One year ago today, I was preparing for surgery, scrubbing myself down with antimicrobial wipes (it was disgusting, by the way), learning how to tie a headscarf on YouTube, and praying for the first time in a long time. Someone joked that we should buy a “brain tumor cake” to commemorate the event. I declined. What would I put on it? “Happy One Year Brainiversary” ? On second thought, I would like to film the baker’s reaction.
Too much has happened to get maudlin about it. Again.
Over the weekend I was reminded why I hate hospitals when my grandfather had a mild heart attack and spent the holiday weekend in one. I walked in a recalled all too well the rooms that are never the right temperature, the bland, lukewarm food, the boredom that stretches on forever, and the smell of the hand sanitizer that hangs outside every room. Today, when the nurses entered the room to transport my him to the angioplasty in their full surgical regalia complete with the blue bonnets, I felt my blood pressure rising. I didn’t even know I had blood pressure.
Other than that, I’ve been occupying my time with my new toy: a TomTom GPS. I walked into the electronics store, where I could have used a GPS to find the selection, and picked out one of the cheapest devices available. I brought along a friend who explained to me that all the GPS thingies use the same satellite triangulation system (whatever that means)–she said it may help me to think of it as a tiny gremlin–so spending the extra cash isn’t worth it…necessarily.
The first time I entered an address it got itself confused getting me to the main road. Instead of saying the annoying, but reassuring, “Recalculating” like my old GPS, it silently replotted my route. I mentioned to my friend that I much preferred the exasperating, mechanical voice promising that I would eventually find my way. If it doesn’t tell me, I demanded, how do I know that it is really recalculating and that the signal isn’t just blocked by cement or cloud cover?!? That could happen!
Remember how a few days ago I pondered what it would be like if we had a life GPS? The stupid robotic voice could tell you every time you took a literal or figurative wrong turn. Then you could hear the devices of other people as you cross them on the street, “Hey loser, turn around.” I’m sure you could program it to a friendlier voice. Maybe that’s a little too The Matrix or Adjustment Bureau.
In another one of those odd “everything comes full circle” moments, I’m taking the same class (Managerial Accounting) that I was supposed to be taking last year at this time, but postponed it because of my surgery. I started out the class by introducing myself and saying that I’m not a numbers person. I said that I have steadfastly avoided anything resembling a calculator or spreadsheet for years. I deduced that if I set the bar sufficiently low enough any improvement would, at least, get me pity points. (A language dork turned MBA student is a weird breed, let me tell you!) However, the good news is that, including this class, I only have four more classes left until I can add the letters “MBA” to my electronic signature.
Wow… It’s been a crazy year.
I’m leaving you with another picture I took while jogging. I’m one of those maddening people who tries to “assist” the wildlife by touching them, feeding them, or moving them, thus getting my human scent all over them. This fuzzy baby was contemplating a jaunt across the street–sort of like me, except for street insert “country”.