Sunday, April 20, 2008

My little stingray of sunshine

It seems this blog is turning into a 'Faces o' Death' blog, what with all our near death experiences. This time it was my turn to almost die. I almost went the same way as the dearly departed and sorely missed Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. I too was stabbed by a fierce, man-eating stingray. Ok, maybe not man-eating, but certainly man-stabbing. And that man was me.

I was out surfing early Tuesday morning when I accidentally stepped on something squishy and skittish. I knew it was a stingray the instant I stepped on it, but apparently he wasn't aware I was dropping in for a visit. He thought I was steppin', which technically I was, but not the way the kids mean it. I tried to 'step off' (both the regular meaning and the 'kids these days' meaning) but I was not fast enough. So he shivved me. Or is it shanked me? I can never remember which one is the verb and which one is the noun. I guess you only learn those all important details in the Big Time House.

Anyway, he stung me right in the bottom, middle of my left foot. If any of you don't know what a stingray barb looks like, they are quite long, sharp and filled with poisonous poison. Luckily this little guy's...I mean this huge monster's barb did not break off inside my foot, which often happens.

So I hobbled back to the shore and checked the life guard stand for help. But lifeguards are apparently not early risers. It's probably safe to say that early morning beach goers are more likely to still have their natural inhibitions and common sense in tact than the late night variety. So I drove myself home with the radio blasting so I couldn't hear myself crying like a little girl.

I had learned that the best treatment for a stingray sting is to soak the punctured limb in water as hot as is tolerable. So I jumped in the bathtub after efficiently spreading blood and sand all over the carpet. Alice and google confirmed the treatment schedule and also found out that the venom is likely to ooze out of the wound and form a jelly like blob. I checked my foot. Yep, jelly blob confirmed. About the size of a quarter and all mixed with sand.

I continued to soak myself in scalding water for two hours. I tried getting out after one hour but my foot immediately started to throb so I got back in the tub. At the end of two hours I finally removed my wet suit and it looked like my feet were sun burned. There was a distinct red line where the wet suit had been. And they remained bright pink until the following day. Nothing like a first degree scalding to take your mind off the pain of stingray venom eating you from the inside out. But I think the severely hot water did the trick because it didn't hurt much after that. It did split open and bleed every time I tried to walk on it the rest of the day, but it's not our carpet so I wasn't too worried.

During this time, I made Alice call our lifeguard friend, call our med school friend, call the doctor/hospital four times, schedule and then cancel a doctor's appointment, reschedule and recancel the same appointment, and read me the entire wikipedia entry on stingrays. All while I chillaxed in the tub with a virgin daiquiri. And she never complained once. She really is a trooper.

In my efforts to capture the moment on film/silicon, I found that what hot rodders paint on their cars is not so much like flames, but more like blood draining in a bathtub. Makes you wonder what they have in those spacious classic trunks of theirs.

Still, I think my new/old volvo would look pretty sweet 'blooded' out. All in all, this has garnered me much sympathy and given me a cool story to tell people I meet on the street or at the grocery store. And so my near tragedy has become the little stingray of sunshine in an otherwise pleasantly sunny and mild San Diego week.

10 Helens agree.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

On the Wii-ngs of Chickens

I found out something new about Alice. She has chicken wings. She's not a Hooter's hostess in her spare time, she really has chicken wings. Or that's how she describes them.

On Saturday night we were engaged in a vicious battle for the title of Wii boxing champion at our friends the Weeds' house. Alice had bravely challenged Becca, another friend of ours who was there. Becca is a certified quasi semi-professional amateur aerobic boxing tae bo enthusiast aficionado. But I had been training Alice, and as Mick/Matthew would say, she was 'gonna eat lightning and crap thunda'.

They squared up with the wiimotes in one hand and the wii nun chucks in the other. They danced out to the center of the ring and the furious fists immediately started flying. Bruce Lee looked like a sloth on quaaludes compared to these girls' blazing blows. They were each taking heavy hits to the head and body, but Becca's little Mii did not seem to be hurt at all.

"I see three of her out there" Alice confessed.

"Hit the one in the middle!"

The battle raged on with both pugilists pulling no punches. But Alice was growing tired. I knew I had to say something to keep her in this fight.

"You hurt her! You see? You see? She's not a machine, she's a, a woman. You're gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you've ever dreamed. But when it's over, I know you'll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it."

She steeled her resolve. "To beat me, she will have to kill me."

Her hands were like magic bullets that were magically attracted to Becca's head by some sort of magic boxing spell. Watching her fight was like...magic.

But Becca just wasn't going down. What was wrong? They had been brutally beating each other for what seemed like an eternity and neither one showed signs of injury.

And then the Wii ref separated the girls. The practice round that all new wii boxers go through the first time they fight was over. The real fight was about to start.

Alice: "What!?!?!? That was just practice?!?! I'm already dead tired! I can't fight anymore."

Corbin: "Going in one more round when you don't think you can - that's what makes all the difference in your life. All your strength, all your power, all your love. Everything you've got. Right now!"

Alice: "Cut me."

What happened next will go down in the history books as one of the greatest historical fights in history. I don't remember who won so you'll have to wait until said history book comes out so you can read about it.

The next day, Alice was still feeling the pain of the brawl.

Alice: "My chicken wings are sore."
Corbin: "Your what?"
Alice: "My chicken wings. You know these muscles on my side and back. Under my arms."
Corbin: "You mean your latissimus dorsi?"
Alice: "No, my chicken wings."
Corbin: "Oh. Do you want some hot rice for your chicken wings?"
Alice: "Yeah, that would be nice."

The End.

1 Helen agrees.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Near Death Experience

I too am back from the grave, almost literally. This is one of the reasons we haven't blogged in a while. In early January, I had a terrible accident. Since it was so life changing, I think it's appropriate to record even if it's not funny.

Reader's notice, the contents of this blog are graphic so you may want to stop reading now and just post a comment that says something like, "I would have ended up my life had you died," or "All the sunshine in the world would have disappeared had you left our world." Either of these comments will do.

As I reflect on how to begin my tale, I realize my memory is a little shaky. It may be because of the severe amount of blood that I lost and the ensuing loss of consciousness. I had just returned home on a Wednesday evening from a Young Women's activity. I had not eaten dinner before the activity and with the bed time hour quickly approaching, I was trying to find a quick dinner to ease my hunger pains. My dear Corbin had not yet returned from his activity with the young men so I was on my own to scavenge for food in our bereft kitchen. I finally decided on my favorite default meal, chicken salad sandwich and tomato soup.

I pause now to have my readers consider the many options for kitchen fatalities. At this point, what would you consider being some options for kitchen demise? Stovetop/oven burns, can opening, garbage disposal (one of my serious fears in life is getting my hand or Corbin's hand eaten by this nasty beast that eats garbage...what a disgusting and humiliating way to go!), knife wound, falling cookbooks, and the list could go on. Now that you've had a moment to worry about what my injury was and cause you to question ever cooking for yourself again...I'll return to my story.

I had successfully completed the preparation of my meal and had commenced eating it when Corbin returned from his activity. Since I am a wonderful wife, I immediately stopped eating my meal, and begin preparing Corbin's dinner. He went to the bathroom...ok too many details, but it's important to the story. I began to vigorously slice the crusty bread in half for Corbin's practically gourmet chicken salad sandwich when the huge, serrated knife sliced into the deep recesses of my left index finger.

Instantly I saw my life rush before my eyes; I knew we had to act fast if I was going to make it through the night. I called to Corbin that I was dying and he responded, "I'm on the toilet, can it wait?" I had no energy to fight with him on such a tactless response, so I just yelled back, "NO." Out he comes to look at my finger.

While it had only been a matter of seconds since the incident occurred, my hand was covered in blood and as everyone who knows me knows, I don't do well with blood. I managed to stagger to the toilet seat and plop down while Corbin examined my finger. It was deep. He called the hospital to determine what the next steps should be. As my head hangs between my knees, I hear Corbin ask the operator, "If the cut doesn't need stitches, will we need to pay for the visit? If so, we might just wait 'til tomorrow so we don't have to pay the emergency room fee." I will make no comment here in an effort to preserve my marriage. I WILL mention that the sandwich I had to abandon was being casually snacked on by my concerned husband while I struggled to remain conscious.

Since the operator can't make any recommendations over the phone other than, "if you're in doubt, you should come in," we decided to bypass the after hours clinic and go to our friend who's almost a doctor anyway for treatment. Matt and his wife, Malerie, are dear friends to us. This was not the first time Matt has looked at one of my maladies, like the time I had a weird rash all over my body and the other time I had humongous pustules on my feet, but I'll leave that to another blog. They lovingly opened their door to us around 10pm while Matt was studying so diligently still; he's going to be a great doctor. Matt was worried I had lost too much blood and that I wouldn't make it through the night, but he reassured me that I would be ok. He recommended stitches but I refused, so he bandaged it real good and sent me home admonishing me to at least get a tetanus shot.

I made it through the night and I did get a tetanus shot. Corbin well made up for his previous callousness by caring for my finger. I didn't look at my wound for 7 days (seriously); he cleaned it and wrapped it daily. He even washed my hair for me for a week. He was a great nurse. I've posted pictures of my wound from around day 3. I was still unable to look at my wound without getting light headed so when Corbin wanted to take a picture of my wound for posterity, I had to shield my eyes so I wouldn't accidentally see it.

My wound is now completely healed. Here's a word of advice, try to continue to use an injured finger. I didn't use mine at all for a week and when I tried to use it again, it was totally numb and I couldn't bend it. After intense physical therapy by Corbin, my finger has full mobility again. So in the end Corbin became a greater hero in my eyes and I have an awesome scar. He still hasn't replaced my sandwich, though.

2 Helens agree.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This Week for Blinner

Our good friends the Maynards are moving tomorrow. Jane Maynard is the creator of an oft visited blog called This Week for Dinner. Many of you may be wondering if this blog is all about eating specific calendar intervals for dinner, or maybe a 'week' is some sort of giant asian green onion and that's all they eat in the Maynard household. But actually, there are many mouth-watering recipes for real food on that site. Check it out if you have never. Anyway, in honor of their moving, I will be writing this post in the TWFD style (also because we made an interesting dinner item that is semi blog worthy). I tried to get Jane to be a guest writer, but she refused on the grounds of maintaining her artistic integrity [translation: this blog is not funny or delicious enough for her talents]. So I will have to write this post as if I were her. Here goes.

I found the most amazing potatoes in all the land! They are purple peruvian potatoes, and they are seriously Purple with a capital 'P'. Somehow, I'm always able to find crazy awesome ingredients for my dinners and I get them so cheap, sometimes the stores pay ME to shop there! All you blog readers may not have the time to go searching for delectable delicacy deals, so just look at my mouth-watering pictures. And yes, I do all my own photography, which means I am awesome at more than just cooking [there is no way to fake being a good photographer, so you'll just have to imagine my pictures are as good as Jane's]. Take a gander at these splendid spuds.

I paired these purple tubers with roasted peppers and boneless beef ribs. Yummy! [there is also no way to fake being a good cook, so although the ribs were 'yummy' they were also kind of gristley. I guess that's where the shopping skills come in].

But I am not snobbish or condescending with my awesomeness. I am actually very humble, generous, and down to earth. To prove it to you, I will be giving away one hundred thousand bottles of pure Parisian truffle oil, just for glancing at my blog. All you have to do is take a brief look at anything on my site, even if it's over someone else's shoulder, and I will send you a bottle. I'm that generous.

Nate, my husband, really liked this dinner and said it should definitely be included in my future NY Times best-selling cookbook that I'm sure to write someday. By the way, he is also a way good surfer, much better than most of his surf buddies, specifically this poser named Corbin who he used to surf with occasionally.

Be sure to post your own menus in the comments section. But you'd better hurry up, because the limit is 250,000 comments and this site is so popular they fill up fast!

See you next week,

5 Helens agree.