Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Free at Last!

I'm free, I'm free! I have cast off the fiberglass shackles of my arm's bondage!

Yes, my cast came off yesterday as scheduled, and the doctor was so pleased with how well it's healed up that I don't even have to wear a splint or brace like I was supposed to! I have an ace bandage to wrap it up in if I'm going to do something active, but that's it. And I have no danger of future arthritis from this, and I'm really thinking it bodes pretty well against me getting osteoporosis in the future. I mean, if I'm almost 30 and healed up almost as quickly as a teen would have done, these must be some good strong calcium-laden bones I have!

But oh, it feels so weird to have it off. I was really surprised to discover how weak my arm has become. I had improved so much in strength with the cast on that I guess I was thinking the difficulties I was still having were due to how difficult it is to grip anything with a fiberglass band across my palm! But no, my arm is very weak-- lifting a full glass is difficult, and it was even hard to squeeze the toothpaste tube! How embarrassing.

My wrist's range of motion deteriorated, of course. (Though the doctor was impressed with how much ROM I managed to keep in spite of being immobilized for that long.) I have some wrist and arm stretchy exercises I'm supposed to do to bring everything back to normal. And believe me, I'm going to do them!

The first thing they did after they got the cast off-- even before doing a follow up x-ray-- was let me wash my arm! Ahhhh. :-) But my skin integrity also deteriorated while it was all covered up. It looks like I have a rash. And I've been cautioned not to scratch too much, because I could bleed very easily. The skin is amazingly sensitive at the moment. It's calmed down some from yesterday, but it's still so very weird. Sometimes it feels good, like when I was out in the rain yesterday, but sometimes it's just too much!

However, I took a LONG bubble bath last night. I feel 100% clean for the first time in 6 weeks! And I washed my hair with both hands! And I was able to wash my left elbow! There was all this nasty dirt and dead skin coming off the formerly broken arm. It felt SO GOOD!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Murder Suspect Claims Goat Turned Into Corpse

From Yahoo News and the Associated Press:

A Nigerian murder suspect accused of killing his brother with an axe told police investigators he actually attacked a goat, which was only later magically transformed into his sibling's corpse, officials said Thursday.

Now, in general, I have a very uncomfortable feeling about these weird crime articles which come out of Nigeria. They drip with western superiority. "Ah, those silly, superstitious Nigerians! We would never believe anything like that!"

This one, though, is quite possibly the weirdest excuse I've ever heard. "It wasn't my brother at the time, it was a goat!"

No, I'm pretty sure this guy knew just what he was doing.

Thus, I have no qualms whatsoever at laughing at his ridiculous attempt at an excuse.

Unless it turns out that the brother really was a were-goat. Then I'll apologize for laughing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Temporary Doggie

This is Jake, who is usually called Jakers.

He is my aunt's dog, and since she and her family are gone to Florida for the week, Tirithien and I have a temporary dog!

Now, Jakers has arthritis, but you sure wouldn't know it from the way he tears around when we take him out for walkies. Oh, no! When he's on his leash, Jake is a big strong moose of a dog who wants to run everywhere and smell everything. (Today I was thanking all that's holy that Jake does not chase squirrels, because they are everywhere! Can't you just picture this ginormous yellow lab chasing a squirrel, dragging along the poor broken armed girl behind him? Ow.)

But Jake is a very good doggie. He was apparently mistreated before my family got him-- very scrawny, very skittish. He still is terrified of loud noises and upraised arms, and he would never dream of getting on the furniture, even though we've tried to invite him up! He will not even touch food if I leave it lying on the table within easy reach. I've never known such a good doggie!

I actually kind of suspect that he might have flunked out of leader dog training at some point and then been given to the abusive people. He's just too well trained for that to have happened on accident.

As you can see, after we go for walkies, he is a very tired puppy. And he misses his mommy. But he seems to be enjoying himself here. He has especially attached himself to Tirithien and gets very excited when Tirithien comes home from school!

This was supposed to be an experiment to see if we could handle having a puppy of our own, but I don't think we'll be able to. If just having this wonderfully well-behaved dog around is wearing me out, what would a lesser dog do? And would I really want to take the dog out in the middle of the night in winter? No! So, alas, having a doggie of our own is going to have to wait until such time as we have a backyard. Too bad I'm allergic to cats, since they love being apartment pets. Oh well. Maybe it's time to look into getting another guinea pig. I miss having a furbaby of my own!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Odd and Beautiful Dream

Five years ago minus a couple of days, I had horrible nightmares about the people still trapped beneath the just-ruined World Trade Center. I can't imagine a worse death than that-- being trapped all alone in the dark and dying slowly. My now-ex tried to wake me from one of these nightmares by touching my back, and I promptly burst into hysterical tears for all those people. "No one will ever touch them again," I sobbed.

Given the reminder of the fifth anniversary of the attacks and how prevalent it's been in the media these past weeks, I suppose it's no surprise that I would dream again of those who lost their lives, but this time it was no nightmare.

Very early this morning, my spirit wandered outside my body, floating here and there, suddenly expanding vastly in awareness.

How can I explain such a strange thing? To my dreaming self, all times were now. All places were here. And the air was full of spirits, bright shining spirits rising to the sky. From the ruins of the WTC, from the Pentagon, from a field in Pennsylvania, from the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq. But there were more, so many more! From Gettysburg and Iwo Jima, Valley Forge and the Alamo, the killing fields of Cambodia, the plains of the Sudan. Everywhere, everywhen, spirits were rising to the sky.

And they were singing.

I'm not even going to try to describe their song; no words of mine could ever do justice to it. It was everything.

How I wanted to add my voice to their song! But I could not; my spirit could not fly as theirs could, and so I could not sing as they could.

So I wakened, overwhelmed perhaps by what my subconscious had created for me to see and hear. And now there's nothing to do except to try to make things better for those of us who can not yet fly.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vigilante Juxtaposition

TOLEDO, Ohio—An 86-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon in Calvary Cemetary. The man had been visiting his wife’s grave. The robber took the man’s wallet and car keys. The wallet contained multitudes of identifying information, meaning the man and his family must now cancel accounts, change passcodes, and keep a vigilant eye on his credit report.

More importantly, however, the man is now afraid to visit the cemetary alone.

Police currently have no leads.

The crime victim is Tirithien’s grandpa. I want to cry and scream and track down the robber all at once. “How dare you terrorize an old man like this?” I would demand. And pain, yes, there would be pain. And fear. On the robber’s part, not mine.

MARSHVILLE, North Carolina (AP) -- An angry mob fatally beat a man whom they mistakenly thought was involved in the disappearance of their friend, shortly before police arrested and charged another person in the crime, police said.

Union County Sheriff's deputies found Tony Lorin Blakeney at his home with serious injuries Friday. He later died at a hospital.

Ten men, ages 16 to 30, were charged with murder in the attack. They were being held without bond until an October 4 court date.

But one of the hallmarks of civilization is that we let the rule of law take its course, rather than trying to mete out justice and/or revenge ourselves. I am not equipped to know a person’s guilt or innocence.

Had I been with Grandpa at the time, it would surely have been justified to defend him as best I could. After the fact, I have no right to touch the robber, much as I may want to.

Constitutional Amendments
Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Thank you, James Madison, for including these. They do protect scumbags like the guy who robbed Tirithien's grandpa, but they also do protect those upon whom no harm should fall. Our judicial system isn't perfect, but it's better than trial-by-mob.