Thursday, June 28, 2007

Elephant Seals

We took Sep's friends Sammy and Laura to see the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Park last weekend. There were also sand dunes there. Who knew there were sand dunes in northern California? Here Sep impersonates an elephant seal or someone dying from dehydration:

I learned from the docent that there used to be Grizzly bears in the area. The Native Americans would control burn the whole area in order to make it easier to see them. Then supposedly the British came over and tried to colonize the area, and made the Native Americans stop burning the area. But then the grizzlies started eating all the British children, so the British left. I don't know if this is true but it was a good story.

I think it would be cool to see a grizzly and an elephant seal together, two giants of of the natural world. Elephant seals are huge and nasty looking. And they stink. But it is fun to watch them fight and bellow. Sammy said they sounded like a garbage disposal. Sep got mad when I tried to rub some fur that had molted off of one of the seals all over his face. No, I didn't do that, but I suggested that Sammy should. Then Sep got mad about that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

cows and technology

Sep's friend and former college roommate Sammy came to town this weekend. Sammy is from Green Bay and though he lives in St. Louis right now he is a die hard sconnie boy. He was constantly checking Brewers' scores on his phone, pounding beer like I'm used to, and even gave me a hat with an old school brewers logo on it.

Then Sammy and I discussed my diatribe on the happy cows come from california commercials (although he sacreligiously admitted his favorite cheese brand is from Vermont). We then posed for a picture representing happy cows from Wisconsin:

Then we started talking about technology (techmology as Brett calls it although I still haven't figured out why). Sep's sister Maryam and Brett then did their artistic representation of techmology. After the picture, we had more of the never ending discussion about whether technology has done more harm than good to society. I think Brett scored some serious points this time when he brought up the ease of mass atrocity in wars for which technology can be held responsible.

Where was Sep during all this photography fun? He was coding in the living room. When he posed for a picture it was simply him coding in the living room. And that would have been a boring picture to post.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Working Out While Intoxicated (WOWI)

I laughed so hard when I read this chick's blog post. It's totally something I would do. Well, actually, I've definitely been on the elipticycle after a couple drinks, but even I know to stay away from the treadmill! I am barely coordinated enough to get on it sober!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Free to Be You and Me

I had the song "When We Grow Up" from the Free to Be You and Me album stuck in my head all last week for some random reason. I haven't heard that song in like 15 years. I bet I just made some of you have major flashback. I hadn't thought about that album in so long, but I must have listened to it 1000 times as a kid. And all the songs were so positive and had such good messages. Sometimes I'm so glad I had hippie parents. Just take these lyrics from the song "When We Grow Up" sung by a young Michael Jackson and Diana Ross:
Diana: And I don't care if I'm pretty at all
Michael: And I don't care if I ever get tall
Diana: I like what I look like and you're nice small
Michael & Diana: And we don't have to change at all
Or who could forget the famous "William Wants a Doll" (which I guarantee if it had been released today would have bore the brunt of endless parodies):

I downloaded the album off of iTunes today and my two co-workers had never heard it but then my other co-worker Alison started freaking out because apparently it also played an integral part in her childhood. Those were the days... ;o)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Spinal Tap

Okay, so it may seem like I got really boring again. But I promise I was less boring only in the sense that I was sick. Maybe I shouldn't blog about it because it's kind of personal and weird to talk about health problems, but I figure it may give me some "less boring" creds. You can't be considered boring if you blog about how you have been leaking spinal fluid for the last week.

So I got a spinal tap about two weeks ago because I was having some weird numbness in the left side of my face and they wanted to rule out any bad auto-immune diseases, etc. (which they did, so I am fine in that regard). Everyone warned me that the spinal tap would hurt a lot, but really it didn't hurt at all, and the doctors said everything went super smoothly.

Then like two days later I got this pounding headache. I never get headaches but this was really debilitating. I had to stay supine even to function. I kept calling my doctor and he wasn't calling me back, so a neurologist resident friend told me to go to the ER and get this thing called a blood patch. Apparently, the hole in my spine didn't close so I was leaking spinal fluid, and they would put a bunch of my blood into my back to close up the hole.

I went to the ER and waited for like 4 hours and they never triaged me so I went home since I figured my doctor would call me back and I could schedule the procedure. He finally called me back a day later (he didn't get my messages) and told me I had to go back to the ER because only anesthesiologists could do the procedure.

I went back to the ER and waited again, and then finally they did the blood patch which is actually not a pleasant experience at all and includes two needles--a huge one in your back and one taking this big vial of blood from a vein in your hand. Plus, I was so weak and messed up from the headaches that I passed out during the procedure right at the point they put the needle in my back. Apparently my blood pressure dropped to like 83 too. I woke up not knowing where I was and have to admit it was kind of scary. But eventually they finished the procedure and my headaches disappeared almost immediately. It's been four days since this happened and I'm just now starting to feel normal again. I'd say I'm about 80% but my back is still sore and I feel kind of weak still.

I've come to 2 conclusions through this ordeal:
1) Doctors are often wrong about what is going to hurt and what the after affects may be. They told me all the needles would hurt and they didn't. Then they told me after both procedures that I would feel fine afterwards, but I didn't. My back still doesn't feel right and it's been four days since the blood patch.

2) The health care system is very broken and I feel bad for all the doctors who have to exist within it with no power to change it. When I was sitting in that ER for hours and hours I got to see so many elderly people and people I presumed to be immigrants who seemed to have nothing wrong at all but who probably had no other option other than to come to the emergency room to get routine health care. Meanwhile, my neurologist has still not called to check on me. In fact, I don't think he even knows I had to have a blood patch. He didn't get my first messages for 3 days, and then had to send me to the ER instead of being able to schedule me as an in-patient. So I had to clog up the ER too even though my condition was not life threatening (although I definitely seemed to be in the worst shape of all the other people in the waiting room). It has all been so bizarre and kind of lonely.

Anyhow, in a sense, the last two weeks have been really boring. I have been in bed and extremely bored. In another sense, they have not been boring at all, as I have been worried about what was going to happen next and wondering why I couldn't get any good information from the doctors. I have also had vicodin to make things a little more lively.

I'm closing with special thank you my friends that have been checking up on me and especially Kirstin who spent a ton of time in the depressing ER with me last week in those uncomfortable wooden chairs.