Back MRI

Hey friends, I'm reaching out again about my back. I got the MRI, and it turns out it isn't just muscle spasms. I have both a torn disk and a disc extrusion. Apparently the extrusion is probably what's causing all the pain. At the moment the plan is to continue physical therapy and see a spine specialist when she gets back after the holidays.

I'm reaching out because I'm just feeling really hopeless. I spent 2 years dealing with and never quite fully recovering from one life changing injury and now this. It kinda feels like a life sentence, and I just think I want to hear inspirational awesome stories from people I know so I can believe that I will play basketball and salsa dance and snowboard and do all the things that make me me again. Greatly appreciate your prior support and could use some hope today.


Back Pain

Okay world, I need some advice. I have a back spasm that has been in pretty much an acute state for 2 weeks now. I'm in extraordinary pain. Physical therapy can't do much because the pain won't let me do the exercises. They are doing an MRI next week. Major pain killers and muscle relaxers don't help. The only thing that seems to is lying on the floor with my legs up on a chair. Anyone have any tips?


Smiley Bits 11.21.13

The families from Honey Boo Boo and Cake Boss went on Family Feud. Some lovely person put it up on youtube. My day is made.



Slow Dancing

Going through old papers buried in my mom's house today. Found this quote:

"What if more of life could be like that? Like the last slow dance, where, to echo T.S. Eliot, a lifetime burns in every moment."
~Alice Steinbach


Smiley Bits 11.13.13

There's nothing better than sitting in a bar with people you love, knowing that the night is winding down, and looking up to see someone else you love randomly walk in and start a new part of your night. Small world awesomeness.


SmileyBits 11.2.2013

I've noticed a lot of people posting what they are thankful for this month, and I haven't been feeling very appreciative lately, so I thought I'd resurrect the SmileyBits. I might be stretching for a bit, but I'm hoping this can help me - so here goes:

1. I have such loving family in Germany who are always happy to go out of their way to take care of me.
2. My trip to Berlin led me to some unexpected quality time with a friend.
3. In the past, I would have flown back on Sunday to give me more time on my trip, and I would have panicked and felt overwhelmed all week. Fortunately, I have learned to fly home on Friday.


First Trip to Poland: Day 1 Observations

1. The Lufthansa crew and gate agents assume I'm German and speak to me auf Deutsch even when they've been speaking to others in English.

2. I'm thankful for any place that has sparkling water as the norm.

3. This is my first entrance into a country for which I do not know a single word of the language.

4. Everything looks like a castle.

5. I think German and Polish people are tough because they grow up using hard toilet paper.


Lost in Translation

After a long day in the factory in Penang, I was eager to get back to the island (and my beautiful hotel). I frequently get the same drivers, which means that the long taxi ride is full of conversation, questions, and misunderstandings. While I enjoy this most of the time, some days I just want to hole up and fade out - especially when traffic makes the drive take almost 2 hours.

This day I was thankful to have a van all to myself with a driver who didn't speak much and had left an American movie playing on the abnormally large tv inside the van. I relaxed and settled in for what promised to be an amusing b-movie that was basically Jaws meets the Bayou. 

Swamp Shark was entertaining enough on its own (check out the trailer). It stars Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy!!!), was retitled in Japan as Frying Jaws, and features my favorite tag line, "Fresh water. Fresh meat." The best part, though, was that my driver had the volume up and the subtitles turned on. The subtitles were in English, but had pretty clearly been translated into Malay, and then back into English. The result was the most I've laughed on one of these trips. 

Verbal: "Go to Hell" 
Subtitle: "Fuck you"

Verbal: "Get off the wheel!"
Subtitle: "Let go of steering!"

Verbal: "He just got in the way"
Subtitle: "He walked in the road"

In response to, "Are you ready?"
Verbal: "As ready as I'm gonna be"
Subtitle: "To the extent possible"

Verbal: "I gotta lock up"
Subtitle: "I must conclude"

In response to a question he didn't know the answer to:
Verbal: "You got me"
Subtitle: "I ask myself the same question"

Verbal: "Oh God!"
Subtitle: "Jasses"

Yes, Jasses. 

I now have a strong affection for this movie. Might just have to by myself a copy. Wonder if I can find a copy here with the crazy subtitles. I'll host a screening back in SF :)

Going through some pics I found this shot I took while in the taxi. The top line is the actual dialogue. The bottom is the translation.



We Acted Upon in Good Faith and Entrusted Upon You

For whatever reason, a number of other people seem to use my email address. There's Monika Mielczarek, Monika Mihalisinova, Monika Meier, Monika Mitchell, and several more. These people legitimately believe my email address belongs to them. They frequently try to log in at gmail or facebook, and many of them have bills sent to my email. One man even emailed a sexy note as he was boarding his plane and about to return home to his Monika in London.

I have a label in my gmail account called "other Monika" where I store these. I try to reply to let the sender know they have the wrong address and inform the intended recipient, but much of the time that's not possible. Today's other Monika email had me laughing out loud.

Apparently, cell phone companies in India believe the best way to get paid is a guilt trip. I've highlighted my favorite lines in red for those of you who just want to skim. :)

We state that we are Cellular Mobile Telephony Service provider in the Delhi and NCR.We state that you had approached and requested us to provide you our cellular mobile phone facility. Relying upon your representation and assurance, we provided the said facility to you, with the clear understanding that you shall pay the bills on or before the due date. We state that you have availed the facility but, in breach of the aforesaid representation and promises made by you, you have failed and neglected to pay the amount of Rs. 2292/ - which is due and payable. 
We state that in spite of our repeated reminder and request to pay the aforesaid amount, you have failed and neglected to pay the said amount till date. We state that from the aforesaid, it is apparent that you have intentionally and deliberately not paid the said amount for the facility used by you. We state that as on 18/06/2013 a sum of Rs. 2292/- is due and payable by you. 
We state that believing your representations to be true, we acted upon in good faith and entrusted upon you with our cellular mobile phone facility, which you put into extensive use and accumulated huge amount. 
In the circumstances, we hereby call upon you to pay the sum of Rs. 2292/- together with accrued interest thereon @ 18% p.a. from the respective due date till the full & final payment, within 7 days from the date of receipt of this notice, failing which we shall be constrained to initiate Civil and/or Criminal proceedings against you, entirely at your risk as to cost and consequences, which please note. 
We state that without prejudice to our rights, if you are willing to make the aforesaid payment, within the stipulated time, you are requested to contact on 9811801114, 9811429429 between 10 AM to 5 PM . Yours truly,For Vodafone Mobile Services Limited

Such a nice mix of formalities and snarkiness. Love.