Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Consider this your warning: festering ooze ahead

Many of you have been following the saga of "The Festering Wound". For those of you who aren't familiar, I have had a mysterious lump on my leg since about March that will randomly decide to ooze. I have had numerous people look at it and tell me what they believe it to be; however, that has led me to receiving about 15 different diagnoses and treatment regimens. It became infected this past weekend and yesterday it was so painful and swollen/oozy that I could barely walk. I decided to go to Urgent Care.

So many of you have been following the Festering Wound story that I had to post a picture of it on the blog. Quite frankly, it has developed such a personality over time that it probably deserves a blog of its own. But I'm too lazy for that.

For those of you who are squeamish or are sick of hearing me talk about the Festering Wound, my apologies. I hope to be rid of it soon.

I took this picture last night around 9:00pm after the antibiotics kicked in and a lot of the swelling went down. The black circle drawn on my leg was the doctor's marking around where the redness had extended when I was being treated.

Coco, I dare you to recreate this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Down time

The past few weeks have been nuts. I've been busy with choir, the fashion show, audits at work, and general debauchery when time allowed. Well, my constant running around finally caught up with me and I got sick. Poop.

I must admit that it's been really relaxing spending the last two nights doing absolutely nothing. As soon as I get home from work I put on my pajamas, put the kettle on for a cup of tea, wrap myself up in a blanket, and read. I always forget how much I love to read; unfortunately, the book I'm reading right now is most likely going to be an utter disappointment.

I do have to say, though, that I am extremely picky when it comes to fiction. It's not uncommon for me to yell at a book and hurl it across the room when I've finished reading it. I think this reaction is because it's very difficult for me to read a novel without feeling like the plot is completely manufactured and awkwardly presented to the reader to accept as reality. I struggle making that statement, though, because essentially a work of fiction is, by nature, fabricated so I shouldn't be so picky...but I am.

**I will also note that there is just as much terrible non-fiction out there, as well. I may be a pretentious book critic, but I am not a genre-snot.**

I was lent The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian by the VP of my company when I told him how much I love The Great Gatsby, as it follows a made-up descendent of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. I warned him that I am overly critical of fiction, but he suggested I read it anyway. So far, I'm not impressed. Of course the main character is emotionally isolated because she was almost raped when she was 18. Of course the only person she can really "connect" with is her cousin with Downs Syndrome and the homeless people she works with. Of course the handsome upstairs neighbor is madly in love with her but unable to break down her walls. *sigh*

I will hold off making any more negative comments until after I have finished reading the whole novel.

On a positive note, scattered throughout the book are photographs that were taken in real life by a homeless man with schizophrenia which I think are really fantastic. I'd buy the book just to look at those photographs again.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Celebratory mini-post

One of my clients saved someone else's life on their lunch break by performing the Heimlich maneuver on them. This has nothing to do with me or my job but I'm super proud of him. I'm writing out a card that I'm going to mail him tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Because I'm too lazy to post anything else now

Stranger Things Have Happened, NE Minneapolis

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Old treasures

I was going through old bookmarks today and I found this gem. It's a few years old but it still made me smile when I watched it again.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Milestone day!

My client with the foot fetish got his ID today! This is something that he has been trying to get since 1999. It's easy to forget how difficult it is to obtain government-issued anything when you no longer have a birth certificate, social security card, driver's license, or health insurance. Since I started working with him last August, I've been trying to figure out a way through the massive catch-22 and it was tedious, to say the least. But things are on the up and up now since he has the temporary ID and is just waiting for the real thing to come in the mail.

When I asked him what the first thing he was going to do once he got his ID was he told me, "Go to the nudie bars and get the fuck out of Minnesota."

Part of me wants to give him a couple singles to help celebrate.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Day mini-post

Six years ago, I called my parents and told them that my brother had eloped with his psychotic girlfriend of the time. My parents have always been good about keeping their noses out of their kids' business, but I knew that my mom was desperately hoping that the five-year-long roller coaster of a relationship would end.

When my mom started bawling into the phone I sheepishly murmured "....April Fooooooool's....." and decided to retire the tradition.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ammo and ham

I spent Easter shooting guns and eating ham with Hedy De Vine and her family. I had never fired a gun before and it turns out I'm pretty damn good at it (sort of). Four out of my five hits on the target were made with the first round of ammo. This experience still doesn't change the way I feel about guns or my opinions on gun control, but it was a blast. I would go target practicing again in a heartbeat.

Does that make me a hypocrite?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Someone's getting the travel bug...

Recent discussion of road trips has prompted me to reminisce about some of my past adventures on the road. While some may feel otherwise, I am a fan huge of the road trip. Whether it’s the family road trip (about which most people have at least one harrowing tale) the road trip with friends, or, if you’re so bold, the solitary road trip. While I do not take road trips all that often anymore (rarely, in fact) I have experienced, to some degree, all three categories of road trips and have come to the conclusion that road trip stories often go hand in hand with TGHW stories. Trips. Gone. Horribly. Wrong. These are my favorite trips. Despite the general carnage involved in trips gone horribly wrong, they always bring a smile to my face when I think back. I have a lot of TGHW stories (remind me to tell you about walking around at 4am trying to find the police station soaking wet and legally blind….) but my last true road trip is one of my all time favorites.

Two years ago, I took a trip with a few other people to Atlanta, Georgia. The idea for the trip was the product of a heated discussion regarding No Child Left Behind that ensued after a statement was made that Georgia was nationally ranked as one of the lowest states in terms of high school retention/ graduation rates.

We had gotten an appointment with a member of the Atlanta Board of Education, we had an appointment with the superintendent of one of the school districts in the city, and one of the people on the trip had contacts at a non-profit in Atlanta that was devoted to social justice, etc. (the name escapes me now….crap). In retrospect, it seems like a somewhat overzealous endeavor stemming from a discussion, but whatever. With social change on the brain and a sense of adventure in our pockets we set off down south in a van that had a jumpy accelerator and no suspension.

Things went downhill pretty fast. We had agreed to drive straight through from Minneapolis to Atlanta and around hour 12 on the road it became pretty evident that 3 people on the trip were complete lunatics, two of which had decided that they didn’t want to be on this trip anymore and were trying to rally everyone else to turn the van around. Hell no.

Our lodging in Atlanta was conveniently located in a crack neighborhood boasting the seediest strip club I have ever seen in my life. We filled up at the gas station across the street and I noticed that the bouncer of the club was wearing rubber surgical gloves. *shudder* We had arranged to stay at a community center-turned-hostel and as we parked we noticed that the parking lot was literally COVERED in used condoms. I’m not talking about a number of used condoms strewn about; no, EVERY step you took involved stepping on at least three condoms. When asked about the condoms in the parking lot the woman who let us into the community center shrugged and said, “at least they’re being safe”. She had a point. The woman gave us a key to the empty room (literally) that we would be staying in and prepared to leave for the evening giving us a few instructions on her way out, “Showers are across the street; don’t walk too far, though. Listen for gunshots and remember, our door is heavy; ain’t no one busting down that door. Oh, and don’t drink the water. Goodnight!”

Our attempts at driving around Atlanta always resulted in one of the three lunatics screaming at whoever was driving accusing them of going the wrong way or, in the event that one of them was the driving, refusing to listen to the person who was holding the map. We got horribly lost a number of times. I let this slide, though, as this seems to be a pretty standard aspect of a road trip.

On day two of the trip, Ryan came down with the Norwalk virus which quickly spread to 3 other people in our group. I was the only one who didn’t get nauseated at the sight/sound of vomit and soon earned the title of “house marm” as I sat on the floor giving water to my retching trip mates. On night four of the trip, Ryan and I made the decision to take the latest victim of the Norwalk virus to the emergency room because he was so sick he couldn’t move. Miraculously, I was spared the agony of the Norwalk virus despite nearly swimming in vomit and excrement for two days straight.

Our 20 hour drive back to the Cities was spent nearly in silence after Lunatic 1 started to literally choke Lunatic 2 for “playing shitty music and refusing to change it”. The four Norwalk victims were exhausted from spending the last few days horking into a dirty toilet on a cold cement floor and I was exhausted from cleaning up after them.

Surprisingly enough, we managed to keep our appointments and, among other people, we had a great chat with Khaatim S. El who is an amazing guy.

Plus, I found one of my favorite pieces of street art to date:

It’s a squirrel wearing a jumpsuit!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Compassion gone awry

Bob* lives in an old apartment building. A couple months ago, Bob became aware that there were mice living in the walls of his apartment. Just recently the mice started to migrate out of the walls and take over Bob's living space. Bob didn't want to kill the mice, but Bob got fed up. Bob rigged some traps out of glass casserole dishes and wooden spoons.

When Bob caught the first mouse, he went to the park across the street to release it. Bob set the mouse down on the snow and started to walk away but then started to feel guilty. Rather than frolicking in the snow, the mouse started to shriek and run around in circles. The mouse found a footprint impacted in the snow and tried to curl up for warmth in the muddy imprint of the heel. Bob felt really sad seeing this and decided to re-capture the mouse and bring it back into his apartment.

Bob has since captured more of the mice that are infesting his apartment. For the time being, he is keeping them in a special mouse home he made and is feeding them dried peas. When the spring thaw arrives, Bob will take the mice and release them in the park.


Sunday, March 9, 2008


I’m not particularly squeamish. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that it takes a lot to make me squirm. I’ve never been afraid of bugs, but based on the way that I react to insect bites I probably should be. I’m sitting here right now soaking my foot because my toe is twice its normal size. I think I was bitten by a spider at some point today. I haven’t seen a spider in months, but it’s all I can think of to explain why my toe is so swollen.

While I was living in the quaint, yet bustling metropolis of Aix-en-Provence, France I crashed at my friend’s house a number of times. She lived in Eguilles; out in the country where the creepy crawlies roamed. I was sleeping on her floor, once, and during the night I rolled over a scorpion. I woke up the next morning with a giant welt on my hip. As the day progressed, the welt grew until it reached a diameter of about 4 inches. The woman at the pharmacy gasped when I showed her my hip and scrambled to find a salve for the bite. I wish I had taken a picture of that welt…it was so nasty. Heh.

Funny to think about those invisible monsters you know are lurking about.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I have a reliable internet connection again. Yay! Unfortunately, I don't really have anything worthwhile to post. Work has been pretty nuts lately and it culminated with a horribly shitty meeting with the president today. I don't want to spend all my energy griping about work because I love my job but I was really disheartened today. I met with the president of the company to present my budget for the year and to "problem solve" ways to turn the company's slump around in terms of my position and the department. Two hours into the meeting it sunk in that the president really doesn't care about my caseload and that this meeting was solely to make herself feel better for "making an effort". Sorry ma'am, don't expect me to kiss your ass when you pretend to care. It doesn't work that way.

Enough of that. I'm done complaining.

Since work has been on my mind so much, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my job.

This is my office. When I started, my office was in our main building, but one of our contracts got so big we needed to lease out additional warehouse space. This was the result. My office was moved to a former carpet sample showroom with the additional warehouse space in the back. We still get "Drycleaning Quarterly" and other carpet-related trade magazines mailed to our address. They're fantastic. I've suggested that we bring in some extra money by subcontracting and renting out the crazy amounts of open space in the office by teaching square dancing lessons.

This is my desk. Notice how things tend to explode when it comes time to audit the files of your 40 clients.

These are my four dying plants. I originally only had one plant, but people kept giving me more when they didn't want to take care of their own plants any longer. I don't know why I keep accepting them because I have the tendency to kill plants and sure 'nuff these puppies are not in good health. Hrmm...

And this is Buddha Kitty, otherwise known as the Oracle of Meow. No desk is complete without a bronze-cast, slightly creepy cat sculpture.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Random ramblings

On Wednesday I decided to be an honest citizen and called Comcast to have my internet reinstated and transferred to my new apartment. While it's great that my karma is being restored and blah, blah, blah I still have to wait until March 5 before the next repair tech can come out. Fucking Comcast. Friday, my neighbor must have gotten fed up with me stealing their internet and put password protection on the network. So right now I'm sitting at Nina's Coffee Cafe catching up on email and whatnot.

I had an interesting opportunity present itself this past week. I was contacted by a woman who is creating a pilot program through the Hope Lodge in Minneapolis where I would be providing Reiki therapy to the residents undergoing cancer treatment. I think this is such a great opportunity for these people to receive a bit of nurturing and comfort in an otherwise sterile medical environment. Cancer treatments are so emotionally and physically draining that I can't imagine having to undergo the treatments away from home. So regardless of your thoughts and opinions on the efficacy of Reiki, everyone feels better after they get a hug or a massage, right? Same thing. She's still trying to figure out the schedule for the treatments so it might be a while before I start but I am really looking forward to working with them. I hope the program is successful.

That's pretty much it with me. Sorry I've been so boring lately. Hopefully I'll have some more wit to add soon.