Thursday, July 31, 2003

Today is the day my sister-in-law is having her stomach removed.
She is risking her life; and reducing her quality of life so her body can strave itself.
But she will loose weight.
Is being skinny really worth it?

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The Manufactured Crisis is the best book I've read all year. America isn't ALWAYS the rotten-est country. In terms of public education, the U.S. is doing quite well thank you very much! Our kids read well, our teachers do amazing work, and the bashing of public education is not justified. (Unless I'm the one doing it!!)

The person who recommended this book to me had a great conspiracy theory - - If our schools are doing so well, why would we choose to ignore it?? An educated public is obviously good (and should be celebrated!) But she thinks that if the public is TOO educated, it can be dangerous to the folks in power (i.e. Think of the politicians in the �60's). So . . . the people with power bash the system and tell us how awful our schools "really" are, causing a lack of confidence, which results in decreased funding and morale, which turns the whole thing into a self fulfilling prophecy of awful schools!) Intersting . . .

Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

Dr. Seuss from The Lorax

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I got a "Welcome to the 2003-04 School Year" letter and inservice training schedule from my little academy today. I like the WDM system where you get a paycheck with the inservice schedule (A BIG paycheck because it includes summer school salaries!!) This letter had the exact opposite - the board passed a pay freeze. . . BUT they'll pay to have my CPR/ 1st aid cert updated (that's a nice little perk). Also there will be more diversity among the teaching staff this year (YIPEE!!) and Nazi-Drill-Sargent- Don't-Take-Nuttin'-From-No-One Teacher is going to take the toughest class (That'll make life so much easier!!!!!!) I'm looking forward to school starting (although I dread THREE WEEKS of inservices - that's insane!)

Monday, July 28, 2003

Wait . . . wait . . . wait . . .
I'll start by accentuating the positive.
I went to the doc today, and they took off the great big cast (YIPEE! It feels so nice to move my wrist!!!) Underneith the cast was a couple bandages and gauze stuff and several layers of "more stuff". After much searching they found ME!. It looks awful! Besides the surgical germ killing gook that stains skin yellow (and dries it out) there is a yucky, bloody, awful looking scar. It is bigger than the scar from the original cut and it just looks horrible (Eeww!) Medical people have a different sense of aesthetics however, and they said it looked great (strange strange people!)

After they took it all off, I poked myself, and it was still numb (insert sadest sad face here). The doc said this wasn't an overnight process (or even a 10 night process) The nerve will start to heal at about a millimeter a day, so it's gonna take several months before we know if it worked. (I've got at least 40 millimeters worth of damage going up and 20 going sideways). In the meantime, the muscles need to be worked (and the skin stretched - ouch!) The instructions are to use it as much as I can, and call his office if something seems really wrong. I go back in early October so he can re-evaluate.

So - this waiting game continues (the whole thing has been one big waiting game - - wait a week to see if it's actual damage or just swelling, wait a week for surgery, wait a week for it to heal, wait MONTHS for it to finish healing!!) Ugh. . . But - everything that can be done has been done - it'll either work or it won't and life is just going to have to go on either way . . . I will quit babbling about this (for at least two months) and return you to your regularly scheduled life!

Friday, July 25, 2003

Continuing with the "Thoughts From a Bored Person Who Can't Write" Mini-Series . . .

* Back when this war started, Saddam Husein released a photo of a dead US solider to the media � and the US said that violated the geneva convention. HOWEVER, when we kill it's ok to release photos of dead people???? WHY WHY WHY WHY????? What if "they" killed the Bush twins and released pictures of the dead bodies?? (yuck!) If we have to play war, can we at least play fair?

* Most of my life I've been striving to be a perfectionist. But I'm thinking it might not be worth the effort, and maybe I should quit. In an unintentional experiment, a lot of projects and some people recently got less-than-my-best; and nothing bad happened. (Almost no one noticed!!!) My current lazy thinking is "Why put extra energy into doing best work, when half hearted work gets the same results?" My inner perfectionist disagrees, but I'm ignoring her right now. This "chill out" mode has allowed me to come to terms with some stuff that never would have happened otherwise - and it feels kinda nice.

* Summer Sausage should always be sliced thickly, not thin!

* I can never be a freak (at least not an intentional freak!!) I'm just too self conscious to dye my hair purple or something. But I'm not "normal" either. I love being with, and talking to, and learning from the folks with purple hair with a marginal sort of lifestyle (Generally, normal people aren't as interesting or fun). Part of me wishes I could change to be one of those "interesting" people, but interesting people would recognize a poser right away. On the other hand, I'm just as much of a poser in the "normal" camp too (but normal people aren't as good at detecting phonies - it's easier to fit in there - as long as ones hair isn't purple!)

*Everything's cool for another year (two good jobs, and another 2 semesters of classes). Life seems well planned. But I'm going to have to make some big decisions before next summer (like do I want to stay at my current jobs or find new ones, or start a new career. Do I want another degree - in what (and where?) Do I want to bother with a residency and thesis writing or just quit after the course work is finished? There are a thousand ideas in my head, some of which make sense, some that don't. Some involve running away - I like those plans the best!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The problem with having all my homework done, and not being able to write, and being generally bored, is that I have way too much time to think -- lots of thinking - some thougs being deeper than others, and most of it random (if I write down what I'm thinking, it usually stays controlled, but thinking without that structure takes a person down some strange strage roads!!) Since I've nothing better to do (and I'm getting really really good at one handed typing!!) I present some random assorted thoughts and activities from the past few days . . .

*I found my old Trixie Belden books in the basement. I loved Trixie and her gang. Trixie was so cool (even if everyone thought she was stupid because she didn't make the great grades that everoner else did in school and her family didn't have much money -- Yeah I really idenified with Trixie!! I convinced my sister to name her hamster Trixie because I thought Trixie Belden was cool. Speaking of naming hamsters - my cousin hamster named a hamster after me -- It's the only thing I know of that was ever named after me -- and Julie was one mean mean mean hamster. I had forgotten about that until I started thinking about Trixie Belden and Trixie the Hamster.

*I also finally read Girl of the Limberlost which has been on my reading list for years (My GS Camp experience was all in the Limberlost Swamp -- and I've wanted to read the book ever since tthen, but it's hardly a readily avaliable best seller -- so when I came across it at the library, I decided it was time to read it. Nice book. Not incredibly special but a nice old fashioned book.

* The flaah mob was un inspiring last night. Instead off talking to the stranger in the black hat at the bar (like some freaky movie) to get the instructions, I followed someone else after the stranger in the black hat gave them the script (It was cool - - kinda of a covert spy type thing following someone around the mall!) Probably 50 people showed up (with at least half that many reporters and police / security people) I watched. Giggled and went home. Not as cool as I expected it to be.

*This has been the worst summer ever!! If I had to write a WHAT I DID OVER MY SUMMER VACATION essay - it'd go like this . . .
Late May
- stressed out over way too much school work.
June - went through a yucky grouchy depressive no self esteem "thing" for several weeks (while working on the preliminaries for my thesis (which, by the way, there is a new Arts Journal blog which promises to practically write the thesis for me!!)) i got promoted at the expense of a friend who got canned (guilt guilt guilt).
got dedicated to healing / repairing / dealing with a stuipid accident that severed a nerve in my hand. Doctors apointments and surgery and being left handed is NOT the way to spend a month. (not to mention a whole month of not knowing If/How much it can be fixed. It'd be a lot easier to just accecpt it and move on if I knew what I was accepting - ya know??)
August hasn't happened yet, but since I have to start attending teachers meetings on August 11, (and the SMU summer term doesn't end until Aug 16!) (And because this thumb stuff has put me way behind on my internship - my first "Incomplete" is gonna happen in August) I don't hold out much hope for it being amazingly better. (Bah HumBug!)

*I (single handedly!!) wrote the fitst draft of a $100,000 grannt yesterday. (My boss will write the final version using my stuff) That is way cool (what is cooler, the $100,000 part or the part that I literally did it single handed!)

* I don't know why, but the Free Arts internship has not worked out to be everything I thought it would be -- I'm sure part of that is the lost momentum that come with missing stuff because I'm sitting in hospitals or dr.s offices, but I don't know. I just don't enjoy it like I imagined. (I dreamed of making great connections and maybe being offered a job with one of the emerging FA affiliates starting up all over the country, meeting kids, doing stuff -- but that is not going to happen, and . . . I donno - just lost enthusiasm and dampened expectations.

* Growing up wouldn't be the worst thing that could ever happen. (I used to think it was) Sitting, people watching, and thinking has brought me to the conclusion that it'd be ok to Grow Up - as long as I could be an INTERESTING grown up. I have some good examples in my head reagrding interesting grown ups. They need to be explored further.

* I know people mean well, but I'm so tired of people associating my hand injury with music. (The first question My father asked after it happened was "Are you OK?" The second question was "Is it your finger hand or bow hand?" After talking with my advisor about why I was behhind on my internaship, she said "I hope the surgery goes well considering you future musical work." AND a musician classmate of mine asked several times if my surgeon understood the importance of my hand in regards to music. Am I that stereotyped?? I can only imagine what the highly paid performers go through (like when Domingo gets a cold and can't sing - - no one cares about him and how crummy he feels, they only worry about if he'll ever be able to sing again (and if they can get their tickets refunded!) But I'm not any special superstar - - (unless you count my amazing duets with Twinkle Twinkle!!) Like i said, i know people mean well, and they are trying to be empathetic (it WOULD be crummy to loose all function and have to become a conductor) but I wish they'd stop worring about piano and violin and worry about ME!.

* I had a weird dream about Mrs. Poospischile the other night. She hasn't changed a bit!!! There were a lot of her mannerisms that I had forgotten about until my subconcious pulled them out. VERY STRANGE. I'm going to write her a note before school styarts to check in with her.

*Two people DIED yesterday. But for some reason the news media (three different outlets) seem to think it can make the whole thing funny by telling us the rank of Hussein's two sons in the Iraq's Most wanted cards. Granted they were evil awful men who did bad things (personnally, I prefer to met people and decide for myself if they are evil and awful - but sometimes 'ya just gottta trust the government). BUT STILL they were PEOPLE and now they're dead, and laughing about their "Ace Status" on a silly game is tacky and disrespectful, and bad. I don't like it.

* I miss my kids. esp. my first (now Second!!) Graders. Somedays I really want to get out of education, but if that ever happens, I will miss hanging out with the creative brilliant people who are my students. (I can't even survive 3 months without them!) I also miss CUIFS party potatoes (yummy!) It's been 5 years since I've had them (and I'm drooling!!!) I thinking of asking the gal in charge of the reunion to beg CUIFS to feed us party potatoes at our banquet in October.

*My LH is tired, gotta stop. More later (lots more, my mind is filled with this stuff!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

It was all a hoax

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Sleep sleep sleep all I've done is sleep, partly because I just feel tired, partly because my family is driving me crazy - so I go to bed to hide from them - they generally leave me alone if I'm sleeping. They'll also leave me alone if I'm doing schoolwork - unfortunately, I made a point of getting a week ahead on my school stuff, so there's nothing left for me to do there. Ho Hum.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

- The doc said he found both ends of the nerve and sewed them back together! (I wasn't allowed to watch - so I just have to believe what he said - not that I would have recognized a nerve endung -- or even have been able to see with without a microscope!)

- He prescribed some serious (knock �ya out) pain meds. I took some before bed last night because I could feeel the anastetic wearing off and didn;t want to wake up at 2 a.m with excrutiating pain- but reallly haven't needed it much. I donno if it's a high pain tolerance - or the fat that I'm still not feeling things --- that kinda worrries me

- He said I'd be in a splint for a week, but this is actually more of a cast - it goes almost all the way up to my elbow! My right hand is totally out of comission - I signed discharge paoers with my left hand -- it's completely illegible!! (do you think I'll be abe to use my credit card this week??) I don't know how I'm going to doodle and entertain myself during Arts Law on Wednesday.

- I'll go back in 7-10 days to get the splint/cast off and see how much feeling has been restored. The doc remibded me that it would never be completely normal. But he seemed optomistic (although he could have just been happy because it was Friday - but I'm holding out that it's optimism!)

Friday, July 18, 2003

ArtsJournal calls this
The rock band Metallica is suing a Canadian band, claiming that the Canadians have recently begun using a couple of guitar chords that Metallica owns. It may come as a surprise to the rest of the music world that Metallica has legal authority over the chords E and F, but lead singer Lars Ulrich assures us that it's true: "We're not saying we own those two chords, individually - that would be ridiculous. We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music."

Today's the day they fix my hand (or fix it as much as they can). Exactly 9 years ago today, they yanked out my apendix. July 18 must be my "surgical day." Ugh - - - Although, nerve repair ought to be easier than an appendectomy - - For one, I'll be able to EAT tonight (After the apendix trauma, they starved me for 3 days! When I finally got to eat, strained cream soup was the tastest thing on the planet!!) The other apendix trauma was how much it hurt to laugh afterwards. My well intentioned friends came to visit me with chocolate and The PDQ Bach biography - it was awful -- I couldn't eat the chocolate, and reading the book was painful!

Anyway, I was supposed to go in at 11:45 - but last night the scheduling nurse called and said i'd been bumped back to 1:15 - - which means this morning is unbearably L O N G. (I've already paced around the house, read the paper, putzed on the computer, double and triple checked all my medical paperwork, baked brownies, and it's not even 10:00 yet!!!)

I'm going to be in a splint for at least a week after this - but I donno how functional the rest of my hand will be - if this site goes quiet for a couple days, it's probably because I'm too lazy to bother with extraneous one handed typing.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

A Dream Deferred

What Happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore �
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over �
Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

How can it be that it's only Wednesday?
It feels like at least a Thursday or Friday.
Wednesday night is Arts Law night - - good class, but 4 hours is TOO LONG, and the topics are getting drier and drier (tonight's lecture . . . REAL ESTATE AND LEASING AGREEMENTS. oh joy - not only is it "only Wednesday," but it's going to be a long long long Wednesday.

In less scarcastic news, I got a pay raise - effective July 1 (SURPRISE!!) Percentage wise it's big (33%) although in terms of real numbers it's only a couple dollars . . . BUT combine that with the additional five hours I'll work begining in September - - and I'll have a nice little paycheck! (The voices inside my head are talking about using the extra cash to move out of yuppie-ville into a REAL apartment - something in the city. A classmate even asked me to be her roommate!! (She has no idea what she's getting herself into!) I don't forsee it happening until 2004 - so "home" will still be my parents basement for a little longer - but it's a nice thought on a Wednesday morning!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The Minneapolis Flash Mob - MOB the MOA! The whole thing is crazy- but it could be fun (or maybe not - but if 'ya don't go, you'll never know!)

Monday, July 14, 2003

Thinking Outside "The Box"
Sometimes when we try to talk our way out of a problem, we end up reinforcing the problem...or even making it worse. Such is the case with 'the box,' that clever phrase that rose to prominence . . . in the '80s and '90s, and that lives on today. Thinking 'outside of the box,' or 'beyond the box,' became a professional pastime . . . over the past 30 years, usually making its comeback during tough economic times. True to form, �the box� is back with a vengeance in 2003.

The frustrating reality of negating something, however, is that you actually strengthen its hold. If I suggest that you NOT think of a giraffe right now, what pops into your head? . . . Okay, now don't think of the walls around you that block your creative thinking, ignore the barbed wire between you and an integrated response to your current challenges, and whatever you do, don't feel a sense of helplessness and loss of energy in your professional life.

There, didn�t that help?

More Here
From the brand new Arts Administration Blog (I'm almost giddy!)

Sunday, July 13, 2003

The results of my Free Enneagram Test
Everyone who is surprised, raise your hand!!!

Conscious self
Overall self

Take Free Enneagram Test

Saturday, July 12, 2003

The SMU fall class schedule arrived today
I will have class on Thursday evenings and won't be able to re-join the DVS symphony in the fall
) - : I've missed playing with them over the summer and am totally bummed that I can't play next season.

If you told someone that they were one in a million,
you'd be saying there were about 1,800 of them in China.

Friday, July 11, 2003

My Digital Nerve Repair surgery will happen next Friday.
He is going to do it with a local anastethic.

I just finished writing my first grant!!
Actually, "write" may be too strong of a term. This particular grant is one YA applies for every year, so I just updated last years application with current information - - but it's still exciting! (It'll be even more exciting when/if they approve the grant and send us a $3000 check!)

Thursday, July 10, 2003

A new study says that almost everything about a person - looks, intelligence, fitness levels, politics, wealth, and conversational ability - can be gleaned from looking at their CD collection. In the study, psychologists from the University of Texas questioned 3500 people about their individual musical preferences and then matched them with their personality traits.

Link Courtsey of ArtsJournal

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Here's some excting news - I'm going to get an intern for the summer!!
My very own intern!!
To think, 6 months ago, the YA intern was ME - - and now I supervise one
(What a great country!)

Classified Homework!

They [the government] suggest his work be classified. �Classify my dissertation? Crap. Does this mean I have to redo my Ph. D?� he said. �They�re worried about national security. I�m worried about getting my degree.�
For academics, there always has been the imperative to publish or perish. In Gorman�s case, there�s a new concern: publish and perish

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

TO surgery-ize or not to surgery-ize; That is the question.
The hand specialist looked at my thumb today.

I did in fact cut a nerve - - and it will never be "normal" again. (Forever and ever the nerve will be severed resulting in some numb-ness in my thumb ---- but it is one of the "less important" nerves because it is on top of my hand, not the palm).

The good news, is that he took out my stitches (yipee!!) and function is not impaired (esp. now that I don't have stitches pulling or a bandage getting in my way every time I try to move! I can type with TWO hands again!!!)

They can do surgery, which could restore some feeling, and prevent a neroma - which is when a cut nerve kind of bundles together because they have no place to go, and starts shooting off lots of intense pain. (YIKES!!!) Neuromas happen, and it's impossible to predict if it will happen to me, but since it is the top of my hand - a place that gets bumped often, it is more likely to happen.

The doc told me to think about it- and call his office if I wanted to schedule it. I'm leaning towards doing it and will probably do that later today. I need to think. (don't ask me what I'm thinking about - - I don't know - I'm feeling wozzy again and had to lie down for him to take out the stitches. Up until last week I considered myself "not squemish" but lately, it appears I've developed a squemish "thing" (or maybe it's a dizzy blonde thing)

UPDATE: 28 hours later, and I still haven't scheduled it - - last night I bumped it (not hard) and it H U R T! If I'm gonna do it, sooner is better than later - just because summer is more convienient than fall - but . . . but procrastination isn't a bad thing is it??

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Here's a spiffy party trick - I can pass out, just by touching my thumb!!
My thumb, by the way, had a mirror fall on it this morning, which caused a nice cut and complete numb-ness. When I poke the numb part - I get dizzy (and then faint - - not cool)!

I've never fainted before - - at least not until today when I passed out twice in a three hour time frame!!

The urget Care Doc seemed really concerend, he mentioned something about a cut nerve, and sent me to the emergency room

The ER doc didn't seem to care. He told me I was fainting from pain (duh. . . I felt no pain -the whole thing was NUMB!!) He said it wasn't possible to cut a nerve, and gave me 5 stiches. The ER nurselistened in, and later said it could in fact be nerve damange (because people aren't always built the same) He was a terriffc nurse, who explained everything . . . .

Long story short - Next week I see a hand surgeon. If it isn't nerve damage, then the numb-ness will heal on it's own. If it can be fixed, it's just as easy to do it next week as it is today. BUT . . . it's also possible that it can't be fixed, and if that's the case, it's just as unfixable today as it would be next week - - in which case I'll have a numb thumb with a damaged nerve forever. (gulp) In the meantime, I'm trying not to freak out, faint, or play horrible "what if?" games.

Typing is a long, slow, one handed process at the moment - - so things might go quiet from my end for a bit.