this way.
At the risk of falling victim to my second pet peeve, I will move on to wordiness.
Of all the examples and criticisms I could dredge up, the John Galt speach is the only one necessary. By the time this speach rolls around I had read 915 pages expressing all of the ideas this speach contains. If this information could have been conveyed in the 64 pages it takes to make this speach, why wasn’t it done? I understand that certain events had to occur before the resolution could make any sense, but too much of this book was spent on characters over explaining themselves, driving points into the ground, and then bringing the same theory up 20 pages later in a different setting. I’ve got more to say on this but it really fits better into the knowledge standard so we’ll come back to it there. On with the speach. This speach only had four or five points, but each one is explained several different ways in excruciating detail. If the reader hasn’t grasped the concept of cause and effect by this point I can’t imagine they had the mental ability to get through the first chapter. I understand that the whole nation had to hear this speach, but since the reader already heard it (several times), couldn’t we have moved on to something else. We don’t read Dagny’s explanation of her month long hiatus to Rearden because we were there – we saw it first hand. Why, oh why, did we have to hear that speach for the millionth time? This tendency towards wordiness is apparent in every single page. Ayn Rand would describe my decision of which pants to wear as such:
She stood in front of her closet. In front of the closet she stood. She glanced at a pair of black trousers, then at a pair of tan trousers. She liked the black ones better. The black ones pleased her at this moment. A cooper wire broke in a phone booth in Montana. In front of her closet, she choose the black, not the tan, but the black trousers, which were black.
Knowledge: I have heard it said by many people that this is “my favorite book” and that “it made me change the way I think”. This will not be my favorite book, and overall, it has not made me change the way I think. I could talk for weeks on why it has not changed the way I think so I’m only going to try and identify a couple of the main reasons. If I had read this book when I was 16, I think it would have made a much bigger impact. There wasn’t a theory or belief expressed by the industrialists that I wasn’t already familiar with because I have worked and lived. Because I’m familiar with Communism and Democrats, I’m also aware of the theories and beliefs expressed by the “looters”. There were a couple of ideas that did influence or solidify a connection. For example, I’ve always been put off by hearing someone express their desire for someone to “love me for myself”. I now know why this has always disturbed me. The bulk of the theory was not earth shattering or unique – even at the time it was written. I will say that because of my interests, it’s possible I may have been exposed to a lot of philosophy the average reader would not have been familiar with. I will also say that in the many coversations I’ve had with many different people, these philosophies are quite common – and a majority of these poeple do not hold my particualr interests and have not read Atlas Shrugged.
Regardless of these facts, I do not consider the time I spent reading Atlas Shrugged wasted. The ideas expressed are commonplace, but it never hurts to be reminded of them. For the record, I sided with the Hank Reardens and not those acting on the supposed interests of public welfare.
In summation, I enjoyed the book. It was an interesting story full of memorable characters and events. I think the ending was pretty ridiculous, but we can’t have everything. Clint was unhappy with Dagny’s decision to return, and while I think it was necessary for both the reader and Dagny to understand the alternative – the book probably could have ended there and been essentially the same. Possibly the motivation for such an ending can best be understood by looking at the important works of Edward Gorey. One of his finest examples of storytelling, The Unstrung Harp; or, Mr. Earbass writes a novel, may give us answers. Early in Mr. Earbass’s process, we read:
“He cannot help but feel that Lirp’s return and almost immediate impalement on the bottle-tree was one of his better ideas.”
Later we discover,
“He is engaged in making diagrams of possible routes and destinations, and wishing he had not dealt so summarily with Lirp, who would have been useful for taking retributive measures at the end of Part Three. At the moment there is no other character capable of them.”
PS – I was only kidding with the Democrat statment… kind … of … , she added slowly.
To the person who thought that the best way to deal with their misguided anger was to attempt communication in a really asinine way, I have a message for you:
You know who you are and so do we.
Well we had a little excitement around here today. It seems that some asswipe went over to our house in Fort Smith and spray painted a “highly intellectual” message on the back porch. All things considered, we have a pretty good idea who is behind this. The evidence initially pointed at one person, a person I’ll call suspect #1. But a re-evaluation of the evidence (which is largely the testimony of one nosy neighbor who looks out her window a lot), and an investigation (including pictures of the crime scene) shed some doubt on #1. Suspect #2 is also a big contender – more-so now that I’ve seen the pics. I simply believe #1 would have done a better job of writing the message. Both #1 and #2 are equally cabable of concocting a scheme of such inadequate porportions. I’m sure the process started with either alcohol or drugs, or both. After the mind altering effects set in, self pity and doubt began to take their toll. After a bit of wallowing in how miserable they had made their life, they realized that the best way to cope with one’s own inability is to blame others. This is where Clint and Melanie enter the picture. You see, both these individuals are under the inaccurate assumption that Clint and/or I have somehow contributed or are even responsible for their miserable lot in life. So this person decided it was a good idea to drive to our house, armed with a can of spray paint, and deliver a message. Here is where I am going to shift the voice of this post. I am now speaking directly to suspect #1 and #2:
Hear this, and hear it well – to know you is to know with 100% certainty that you are capable of destroying yourself completely on your own. This is not the first time you’ve found yourself in a downspin and it most likely won’t be the last. Do you have any interest in knowing why you continually do this? It is because you make bad decisions. You think that you are choosing the noble path – the high road – but you are in fact choosing the path of least resistance. You each truly believe that to stay in a bad, unpleasant, or dead-end situation is somehow admirable. You think you’ll stick it out, give it another chance, and that somehow you will be able to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. You are emotionally driven. You are overly sensetive (though you manifest this in different ways), and you spend way too much time obsessing over what others say or do. You are also both score keepers, constantly checking where your mark is in relation to others and comparing good and bad deeds. One of you is so filled with rage it is a wonder you are able to function. One of you is so indecisive I’m amazed you are able to dress yourself in the morning. One of you has, to my knowledge, never kept a friend, and one of you, to my knowledge, has never had a friend at all. One of you believes that if you pretend to by “better”, you will simply become that way without any actual effort. One of you believes that others who have more than you think that they are “better” and are thereby keeping you down. One of you is, I fear, just plain evil. One of you is just plain stupid.
Whatever grievances you think you’ve edured, I think we are now even.
I’ll work on having our house restored to it’s previous condition, and you work on restoring your sanity.
You’re not the first to share my bed.
I’ve let others live inside my head.
For days I’ve kept you in my sights.
We’ve laughed, we’ve cried through these past nights.
And even though I’ve held you dear,
I see the end is drawing near.
I’ll shed my clothes and grab a coke.
We’ve only time for one last soak.
I’ve enjoyed your plot quite a bit.
Soon I’ll find a shelf for you to sit.
The water’s cold but there’s still pages to probe.
Just sit on the edge while I reach for my robe.
Oh no! Oh dear! Before my eyes.
You’ve grown to nearly twice your size.
I did not intend to bring you shame.
I might could use you just the same.
Tomorrow I’ll give you another try.
When time has passed to let you dry.
I’m truly sorry – I deserve your wrath.
I regret I dropped you in the bath.
If you know Clint at all, you know one thing – he loves the Dave Matthews Band. Even though we were good friends before we began dating, I didn’t know this about him until we’d been dating for a month or so. I remember when I found out that this was his favorite band. I believe my exact response was “Of all the bands in the world, I hate the f*cking Dave Matthews Band more than any of them.” At that time, I meant it – I only knew them as the guys who did “Crash” and lumped them in with Matchbox 20, Ben Folds Five, and Oasis, all of which I disliked. After hearing DMB’s songs over and over for the past 5 years I have to admit that they now rank in my top 5 favorite bands. Actually, they might be #2 – right after Radiohead. Good thing too, cause this past weekend was a fun-filled Dave Matthews extravaganza. As soon as we decided to move to Seattle (actually Redmond, but close enough) I knew that we’d be attending the 3 day concert at the Gorge in George, Wa since it’s only a 2 hour drive. We actually only went to the 2nd and 3rd shows, but still. So on Saturday morning we got up early, packed the up our stuff, and set out for the Gorgeous Gorge in George. I don’t know how many people were camping out there, but it was a lot – we camped way in the back which was actually pretty good because until Sunday evening, there weren’t too many people around. We got to the venue around 5:15pm and it really is a spectacular amphitheatre. You can view pics here . While it was about 85 degrees during the day, when the sun went down it got cold. We had a blanket and sweaters, but we were still decently chilly. The band took the stage around 8:15 and started off with one of my favorites, The Stone and then went into another favorite, Best of What’s Around, It was a great show, they played a lot of good songs and despite the fact that Everday is not a favorite, pairing it with a kick ass Don’t Drink the Water made for an awesome encore. Sunday morning we got up and hung out at the campsite all day reading, listening to our ipods, playing guitar (well, Clint played guitar), and snacking. Oh, and getting sunburned. The sunblock was one of the few things we used out of our carefully put-together first aid kit. We didn’t use enough of it apparently since my face is still a bit pink. We got to the Sunday night show a bit later, but still got better seats. All of the pics of the actual amphitheatre are from Sunday. You’re not supposed to take in cameras, but if you pack a backpack full of extra shirts, blankets, and jackets, the security girl will take pity on you after you’ve pulled it all out and not look into the bottom of the bag and see your camera. Sunday night’s show was even better than Saturday’s in spite of their playing Cry Freedom. It was a more upbeat setlist and included personal favorites Crush, Grace is Gone, Lover Lay Down, and all 4 of the new songs they’ve been playing – Hello Again and Sugar Will being particularily superb and closed with Two Step. And just when I thought things couldn’t get better for me, they came out with Rhyme and Reason and their cover of All Along the Watchtower for the encore. DMB is really one of those bands that you have to see live in order to fully appreciate. The show also left me with the best conversation overheard at a concert. I was walking back from the bathrooms which are right next to the beer garden when I overheard this little gem:
Irritated sounding girl to her obviously inebriated boyfriend: “You need to sober up.”
Obviously inebriated boyfriend to irritated girlfriend: “Yeaaahhh….. well.. you .. need to laugh more…. yeeaaahhh..”
Back at camp that night there were a lot more people camping than the previous night. One of the new campers were a group of Canadians. Now, I’ve never had a problem with Canadians before – I’ve always found them to be quite polite and nice. But these particular Canadians were a different story. Earlier in the day when they arrived, one of them was blaring some shitty hip-hop music. This was odd because it was the only time during the whole weekend that I heard anyone playing music that isn’t currently on my ipod. There was lots of DMB (obviously), and a lot of Jack Johnson – which was cool, I quite like Jack Johnson. I also heard a lot of Modest Mouse, Muse, Jason Mraz, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, which again, was totally cool with me. I spent most of my ipod time listening to Incubus, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, and PJ Harvey becasue I didn’t want to od on DMB, but others didn’t seem to have that concern. Back to the Canadians. So we were pretty tired and cold and generally ready to go to bed so around 1:00am we made our way to the tent. Many people still had their music playing and so it was no big deal that the Canadians had gathered outside with two guitars, bongo drums, and a harmonica. At first it wasn’t that bad – the guy who was singing was decent and while one of the guitars was slightly out of tune, and the bongo guy had obviously never played drums before – it was decently listenable. About an hour later, everyone else had turned off their music and gone to bed except for the Canadians. Within a few minutes the decent voice guy left with apparently the one guitar that was in tune and that’s when things really took a turn for the worse. These guys tried their hand at Gravedigger (off of Dave Matthews solo album), and failed miserably. I don’t think they had even one chord right. Then they moved onto Watchtower. I listened to them try and figure out the chords for a while – I thought about going over there and telling them “Am – G – F – G” (BTW- these are the chords for Dave’s version of Watchtower, not Dylan’s or Hendrix’s or anyone elses so don’t post a comment on how those chords are wrong) but I didn’t – though I regretted that decision for over 10 minutes after they had given up on finding the right chords and proceeded to play some that were very, very wrong. I’d also like to note that I really like that primal scream thing Dave does in many of his songs, Watchtower included, but Mr. Canada does not possess a voice that is capable of making it sound like anything other than a dying giraffe. If they had just gone on slaughtering Dave Matthews songs, I might have been ok. But they didn’t stop there. Oh no – what they did next is grounds for murder in my book. They …… attempted to play Creep …. by Radiohead. Now, Creep is one of my least favorite Radiohead songs but that doesn’t mean I want to hear it butchered. It was awful – they didn’t know any of the chords – they didn’t know more than half the words – and there is no… … I repeat, NO HARMONICA in Creep. They went on to play extreemly inaccurate versions of High and Dry and something that was mostly unrecognizable, but I think they were shooting for Fake Plastic Trees. Apparently they only purchased the first two Radiohead CD’s which I’m quite thankful for because they moved on to other stuff. It was really quite unpleasant. Did I mention that they were also very drunk? Normally, this would excuse some of the bad playing, but trust me, the level of alcohol that would make this kind of mayhem understandable would render a large Elephant unconscious. To quote Don Knotts, “The horribleness and awfulness of it will never be truly forgotten.”
Otherwise, it was a good time. The concert was fantastic, the camping was pretty decent, and I made it home in one piece.
If there are typos and such in the post, forgive me. I am trying to get this up quickly because Clint made it clear that he wanted his take on this weekend at the top because he’s the big fan and it was really his weekend – according to him 🙂
Until Wednesday, July 28, 2004, I had never called 911. My only experience with a 911 call was about 22 years ago when on a Girl Scout campout I tried to convince a friend that the police would indeed arrive if she dialed 911 from a pay phone and hung up. I was right, and all 12 of us had to sit and listen to the police officer lecture us on proper respect for our cities emergency services. I think I have a new story now that’s much more exciting. Until last week, I was being treated for a tubal pregnancy. Clint and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years now, and we had finally seen a positive result on a pregnancy test. Unfortunately, within a couple of weeks we knew that this pregnancy was not going to to work out for us. Two and a half weeks ago I was given a shot to “treat” the ectopic pregnancy. Wednesday of the following week I began to have severe abdominal pain – seriously severe. I called my doctor and was told to take a couple of ibuprofen and rest. I talked to both Clint (who was in Antigua) and Billie that day and they urged me to call an ambulance if the pain continued as they both knew that I could be in danger of my tube rupturing – which is fatal if not treated quickly. By 8:00pm I was feeling really bad. Every time I tried to stand I broke out in a sweat, lost feeling in my hands and feet and felt as though I was going to pass out. Sometime around 9:30pm I called 911. They got here really fast and took my vitals which kept going up and down. I arrived at the ER of Overlake Hospital wearing a wrong-side-out dress and mismatched flip flops. I explained my situation to the nurses and they started all their hospitalish duties. My memory of that night’s events are pretty sketchy (espcially after the shot of whatever narcotics they plied me with), but I do recall certain highlights. I remember the doc coming in and explaining to me that my tube had ruptured, my belly was filling up with blood, and that immediate surgery was required. I remember some shitty nurse and his 3 attempts to properly insert a second iv – 2 tries in my right hand and 1 semi-successful attempt in the bend of my left arm. I had the ultrasound from hell – I’ve had many of them in the past, but this one was damn unpleasant. For those that don’t know, there are more than one type of ultrasound. There is the kind you’ve no doubt seen on TV where they smear some goo on your belly and scan a little whirly-gig around on your tummy. There is also a type which has a different name, but since this is a public site, I’ll term it the “internal” ultrasound. This consists mostly of a very long “wand” being thumped around inside of me. So imagine this already unpleasant procedure while having swollen organs and a ruptured fallopian tube. One thing that surprised me was how crazy the OR was. It’s was a lot like that scene in the South Park movie – except they didn’t replace my heart with a baked potato. When they wheeled me into the OR, it was so shiny and bright it was almost painful to keep my eyes open. At least 10 people were milling around in there, half of them trying to talk to me. “Are you allergic to anything?” “No.” “Have you eaten anything today?” “A handful of corn chips and some 7-Up.” “We’re going to be putting a tube down your throat.” “Fine, as long as you insert that tube after I’m asleep and remove it before I wake up.” Of course in hindsight I think a tube down my throat would have caused less discomfort than that evil catheter. At 6:00am I awoke and found myself in a nice, cozy room. A nurse was explaining the concept of a button that I could push to give myself some pain meds . At this time I’d like to note that Dilaudid is a very nice medication. Darvocet, which is what I chose once they took my IV out is a perfectly adequate pain med. Percocet, which is what I have now (I’m only taking one before bed now cause a week and a half later, I still can’t sleep on one side), is pretty effective. Back to the story. The doctor came in and briefed me on my condition. My right tube ruptured (probably around 5pm the previous night), and then split down it’s length. I had a good amount of internal bleeding, enough to require a transfusion. I should recover fine and what was once my right tube is now being stored in some lab. At that point I realized that I should probably make some phone calls. I called Clint first, and he began working on getting home. I called my mom, who didn’t realize who she was talking to until about 5 minutes into the phone call – I guess the early hour and my raspy voice (tube down the throat remember) threw her. And of course to Billie, who freaked and set about moving up her already planned trip out her so that she could help me out. In general, my hospital stay was quite pleasant. The food isn’t near as bad as I’ve heard, the nurses were nice as could be, and once that catheter was out, I was pretty comfortable on that hospital bed. Saturday afternoon I came home and both Clint and Billie have been doing a pretty good job of making sure that I eat, take my pain pills, and get plenty of rest. Even though in the last couple of days I’ve done more shopping than usual. All in all, I’m feeling good. I won’t be making babies the normal way, but we’re good candidates for In Vitro, though I’m not sure our checkbook is. It hurts to cough and laugh, but I supose that’s to be expected. I’m tired after all this typing and I think it’s time to take a Percocet and head to bed.
Some of you are familiar with Clint’s talent as a nighttime conversationalist. For those of you who are not, let me assure you that his daytime wit and charm continues long after he has fallen asleep. I often climb into bed after he’s drifted off to la-la land, and if I’m lucky, I get to hear part of what I’m sure is a very interesting dream. Last night’s admission was of particular amusment – so much so that I have added it to my list of favorite nighttime Clintisms, which I will present now.
1. “The Republicans and Democrats are skewing my queue!”
2. “Alright folks, we’ll begin our decent into O’Hare International in about 15 minutes so sit back and enjoy the bumpy ride.”
And finally, last nights particularly emotional revelation:
3. “The fractions got me here! The fractions took me there! Ohhhhhhh! The fractions!! The fractions got me here. No! Not the fractions again.”
The first two make a bit of sense when you consider that number 1 was spoken shortly after the 2000 elections and the second was within this last year of frequent travel. The meaning of the thrid is truly lost on me. Perhaps Clint himself will have some insights. If he has been working with fractions, this is the first I’ve heard of it. If you have any theories, or if you have knowledge of any medication that keeps one from talking in their sleep, let me know.
I did something different today. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and have spent hours reading up on it, but today I finally did it. I colored my own hair. Now, coloring my hair is not different at all for me. In fact, if you were to ask me what my natural hair color was I would honestly have no idea. I think it’s a light brownish, reddish, with lots other weird colors (like black) mixed in – but I can’t be sure. I’ve wanted to go darker for a while but no stylist wants to do this. I’m really not sure why, but they always convince me to do blonde highlights – unless I want red, then everyone’s willing to do that. Red, I think, is a stylist’s favorite color because it fades so quickly you have to go back every two to three weeks to have it re-done. But I digress. I decided on Clairol Herbal Essences #62 – Cocoa Infusion which is described as a medium brown. I bought two boxes because my hair is really think, and it’s fairly long now so I thought it would be smart to make sure I had enough. After reading the directions and deciding to skip the allergy test and the strand test I set to work. The process is quite simple, but I did run into a couple of snags. Pouring the contents of bottle #1 into bottle #2 was simple, but after you combine, you must Place gloved finger over applicator tip and shake until the mixture is totally blended. Sounds easy enough….. I shook those bottles (decided to mix both at the same time) for over 15 minutes and it still didn’t look “totally blended”. But since I’d shaken for a good amount of time I figured that it was probably as blended as it was going to get. In the end, this didn’t turn out to be any kind of problem. What was a bit of a problem was getting all of my hair saturated with this stuff. I sectioned off my hair and worked with one section at a time, but I think I should have made more sections. I used over half of the second bottle because I kept looking for missed spots. I found a lot of missed spots. In the end, confident that every inch of my hair was coated in a a nice brown goo, I loosely piled my hair on top of my head and waited. After 30 minutes, I hopped into the shower. There is one thing that no one tells you about this step – when the water hits your head, the color flies all over that shower. I spent 10 extra minutes in there just washing down the walls and shower curtain. It was a mess. After blow drying it and putting on some makeup, I am pretty happy with the results. The only problem is that either A. some of my hair refused to accept this new color. or B. Despite my checking and re-checking, I missed a couple of spots. None of these “spots” are that bad, of course it’s kind of hard to make that determination on my own. I’m guessing I can wait a week and then re-apply color to the missed spots if it still seems necessary. The color of my hair is considerably darker than the picture on the front of the box. I would describe this as more a very dark brown…. chocolate might be closer. It’s different, I don’t think my hair has ever been this color before. My hair is pretty soft and smells nice – it even smelled good while the color was on there. Coloring my own hair was an interesting experience. The last time my hair was made a different color in my home was back in 1992 just before christmas. A friend helped me with it and while it was supposed to turn out a sandy blonde color, I remember it being more of a gross brass color. I wasn’t fond of it – about 4 months later this same friend set me up on a blind date with my now ex-husband. We’re no longer friends.
BTW: I’m still reading Atlas Shrugged, it’s got me interested, I just haven’t had much time to read. Hopefully, I’ll have more time this week.
I always feel kind of lazy whenever I fill out one of those “Getting to know you” questionaires because they always ask the dreaded question; “What are your hobbies?”. Sometimes I consider lying just to make myself more interesting, but I end up jotting down the same boring answers.
I enjoy reading, watching movies, and spending time with friends.
I guess I could add sewing to the list, but I don’t know if that’s really a hobby. I would prefer my answer to look like this:
I enjoy snow skiing, rock climbing, ice sculpture, fight club, and am a member of the Vidocq Society.
But no…. instead, I read and watch movies and then talk about my most recent mental adventures with other people who are also not members of the Vidocq Society.
At any rate, reading is my main hobby and I guess it’s a pretty decent one to have. Recently, I’ve read some books I normally wouldn’t have bothered with. For ages, I only read classics and newer books by certain authors. So in between Stienbeck and Dickens, I would indulge myself with a nice, hollow Michael Crichton or Tony Hillerman book. I know neither Crichton nor Hillerman are exceptional authors. Both of them write one book over and over again. I’ll sum up for you in case you’ve never read one of their books.
Every Michael Crichton fiction novel: Science minded people invent something new and remarkable. The something new and remarkable does something unexpected resulting in a crisis. Science minded people spend the rest of the book trying to control said crisis and the world is saved at the very last second.
Every Tony Hillerman fiction novel: Navajo Tribal police officers investigate a crime that to them and all the locals, at first, appears to be related to supernatural activity. Upon further investigation (usually by Jim Chee or Joe Leaphorn), a logical explanation is uncovered, arrests are made, and everyone is just as miserable as they were in the beginning.
Despite the seemingly repetitive nature of both these authors, I truly enjoy almost everything they write. Recently, I realized that surely others are writing good, even spectacular, fiction as we speak. It started when a friend loaned me a copy of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I read it and loved it. It was really quite good – one of the better books I’d read in the last 5 years. So I started looking at the bestsellers list, and the “Popular Fiction” displays at my local bookstore. My quest for good, recent fiction has been mostly successful. Life of Pi by Yann Martel was fantastic, as was A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. I was a bit dissapointed in The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (good story, but not the greatest writer) and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (again, great story but would have been much better in the hands of a more competent author). The real gem in all of this has been Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This book was simply fantastic and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a book as much as this one. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it enough. Unless you don’t read too good, then you should pick up the audiobook…. or maybe just skip it altogether. I also picked up his The Virgin Suicides which was also very well written, though not as enjoyable as Middlesex. So after the Eugenides books, I know the next book will most likely suck. That is why I have chosen Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as my next undertaking. And undertaking is likely to be an understatement. This book is 1069 pages long and with a much smaller font size than what you normally see in a mass market paperback. I’m guessing I’ll have to put in at least 2 weeks of reading to get through this one. I know this book is considered important and I’ve known many people who think it’s one of the greatest books ever written. Unfortunately, I’ve disliked a great many of these people who deem it required reading. I admit, the back cover isn’t overly inspiring.
The astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world – and did.
It goes on to tell me that this book is tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense. The breathtaking part sounds pretty good, but tremendous in scope? I’m not liking the sound of that… maybe 3 weeks is more realistic. I am going to try to enjoy it. This book is promising to answer the immortal query “who is John Galt?”. Personally, until I read the back cover, I didn’t know that was a question that was supposed to haunt me. Maybe after I read the book it will. Time will tell, it might be really fantastic. I’m 21 pages into it and I haven’t tried to hang myself with a leather belt yet. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought. I might give up on it and move on to something less tremendous. At any rate, I’ll be back in 2 to 3 weeks to give my final word on it. Not that my final word is definitive, but I figure if you’ve read this whole post you deserve to know how it went.