Excellent Things

I Love My Orthopedic Surgeon

Went to the Ortho today. He’s a straight shooter, no BS kind of guy. Prognosis: start physical therapy next week, 2x weekly for 6 weeks. Develop range of motion, plus strengthening of trapezius. Can drive/bike/sports/other activity as determined by comfort level and pain medication, avoid activities while impaired, but be cognizant of own levels to increase activity while slowly decreasing pain management. Pain management is right on track for where it should be, and don’t feel bad about medicating for muscle pain, because the muscular damage can take longer to heal than the bone. Also, don’t let the PT people cause pain. Be own advocate for advancement within comfort levels.

Watermelon Is Delicious

My friend Stefani and her boyfriend came over last night and we had a little cookout in the backyard. While the boys were all manly and cooking with fire, Stef and I whipped up this AWESOME watermelon salad. We omitted the olives, but the taste was AMAZING. Weird enough to be unusual, but still delicious. I’d make it again. I was having a twitter conversation about it with the guy from Cyclopunk about how it would be a perfect post-ride lunch, due to the hydration level, and mix of fats, sugars, and salts for a good electrolyte replacement. Plus, with the bright mint taste, it’s so refreshing! It’s really an amazing salad, and I encourage everyone to make it. It makes about 8 servings, and you will want to make sure it’s going to get eaten within a few hours. I had leftovers today, and I really don’t think that it was as good. Taste was still great, but the texture was starting to go downhill.

“Tigers Love Pepper. They Hate Cinnamon”

I don’t have any idea if this is true or not, and I never saw The Hangover, so the reference is a little out there. BUT, I went to the zoo yesterday, and got a special behind-the-scenes tour of the tigers, including a training demonstration. They don’t train the tigers to do tricks like in the circus, but to do certain actions that assist with their care, like getting them to look at the trainer (check their eyes) and lay with their right side along the fence (for vaccine injections) and to follow a target (sight/sound/visual acuity). Each time they do the right behavior, they get a HANDFUL of raw meat. Like a SERIOUS mega handful. And they take it right from the trainer’s hand. I tend to overuse the word awesome, but in this sense, it’s totally appropriate. I was within striking distance of several tigers, as we walked through their enclosure. It was always “safe” because they were in their own spaces, but a truly angry tiger could have easily reached a claw through a cage and taken out someone if they really really wanted to. Our guide was very good in communicating the rules for our safety, and managing our group (5 adults and 6 kids, ranging from 2-14), and allowing it to be a very positive and rewarding experience for all involved.

And look! TIGERS. In my head the whole time, I was saying “OMG, KITTEEES!!! I WANNA PET THE BIG KITTIES!!!!!!” It was seriously the BEST ZOO VISIT EVAR!!!!!

Follow Through Is Important

Because I believe in calling out bad behavior/poor customer service, I also believe in acknowledging when a company does right. Denver Health commented on my ER blog post, and also contacted me through twitter to encourage me to call their Patient Advocate group. I spoke to one of the advocates yesterday, and I am getting (free) followup care on my lip, plus they took down the details of my experience in the ER. The nurse with the terrible bedside behavior will be spoken with, and the nurse and resident who were great will also be told that their care was appreciated. I really believe in giving companies the opportunity to “Make It Right” – and I am very glad Denver Health did actually come through. I believe they do perform an important service, providing health care at low cost to uninsured members of the Denver Community. I have a friend who was the recipient of this health care when she had cancer a few years ago (Being an artist doesn’t come with a benefit plan.) So I appreciate their willingness to follow through, as I wanted to believe they were a good place.

MACARONS!

I am going to Paris in December with my sweet, awesome, wonderful boyfriend, and we will spend New Years Eve IN PARIS. We rented an adorable apartment in the 3rd arrondissement, one with close access to shops and the Republique metro station, and a brisk 15 minute walk from Notre Dame. You can bet your bottom I will make a trip to the original Ladurée shop for their famous macarons. Of course, my purpose for going is research, but the timing will be lovely, the weather will be romantic (and cold!) and it’s Paris. Paris! PARIS! I love Paris.

Books, Books, Books

Though I am still controlling the pain, I have been able to start delving back into the reading a bit. This week involved some French history and historiography, and the cultivation of memory. It’s been a challenge to try to mesh all these ideas together in my head, and the next step is to, indeed, meld them so that they can be captured in the frame of a set of questions. My comps exam is in October, and at this point, I feel woefully under-prepared. However, by tackling a book a day, I should be able to at least construct a solid understanding of my topic, and be able to clearly articulate it for the committee in my written exams. The trouble I find most of all is that for each book I read, I am led to want to read 3-5 other additional books. At a certain point, you just have to stop and say “these are the books I have read for this topic, and this is the understanding I have on the topic.” But, it’s hard to do that, because not only am I trying to develop my thesis topic, I’m trying to make sure I am not redoing someone else’s topic. Plus, my topic doesn’t necessarily fit squarely into the language of art history.

And More Books

Finally, as I was sitting here writing, a package slipped through my mail slot. Earlier this month, I won a twitter contest to receive a free copy of J.M.W. Turner’s “Secret Sketches”, a book by Ian Warrell, from the Tate museum in London. Today, it arrived! And while I haven’t had a chance to look through it completely yet, it looks quite delightful. I’m looking forward to some quiet time to just look through it and read it. When I do, I’ve been asked by the Tate to also provide a review, which I will!

Rain, Rain…

As I am sitting here, it also raining a lovely, bouncing summer storm outside, with cool breezes blowing through my windows, and thunder cracking across the sky, echoing off the buildings around me. It’s really the perfect way to wrap this up. So, I hope you are having days full of excellent things, and that you will be riding along soon enough too!

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