Monday, May 22, 2006

It's been an oddly full last couple of days, shatteringly me nicely out of a bum week with too much rain (like eight days straight) and too much drinking. (ditto)

Two days ago I worked, then biked in the pouring rain (wearing nothing but cotton) down to the bus station, where I met an old advisee of mine (ah, my days as a freshman advisor) in town on a layover on the way to Montreal. It was good to catch up, and nice to have a visitor, even in miserable weather. Then a bike ride home, more pouring rain. This is when I discovered that when I went over the handlebars Sunday night, hyperextending my arms a bit and scraping my hands, (don't ask--but it wasn't bad) that I broke my shifter and am stuck in seventh of eight gears. Hill climbing's less fun, but my calves are going to be ripped.

Yesterday, I worked (opened, starting at 6:30), then biked down to the Intervale community gardens in the pouring rain to meet someone with whom I was supposed to be sharing their plot in exchange for some seed money and sweat equity. She was there, the floodplain was still a comfortable distance off, and we did some digging, some planting and some planning. Then I hustled up the hill to meet my father and go to a graduation party for a friend of the family's which involved a keg of Bud Light. I relaxed in the evening, because

Today I was up at 5:50 again, opening the store, and then bought some pepper plants and biked back down to the Intervale (this is down a big hill) in the pouring rain to garden some more. As we were gardening, the rain stopped and the sun came out. It was glorious, and my new babies are safely in the soil. Then I hustled back up the hill to make a dinner party an ex-co-worker of mine was throwing called "PorkLoaf2006." It was a massive feast that belied the name. The asapragus and pie were fantastic, and I ended up talking to some guy who had spent six months in Russia filming gay porn. (An odd mix of people, this.) Them I biked across town to the co-op, picked up some more plants for my co-gardener, dropped them off, and then met up with another old, old friend who's in town for the week. She watched me fold laundry as we watched bizarre Christian informercials and a swimming-with-the-dolphins documentary.

And then I actually started to pack in earnest. Or plan it, anyway. Which I need to do. Because I'm going out for coffee tomorrow morning, then working eight hours (training), then going out with some co-workers who were away all weekend, and then at nine in the morning on Wednesday I have to be at the airport.

But I'm cataloging this instead, because it's been a fun last couple of days, things have flowed together quite nicely (thank you, bike!), and I'll want to remember this later.

Next stop Prague!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Went on a mini-bender over the weekend, got bizarrely introspective, got really into the book of Job for a while, which is odd at the bars...

I'm better now. Especially since I had today and yesterday off, and it was nice enough to get some biking and some sun in.

Two weeks from now, I'll be over the Atlantic.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Some nights the world seems to conspire about how little I belong here, no matter how much I do.

Solicitous people in bars asking after my height in ways that dozens of people haev asked before.

OK, so, I find out this one person is a barrista at a coffee shop I frequent--and then it gets mentioned that I am a source of wonderment to the staff due to the fact that I order Lapsang Souchong without pretense, and without being a fifteen year-old Goth. (I blame Nick for this. Not for the not-being-a-Goth thing, mind.)

And then, I'm walking home drunk from the bars, past the location of a bar my parents met in, and some locals ask me if I have a car. "No." is the extent of my response, as I turn the corner, a hundred yards (less, even!) from the house in which I was raised.
The immediate response: "You German or something?"
Me: I was raised right over there, man."

He laughed and disappeared with his friends. But even in the Old North End of my childhood, I'm still a foreigner? Seems kind of harsh. Guess I'll just switch back to Czech for a while.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I have a "Hill-Sachs lesion," which sounds cooler than "upper humeral fracture" any day, and about a third of my left glenoid labrum has come loose from the shoulder blade, and has attempted to heal itself slightly farther out than is optimal for shoulder capsule function. (In another case of funny name, this is a SLAP tear). So I have the option for elective arthroscopic surgery, which will involve countersinking sugar pegs(!) around the rim of my glenoid cavity and somehow tying the cartilage back down where it should be, while debriding the bone/cartilage itself a bit to encourage bleeding and subsequent (reinforcing) scar tissue.

This is apparently routine.

Apparently, no matter how tight the labrum, if there's a notch in the bone it can unlock itself, so to speak, if the bone that fits into the socket is, say, notched. Or lesioned, say. In a Hill-Sachs fashion. The fix for this apparently involves taking a piece of a dead man's humerus and screwing it into place on top of the damaged site. This, needless to say, cannot be done arthroscopically. Fortunately, my Hill-Sachs lesion is tiny, and the first option has an excellent chance of sufficing. But, the surgeon helpfully added, I could get the first and then if I needed it, they could always come back later and put cadaver bone onto my shattered upper arm. Imagine my joy.

So a month in a sling and six months total recovery time? I haven't said yes yet. But it's not like I do much in the winters...