Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Not A Tumor!

A few years ago, during my Senior year of college, I found a lump on the back of my head, in this general area:
It didn't hurt at all, and was sort of squishy and a little mobile. A little while after I first noticed it, I went to the eye doctor to have a eye exam done. I have terrible vision, so I get an eye exam about once a year to make sure that my prescription is accurate. I mentioned the lump for some reason of other to the eye doctor, who promptly told me that there was a good chance that it was a tumor and set me up on a series of tests to determine if the tumor was affecting my optic nerve. The most disturbing part of the whole thing was that she basically talked about the possibility that I had a brain tumor in the same manner that another person would discuss the weather.
Most of the tests that I had done that day were inconclusive, so I went to Student Health to talk to an actual doctor. I explained to her how long the lump had been there and the eye doctor's concern that it was a tumor. The doctor proceeded to feel my lump and "hmm" to herself. After a few minutes of this, she told me that she wanted another doctor to consult with her about it. She brought in another doctor, and the two of them stood over me, prodding the lump on the back of my head and saying, "I don't know, what do you think it is?" I was not amused.
The first doctor set up an appointment for an MRI for me, which I was not too excited about, since being in enclosed places freaks me right the hell out. As my friends know, I am uncomfortable if I can't see the door. Pamala always let's me choose where I want to sit at restaurants, one of the many reasons why I love her. But I digress. So, I went and submitted myself to an MRI of my head, which was one of the least fun things I have ever done. For those of you who have never had an MRI, it is loud, which is enough to freak you out even if you don't care about a giant machine suspended a mere inch above your nose.
The results of my MRI? Inconclusive. But they were able to rule out it being a tumor, so that was an improvement. But I still had a mystery lump on my head. The next candidate for what it could be was a blocked blood vessel, so I was set up for an ultrasound on my lump.
By this time my wonderful roommates were doing all they could to make the situation funny. There were jokes about my brain trying to escape, alien pods, and super powers. They even named my lump Noam. I was taking a linguistics class at that time. I'm sure that about two people who read this will get that joke.
So I went to have my ultrasound, which involved a bunch of very cold goo in my hair and the technician going, "Hhmmmm...I don't seem to be seeing anything here..." for about half an hour. They were able to determine that I did not have a blocked blood vessel. However, no one was ever able to figure out what it actually was. It magically disappeared a few weeks later.

Now it's back. It seems to be different this time. For one thing, it is painful, even when I am not poking at it. It also seems to be two small lumps that are very close together. At least, it hurts in two distinct places on the lump. One part on the bottom, and another part on the top left. The bottom is much more painful than the top.
All I have to say about this is what the fuck!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Number Four Has A Secret

One of the biggest events in Santa Barbara is Halloween. The area adjacent to UCSB campus, Isla Vista (I.V. to locals) transforms into a six-block-long, three-street-wide, contiguous outdoor party. There are mounted police. The horses wear riot gear. It is, in a word, intense. And incredibly fun.

The year that we lived with Number Four we learned that she had never dressed up for Halloween past the age of ten or so (again, crazy mom). Since I had already been exposed to the horrors contained in her closet, I knew there was a gold mine in there for a classic "Fashion Victim" costume. I had her go throw on a bunch of random clothes and then did her hair and makeup. The results were fairly spectacular, but sort course from the original goal.

Here, take a look:

The most common statement we heard about this costume was, "That is an awesome girl costume!" As in, they thought it was a guy, dressed up as a girl...yeah...

We sort of had a conspiracy theory about Number Four. For a long time we suspected that she was a hermaphrodite, or possibly transgendered. Did I mention that we are also kind of horrible people? The thing is, we had quite a bit of evidence. That photo is Exhibit One, if you will. There was also the fact that she told us she had to start taking birth control to induce her period, which was a rather strange thing to share with people she had only moved in with a week prior. Or to share at all, really. That seems to me like the kind of thing you keep to yourself.

Further evidence was that she never really seemed to enjoy the greatness that was The Mens Room. The Mens Room was Pamala and Number Four's bathroom. Since we only had one shower in the apartment, their bathroom consisted of a toilet in a room. By itself. Just a toilet. Weird, right? So we completely plastered the walls with pictures of hot men that we cut out of magazines. It was a very elaborate construction; there were little scenes throughout the room. I have no idea how there are no pictures of this, but alas, there are none. What can I say, sometimes college makes you dumb. But anyway, Pamala, Orly and I would constantly add to The Mens Room, but never once did Number Four clip out a picture of a hot man from a magazine. I'm not sure how that contributes to the Number-Four-is-a-hermaphrodite theory, but it does.

Another piece of pseudo-evidence was her mismatched brothers. Like you would expect, she had a weird brother (he of the sweet-potato-pie incident). But she also had a completely normal brother. Not the kind of guy I would personally be friends with, as he seemed more like the frat brother kind of guy, but far more normal than you would suspect. Also, her weird brother was not weird like she was, he was actually just normal-weird. The kind of weird that you are comfortable with. Sort of...late-bloomer, band-geek, video-gaming kind of weird. How is this evidence, you ask? Well, it is a bit of a stretch, but stay with me. It goes like this: if Number Four had two brothers, both relatively normal, then it stands to reason that she should fall within that same spectrum of relative normality. But that was not the case. So something must have been very different about Number Four that set her so far apart from her brothers. Add to that the fact that she was just, well, mannish, and presto! You have our Number Four is a Hermaphrodite Conspiracy Theory. It also fits in with her batshit crazy mom (yes, I'm going to continue to string that one out).

In closing, I leave you with this:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mumbo, Jumbo, get me some EGGS!

I don't have anything in particular to write about, other than I am incredibly unmotivated to work today. Big surprise, right?
I just read my November horoscope on, and check this out:
Saturn will remind you that there are family members who deeply love you and depend on you. You are a towering figure to your family, and you shape their very lives and their futures, and by that I mean both the very young and the very old in your family.
How creepy is that? Not to mention, no pressure! And then it gets even better, describing how December is basically going to suck hard for me. Yay.
Other than that, I am not doing a whole lot. I'm on the prowl for a decent looking couch that won't clash with my randomly orange fireplace and dark cherry floor. I'm thinking purple might just do the trick. And where does one go for a purple couch you ask? Ikea, naturally.
I got an email from Mama's aunt who lives in Tallahassee today, inviting me and Richardo out there for Thanksgiving. And just like that, Richardo will now be in daily use. I'm trying to decide between Richard-o and Rich-ardo for the pronunciation. I'm leaning toward the latter. It makes me giggle more.
What else...Oh, I've been watching all the past seasons of How I Met Your Mother, and I am horribly and pathetically sad that the characters on that show a) are not real and b) are not my actual friends. At the end of the gag reel on season two, they all sit at their table and sing the theme song and it made me tear up! This is on top of having a dream wherein Barney was my friend. I officially have problems.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am so proud of my country right now. I can't stop smiling!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hello, Hello

I am finally finished with my monster project at work, so I can now return to the important things in life, like posting about the freakish weather in Florida. Because holy hell people! One week it is in the nineties, the next week it's raining and in the seventies, then it's in the fifties and windy and below freezing at night, and now this week it's back to raining and in the seventies. I never know what kind of clothes to put on in the morning! At least now we have daylight savings time, so I am no longer trying to get ready for work before the sun is up. There is something very difficult about that for me, psychologically.
Anyway. I've been living in Florida for just over a month now, and so far I like it. It's hard not having anyone I can randomly call up and do things with, but I can usually drag Ricardo with me. But that brings up my question: how do you make friends in a new town when you are not in some sort of school situation? My coworkers are all older than me, married, and have young children, so they are not exactly friend-material. Should I be going out to bars and meeting people? I feel like that would get very awkward very quickly. Another part of this problem is that I don't really know how to approach women. Wow, that sounds weird. Ok, I know how to make friends with guys. Guys are easy. How do you make friends with women when there is not a built in situation for continued exposure?