Monday, October 20, 2008

a very great birthday

Not long ago Not Joe asked me what my best birthday was. I thought hard and realized that my favorite one was nothing flashy or full of "partying." It was my 21st birthday - and no, not because I got trashed at a bar. Some of my dearest friends gave me thoughtful gifts, and then my dad came and picked me up from college when my classes were over and we went to my first Detroit Red Wings game where I got to watch Dominik Hasek play goalie. He drove me back home, I went to bed, and the next day it was Saturday. I'm not sure if in that question Not Joe was trying to get some ideas for something nice to do for me, but if he was I think he probably didn't get much. ...Sorry!

My birthday is October 12, and this year it was on a Sunday. I think that it ranks up there in the top Best Birthdays I've had. I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh because Relient K was playing a concert there on my birthday -- PERFECT! As if that weren't enough, I felt like I was blessed the whole weekend long: Saturday I drove from State College to Pittsburgh through 2.5 hours of gorgeous tree-lined roads, all ablaze in their best fall colors; I spent the day with my dearest friend Michelle and then dined with old pals from the 'Burgh; Sunday I got to go to my old church and hear a sermon that calmed my fears about the crazy stock market; something I had been waiting for for a long time finally occurred; I was served brilliant Indian cuisine by my friend Poonam and received reassurance about some struggles at work while I was at her place; and Relient K played some of my all-time greatest songs AND finished their performance with a encore of "Deathbed," which, since my first hearing of it, I have thought would be amazing to see live (I was right). The drive back to State College took until about 2a.m., but that was okay.

Monday I was gifted with a joint-birthday dinner hosted by a good friend for myself and 2 other pals with birthdays within a week of each other. It was splendid to be served a lovingly prepared meal and play fun games with good folks.

My busy weekend schedule (and the fact that other things were going on Thursday and Friday before my birthday) caused Not Joe to do "his birthday thing" with me the Wednesday before. This entailed getting all dressed up and going to a very lovely Italian place. It was great. He asked me if I felt old now. I realized that I'm 28 and that does seem rather old in some ways. While "being old" at the age of 28 may be arguable, I have to say that I didn't exactly feel young when I got to the Relient K concert; the median age was approximately 14. I often ask myself, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" but perhaps I need to face the facts and conclude that...I am grown up.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

fun with my shoulder

I began visiting a chiropractor about a year and a half ago. It has been a very delightful experience. The original issue that led me to the chiropractor has been solved through lots of very wonderful and skillful manipulation on the part of "Dr. Josh," but since then other issues have developed. The biggest and most persistent one is with my right shoulder.

I believe that the shoulder issue is mostly due to doing a lot of work on the computer and not doing so in a very ergonomic way. After making a few adjustments to my workstation (which, in many cases, was simply my LAP...certainly not a good way to be doing work for hours on end) during the writing of my dissertation, my problems subsided. However, then I moved away from Pittsburgh and adopted some new bad habits with the computer and also started talking for long periods of time on the phone and endured a lot of stress. The combination of these and probably other factors led me to a morning when I awoke and sat down on the couch and could not bear to put enough pressure on my upper back to get myself off of the couch - my shoulder and neck were in a HUGE amount of pain.

Thus, I found a new chiropractor. She's not the same as Dr. Josh, but she's okay. The shoulder certainly feels a lot better after I visit her. I ought to do some more exercises and stretches to make it so I don't HAVE to go see her to feel all right, but I am admittedly lazy and have not been very diligent in this matter.

Last week I had to cancel my Friday appointment with her, which meant that I went more than 7 days without an adjustment. By Sunday I was in pretty dire straights, so when I went over to Not Joe's to bum around and watch football at the bachelor pad he shares with 3 other guys, the pain had crept further down my spine so my lower back was also hurting. This all made me realize that I should absolutely not sink down into the couch cushions. Instead, I decided to be a good patient and lay on the floor with my legs bent and elevated. It was kind of weird, but it made me feel much better.

Eventually I was feeling okay enough to sit upright, so I carefully settled on the couch. My shoulder still wasn't quite right, but I set to work with some gentle knitting (yes! amazing! i'm knitting something!). I could tell something was just not in the right spot with my shoulder joint. After a few rounds on my circular knitting piece, I slowly lifted up my arm, and there came a huge "POP."

The guys looked over at me warily, and I smiled and said, "Wow, my shoulder feels a LOT better." It did. It felt perfect, in fact.

Not Joe's jaw dropped. "That was your shoulder?!"

It's nice to know that I can amaze guys with my fun joint noises.