9. "We're all people." (See #1)
8. He made good (although sometimes a bit hard to follow) comments about the brain/mind connection. Apparently my physical brain is having to negotiate with this other (tumor) material that's in there, and this may lead to tiredness.
7. One way to decrease seizures is through endorphins: "Exercise. Hugs. Doing something nice for someone else."
6. He's also a big believer in de-stressing my life through such things as happy movies.
5. "Harmony is being restored in your brain."
4. He didn't bring in paperwork of any sort. He just sat there in the chair and made meaningful eye contact.*
3. He didn't even look at his watch the whole time we were in the exam room together.*
2. He emailed me at 6 p.m. on Friday to let me know that my MRI looked great.
1. We get to call him Jim.
*These were two observations Catherine made. James says she ought to be a spy, and he's probably right.
9. "We're all people." (See #1)
One day, while feeding Maybelle, i turned the computer around and googled John John of Sesame Street fame. You know who i'm talking about: he was a sweetly precocious child who, most famously, counted to 20 with Harry Monster. I showed that video to Maybelle, and also the one in which Harry and John John talk about up and down. We watched up and down twice, and by the end of the second run Maybelle had learned to do it herself. I figured it was a good thing, this video watching (and it has the added benefit of distracting The Ween enough that i'm able to feed her new foods without too much fuss.)
- Always ask questions if you're the tiniest bit concerned about the process. I discovered just in time this morning that they were about to do an MRI to monitor my TMJ. When I noted that I don't have TMJ, I have a brain tumor, the staff kicked it into high gear and had to move me to another place for my scan.
- Drink water earlier in the day if you know you're going to get an IV. As a person with small veins, I knew this, but had forgotten: the IV is easier to insert if you're hydrated.
- Don't accept the offer to play you music while you're having an MRI. Just do the earplugs. You can't hear the music most of the time, but when you can, it makes you feel like you're on an episode of The Brady Bunch.
- When they say it'll only take them 20 minutes to make CD copies of your MRI for you to take with you, don't count on it. It might be the case--as it was for me this morning--that your MRIs are so content-rich that copying them actually breaks the CD burner. As one staff member noted cheerfully, if there's that much information, you know they got everything.
Biffle* and I were reflecting this evening on the fact that two years ago right now, we were in the hospital--all three of us, although one was still in the box. What an interesting few days, with husbands of random colleagues performing anal swabs and all sorts of other humiliating stuff happening. August 24, 2008, Maybelle Biffle-Piepmeier exited her formerly cramped housing and became an inhabitant of the outside world. My mom and brother Trey came to Charleston this weekend for a low-key second birthday celebration.
Maybelle has--apparently in typical two-year-old fashion--decided she will eat about three different things, and that's it. She's resistant to new foods, so here was her initial response to her birthday cake.
She's half Piepmeier, though, so she rallied and started digging in.
So that you can see how 2010 Maybelle's life is, here's a picture of her signing and saying the word "cold" very dramatically as she's eating her ice cream. Note that her Uncle Trey is taking a picture of her with his iPhone, while I take a picture of him taking a picture of her. I'm sure Trey tweeted or gowalla-ed her. Meta-levels of representation here. Very normal stuff for the Ween, who has a Flickr page, a Vimeo page, and a fair amount of blogging devoted to her. In fact, she has her own Twitter page, although she doesn't have much to say there. Yet.
It's hard to believe that she's been here two years. And yet life before her seems so, so long ago and far away. It's good stuff to have a baby. Particularly this baby. And the older she gets, the more fun she is. Happy birthday, Maybelle!
*You're all familiar with Biffle again, since he's just posted four posts--four!--in a row. He still, however, has not told the story of when he knocked his tallywhacker off.
Don't get invited to dinner too often, do ya?
Once, on an old television show called Sifl and Ollie, Sifl mentioned that his least favorite emotion was "itchy." I found this so funny i made a mental note to make comments that followed the same spirit. It wasn't that hard to implement because i'd been doing something like it for years, viz, occasionally i would start to tell a story by saying this is one of the 10 funniest things that ever happened to me, etc. I just made the story a more Siflesque thing by merely changing it to this is the 7th funniest thing that ever happened to me.
Custom furniture makers don't make a lot of money. Sure, there are a few out there that have done alright--there are the Sam Maloofs, Wendell Castles, and James Krenovs--but most makers labor away in relative obscurity and with a modicum of financial security. And it's a tough life, too: about the time experience takes a maker to their highest skill level and keenest eye, you wake up one morning and say to yourself man, my hands sure do hurt... Thing is, you gotta love doin' it, but that's really the way the arts should be anyway.
Alison and i have tossed around the word egalitarian as something we're looking for in our relationship (well, more precisely, egalitarianism). Actually, she's said it more than me--mostly because i haven't ever really been sure what exactly it looks like or how to define it. While cooking today, listening to Alison play happily on the floor with The Ween, i think i came up with my definition. Here goes:
This is just a quick post to note a few things that are interesting to me about the exciting judicial decision that came out of California on Wednesday.
- First of all, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker's decision was the absolutely right and obvious one, ruling against California's Proposition 8, that made gay marriage illegal.
- Still more exciting is the fact that his "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" offers clear and emphatic articulations of why it's unconstitutional, unfair, oppressive, and illogical to make gay marriage illegal. I may well teach parts of this text in classes in the future.
- For example: "The tradition of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples does not further any state interest. Rather, the evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender."
- Or how about this: "Moreover, the state cannot have an interest in disadvantaging an unpopular minority group simply because the group is unpopular."
- And this conclusion: "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."
- And how about the fact that the academic work of feminist scholars is important in legal cases like this? Who knew that feminist historian Nancy Cott's research would be of interest to anybody not in the academy? Her quotes are all over the "Findings of Fact" document!
- Finally, I'm very excited to share that one of the people who made this possible, who did countless all-night research projects, who sat in the courtroom for days and days and days hearing Proposition 8 proponents make loads of homophobic arguments, and who helped to construct the argument that has definitively won the day, is my cousin, Sarah Piepmeier. I learned a lot from her during the New Haven weekend I've blogged about (and if I get her permission, perhaps I'll tell you some things). I'm so proud!