Friday, June 22, 2007


You know the saying "God has a sense of humor"? In this case, I am not one to agrue.

I wrote and erased a post this morning about my excessive opinion sharing, and grasped at straws for a better topic. Giving up, I hung out with Jack and Skye, talking, eating lunch and the like. After agreeing that a slice of watermelon would be the perfect addition to this beautiful afternoon, I retrieved both the watermelon and my father's crazy sharp Japanese kitchen knife.

I know you know where this is going. And it is.

Now, I've used this knife before to cut the past two watermelon. I have this healthy paranoia when it comes to sharp things, but my love for watermelon often outweighs it. With Jack rotating the watermelon as I cut it in half, we were close to fine. So close...

And then I stuck my thumb in the line of fire. I wanted to find the line I had been cutting, as to continue the straight line and avoid mangling my favorite fruit. There was my thumb, and there was the crazy sharp knife. And there was the chunk of the tip of my thumb.

In pain and, I suspect, shock, I ran down the hall to the bathroom, grabbed some toilet paper, and put pressure on the bleeding thumb. The bleeding was bad. There's still some on the bathroom floor, in the sink, and on my foot. It was dripping everywhere.

I hate blood, especially my own. I hate needles more than blood--I could never be a heroin addict (this offers my mother some comfort). I was hoping, hoping, hoping that the missing piece of my thumb was no reason for stitches. But the bleeding wouldn't stop. So I called Mom, who called Dad, who came home as fast as he could.

The tears were not from pain, but from the horrible anticipation of the emanating needles and my father's anger. That knife was not to be used by children, and certainly not children home alone. *Cue lesson learned.*

He took me to Urgent Care along with the thumb chunk, which had been preserved with the help of Jack's knowledge of medical shows, Ziploc bags, and ice. I was fairly impressed, but the nurse tossed it.

"I don't think we can stitch this back on, sweetie..."

Two doctors and two nurses came in. One nurse took my temperature and blood pressure, and one doctor seemed to exist only for comfort. I was not comforted. The main doctor tied a rubber tourniquet around the base of my thumb to stop the bleeding and explained the cauterizing method.

"We're going to use a special chemical to close the blood vessels. It might sting a little bit." Immediate mental note: this is going to hurt, and it's going to hurt a lot.

She took a translucent wand covered in the chemical and rubbed it around in my open thumb. It stung like crazy, but I always take the "No pain, no gain" deal to heart when it comes to medical procedures. My eyes watered quite a bit, and the Comfort Nurse exclaimed, "Oh! You're breaking out in hives! Aw, look, you're all red..." Yes, Nurse, you got me.

It was pretty cool though, the chemical really did burn the blood vessels. It turned the skin crater all black. No more blood, no more tears. The doctor stuck a piece of Gel Foam in my thumb and wetted it down. It acts as a sort of synthetic scab. The second nurse took a nifty gauze tool and wrapped up my now healing thumb. I was very grateful. It was a trauma-free experience, all things considered. It'll heal, maybe even without a scar.

As Dad and I were getting in the car he added, "This would make a good blog post, huh?"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Now You Tell Me


I know I'm only guessing, but this has got to be what it feels like to need a drink.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Please Help: Save Darfur

Happy Father's Day! to all the dads who read this blog. I hope it was a long, relaxing day filled with the people you love.

Along with the U2 By U2 book, java barbecue rub, handmade ceramic bowl, and gifts he ordered himself online, Dad received the "Instant Karma: Save Darfur" compilation of newly recorded John Lennon hits by today's artists. All proceeds go to support Amnesty International's efforts to save Darfur's, and other worldwide, human rights crises.

"In the remote, parched landscape of Darfur, Sudan, the rhythms of everyday life are a distant memory. Now there are days and nights filled with the dread of 'evil horsemen' called Janjawid. They charge into villages on horseback, camelback and trucks, armed with automatic weapons and murderous intent. As one survivor told Amnesty International, 'They came in the houses and ran after those who were trying to flee. A man was shot four times in the back and in the leg. They burned the village. Only 10 out of 100 houses remained intact.'

This is Darfur's nightmare. The inconceivable suffering. The deaths of thousands of civilians. The rape of thousands of women. The loss of homes for millions of men, women, and children. The metrics of pain are staggering.

The catastrophe began for the people of Darfur in 2003, when the Sudanese government enlisted Janjawid militias to carry out the dirty work in its scorched-earth campaign to crush rebel activity in Darfur. The conflict is fundamentally about resources, especially the increasingly scarce land that farmers and nomads must share. The conflict spilled over into the neighboring Chad in 2006. And so the nightmare multiplies."

After learning more about Darfur's crisis within the liner notes of Instant Karma, I visited and signed the petiton to urge the new UN Secretary-General to act. I ask that you would visit the link and do the same. There are song-by-song previews and an option to buy the CD from this link; it's excellent.

You can watch Green Day's rendition of "Working Class Hero" here.

I admit I bought and gifted the CD for the music primarily, but after reading about the crisis' particulars, I felt I must act in the best way I could. You can donate money here. If you can't, please at least sign the petition. It is a very simple way to get involved and end the killing in Darfur.