Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bike VS Truck

So the title? That's what the check-in nurse/admin person wrote on my ER paperwork. It sounds so empowering, like I could have stood a chance against the Ford F-1-something-or-other.

Instead I am writing to you from day 1.5 of my convalescence. As the payroll chica said? If this doesn't qualify for emergency time off? Not sure what would.

And to explain the .5? Yeah, I went in to work for a couple/4 hours yesterday to get ready for not being there. It was slow and painful but probably the only time I will not have to wait for access to the copy machine and have my print-outs delivered to my desk. It's one thing to get the email that someone is too messed up/broken to come in the next few days, but a WAY different thing to see them stumbling and limping around so that you don't have to try to figure out the mess that is her desk...or so I was told. I was also told, repeatedly, to get the hell out and go rest!

So I'm following orders...sort of.

If I'm not sleeping I feel a bit stir crazy. It's probably the drugs. You know it's just not fair to take something that makes the pain go away cuz then you think, "See? I'm not hurt! I can go get my work done!" Only you are on a narcotic and have no business being out in the world!


So I'm not posting any pictures. There's not much to show really.

I have a purple left-ring-finger-knuckle.

Both knees are banged, scraped, and bruised up, but no road rash as I wasn't dragged or anything. My one "won't stop bleeding" sliver-moon-shaped-cut on my right knee is fully hidden under a normal-sized band-aid, and no I'll not rip it off to show you that, sorry. I learned my lesson about cheap band-aids and pulling them off willy-nilly.

My right elbow is much too hard to photograph, and besides, all you can see is a scab, unless you compare the size of it to my right elbow...which is hard to do without hurting myself, so no way.

As I don't like the idea of posting a picture of my chest? You're not going to see the "circle" bruise that sits just above the apex of my, um "girls."

But aside from the psychological trauma? (6 hours in an ER is enough to drive anyone batty.) That's the extent of the damage on me.

Andy has put my bike downstairs in the disaster that is our storage room, so I can't take a picture of the "banana bend" that my front tire has acquired. Maybe later, but that and my BRAND NEW BASKET, are all that were damaged beyond simple pull/bend back into shape, repair.

The actual accident:
I feel like a broken record already. I've told the same story to the check-in nurse, the triage nurse, two doctors, the x-ray attendant, a couple police officers (yes, there is a police report), countless people at work yesterday, my mom, my brother, Andy...

But the basics. I was riding home on the Burke Gilman Trail. There is a bit of the trail that crosses the businesses (cement factory, storage facilities, boat haul-outs, etc.) where for the most part the bikes have to yield. In this case, there is a stop sign for cars.

The truck was stopped and playing the "you go" "no YOU go" game with a bicycle on his right side. As he was letting her go, I began crossing the intersection from the left side. Unfortunately, as soon as she zipped past him, he started to go, and didn't see me until I was hitting his truck.

I saw him start up and hit the breaks. Did I mention it's been raining in Seattle? The streets were sopping, so I started to skid and there was no way I'd stop in time. So, instead of hitting him straight on and possibly going over his hood? I leaned over/turned in so I could hit him broad-side. I figured the worst that would happen was that I'd slam my helmet and shoulder into the truck.

Weeeellll...the road was too wet and the bike was already slipping and I saw it hit/crunch/get sucked under his front tire and I went down pretty fast after that. I don't like to dwell too much on this, but I could have been sucked completely under his truck...BUT WASN'T.

My right elbow definitely hit his truck. My sternum definitely hit my twisted up handle-bars end-on (or I wouldn't have such a fantastic circular bruise!). Everything else is pure conjecture.

At that point the adrenaline took over and thankfully, so did all the bicyclists that were in the area. I don't know how many there actually were, but one started by calling the cops, another two were helping me get out from under the bike, another was helping the driver get his truck off my bike, another was checking on the driver....I lost count.

I also almost lost chest HURT and the worst case scenario was broken ribs/insides and I was blowing off the ER idea until I HAD TO SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW and breathing hurt and I wanted to vomit. The driver lent me a blanket as the "shakes" started and I got to see just how waterproof my new phone is as I called Andy to get me the hell out of there and to a hospital, ahem, STAT.

But I think that was the adrenaline starting to drain away and the realization (like the one above) that it could have been MUCH worse and I am still alive and my god in so much pain, but LIVING.

And now I think it's nap time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spoke too Soon

I got out of ER at about 1:30 this morning.

In the timeless challenge of BIKE VS TRUCK? Truck will ALWAYS win.

My bicycle has seen better days.
My chest has a handlebar-end-shaped bruise.
My elbow knows exactly how much give an oldie (you know, made of real steel?) Ford truck really has (not much).

We don't really want to talk about just how sore I am right now cuz it's supposed to get worse before it gets better...but that's why they invented pain killer and muscle relaxers.

More later.

Monday, August 25, 2008


- Granny Weatherwax
And I've even had a number of bloggable adventures...
It's just that...yeah, not really in the mood to sit in front of the computer at home instead I'm emailing my blog...cuz at least I'm sorta kinda answering email every once in a long while...
I wish I could blame the awesome weather!  But it was pouring buckets last night.
I think I shall blame the Olympics.  Yep.  I've been watching... as addicted to the spectacle as anyone else.  Still rather annoyed about some of the sports and rules and such (professional athletes?!?  diabolical "point" systems for diving??!!??); but watching a race is still watching a race.
And now that it's over I can pull myself away from the tee vee...
Oh yeah, we found out we have tee vee.
I might have mentioned the big box in the living room is also known as the DVD/video game player?  As in it's connected to the mac-mini and the play-station and Andy and I will fight it out to see if we're watching something from HULU, Netflix, or if he's playing some silly shoot-em-up video game but no hablo network tv?
So I might have dug out a co-axially-looking cable that had the right connection to be an antenna so I could watch me a scratchy/static-filled PBS presentation when nothing else fit the bill.
Right, for the opening ceremonies?  I thought, sure, why not.  And plopped myself in front for some snowy entertainment.
Then we were bombarded by all the "Are you so lame that you still watch TEE VEE using an antenna?" commercials.  Well, won't it suck for me come next February, etc. et. al.
That's when Andy wondered if his 2 year-old viewing machine was DTV compatible and what all we'd turns out we just had to plug that piece of wire into the digital antenna port that was just behind the one I'd plugged it into. 
Fer serious.
We've been watching snow and static and a little "Sound of Music" for YEARS now, and all this time...
Eh, it's best with didn't know.  I mean, well, yeah, I was able to knit me an entire sock (picture coming) and all, but really, the boob-tube is not a misnomer.  It's bad enough how much a time-suck computers are...speaking of which...I'm going to go eat my lunch now.
And Happy Birthday, Karin, wherever you might be.

Friday, August 15, 2008

After the Adrenaline Rush...

You know that "pumped up" feeling that happens after a close call? Well I'm on the downward spiral of it and I could so take a nap.

I need to figure out a way to safely chronicle my journeys to and from work for you all...I can't remember all of these things and pictures would not be all that awesome...see bullet point #2.

Seriously, this week:

- Almost ran over a fellow who was standing in the middle of the trail happily eating the blackberries he'd just picked (they are everywhere, the wild blackberries with their thorns and juicy fruit falling off the vines...well, and the people, transients mainly, standing happily by the bushes AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BIKE TRAILS, enjoying a snack).

- Poo, on the bike trail. I'm still not wholly convinced it was pet-related...see first bullet point.

- 2 runners with ear-buds firmly embedded in their brains almost felt what it'd be like to have my handlebars in their sternums...Really, it's one thing to hit someone who is running in the same direction as you're riding (you know, you've yelled out "on your left" only to see the tell-tale headphone cord or mp3 device strapped onto their arm and just as you are about to pass them they veer right (err, left) into your path? Yup, I've had 3 of them in the last two weeks. They are so lucky I have quick reflexes and good brakes.) but yeah, if you are running towards me? Why do you think I'm going to get out of YOUR way if I'm already on the right-hand side of the BIKE trail? Color me silly, but if you're going to use the bike trail, PAY ATTENTION and be aware that the bikes are following those silly US rules of the road (for the most part) and sticking to the right side of the trail, maybe you should be on that side too? Hmm, maybe they were European?

- I already mentioned the 3 runners I almost blindsided...or nearly blindsided me, so we'll skip this one.

- One fellow, I kid you not, just outside the gates of the Adobe building, you know, just before that big blind curve? Lying ON the bike trail, with suitcase and newspaper, READING. I was so incredulous I could not make out what was in front of me. I thought, "oh, gardener and that's the um, blower pack-thingie." Then as I got closer, just before the curve? Yep, that is a suitcase. Yup, those are knees. Yup, that is a newspaper. My god, he is on his back, did he fall? Nope, just reading. Hi, there is a comfy bit of GRASS just five feet to your right, what is wrong with you?!?!?

- And juvenile bicyclists who do not know what side of the bike trail to ride on should not be there unaccompanied. I hate yelling at kids but I did, and it did not make me feel good or empowered, just frightened for their lives, cuz you know what? I am a lackadaisical rider compared to the uber-bikers on the Burke Gilman trail with their matchy matchy outfits and tricked out road-bikes that cost more than my car.

- This morning's adrenaline rush was thanks to the trucker that decided not to obey that silly stop sign just past the cement factory. I don't bike all that fast, but um, it is amazing what bursts of speed I can get up to when I notice that a huge moving-van style truck is NOT slowing down and I will not be able to brake in time.

So now I am eating too much sugar (yey left-over brownies and cookies from yesterday's company picnic), and trying to stay awake.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Time Enough to Knit Another One

It's been a super long while since I knit anything with yarn thicker than the tooth floss I usually use for um, maybe it's my impatience? Maybe it's the thickness of the yarn? (bulky) But um, in all seriousness? Just how long DOES it take to DRY a couple of wool hats?
You know, for kids?

These are hopefully soon (you know, once they're dry?) on their way to Okay! What's Next??'s Katy for her trip to the Ukraine in September. All the details are on her blog on the side bar-place/thingy.

It's actually not too late to make a hat for her to receive by Sept. 6th, you know you can do it! If my glacial speed is able to bust a hat out during the latest Olympic blah, blah, blah, I'll bet you can knit 7!

It's the drying that might make you miss the deadline though, SHEESH...hmmm, they are superwash, maybe I'll stick them in the dryer?

The specs:
* winged the bottom one. Got the basics from that Knit Hats! book I got a million years ago. Cast on 64 and GO! The bottom one has one of those purl rows to make the hem bend/fold, and I "basted" it as I knit/went because I hate finishing is evidenced by my lack of showing you a pair of socks that still need grafting and Andy's latest hat that still needs ends woven in. I suppose I require deadlines, cuz yeah, I'm just as shocked as you are that there are two finished hats STILL NOT DRY almost ready to be mailed.

* The yarn is Brown Sheep superwash bulky in Pine something...(obviously really good at losing labels around here, it's a gift.)

* Needles: US 10.5 for the top guy, US 10 for he whose folded over hem WILL NOT DRY.

I'm going to blame the humidity. Just a bit ago I checked and as my mom would say, "We're all square!" 64 degrees and 64% humidity. It's been like that all day! 80 degrees with matching humidity is what I biked home in. Although at just about the time I got to the scary place where I have to cross the railroad tracks...TWICE? It became 100% humidity. Yep, rain, in August. Mother Nature hates me.

And about my new toy:

If I have not called you it's because my snazzy new phone (more copper than orange, but pretty nonetheless) is too new to mind meld with my ancient old phone. What this means is that I have to MANUALLY add your # to my cell. Yep, that there is a whole bunch of no fun.

But it's a working phone, so call me and I will cheat and save your number that way :).

And about the drudgery that pays for all this:

We are in the middle of getting all the right bits and pieces together to close out the month, so if you don't hear from me for a few more's cuz I'm drowning in paper. SAVE ME. Bring expensive wine and/or really sweet fru fru looks like I'm not allergic to either! I sense a vicious circle brewing harder so I can make enough money to buy the expensive wine, so I can work harder so I can...eeep.

I'm going to bed now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Rating the Day by the Spots of Ink on My Arm!

So, is it just me? Or is it just a fantabulous day when you get out of work in the evening and you raise up your right arm (I'm right-handed, you lefties might choose the other) as if you are trying to get to know your elbow better and there are NO INK STAINS! It is just me, isn't it? No one else "loses" their uncapped pens and pulls out another, only to lose it 5 minutes later and grab yet another and then at the end of the day they are all there, laughing at you and how much ink you got on your arm because you didn't see the tip peeking out from under the statement you were using as reference to reconcile an account?

Gack, it is just me.

Whatever, I'm talkin' kaloo kalay here! I'm talkin' "you mean I don't have to try to wash out the ink I got ON MY SWEATER again!" It makes constantly stopping to readjust my chain as I ride home (more on that later) seem less of a pain in the butt.

I call that a day so full of good luck and wonder that I actually don't mind that the person who answered my Verizon customer service email was incorrect about my being able to NOT choose a particular feature when I tried to use technology and upgrade my cell phone for the very first time in the FIVE years I've had it/the plan/etc./ever. I just shrugged it off and called up customer service like the old lady I am and had him manually set me up with the orange one. Had I not declined the insurance, I might have agreed to smash it against a brick wall and watch it bounce when I get it (FRIDAY!!!).

PS, I have nothing against iPhones and/or Apples, I just think it'd be overkill to the nth degree for me. Instead I will bask in my soon to be new phone's ruggedness and not be afraid that I will destroy it if ever I should wipe out on my bicycle.

My bike. (Except I thought mine was an '03/'04 but the photos don't match.)

I am so very full of excuses for not riding it. Most of them, I am admitting whole-heartedly here, stemming from the mental blocks I have that were firmly embedded, as was the asphalt, just after my last big almost-shattered-my-hip accident that occurred DAYS before leaving the Big Island. I literally had the still-broken-bike (the guys at the shop said it was okay but could use a little love and tender care and maybe a new gear hub) packed up and shipped to Los Angeles, while I moved 503 miles north, to North Lake Tahoe. (BTW my cell phone? The one I still have? The cheapie hello kitty (I am 12) case I had on it was THRASHED, but the phone was awesome and survived.)

Does it surprise you that to ride my bike the 3.7 miles to work during the one summer month in Seattle (I do not joke, it was still pouring on July 31st; why do I live here again?) I need a whole bunch of conditions met? The stars finally aligned last Friday. (Except for the tune-up, which is why I have to keep kicking my hub to change gears and greasing up my fingers when putting the chain back on the gears when it tries to get back at me.)

I'm on a mission to try to get my hip and knee and maybe even my wrist up to par before the end of the year/before I visit my mom in November. It would be just totally awesome if I could lose the 12-15 (you know girls and their ever/hourly-changing weight) pounds I put on after the accident. But I consider that a bonus, whipped topping on the cake of life and all that. All I really want is my hip and my knee to stop acting as if they were 80 years old so that if my nephew wants to run up the street, I can chase after him without FEELING my hip or my knee. (Camping with a three-year-old? Yeah, that opened my eyes to just how bad it can be--i.e. where is my walker!)

Everything I've read and everyone I've spoken to says I should try to build up the muscles around the damage. So I am, slowly. Yey crunches and knee lifts and biking!

But lemme tell you it is so very hard to keep watching the numbers on that damned scale go UP when you are working so hard...I know, I know, muscle weighs more than fat, really I do, but there is nothing I can do to convince the non-logical parts of my brain, it would seem.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Random Friday!

...Cuz I Just Can't Keep the Days Straight Right Now

1) So there was an earthquake in LA on Tuesday. What struck me as super weird/synchronicitous was the fact that it was the same day we received an email from facilities to be aware we'd be having an earthquake drill, here, in Seattle this week.

-Yes, I called my mom. Yes, she and everyone around her were fine. They barely felt it after the initial "jump." As the house is not on a flat/slab foundation like everyone else in the neighborhood, I asked that one of them go down to the basement "area" and check to make sure everything was still as precariously balanced as it was before. I have memories of Victorian houses being torn down in Santa Cruz throughout my time there because the houses had "jumped" their foundations during the Loma Prieta quake. Such a shame.

-Yes, I called my brother. I did. We spoke! He told me he was fine and that everything downtown was fine. There was more "rolling" there, so it was a more "normal" feeling quake.

-About then is when my cell battery died so I'm sorry if I didn't call you to check on you, Richard, Rudy, Maria, and any and all wayward friends who would rather not be mentioned on my blog :). It's not that I don't care, it's that I knew if I didn't call my mom she'd think the earthquake destroyed Seattle or something.

2) Susie-homemaker/M.Stewart I am not. Ask me to help you fix the vacuum cleaner, and I am so there. Ask me to vacuum...yeah right. However, if your housemate/bestfriend/S.O./family member/person you love/etc., maybe, happens to burn their chicken for Chicken Parmesan on an all-clad skillet non-non-stick, stainless steel skillet? Don't cry. Don't go out and spend too much on any cleaner. Here's what you do:

  • Take that box of $.59 baking soda and powder-up the bottom of the pan.
  • Add enough water to make a paste and leave it overnight.
  • In the morning add about an inch or two of water. Put it to boil for a bit...I think I left it rolling for 5 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat. On one site I read that you can take a wooden spoon and scrape off the big chunks at this point. I didn't have the big chunks to try this out with, but I'm sure it would work.
  • Let cool.
  • Dump out the water and I don't know if it's necessary, but I used a drop of dish washing soap and started scrubbing and was sad that nothing was coming off.
  • So in a "it can't hurt" moment, I added a couple tablespoons of baking soda....AND MAGIC HAPPENED. I started to scrub and everything just came off with no elbow grease whatsoever!
I'm going to see if the same magic will happen for the pot we over-cooked some rice in like the day after the all-clad came home.

3) And just how much do you think these will go for?

4) I think my tea-totaling self might be giving up alcohol for good...or maybe just cheap wine and non-sugary drinks.

I had a sip of an old reliable (read as cheap!) wine the night before last and I broke out in burning red hives all over.

It could be anything, the histamines that the yeast produces, the sulphates, the pesticides used on the grapes, the enzyme I seem to lack that apparently breaks down alcohol -- this is the funny tangent-esque connection: So it's called "Asian flush." It's the red-face that Asians get when they have even a sip of alcohol because of that missing enzyme. I already lack those enzymes required to fully digest pork (I didn't mention this?) so it's not surprising that I might have this problem too. Except I don't get the racing heart and until last night I didn't get the heat associated with the flush. But I'm not Asian? Maybe?

No really! There is that theory that my ancestors came from Asia. It's not all that long ago that the Spanish came in to decimate the natives of Mexico, and genetics is a hoot...hi, I glow in the dark, I'm so pale? So why not? The "cure" according to some Asian guys who posted about this somewhere on the internets is to have sugar before or with your alcomohol. Well, hello expensive (better quality grapes and yeast) fru fru drinks for me!

5) Is there a five? I had a five before, but I didn't get around to posting this until today instead of yesterday so my grand news of their being an total eclipse of the sun on August 1st isn't so dramatic as it happened already and pretty much no where I could have seen it. Oh well.

It's aloha Friday! You know I miss that...dressing up in bright happy colored clothes maybe with a big ol' plumeria on something to celebrate aloha Friday? It's probably because these storms and humidity make me feel like I'm back in Hilo.

Hmm, that could have been #6, but that would ruin my OCD-esque need for only 5 things...