Saturday, March 29, 2008
First, she should be OK
I've said several times before that I have been fortunate not to have been terribly injured myself; not to have seen someone very close to me terribly injured; and not to have come anywhere near confronting that which is worse. Today was a jolt to my comfortable little world.
At around 3 in the afternoon, as she was preparing a snack for the train ride up to San Francisco and a visit with some old friends, Kelley set about cutting an avocado. I was on the other side of the room, starting blankly at basketball highlights, when suddenly Kelley was screaming. Her effort to stab the pit of the avocado instead resulted in her stabbing the middle of her left palm. Blood was plentiful. Somehow she managed, in what must have been excruciating pain, to cooly direct me as to how to help: get up, go get a towel, call 911. The paramedics arrived (quickly, it seemed to me; it must have been interminable for her), Kelley was put on a stretcher and into the ambulance, and we were off to the hospital.
The on-the-spot diagnosis was encouraging: the human hand is very vascular, hence all the mess; the blood was not a deep red and so likely not arterial. After a spell in the waiting room we were ushered into a room/stall. Service was touch and go; Kelley was, of course, not the only patient in the building. She was hurting, and none too thrilled about what she thought/knew was coming. As we waited for the nurse and then the doctor, I did my best to calm her, but the effect was minimal. (It is here I must confess: First as we waited for the ambulance, and again early in her treatment, I had to retreat -- and that is the perfect word -- to the bathroom to splash some water on face. I left her side to calm my frayed nerves -- at the same time her actual nerves might actually have been frayed. I have never felt like less of a man.) All I could offer Kelley were my eyes to lock onto and my hand to hold.
The doctor arrived and removed the bandages. Blood began to pool again in her hand. He cleaned the area, then injected some anesthetic. "More please," Kelley insisted. As he worked, Kelley settled some. Another doctor irrigated the wound, and this is when I got my first look at the cut. (I don't know how you toughed it out, baby.) The first doctor returned to apply some stitches, to ask about our jobs and to poorly joke that this was a silly way to try suicide. Awful humor was offset by the determination that the knife had missed the tendons and muscles in Kelley's hand.
After another pause, the nurse came in to bandage Kelley up, give us prescriptions for painkillers and antibiotics, and generally instruct us how to care for the hand in the coming days. "What about the swelling on the top of her hand?" I asked, finally good for something. "Oh. ... Oh my," she replied before assuring us that it would go down soon. As of this typing, we are still (nervously) waiting.
All that was six hours ago. We took a cab home, tried unsuccessfully to get the prescriptions filled (downtown San Jose is terrific, as is not having a car), and got a couple sandwiches. I then had to go into work (from where I write). I'm signing off now though, and cannot wait to get back to Kelley.
We will wake up tomorrow and get the meds. Kelley's mom will stop by in the afternoon, on a pre-scheduled visit, and change the bandages and offer considerably better advice than mine. After a few days we will see a hand specialist, to make sure there is indeed no muscle damage. The stitches will come out. Time will pass, and heal. It sounds like hell, and the pain Kelley must have felt and is feeling makes me wince, but I can't help but feel we are a little bit lucky still.
(Kelley's swollen thumb up close)
Friday, March 28, 2008
The Fun Life
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Day Tripping to Berkeley
On Saturday, we took the train up to Berkeley (the trip we had intended to make before the car accident). With Chris loving college campuses so much and me loving crunchy, yoga-loving, eco-friendly hipsters, I figured it was a must-do.
The Cal campus is beautiful. A great mix of traditional buildings, libraries, and lawns set in the center of an urban community. We couldn't have picked a better day as far as weather goes to walk the campus. After checking out the library, stadium, and most of the campus, Chris went in search of gear. I like to tease him because we spend so much time shopping but he really does love his college T-shirts and baseball caps.
Then it was over to Chez Panisse, which I have to give him credit for picking. The restaurant is known for it's chef Alice Waters, who in the 70s pioneered the whole locally and organically grown food movement. She was way ahead of her time and the food was delicious. I ate this fantastic saffron rice stew and Chris had a lemon halibut that had the most perfect texture. It really lived up to it's reputation.
After lunch we walked through the campus once again and down the famous Telegraph Avenue, walking through used book stores and record shops before finishing the afternoon with a couple of milkshakes. It was a nice little day trip and one I think we both want to take again.
(Photo captions from top to bottom: The Berkeley campus; The U.C. Berkeley library; Chris walking the library stacks; Me taking a picture with Mark Twain; Amusing myself with a silly Cal hat while Chris shops; Chris trying to find the perfect Cal hat; A stream and bridge in a quiet part of the campus; Chez Panisse.)
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Local Girlfriend Always Wants To Do Stuff
Often times, when I propose an activity for Chris and I to do together, he laughingly comes back with this Onion headline: Local Girlfriend Always Wants To Do Stuff. I try and recognize that he works hard all week and in the case of this weekend, will go along with his desire to do nothing more than sit on the couch, drink our coffee, and read. This also explains why I don't have much to post about this week.
I will give him some credit for venturing over to Kelley Park (Whose park?!?) on our bikes and reading alongside a pond. In all seriousness, I love our time spent doing nothing more than simply being together but I thought I would take this opportunity to share some photos of other times I "wanted to do stuff." Not so bad when we leave the apartment, eh?
Friday, March 7, 2008
I Heart My Bicycle
A few weeks ago, after our horrifying accident that left my car totaled, I decided to buy a bike. A combination of being inspired by Chris (who rides his bike to and from work everyday) and needing an easier way to make a quick run to Target or the yarn store got me searching Craigslist for something with personality and style. In short, I wanted a cute bicycle for under 100 bucks.
A couple of phone calls and I had found this bike that fit both criteria: It's undeniably cute and cost a mere $75. I had our local bike shop affix a basket to the front and even got a bit of history about the company Kobe, which (according to the bike shop man) operated their U.S. factory out of San Jose some years ago.
So now I'm completely smitten with my new bike. Chris and I ride to all our errands and it's so relaxing and kind of romantic. The scenery seems to float by with perfect pacing; something that in the car is never noticed or on foot becomes mundane is suddenly refreshing. With summer coming, I'm already looking forward to taking leisurely rides at dusk when it's too hot to be indoors. Oh, how my new bicycle is dreamy (sigh).
Monday, March 3, 2008
Something to adorn our blank wall
I found these charming prints on Etsy the other day and they just arrived all the way from Auckland, New Zealand. They were illustrated by printmaker Bernadette Sipkes aka Sugarloop and printed in editions of 100. She uses medium textured archival quality paper to create the woodblock printing effect and I absolutely love the little, pebbly shapes.
I am going to add these two prints along with some others to create a kind of cluster effect of artwork on the wall above our entertainment center. Right now it is just a huge, blank space staring back at us pleading for some personality. Once I get these guys in frames and hang them up, I'll post the before and afters.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Golden Gate Park: Botanical Gardens
After our trip to the museum, we wondered over to the Botanical Gardens on our way out of the park. It's barely March but the 70 degree weather is already here. The blossoms on the trees and blue skies certainly perks me up even after our mild California winter and, while I hate to rub it in for those still enduring the cold, you can't beat our wonderful weather and tremendous landscape. With a possible move on the horizon, I'm definitely taking in every California moment as if it could be my last for a while.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Golden Gate Park: de Young Museum
On Friday we decided to get out of the house and take the train up to Golden Gate Park. One difficult Muni ride later (which forced everyone to de-train and find the next station) we finally made it to our destination.
After eating our lunch in the outdoor theater seating, we spent most of our day at the newly remodeled de Young Museum. The previous building was rocked so hard during the Loma Prieta earthquake, they decided to rebuild and make it more seismically safe. The facade is composed entirely of copper and meant to turn green over time in an effort to blend with the trees, at least that is what the art docent told us. She lead us and a small group on a tour through 20th century contemporary art. Some of what she interpreted about each piece was interesting but Chris teased that her statement that "all the artists were trying to communicate something to the viewer" was kind of B.S. Having said that, he did like an abstract installation of burnt wood. Without any background info, it just looked like a mass of materials shaped into a cube but it was actually composed from the remains of an African-American church that had been burned down. So a little context proved to be a good thing.
Overall, we found the new building to be more interesting than the art inside. I think in the future we'll be more likely to go to the SF MoMA but it was just nice being together.
I used to sit in the cube behind you. Then I didn't. And then we fell in love.
reading Lorrie Moore
reading Paper Lion
Links We Love
Smarts & Crafts
Arts & Letters Daily
Paris Review Daily
Joie de Vivre