Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Picking up a Hitch-hiker in Berkeley

Hitch-hiking. Sticking your thumb out and miracle of miracles – a passing driver stops, asks you where you are going and if it matches with the driver’s destination you hop in.  When you arrive, the driver lets you safely off and usually won’t even accept help with the gas money.

That’s what Berkeley was like in the late 60's and early 70's when I lived there.  I was a have.  My husband, the alien, and I had a car. We didn’t drive it every day.  But, when we drove, we often had hitch-hikers on board.  No, there wasn’t a yellow hang-tag for the window Hitch Hiker On Board.  It just made sense.  It was ecological and neighborly.  We met interesting people that way.  Sometimes we wound up with overnight guests.

When we moved to Boulder, Colorado, I picked up a hitch-hiker my first day.  Wheee-oooo. A police car pulled me over.  He gave me a warning – not a ticket. And he didn’t make me give up my passenger.  “Picking up hitch-hikers is illegal here. And it’s not safe.  I’m not criticizing your passenger, but I’ve picked up dead bodies that were abandoned by hitch-hikers who killed them and stole their cars.”

I didn’t pick up more hitch-hikers in Boulder.

On long cross-country drives, my husband and I picked up hitch-hikers.  Some were friendly interesting people. Others were upset that we didn’t have drugs or smokes to give them and we had no interest in stopping to party.  Once, when we stopped at a restaurant, a pair of drug-hungry passengers left us without a word.  We were glad to be rid of them.  But when we came out, a different pair of hitch-hikers was waiting beside our car.

The man said, “Your last passengers told us you’re going where we’re going.”

“Did they tell you we don’t have drugs and we don’t party?”

“I think we’ll get along fine,” the man said.  And we did.

In Florida, we never saw a hitch-hiker going where we were going.  We were on short trips and they had distant destinations on their cardboard signs.  Hitch-hiking isn’t popular in Philly either and we got rid of our car 8 years ago.  In short, we got out of the habit.

But last week, we visited Berkeley. A young woman came up to us, to ask if we knew the bus schedule.  We didn’t.  She said she was going to the Berkeley Campus.  We were going near there.  We picked her up and dropped her off safely.

You can go home again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FIRE YOUR KIDS FROM THE FAMILY BUSINESS!

Guest blog by Jean Lorrah

Do you have kids in college? Do you have them working in the family business? If you have a family business, of course you do--it only makes financial sense, and who can teach them a good work ethic better than you can? Why in the world would you fire them when they start college?

Let me tell you a cautionary tale:

When I was in college, there was nothing I wanted more than to get a summer job in the city where I went to college, work in air-conditioned comfort, and spend evenings and weekends with my friends who were doing the same thing. However, my parents, who were paying my tuition, insisted that I come home every summer and work in the family grocery store, which was open 12 hours a day, 364 days a year.

And I do mean WORK. I had to cart pop bottles down into the cellar and bring up full bottles and canned goods from storage there. I had to stock shelves, wait on customers, sweep the floor, clean the counters, and reconcile the cash register at the end of the day. The last two summers I also had to take inventory and do the ordering, as my mother thought such experience would look good on my resume. All this in an unventilated box with no air conditioning but a ceiling fan.

Because I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school, let alone college, even I thought my yearning to have more comfortable working conditions and work more appropriate to my future plans was simple selfishness. The only argument I could offer was if my parents would allow me to get an office job, I would hand over every penny of my paycheck for them to put in my college fund. The answer was a consistent, resounding NO

The family business was a little mom-and-pop grocery store, run by my grandparents, my parents, and me. I was an only child. No outside help was ever hired. Having since dealt with hired employees, I now understand why my family didn't want not only to pay someone outside the family, but to try to make that person do the actual backbreaking work of running an old-fashioned neighborhood grocery, and then do the endless government paperwork connected with having an "employee."

But you know what? Had they but known, although they probably would not have hired anyone else (they ran the place without me all the time I was away at college), I'm sure they would have let me take a job with some business that did not have the family name on it.

Here is what we DIDN'T KNOW (the sort of thing school counselors never seem to know and ought to): work experience in the family business counts as NO WORK EXPERIENCE AT ALL. I graduated with honors and COULD NOT GET A JOB. My academic recommendations were just fine, but I had NO recommendations from acceptable employers. What my family said was dismissed as meaningless.

The assumption when only the family business is listed as work experience is this: the kid wastes the summer lolling in the family pool (we hardly had a yard, let alone a pool), while Dad puts him or her on the payroll. My experience is probably far closer to that of most kids who work in the family business, but prospective employers will not allow themselves to believe it.

Way back when I graduated, prospective employers instantly knew I had worked for the family because the family name was on the grocery store. I couldn't fool anyone. Today, if you own a franchise or a business with a brand name rather than family name, and think a prospective employer won't find out who owns it, think again: you will be investigated and not only will your son or daughter have no work experience, but a reputation as a liar as well.

What could I have done? IF I HAD KNOWN, I could have not taken overloads every semester, and gotten a part-time job near college, something my parents could not have prevented. But I didn't know, so I helped them sabotage me as they encouraged me to take every hour my tuition would allow (make college a bargain, six courses for the price of five, and both B.A. and M.A. in only one extra semester). The point is, I didn't know--and if you were never in this situation yourself, you may not know, either.

What should you do? Fire your kids! While they are in college they need to work someplace other than the family business. They may find at first that the only jobs they can get are flipping burgers or stocking shelves, but it will still be work experience for their NEXT application. As they proceed through college, they should keep trying to find jobs closer to their future plans--even take an unpaid internship if it is in their field. Encourage them to get to know the professors in their major. Often they will know of available jobs that will look good on a resume.

Yes, I eventually got work, but it was a long haul, with two temporary office jobs before I finally got the teaching job I was qualified for--in a reform school where no one in their right mind wanted to teach. As I was as penned in as the students, and room and board were provided, I saved up money to go for my PhD so I could teach college, and from then on things got better. But I would not have had to walk that rocky road for three difficult years, and neither will your children if you just make sure they get some acceptable work experience on their resumes before they graduate.

Read Jean's weekly blog here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Real Reason You Can't Bring Water on an Airplane

My husband, the alien, figured it out:

The real reason you can't bring water on an airplane.
The TSA employees are really wicked witches of the west and they are afraid they'll dissolve if we throw water on them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Petruccio is Buried

This morning when I called Comcast to talk to their billing department, I reached Granada. My phone representative was an eager vuvuzela player who tried to recruit me as a tourist to his home island. I told him, this year, we’re going to Kentucky.

Then he asked how my morning went. I gave him the vague answer. “Okay.”

His computer system was in slow-poke mode, so he pressed me for details while we waited for it to find my account.

“I took my dog to the vet and had him put to sleep,” I told him.

The young man was horrified. “Why would you do that?” he demanded.

My dog was 19 years old. He hadn’t eaten or drunk water in 3 days. He didn’t even want treats. He wasn’t going for walks. He was miserable and I didn’t want him to suffer.

“Oh,” said my representative. “I apologize for being insensitive.”

I didn’t take his comment as insensitive. This was new to him. He had no idea why anybody would have a pet put to sleep. I wanted to say euthanized, but I had the sense that this man’s English didn’t include that word.

Making the decision was easier than actually getting it done.

I called the vet for an appointment. I seemed to have bad timing. For several days, all I got was the answering machine. They called back when I wasn’t in. Finally they said, just bring him in. They take 10 pets in the morning without appointments. The first 10 pets to arrive get seen. The clinic opens at 8 AM. They suggested we arrive by 7:15. We did. We were the 5th to arrive.

Petruccio has been with us for 11 years. He was 8 years old when we got him at the animal shelter. Buffy, our poodle mutt, picked him out. She was lonely after our older dog, Dante, died. We’d have done anything for Buffy. Buffy always ran to greet us when we came home. Buffy snuggled in our laps. Buffy smiled. Buffy taught other dogs to smile. Buffy exemplified why people have dogs.

We took Buffy to the animal shelter and let her pick out her favorite dog. Okay, it had to be a male dog, because my husband likes male dogs, and this dog was going to fit into Dante’s niche – the male dog, top dog position.

As soon as Buffy picked out Petruccio, he tried to mount her. She growled him off. Immediately, we knew what his name had to be: Petruccio, the most famous rejected suitor in literature. Before he came to live with us, his name was Cappuccino. This dog was nobody’s cup of coffee.

When we walked them, Buffy smiled at everybody we passed. Other dogs sniffed her, and she sniffed them. She sniffed children. She sniffed plants. She loved going for walks. Petruccio barked at every dog we passed. He tried to attack them. The only dog on the entire planet he liked was Buffy. And she did not want him the way he wanted her.

Petruccio did his job. He played with Buffy. But he did not run to greet us when we came home. He did not snuggle us. If we picked him up and put him in our laps, he’d sit there a while and then move on. After Buffy died, he had very little interest in us, But he did not ask us for another dog to play with. We walked him. We protected him from the other dogs when he barked at them. He did learn to let children pet him when we took him for his daily walks.

A couple of years ago, he lost the ability to climb stairs safely. We put up a baby gate that we had to climb over to go upstairs to bed at night and downstairs to the world in the morning. Several months ago he became so clumsy, walking up behind us in the kitchen, tripping us when we stepped backwards, that we put him in the playpen, and only took him out for walks and laps.

We carried him home from the vet, and buried him in the garden where Buffy and Dante and several neighbors’ cats are buried. That was less than an hour ago.

I’m basically a selfish person. I only get pets because I want a happy creature in the house who is always glad to see me. I don’t know why Petruccio wanted humans. Petruccio wasn’t happy to see me come home. He wasn’t happy to snuggle in my lap. It was as if he was a prostitute dog, going through the motions in order to get fed.

When we got him from the shelter, we made the agreement to take care of him until the end. We did that.

The end.

The representative’s computer still hadn’t found my account. I decided to call a local number and talk to the President’s office.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Technical Support Victory

Last month, I bought a new computer, with a Windows 7 operating system. I downloaded RealPlayer. It worked well with youtube. But I like to download the free magic tricks from www.sankeymagic.com It played the audio but not the video on these downloads. That’s not much use when I’m trying to learn a magic trick.

I emailed RealPlayer. They told me to do a complete uninstall, redownload the program and start over.

The problem persisted.

They told me to do another complete uninstall, download an earlier version of the program, put it into administrator mode, and try again.

The problem persisted.

They told me to go to the online chat and let one of their technicians take over my computer to try to fix it. I did so. I waited in the queue for half an hour. My queue got cancelled. I tried again the next morning. I reached a chat person who told me I had to try again in 3 hours because none of the level 2 technicians were available. He then told me it was a pleasure to serve me and he hoped I was fully satisfied with the help I’d received.

I told him he had to be kidding. My problem wasn’t solved and there was nobody there who was going to help me. He apologized.

4 hours later, I got hold of a technician who took over my computer. But the software he had didn’t give him full control. Other windows kept getting in front of our chat box. I had to keep taking control and handling dialogue boxes that came up, and then bringing the chat box to the front again.

Plus, my technician had an XP computer so he couldn’t duplicate my problem.

Suddenly during our chat, a box from Adobe popped onto the screen announcing a new version of Adobe Flash was available. Did I want it? I clicked YES. After the download and install, suddenly RealPlayer worked. I could see the magic videos.

Of course I was fully satisfied. That lucky technician will probably get a glowing report at the end of his shift.

We're the humans. We get to win.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At the Grocery Store Checkout

At the grocery store checkout, the cashier saw my bike helmet.

“I fell and broke my elbow about a year ago. I haven’t ridden since,” she said. This woman looks about 1/3 my age.

“About a year ago I got hit by a car and woke up in the hospital. My nose was broken, my jaw cracked, my collar bone broke, and I had a concussion.” I kept the list short on purpose. I didn’t want to compete with her broken elbow.

“They don’t put casts on elbows so I had to wear a sling. You don’t know what it’s like to only have full use of one arm,” she said.

“They don’t put casts on collar bones either,” I said. “I had to wear a sling for weeks after the surgery.”

“Where did you get the courage to ride again?” she asked.

“It’s my car,” I said. People don’t stop driving because they get in an accident.

“I only rode for pleasure,” she said.

She stared at me like I’m a lunatic, while I packed my groceries into my saddle bags.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Trick for My Grandchildren

My son-in-law glares and growls when his daughters ask me to do magic. “Magic isn’t real,” he insists. And dutifully, his children repeat. “Magic isn’t real.” But they want me to do magic anyway. I’m always on the lookout for ways to make the magic happen in their hands. Usually, this means I’m teaching science, not doing magic. Science looks often like magic. In fact, I think a major appeal of science for many scientists is the fact that they are doing what was formerly impossible.

Think about it. A microwave oven is a scientific gadget. You put food in. You push a button. The box does NOT get hot, but the food inside does. That has to be magic.

Or put smelly dirty clothes in water with a little slimy liquid made from fat and lye. Slosh them all around for a while. Soon the clothes are clean again. Magic.

Hit two pieces of flint together. You get sparks. Magic.

I could continue this list for hundreds of pages.

I want something that looks like magic, but does not lend itself to scientific method for examination. That means something from the magic shop.

I was poking around on YouTube and saw a video with an Egg Bag in which the assistant holds an empty bag. She checks the bag. It is empty to her satisfaction. Then she clucks like a chicken, and an egg appears in the no-longer-empty bag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RouUn8jDs2k

Perfect.

I bought an egg bag. I can’t wait to hear my grandchildren cluck like chickens. My son-in-law is going to have a lot of explaining to do. I’ll visit them next week.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conversations in Yoga

I’ve been going to yoga classes with these people for almost two years now. We know each other as woman with the leopard spotted shorts, man who runs the email list, woman from New York, woman with the same name as Gorbachev’s wife, man who goes to California. I’m woman who rides a bike. There are about 20 of us. Some of the students have formed clusters and know each other’s names. I’m still a newbie after 2 years.

Today, I got the courage to ask leopard shorts (whose first name I do know because she sometimes teaches the class), “What do you do in the real world?” Turns out she teaches about the influence of art on health. She is particularly fascinated by the role metaphor plays in healing.

I pointed out that the contrary is true, too. If you listen to the metaphors people use in their daily speech – “He’s a pain in the neck” “She gives me a head ache.” I think people would experience less pain if they stopped talking like that and used more accurate language. “She would be easier to work with if she arrived on time for her meetings.” “I could work with him more easily if I didn’t take his yelling seriously.”

She agreed. Her emphasis is on finding art in all varieties (poems, music, plays, stories, dance paintings) from a variety of cultures that encourages healing both emotional and physical. I didn’t even know you could take a class like that in college.

I recently came across a website about a medical conference in which the healing powers of poetry were being introduced to doctors: http://www.duke.edu/web/lifelines/

Yoga is only one way in which we can heal our bodies. Our thoughts, our beautiful thoughts, can be strong along with our muscles.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What did Esau sell?

I recently got involved in a strange conversation on Facebook. My joining AARP to get the discounts was compared to Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of soup.

This got me thinking – what exactly did Esau sell?

Genesis 12:1-3 (New International Version)
1. The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

2. "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

3. I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

Even before he had any children, Abraham was promised:

Genesis 22:17
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

I think these blessings can be best summarized as “being born Jewish” even though that word is based on Judah, Abraham’s great-grandson, who had not been born yet. And many would say that being born Jewish is not a great blessing. It means being born into the most hated religion in the history of the world. I am a descendant of Jacob. I am allowed to say this.

To me, this looks like the entire line of Abraham’s descendants was to receive these blessings, if you can call them blessings.

You get to go on a long trip and never come home and never see your family again.

Your descendants will grow to be a great nation – all great nations wind up in wars.

Your name will be great – all great people have enemies and people who are jealous of them – and lots of problems, and no privacy.

People will curse you.

You will have enemies. You may own their gates, but they will still be out to get you.

All the peoples of the world will be blessed through you – nothing about being appreciated or loved.

Yes, I think that about nails what it is to be Jewish – the most hated group on the planet.

Two of Abraham’s lineage escaped this “blessing.” Abraham’s first born, Ishmael, by his wife’s servant Hagar, was sent away with a different set of blessings. His son Isaac, who was born to his wife Sarah, got them all to himself.

Abraham may have valued the blessings, but he didn’t value his children. He sent Ishmael out out into the desert where he nearly died. Then he took Isaac up on a mountain and raised a knife to slice his throat. It’s a miracle this bad dad has any descendants at all.

Isaac had two children by the same mother. I’d have expected both these children to inherit the blessings. Why only one? They were twins. Why deny the blessings to one? How are you going to get this uncountable line of descendants if you keep limiting the promises to one child in each generation?

Yet, as the story is told, only the firstborn was to inherit the blessings. And Rebecca, their mother, much preferred Jacob, her younger twin. She plotted to get the blessings for her favorite child.

When the twins were about 15 years old, Esau came home empty handed from hunting. He was hungry. Rebecca and Jacob got Esau trade the promised blessings, which at this point in the story look like a family folktale, and not such great blessings anyway, for a bowl of soup.

Later, when it was time for blind old Isaac to bless his children and officially pass on Abraham’s blessings, Rebecca dressed up Jacob to make him feel and smell like Esau. Esau was much more hirsute than Jacob. She cooked her husband’s favorite meat dish and had Jacob bring it in as if he’d just gone hunting. In other words, Jacob obtained these dubious blessings by trickery.

And when Jacob figured out that he’d been tricked, he did not take away the blessings he had given. Maybe he didn’t mind being tricked.

So, what did Esau give up, when he sold his birthright? He gave up the right to have his children born Jewish. Being Jewish didn’t mean then what it means now. Judah hadn’t been born yet. The exodus hadn’t happened. Nobody knew what it would mean to be Jewish. If you were to ask a no-Jew today – which would you rather have – your children be born Jewish or a bowl of soup? I think a lot of them would pick the soup.

Being Jewish isn’t a bad way to live your life, but it’s no great honor, either. I’m Jewish. I can get away with saying this. Maybe this trickery put a jinx on the blessings.

There is no reason the blessings could not have gone equally to the grandsons of Abraham, as was seemingly implied in the promises themselves. All of Jacob’s children were counted as inheritors of the promises. And so it has been in every subsequent generation.

I’m also sure that Esau’s descendants had an interesting heritage. They, too, were promised to become a great nation. According to Wikipedia, they became Romans who converted to Christianity.

I fail to see how that relates to getting discounts by joining AARP. But if joining AARP turns out to be a mistake, I can undo it by not renewing my membership. I only joined to get the discounts.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stitches are Out

Stitches are Out

As my husband and I walked our 19-year-old dog in the morning one of our neighbors asked how I’m doing. “I get my stitches out today!”
She looked at my husband and said, “You’d better watch out. The doctor is probably handsome.”
He is actually. He’s also a child. Jock-doc is younger than my children. I don’t like him. I don’t really dislike him. I don’t think he gives me straight answers. He’s curt and defensive when I talk to him. I told our neighbor the truth, “I’m hoping I get to see his female resident.”
Jock-Doc was busy. The clinic was running late. They had me stowed in a room with medical certificates for a doctor I’ve never met. In walked a young male Resident. “Your wondering where your regular doctor is. I can usually read facial expressions”

“Not particularly. I’m wondering if I get to see my x-ray.”

Very young resident got my x-ray up on the screen. NO METAL anywhere! Yay!

Then he got an embarrassed look on his face. “I need to take the bandage off. How are we going to do this?”

I’d worn a t-shirt with a v-neck so I could easily pull it off one shoulder without undressing. I did so. He still looked puzzled. I moved my bra strap off my shoulder. “That’s better.”

He began pulling one strip at a time. “It’s kind of like pulling off bandaids,” he said.

“I’m okay.” I didn’t tell him, but Jock-Doc got the whole bandage mess off quickly and almost painlessly after the 1st surgery. Very Young Resident was neither quick nor painless.

Then Very Young Resident got out some scissors and cut something in the middle of where the bandages had been. Last time there were a bunch of short stitches that Jock-Doc was able to pull out quickly and almost painlessly. This time the stitches were all attached. And Very Young Resident had just cut the 6-inch long strip of stitches in half, creating two 3-inch double sections.

“Take a deep breath.” Before I could finish inhaling, “Now exhale.” Yipes! He pulled out one of the 3-inch sections. “Take another deep breath.” Again, he didn’t let me finish inhaling. “Now exhale.” He started pulling and pulling and pulling and it hurt and really hurt and beyond hurt. I kept exhaling and exhaling and he kept pulling and pulling and it kept beyond hurting. Finally he stopped and went to the cabinet.

I pulling my shirt back up and went to my bike bag for my bottle of comfrey oil. He returned from the cabinet with a bandaid. “I don’t want a bandaid. Do you have a mirror so I can put on my comfrey oil.” Then I looked at my shirt. A spot of blood had already soaked through my shirt. “I want the doctor to look at this. Don’t put the oil on yet.” Very Young Resident left the room.

Jock-Doc eventually showed up. I pulled my shirt and bra strap down over my shoulder again. “Looks good,” he said.

I got a sudden inspiration to check a theory I had about Jock-Doc and Shoulder PT. When I told Shoulder PT that my surgeon was Jock-Doc, Shoulder PT said “The Shoulder Guy” in a voice tone that I interpreted as hostile. “He used to work here. That’s a name I didn’t expect to hear again.” Since I liked Shoulder PT, I didn’t push it.

Jock-Doc asked me to demonstrate my range of motion. I showed Jock-Doc that I can do cow arms, a yoga posture in which I reach one arm up my back from underneath, and the other down from over the shoulder, and clasp hands behind m back. “Shoulder PT says I’m the first person in 20 years to be able to do this after collar bone surgery.” Jock-Doc made a face that I interpreted as anger and distaste. Very Young PT asked who my yoga teacher is, and was thrilled to find out that my teacher’s studio is only about a block and a half from his apartment.

I again asked, “Where’s a mirror? I want to put comfrey oil on my shoulder.” Jock-Doc got all officious. “Let me see it.” I handed him the bottle. This is home made comfrey oil. It has a home-made label. I told him, you can buy it commercially. But I grow my own comfrey, so I made my own. All you do is extract comfrey in olive oil and then strain it through a coffee filter.”

Finally, he made a resigned expression, like he knew he couldn’t stop me from using it and directed me to the Unisex Restroom.

He was done with me. He didn’t care that I had questions. He had places to, things to do and I was no longer a customer. “If you break anything else, come back here.”

“I’m done with that for the rest of my life.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Recovery Notes

1) I can taste chocolate again. After the surgery, my husband, the alien, tried to cheer me up with a piece of chocolate and I couldn’t taste it. Anesthetics change your sense of taste.

2) I can taste horseradish again. I never imagined horseradish could taste mild. It’s no fun that way.

3) My chiropractor finally noticed that the accident knocked my pelvis out of alignment – now he’s working to straighten it. This process hurts, but in the long run, I expect to be in less pain.

4) The narcotics I took for 36 hours after the surgery gave me a short vacation from the pain in my hip. Now I know why my docs kept offering me pain meds. And I was reminded why I refused them. I much prefer having my brain. For me: no pain = no brain.

5) I was feeling better this morning, so I took off the sling that is “for my comfort” not my health, and did a belly dancing exercise lesson. I put that sling back on again right away. I needed it for my comfort.

6) I wore that sling to the gym to ride the stationery bicycle. I’m not allowed to ride mine for several weeks after the surgery. I suspect lifting it would tear the stitches over my collar bone. I also used the inner and outer thigh machine. I can still do 30 reps with 80 lbs, even after a week away from the machine.

7) My massage therapist and I agreed not to meet this week. I can’t lie on my belly. She suggested that I take arnica montana 30c. I like it a lot better than narcotics.

8) As soon as I felt free of narcotics, I felt a desire to cook. I made Chicken India with Peaches, chicken soup, lasagne with walnuts (no meat), and stir-fried veggies with tofu. My freezer is now stocked for a while. It was fun to have my kitchen serve as a three-ring circus. Chopping here, stirring there, baking the other place.

9) I can’t lift my old dog down the stairs, so he can’t have walks except when my husband, the alien, is home. I also can’t buy groceries because I can’t carry them home even with a cart because I can’t lift the cart onto a bus.

10) I’m taking the bus everywhere – the so-called every-15-minutes bus that runs near my house took 45 minutes to arrive this morning. It didn’t get me to the gym on time for my early morning Pilates class. I really want to be on my bike again so I can get places quickly.

My mail man saw me wearing the sling and asked, “Did you get in another accident?”
I answered, “No. This is a good thing. I got the metal screws and plates out of my shoulder. I’m getting my life back.”