September 22, 2010
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die". Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."
September 20, 2010
"Crazy Lady" down the street.
If you are here looking for a touchy-feely, the world is sunshine and roses blog about how wonderful life is....STOP, turn around and back away slowly. Don't make any sudden moves, you don't want to startle the natives. My life is like a car wreck - you don't want to look but you just can't help yourself! As my loyal readers know, I am blunt, cynical and sarcastic - all necessary character traits for the successful navigation through this insane world. I call it like I see it. You have been warned. ;) My latest update speaks to my warning.
I’ve not written about her yet, but this story is worth the introduction.
There is a woman I have affectionately dubbed “Crazy Lady” who lives a few doors down. She’s prone to social missteps and is now known for her unintelligible (and inaudible!) attempts at sentence structure in order to convey her thoughts. Oh, and don’t get me started on the beehive hairdo and wool knee socks worn with sandals… Oye!
Crazy Lady homeschools her 10-year old kid, whom I’ve naturally dubbed “Crazy Spawn”. I’m not necessarily a huge advocate of home schooling even when the parents are intelligent (there are success stories – but I worry about missed socialization aspects), but Crazy Spawn is indeed taught at home. I’ve made numerous attempts to befriend Crazy Spawn, as I have a cordial, waving hello relationship with a few of the other kids on the block. Many of them play outside during the daytime and they’re good kids.
Against my better judgment and intense dislike of Crazy, her kid has been playing in our yard lately. Yesterday afternoon after school, a bunch of the kids played with sidewalk chalk. I stayed out there for a little bit to make sure everyone was getting along. They were playing hopscotch and hangman, thankfully there was no plotting to overthrow their parents or planning a coup to take over the neighborhood. After about half an hour I was bored out of my mind and had to go inside to make dinner and left a few of the good kids in the next door driveway with Crazy Spawn. An hour later, I went outside to take a look at the chalk drawing progress. Take a look at what my bulged out eyes saw! I confronted a few of the good kids who said that Crazy Spawn had drawn the picture and he had identified all the body parts for the whole neighborhood. Lovely.
In the middle of that picture, do you see the reason for my eyebrows to be almost off the top of my forehead? Still not sure? Let me show you a little closer.
Still not totally sure what you're looking at there? Hmmmm. How about this one?
My first thought upon seeing this drawing was that the chalk lady had some massive boobs. Then I noticed she was headless. Then I happened to notice she was also either a transvestite or perhaps a hermaphrodite.
The sidewalk chalk has now been retired until next summer. I had to hose down the driveway before any of the other neighbors saw the porn and got scared.
I feel dirty.
September 15, 2010
As of today I have 3 weeks and 1 day to go before the cast comes off. Surgery is still a possibility at that time if the bones didn't set properly...but I took that gamble and stand behind my decision. I am playing the odds and somehow believe it will be ok. If I need surgery, really, it's not that huge of a crisis. Some more time immobile but this whole thing is certainly not a lifetime. Despite having limited mobility and discomfort (mostly the ribs and shoulder), and everything I am able to do takes fricking forever, I would describe this situation mostly as "inconvenient" (physically). I continue to remind myself there are much worse situations than this ... and I really believe I am dealing with it all with an almost nonexistent pity-party. Truly, the hardest stuff is living alone and being alone. Broken bones heal...physical limitations and injuries are by far the easier things to handle. For most people that would be what's difficult. They are lucky.
So.... 3 weeks to go and then we see what's what.
That's it for my updates .... now please allow me some self indulgent thank you’s.
I so deeply appreciative all the many notes, emails and text messages from people to wish me well after the recent crash.
With those deeply felt thank you’s given, I haven’t had a chance to thank a few people publicly who've stood above and beyond, and who came by my side to physically help...
I thank my mountain bike companions who somehow got me down the mountain that night: Chris, Brandon, Sasha, Michael and Max. As a general rule I like to be the lone woman amid 5 men and this situation was no different. :)
At the base of the mountain (it took all of 50 minutes to get me under a mile) waiting for me was JZ, her husband Mark and one of JZ’s athletes who’d recently moved from Baltimore, Krista Shultz. I have to tell you, should you ever find yourself in a crisis situation, I can only hope you have friends like JZ and Mark on your side. This isn’t the first time they have rushed to my aid and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for them.
By the time I reached them, Mark had the car door open, they’d loaded my bike, and were making room for me in the car. I was clutching my arm to my chest when they first saw me. “You look really pale”, Joanna told me, and she helped me just sit when I told her I was lightheaded. I showed her my arm which, by then, was quite deformed and incredibly swollen, and she winced. We both knew it was broken, but I don’t think we said it aloud.
At the ER, Joanna sat by my bedside the whole time while the nurses and doctors did their consults, I got taken for x-rays, etc. No matter how many times I urged her to go eat something, that I was fine, to get out of there, she refused. I know how boring hospitals are and I felt bad…but she wouldn’t leave. “Carole, no one should be in the ER alone. I’m not leaving you”. I think those were among the sweetest words ever said to me.
We made the best of a bad situation and made jokes and got the staff laughing. About an hour later I thought of Mark and Krista who were just waiting in the other room; I told JZ to go get them, no reason they couldn't be there too… We all laughed as Mark and Krista crammed in my little 10x10 square too, and the 4 of us actually had a pretty fun time given we were in an ER with my body in pain. We all laughed and joked and I think I surprised much of the staff with my jovial demeanor. (I do my best to always be funny!) Staff kept coming by our curtain to find out what all the laughing was about. I was cracking everyone up trying to score a pelvic exam while there. “C’mon”, I teased, “There’s got to be a Resident on the floor who needs to practice!” The doctors would shake their heads, laughing. Mark tossed everyone Subway sandwiches, JZ cleaned out my wallet (“what is all this shit????”), and Krista kept making me laugh that she had “nothing better to do than hang out at the ER, and she was having fun too!”
So, thanks so much Mark, JZ and Krista for getting me through the first night.
Without you, it would have been dreadful.
A few days later Brooke Davison and Brandy Rothman each brought me dinners.
Anyone who has had an arm in a sling (plus try living alone too) understands even basic help is needed in this situation. Thank you to both of them for bringing some love and YUMMY food, and Brooke even washed my hair. Bless their souls.
Regina drove down from Frisco (near Vail) the following week to take me to get my cast on (post swelling), and she stayed the whole day and washed my clothes, cleaned my kitchen, cut up food and just helped me so much. I am so deeply grateful.
And then, my best friend from
Thanks too to Lara and Billy who have kept great tabs on me and have picked me up to bring me to dinner several times. Lara has called me every day asking how I am; this small act of check-in has been quite meaningful to me.
Many thanks, sweet friends.
I am deeply grateful.
September 7, 2010
You, my reading audience, are quite predictable.
I can post something about a bike crash, impending surgery or being ridden with anxiety and you people are like, "Yeah? So what!" But man, I write about my crotch being ripped by a militant bikini waxer and comments get copious.
I get it, I get it....
So.......... breaking news, folks.
Hold on to your hats!
A study concludes that elephants run!!!!
Don’t get me wrong, science is awesome and it can really make you feel empowered in a vast world of complex, staggering mysteries.
But you mean to tell me that no one stopped in the middle of this study and, while watching a baby elephant trot around a dirt track with sensors affixed to its joints, said, “Hey, you know a different way we could go about this? We could just say nothing. Because I’m pretty sure everyone already thinks that elephants run,” while all his scientist friends around him nodded their heads in profound agreement?
September 6, 2010
"Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow"
- Swedish Proverb -
Here is a picture of Paolina and me taken on my balcony the night of the VIP Dinner for the Centurion Century, not even 2 months ago.
If you'd like a little refresher on her visit with husband, Steve Fleck, click here: http://carolesharpless.blogspot.com/2010/07/invasion-of-canucks.html
Anyway, no sooner did I get all kinds of email hugs and kisses from Polly when she learned of my recent bike accident ... get a load of the email from her yesterday. Ugggggggggggg. My poor friend..... :(
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 14:39:45 -0700
From: Paolina Allan
Subject: guess what!!!!
you where the first person i was thinkin' of when i was laying on the ground screaming my head off!
Oh for F sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My poor friend. :( :(
What is going on with us??
Polly and I are currently talking of a rehab trip, to a place that looks like this:
Loving you, Paolina.
We'll get through this, and everything else.
September 5, 2010
- Joseph Campbell -
after a week in a tightly coiled splint, we did more xrays of my arm. (we waited a week to let swelling go down and see how the rebreak/reset held.)
xrays revealed that 1 break held the reset nicely and 1 did not. doc said best thing to do was surgery, but he was on fence. why on fence? there was a strong possibility the bone still not reset perfectly would heal fine, or at least adequately, without surgery. no guarantee, but good chance. i told doc i wanted to do what was in my best interests with the understanding that if anyone can avoid a surgical procedure they usually should. he said, "as your doctor i should tell you that surgery will give the best chance of healing the bone properly..."
he said it in a way that somehow seemed a bit vacuous.
i smiled and asked, "if i was your son, what would you tell me to do?"
(i wasn't suggested i was a boy ... ha!.... he had just spoken of his teenage son during our first consultation.)
he smiled, "no surgery".
perfect. thats what we're doing.
so he put the cast on my arm .... and its GREEN!!!!!! :)
of course it would be. i mean, trakkers is green!
i told charlie there was no end to my team loyalty with my green cast.
he said the green was gonorrhea. (!!!) yes, CHARLIE said that, not me!!!! :) poor guy has been around me too long. eventually i corrupt everyone. :)
6 weeks then cast is off, then PT if surgery not needed.
(surgery still possibility if bones not healed propery in 6 weeks, but i am taking the risk...)
i'm doing what i can in the meantime. one of my best friends is mojca cater, 1988 olympic swimmer and foremost occupational therapist in los angeles. Momo (my nickname for her) specializes in wrist and finger mobility (SCORE FOR ME!) ; she's been so helpful and wonderful sending me various therapy devices and exercises to do at each stage of rehabilitation. as usual, i consider myself so lucky having people in my life who love me so much. i continue to strive towards deserving their affection.
so.......... all in all this could be much worse... i'm limited but not helpless.
living alone presents challenges, but i am adapting.
sleeping is impossible but i was never good at that anyway. :)
Here is me leaving doctor office... man i look TIRED!:
more coming soon!
thanks for the support!