Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thank Goodness!

So my computer is back in business. I took apart both side of the case, cleaned it out really good, and put it together. Nothing happened. So I took it apart again, unhooked every single connection inside the CPU, cleaned them out, and then put it back together. And now it works! From the clear side of my computer case, everything looks neat, streamlined, and fun. I had not clue how many wires, and connections there were in there until I took apart the other side of the case with the motherboard mount. I suppose their must have been a little dust buildup in one of them somewhere...

Now if the knee will get better, I can see about fixing the truck, the car, and the chair. Then I can decide what I want to go to do as far as graduate school. I'm vacillating between library science and history teaching...vacillating hard. If I want to go the library science route, I need to have my applications in by the end of October. So I need to make up my mind.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And It Continues...

I had a good, thoughtful post planned out for today about how cinema has been so unfair to psychiatry through the years, but circumstances dictate another emo post.

1. Kerry tried to take my truck grocery shopping and found out that the accelerator just stops working every now and then. I'm really, really hoping that this is due to a bad batch of gas.

2. Yesterday, Kerry and I were playing EVE together. It started to not go so well, and I needed to help Kerry on the other computer. As I got up to assist, the chair I was sitting in spontaneously broke, sending me flying to the floor. By the time I'm up, her ship has been destroyed. So I get another chair (a foldy director's chair), sit down to begin the "what should we do next" thinking process, and it folds under me. Alas, the floor once again.

3. Today, our good computer won't boot. I've tried working every mojo I know--it's broke. So shall begin another round of Best Buy confrontations.

After not being able to find a job, the car radio going out and taking the dash display with it, my truck battery catching on fire, having to replace an alternator, paying out the @$$ to merely exist in this ridiculous state, and losing all use to speak of in my good knee, I figured it was safe to laugh it off and say everything will get better soon. But a possibly broken truck, a definitely broken chair, and a probably broken computer later, I just don't know.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Will of the Knee

After the incident two Sundays ago, my level of mobility has gone up and down. By the following Friday, I was able to abandon my crutches in favor of a cane. But on Sunday, an attempt to put-put golf put me back on crutches. It got progressively better from there at about the same pace until yesterday, when some pose I adopted reading a book in the recliner caused some excruciating popping. So third time's a charm, right?

The most annoying part of all this is that relying on crutches or a cane prohibits you from carrying more than one item at a time. Moving my existence's hq from one room to another takes multiple trips for the book (it's too big to fit in any pockets), the beverage, the food...

And I don't like leaving Kerry with chores like mowing, shopping, doing the laundry, and sweeping. She's busy, and was especially busy last week.

On the upside of things, the soundtrack for the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica is out! I'm not a fanboy or anything, but something is fundamentally wrong with humankind if Bear McCreary is not remembered as the composer of the early 21st century.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Really Crappy Day.

On Sunday, something happened. I was just puttering around in the kitchen putting away dishes when my left knee started to get this nagging, numbing pain. Then it got worse. Then I had to catch myself on the counter to keep from falling over. I don't know what I could have possibly done to precipitate this, but now I can't put any weight at all on my left leg unless the knee is bent at a pretty awkward angle. I cant' straighten out my leg, nor can I bend it very far. Since my right knee is structurally screwed up because of the Osgood Schlatter disease and surgical repair and has chronic tendonosis, I was really counting on the left one. :(

That was not the really crappy day.

That was yesterday, when Kerry decided I needed to get some medical help of some sort. Being unable to make an appointment with an orthopedic clinic without a prior referral, she opted for the emergency department to make sure this was something it would be OK to let go until I can get an orthopedic appointment. So I hobbled into the ED on my crutches from the parking deck and waited. We waited to get registered, to get vitals taken, to get registered again, to get a nurse to come, and then to get a second year resident come in. She looked at my knee, probed around on it for a bit, and said, "you need to see the orthopedics." She tried to push narcotics on me, I refused, and she shuffled along. No attendings were called in. No consuled from the orthopedic department. All she did was give me the telephone number Kerry had tried to call earlier.

After that, another nurse told us we were done. A little while later, we poked out our heads into the hall and asked, "So are we just supposed to go now?" We were told to go to the waiting room, so we did. There, Kerry asked a woman about out the financial counselor we were told would visit us (as our insurance hasn't kicked in yet), and she told us they were all busy. She called the financial department and they told us to go to their offices. We went, and no-one was there. So we waited for a nice while before a lady came in (surprised to find us there) and told us in a few seconds that Kerry makes too much money for us to qualify for any assistance...I guess that's good. But it was an extremely uncomfortable waste of most of a day and a good deal of money, I'm sure.

So we were at home all doomy and gloomy post-ED when Kerry went grocery shopping. She called soon after she left telling me that my truck wouldn't start after getting gas. She finally got it to turn over, though, and it died on her in the middle of the road. She was able to coast back into the gas station. So I crutch-shuffled to the car and drove out to her. I decided to jump start the truck first-off to get it out of the middle of the gas station's lot.

Lesson learned: Do not try to jumpstart a vehicle when you are barely staying upright on crutches and just got back from the emergency room. It was taking most of my concentration just to stay on my feet in the slopey lot, and I was in a self-absorbed state of mind. In my most idiotic act in the past two years of my life, I crossed the cables. It was a classic example of Jeremy Lusk's scenario when someone says, "Turn it on!" quickly followed by "Oh God, turn it off! Turn it off!"

It was a sight to see as the car's battery started sending up clouds of smoke, the rubber melted off the cables Dylan gave me in Junior year, and my truck battery caught on fire. The gas station people came out with a fire hydrant and put an end to the fireworks and we all just sort-of blinked at each other before one of them said, "I think you need a new battery."

So there went another $575 to replace the truck battery and the alternator. Luckily, the car came out of the encounter none the worse for wear. But it still has to have it's radio replaced before the speedometer will work again. The fuse has been pulled out because if it isn't the battery will drain dry between uses due to a stuck cassete tape.

Kerry and I couldn't help but laughing when we got home. What else can you do?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Since we've moved up here, I'm sure I've put in upwards of 100 job applications...maybe even 150. So far? Nothing. I spend my days hunting for positions I haven't applied for, playing EVE: Online, reading manga, and taking care of household chores. When Kerry comes home, we eat and watch television together. It would be an absolutely glorious existence except for the looming fact that I still don't have an occupation. And to be honest, I don't know what I want to do.

I'd rather be a high school teacher than a college professor, but to get the graduate degree that is pretty much necessary to teach up here would be to seriously hamper my ability to get hired when we moved back to Arkansas. I've thought about getting an MLS and perhaps a doctorate in information sciences, but the college up here that offers those programs is as far from Worcester as you can get in Massachusetts. The next best option is in Boston at a private university, where the bill would be astronomical and the assistance minimal.

I've put in applications at coffeehouses and such, but even if I was accepted into one of those positions, I don't think my knee would be able to take it. Any office or clerical job would be nice, but there is an overabundance of people up here with business degrees and experience who are going to be in line for them long before me. Experienced people are getting laid off and forced to apply for entry level positions, which puts people like me at a serious disadvantage.

I've tried writing with the intent of publishing, but that seems to be a dead end as well. No idea stays with me for very long, and my imagination just doesn't seem to operate as well as it once did. Ripping it away from practical matters takes an exhausting feat of willpower nowadays.

So at the moment I'm merely taking care of my wife and doctor--waiting to be hired or inspired.