succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, October 12, 2007

Today = good

Got up early, had productive meeting about paper #2, finally got my hip checked out (see below), wrapped up a few more analyses for paper #1, took a nap and a bubble bath*, finally did some massive (and massively needed) house cleaning, did some writing for both papers, and started prepping for class. I rock!

*I know, I know, we're in a drought, I'm a bad person.

I put my hand up on your hip/when I dip you dip we dip

So about a month ago my right hip started hurting, off and on. This isn't terribly unusual for me because a) I'm crooked head to toe and b) frequently wind up with random aches and pains from spotting the little kiddies at gymnastics. But the hip pain wouldn't go away, and featured some troubling side affects - occasional complete collapse of my right leg when walking up stairs and sometimes rolling over in my sleep, moving my right leg into, evidently, a bad position, and waking myself up it hurts so much. Plus, asymmetric joint pain - specific injury = generally not good. So I finally decided it was time to suck it up and get myself checked out. Fortunately, the results were as expected - referral to physical therapist, most likely repetitive stress injury to surrounding soft tissue due to general crookedness. This was the rational expectation, but I have to confess a small part of me was worried about deja vu. Back in high school I chose to ignore back pain for way too long. Which was incredibly stupid, since even among my teammates, where the general practice was ice+tape+pain pills = ignorable injury, we all agreed that knee, back, and neck pain were not to be ignored, since those could all be permanent. Nevertheless, I kept at it until I basically couldn't walk upright anymore. And when I finally did get checked out, the doc walked in and said, well, the good news is, you don't have a stress fracture in your spine. Excuse me? A broken back was on the table?? So a small part of me was sort of worried to find out I've fractured my femur or would need hip replacement before I'm 30 or something else ridiculous. Instead, I just got the lecture about waiting so long to come in. So, bonus, I'm not a whiny hypochondriac, but, probably undoing the bonus, I am only slightly less stupid than I was 10 years ago.

Sadly, this very me:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New York City!

Dear, sweet, patient readers. Sorry for the long absences broken up only by short posts devoid of content and drunken ramblings. I had all these plans, but of course, upon landing back in the south I became immediately consumed by work, and all blogular thoughts were crowded out by the need to write write write two different papers ASAP.

But here I am! Did you miss me?

So. NYC. Thanks in part to the travel gods smiling down upon me, I arrived in the city promptly last Tuesday afternoon. (seriously - last week featured perhaps my most efficient, stress free travel experience ever. I don't expect it to happen again, so I tried to fully appreciate it at the time) Tuesday continued to be the perfect day, as I saw the lovely AWB, enjoyed a leisurely afternoon in her company*, then met up with Sid and Sara for dinner in Hell's Kitchen, where we passed Anderson Cooper walking down the street! As I attempted to make eye contact with him, and he doggedly persisted in avoiding said eye contact, AWB just reached out and squeezed my arm. Nice. After dinner it was time for Rent, where S&S were continually amused by my spontaneous squeeling in gleeful anticipation. The show was amazing, of course, and warrants a post all on its own. Suffice it to say I was tremendously happy, got goosebumps in all the right places, cried in all the right places, and S&S were patient enough to humor me and hang out by the stage door for pictures and autographs. Then we headed to a hotel bar, where darling Sara proceeded to consume one too many cocktails, which just fueled even more reminiscing about the good old days of smith house, before the three of us all smooshed into one rather small hotel bed.

We got off to a nice slow start Wednesday morning, had lunch at MOMA (where we delighted in scandalizing Ladies Who Lunch by having highly inappropriate (and loud) conversation ranging across all topics involving human excretions), then wandered through Central Park, and wrapped up the afternoon at the Natural History Museum (adorable pic of Sid and I pretending to be dinosuars to be posted, along with Rent pics, whenever I get copies from Sara).

S&S headed off to a family dinner party and I met up with AWB for dinner (Ethiopian, which prompted her to comment that I was much more adventurous than I used to be, she never would have suggested spicy food consumed with slightly sour bread to the Megan she used to live with) and then a couple of beers at Fresh Salt (where drunk middle-aged banker types insisted on telling us terrible jokes, then complained when we didn't find them funny).

Thursday we were awoken at noon (yay for vacation!) to join S&S for lunch (really, you can't go to NYC and not have Chinese at least once) then a stop at the SuperHero Supply Store. Afterward AWB and I packed up for the highlight (well, ok, second highlight; not much could top Rent) of the trip - The Russian Baths! (she has been extolling their virtues over at The Great Whatsit) And I must say - she is absolutely right. I declare myself done with spas, and a (hopefully-soon-to-be) repeat visitor of the Russian Baths! I'm not sure quite what combination of features does it, but something about the place just removes all pretension and self-consciousness, so it really, genuinely is the relaxing experience that it's supposed to be. After an hour or so of alternating between shockingly hot rooms and shockingly cold water I splurged on a soap massage (yay vacation!), sort of like a combination between sponge bath and massage.

Friday I meandered around midtown while AWB took care of some school business, then met several of her friends for a birthday party (which produced the sappy, yet surprisingly coherent previous post). All of her friends are, as one would expect, interesting and smart and curious - no one ever greets my profession with eager questions, and yet that's precisely what this group did, even jumping in to ask about the Roberts/Lancet paper. There was good conversation and board games and dancing, and I came away from the evening completely satisfied, except for one niggling bit of self-conscious regret regarding a few moments of belligerent dancing (I kept yelling at people to find the downbeat. sigh. AWB swears it was funny).

We got home around 4am, and thanks to late night snacks, felt fully human upon waking up the next afternoon. AWB filled me with brunch and then sent me on my way. We both needed a vacation, and those five days were just what the doctor ordered. Alas, I fear I have already undone most of what I gained from rest and relaxation, but such is life.

On the way home I finally finished Harry Potter #7, so you'll have that post to look forward to too. Someday...

*I'm sure AWB will laugh when she reads this phrase, as the afternoon ended with a somewhat stressful trip to the co-op. Nevertheless, I stand by my statement.