Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Trip home was the usual 17 hours of bliss. *Sarcasm intended* But without incident. It was nice to have the cab pull up and see my own Khmer King Henry, and the Georges. With the exception of having to run the vacuum cleaning within about 30 minutes of arriving - the boys held down the fort with amazing aplomb.
So, I'm off to change time zones. Pictures and what not commence tomorrow!
Glad to be home, but already miss the hum of Phnom Penh. Do you think that starting a tuk-tuk brigade here would work???
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
- Lying on your CV is a bad thing
- Using your fellow unemployed friend as a professional reference is not appropriate
- Things you are "going" to do or "wish" you could do are not technically "experience"
- Listing "watching TV" as one of your interests is not advised if you actually want to get an interview any time in the future.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
- We ended up collecting about 200 pairs of jeans to take with us (along with a full load of letters to the sponsored kids and the little gifts to send them). We jammed it all in to a couple o' duffel bags. And got them in to the car. Bag weight limit? 61 pounds. Duffel #2? 81 pounds. No wonder it seemed a little bulky. But, thanks to some quick work o' repacking, reshuffling and adding stuff to a bag that was already weighed - we managed to get them all in. My carry-on bag (supposed to weigh 15 lbs) now weighs significantly more and my backpack is stuffed to the gills. I am weak - dragging this stuff around is HEAVY!
- I took the drugs (from my super informed neuro) and managed to get a full 9 hours of drug induced slumber. I adopted the ear plug, black scarf over the head, quilt wrapped around combo mummy / burka look to block out the world. For those that know me I would like to add that they served dinner while I was snoozing. I am not one of those people that turns their noses up at plane-food. Bring it on. I rarely miss a meal. I snored right through tonight's dinner - another milestone thanks to modern pharmaceuticals!
- When I woke up from my beauty sleep, I found to my dismay that my seat-back video wasn't working. Neither was the guy's next to me. Lucky for us we were flying Eva - a kindly asian airlines where when things don't work, somebody actually gives a rat's ass. Along with my over weight back-pack and rolling suitcase, I now need to heft around a little paper bag filled with sweets and tea. AND, another bag filled with 6 little fancy winnie-the-pooh kid's flight entertainment satchels! Plus, I have been assured over and over again that they will be making dead certain that my in-flight entertainment is working on the leg from Taipei to PP. Love it. So much more civilized than domestic carriers. Even if it doesn't work, they make you feel better about it!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
But so much for the intro. I had one of those visit-the-doctor experiences that was pretty text-book. I head over to the BIG hospital. I check in at the OVER-STRESSED receptionist desk. I sit down with my reading material and I wait. I wait some more. And, I wait some more (pretty standard stuff). An hour later I decide to get up and find out whether I need to have lunch catered in. I am glad I hopped up to inquire, as the sullen receptionist indeed retorted, "Ooops, I must have missed you on the list!", but then quickly added, "Hmmmm, it looks like your appointment was cancelled." Not the news I was hoping for. Sure, my book was good and everything, but sitting around in the neuro waiting room isn't scads of fun especially when you're sitting there for nothing.
So I asked the simple question, "Why?" At that point, the Supervisor was called in. This was not something that your basic receptionist felt enabled to track down the answer to. Supervisor fiddles with the system for some many moments and then says, "Hmmm? Your appointment was cancelled by someone in the emergency room back in April. They can't do that!" To wit, I wittily replied, "Well, obviously, they can. Cause they did."
Supervisor then thought it was necessary to call and chase down the fellow who deleted me. I stopped her mid-dial. I gently explained to her that that wasn't going to help solve MY problem. In fact, I didn't really care who did it, and I wasn't entirely curious as to why it was done, I was only focused on what was going to be done about it. The first two issues were hers and hers alone to solve. I just wanted another appointment. Guess what folks? The next available appointment for my brilliant-stick-in-the-mud doctor was NEXT MAY! The guy may be about as much fun as a seventh day Adventist school dance, but his dance card was clearly chock-a-block full.
So, it was time for a compromise. I asked if I could see his lovely assistant instead. (Truth be told, I just wanted a prescription for some Ambien for my upcoming trip to Cambodia. It's not like I was looking for a diagnosis or anything.) And, I did get to see the lovely assistant. She took a couple of minutes to come out to the waiting room as she wanted to review my file quickly and read the results from an MRI that I had about 4 months ago. Guess what she told me??? Brace yourself for this one!! She told me that I have MS. Honestly. She came right out to the waiting room to tell me that the films from my recent scan verified that I had MS. I had to pause for a second to think of the right response to her. I rifled through a number of pithy nasties (something that would have made the headlines of the No-Shit Gazette such as "Neuro diagnoses 20 year mystery problem in a single bound"). I tried to come up with something astute and droll. I came up solidly empty. So I just said this, "Really? That's good to know. Now about that Ambien?"
So, while the assistant doctor is the nicer one, she seemed unable to get to the one part of my file that says, well, that I've had MS for like forever. Although, in her defense, she seemed truly heartfelt when she delivered me the devastating news. She seemed even more eager to write the prescription for the drug and to get the supervisor to squeeze me in to see the real guy sooner than next year once I tipped her off.
In summary. I spent two hours to not see a doctor and to get a diagnosis for a disease that is now 20 years in the making. I did get sleeping pills. I should have asked for something stronger.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Last night I headed off alone to go to "Broadway Belt Out". I put on a black and white outfit - channeling Maria in her early convent days - sans the head thingy, cause honestly, I just wasn't going to go that far. I was kind of lukewarm about going as I got in my car. Parking in Noe Valley can be a pain, I was kind of tired (but then again I have been wondering lately when the last time was that I wasn't just a tiny bit tired?), and George the Elder was not too jazzed that I was heading out by myself. This being said, George the Elder is no singer, so at least he got the reason why he wasn't going to go.
I had signed up for this event at our school auction last Spring. I love to sing. I love schmaltzy Broadway tunes, and it was being hosted by a great group of folks from the school including a couple I know that can cook leather and make it taste like heaven. Still, I was tepid about the whole ordeal when it came time to go. But go I did. I didn't get home until after 11:30! And in the life of a middle-aged we-don't-stay-up-that-late gal - that's the sign that I had a GREAT time.
There were about 25 or so folks there. Some in full costume, some not so much (I was kind of in the middle). We had "real" cocktails like you'd see in a Mad Men episode. Manhattans and some kind of gin drink that required a couple different ingredients that was absolutely luscious. And, more importantly, those cocktails went a long way to greasing the proverbial wheels before we started singing.
The hosts had put together a wildly eclectic selection of Broadway tunes in a handy dandy booklet so that everyone could know the lyrics. They had a friend play the piano - and I mean really play! He's a doctor in real life, but this guy could tickle the ivories something fierce and got everyone hopped up to sing. And sing we did. We gathered around the baby grand in the living room and went to town. A Chorus Line, Music Man, Les Mis, South Pacific, Rent, Carousel, and loads of others. Most songs we knew - some we didn't know so well - but all were "belted out" with gusto. As always there were a few complaints from the altos and the baritones that "geeze these guys only wrote songs for the sopranos and the tenors" - but we still managed to screech them out :))
There were some really great singers in the group and those that weren't technically proficient more than made up for it in volume or uber-schmaltz. There was singing, there was dancing, there were even a few tears (one guy got up and sang Summertime the way he sang it to his daughter as a lullaby - how can you not well up?). There were also the occasional sidebars of songs that weren't really in any musical, but just are fun to sing - "Send in the Clowns" for instance. Go Judy. AND, our piano guy actually found the key that we were singing in and got in to it with us all. Grand times.
I know that I was voraciously feeding my inner geek. But, it was so much fun to do it. I guess in these days of technology and great restaurants to go to and a million other diversions - it's fun to remember the really great times that can be had with a group of people willing to make idiots out of themselves singing Broadway tunes and a guy who can play the egging us on.