Thursday, June 21, 2007

How My Day is Like One of Jack Bauer's Days:

1. In the first five minutes of my day, everything appeared normal. (True.)
2. Upon arriving at YDAU (Youth Dynamics Administrative Unit) I received disturbing news while in the situation room. (Modified version of the truth: since I was in my office when I learned of the situation, I could call my office the "Situation Room." and we don't really call it YDAU...but if we could make it catch on...we certainly could.)
3. Made a phone call--asked the call recipient of he/she was "on a secure line." (True.)
4. Met with the President to discuss how to best communicate sensitive information. (Definitely true.)
5. Received urgent phone call that someone needed access to the restricted program on the server. (True.) I don't have level three clearance. (Metaphor.) Tell person to contact our resident "Chloe," who could grant me provisional access to the restricted program. (Definitely true.)
6. Receive phone call from "Chloe," who guides me through the login remotely. (True.)
7. Diffuse a can of nerve gas. (Metaphor: I actually opened a can of Diet Coke to ease my nerves.)

Although all of the above information is true, phrasing this as such is evidently what happens as a direct result of watching all of Season Five of 24 in a 5-day period of time.

Clay's out of town for two weeks. I'm apparently filling his absence with televised drama. Next on the agenda: Firefly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Pain in My Neck...

So I went to the chiropractor this morning, and he said, "Yup. Your neck is messed up!" And he did my favorite analogy in reference to neck stress--only this time it was about a bowling ball on an ink pen, not a bowling ball on a toothpick.

Here is what a normal neck looks like:

Do you see how the cranium hovers so sweetly on the gently curling base of the cervical vertebrae? It's very pretty I know. This lucky person can move his/her head forward, and the happy cranium still has a base of support below it! Nice!

Now, look at my neck:

Oh no! The poor little ink pen/toothpick of a neck! It's trying to hold that big bowling ball of a cranium up all by itself! Every time I lean my cranium forward an inch it puts ten pounds of pressure on the muscles on the back of my neck to hold that bowling ball up! Egads!

And the solution? Well, the nice man in the polo shirt clamps my head into a very uncomfortable position, and I think, "Hey! Didn't Jack Bauer just do this exact move on that Russian terrorist moments before the nerve gas was released on unsuspecting Los Angelonians?" (tangent: I'm into hour twenty of Season Five of 24. I think I started watching it on Saturday. TV on DVD is an evil thing to have at one's disposal.)

Anyways, the nice man in the polo shirt cranks my head around a few times and suddenly my range of motion has increased and he promises my hands shouldn't go numb anymore. Nice.

So I'll go a few more times, and he says it might just be how my neck has developed over the last 12 years because of my scoliosis and whiplash. And I think, "Hey. I would rather pay a co-pay and get a Jack Bauer hold once or twice a month for the rest of my life than have some arthritic neck condition that forces me into a Derek Zoolander lifestyle of never being able to turn left."

That's my story. And the best part of it? When I say to the nice man in the polo shirt (AKA, the Chiropractor), "Hey, do you think I should go to the massage therapist." He says, "I don't know if you should go or not, but it's definitely always nice to go to the massage therapist."

Amen to that Dr. Jack Bauer. You are a true American hero.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Joys/Pains of Chiropractic Care

Toothpaste For Dinner

The imminent time has arrived: it's time to go back to the chiropractor.

There seem to be a lot of opinions out there on chiropractors...I was raised by a mom and a dad and grandparents who always went to the chiropractor...and it seemed to be the thing to do.

Then--somewhere in health class they told us that chiropractors weren't really perceived as medical professionals...which is pretty confusing because they have the title "Dr." And when I was in high school, I had scoliosis, but going to the chiropractor only made things hurt worse most of the time, so I didn't like going. So I stopped going and signed off on chiropractic care (circa 1996).

Then, circa 2004, I was in this car accident and a few months later, I got really severe pain in my back, and I cried out, "Chiropractor, save me!" And he did. He pointed at an x-ray of my head and compared it to levitating a bowling bowl on a toothpick. (And I was like, man...4 years of school, and they couldn't teach you a more applicable metaphor?) But after 3x a week for like, a long time, and I got waaaaay better, and I was like, "Chiropractors are amazing!" Until my claim ended and they started charging me $50 per appointment, and I was like, "for $200 a month I could fly to Vegas and visit my favorite man-made things." (n.b. not that I WOULD do this, only to say I could party in Vegas or go to the chiropractor...not a hard choice.) I was like, "Chiropractic care is dumb again."

Until now. I spent most of yesterday lying on a couch, popping ibuprofen and rubbing my neck because two years post-chiropractor, it hurts really bad again. I lost range of motion, and my arms and legs started losing feeling. So...I know I need to go back and get continuing care on my neck.

This is annoying, because health insurance considers chiropractic care to fall under the deductible, and I want to go, "Stupid health care! I can't nod my head! I give you hundreds of dollars every month! Pay for something!"

So why do I pay hundreds of dollars for the just-in-case I get my arm mangled in a freak landscaping accident but not in case my chronic neck pain reemerges? How can health insurance compartmentalize my body like that?

And it's annoying because every time I move, I have to find new doctors...which requires waiting lots of days to get an appointment. And lots of small talk get-to-know-you doctor chatter.

But--there is the hidden bonus of going to the chiropractor: referrals to the massage therapist! Yes! Somehow this makes the whole thing worth it!

Anyways, on Wednesday morning, I'm headed to the chiropractor, when they'll tell me my neck is screwed up and I need a bazillion dollars in care, and I'll say, "Yes please." Mostly so I can feel my arms again.

This is all.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Championship Woes

This year, Ohio is begging the question, "Is it better to noticeably come in 2nd place? Or is it better to not make it to championship games at all."

The evidence being as follows:
NBA: Spurs vs. Cavs
NCAAB: Florida vs. OSU
NCAAF: Florida vs. OSU

If the Indians could lose the World Series and the Browns could lose the Super Bowl, it would be a very well-rounded year, I think.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ode to Portland

Over Memorial Day weekend, I went to visit friend Sonja in Portland. She recently moved there to start a new life/job, and I was excited to spend the weekend exploring an under explored town.

There were lots of good times to be had:

  • visiting Imogo Dei Community. This church is the home church of Donald Miller, and Sonja has begun attending there. There's a strong sense of artistry and active community service.
  • eating dinner at Andina (Johnny P and Drew, this should be on your list of mileage runs--eating at this restaurant). The food was Peruvian, our waiter was beyond impressive, and the atmosphere was killer.
  • catching 300 at McMenamin's Kennedy School. It's not everyday you can see a movie while sitting on a couch in a restored school auditorium with a pub in the next room.
  • visiting Powell's Books, one of America's premier independent bookstores, which seriously, is like, the size of a shopping mall.
  • going to the Japanese gardens and discovering a new potential hobby! This was an amazing Japanese garden, too, as far as Japanese gardens go...5.5 acres of greenery. (P.S. Did you know that the Druids of Stonehenge influenced the Japanese gardeners? It's true! Look below!)
So, in retrospect, I've definitely decided that I desire a Japanese garden in my future. Preferably with a coy pond, a waterfall, and little stones with original haiku scattered across the backyard. I will do Tai Chi there. It will be a good time.

Now, the only thing I have to do is buy a house, hire a landscaper, hire a part-time gardener, and learn Japanese and Tai Chi.

Because that is a lot of work, for the time being I'm very glad to share a house with Heidi, who's taking it upon herself to landscape our entire yard while I smile and watch from the window. There's even a mini-Japanese garden by the back door. For now, this will have to suffice for satisfying my Japanese Gardening needs, until I manage to grow a green thumb myself. Someday in the near future, I will take a photo of the landscaping because it will make last month's trip to the dump all the more exciting!

(P.P.S. Did you know that Japanese Gardeners patented putt-putt? It's true! Look!)