Archive | May, 2012

“The Bully”

31 May

I think bullying is an important issue.  Kids should be protected.  And marginalized youth are at high risk for being singled out, attacked, and ultimately for suicide.  That’s why I wanted to watch “Bully.”

Via NetFlix:  Bobby (Nick Stahl) takes great joy in bossing around and beating up his best friend, slovenly ex-surfer Marty (Brad Renfro). But when Marty’s girlfriend (Rachel Miner) witnesses one too many of these incidents, she vows to kill Bobby, enlisting her friends — and a hit man — to help. From controversial director Larry Clark (Kids), this unsettling drama is based on a true crime.

The parents that all these kids seemed totally dependent on, ranged from clueless to apathetic.  They either didn’t know what their kids were up to, or didn’t do anything to regulate their activity.  It really does start with the parents.  If these young adults had responsibility they would not have TIME to get into such trouble.  And supervision?  Hello, parents?

I didn’t like the characters totally downplayed multiple female rapes, but seemed perturbed by mistreatment of the male friend.  The girls in the film seemed unaffected by rape–which is NOT true to life.  When a woman is raped it changes her.  She might become depressed.  Maybe she will withdraw.  Even gals with low self-esteem and no boundaries (as the movie women were) would react adversely to being raped.  Not so in this film.  Both women, not to mention their friends and boyfriends seemed to quickly forget the abuse they suffered.  I would think if you had it in you to kill someone, the rape would be the incident to push you over that edge.  Not so.

This group of entitled, drugged-out, teenagers and young adults were incited by some male bullying.  Everyone was appalled and aggravated when the bully beat on his “friend,” said mean and inappropriate things, or was just aggressive and hostel in general.

I didn’t like it.  Anyone else seen this film?  Did you think it was true to life or true to the events it was based on?

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’.

30 May

What if a car had no safety features?  We’re talking no steel in the doors, no air bags, no bumpers even.  Would you still buy it?  And what if the heater, air conditioner, and vents didn’t work at all?  What if a door or two were missing entirely?  Would you buy it then?

Of course not.

Well, that’s how I feel about motor cycles.  They have no safety features, and no climate control.  You can’t ride them in snow or ice, and you wouldn’t want to in rain or extreme heat.  Unlike bicycles, there is no place for a motorcycle.  A person could ride a bike on a trail or remote area and be perfectly safe.  And among other bicyclists and pedestrians.  Don’t get me started on bicycles on roads intended for motorists.  Stupidest, most annoying thing EVER.  Back to big bikes:  This is not the case for motorcycles–every place a motorcycle is allowed there are automobiles.  And cars, trucks, semis are bigger.  There is no question who would live in a collision.

I get tired of the Facebook pictures showing horrible accidents with a squished motorcycle warning drivers to be diligent.  How about telling motorcycles that they are small, the rider often careless, and to get off the road where real cars drive?  How many times have I seen motorcyclists passing a waiting line of cars on the shoulder or up the center line?  How often do you see a pack of motorcycles weaving through traffic because they can?  Rather then telling drivers to watch for impossibly small bikes coming out of nowhere, I think motorcycles should be banned.

Don’t tell me motorcycles are meant to be economical either–I call B.S.  They are expensive to buy and maintain, and I don’t even want to know how much the insurance might cost.  Also, motorcycles still use the same fuel as cars.  It is just as expensive to fill up the bike as it is a car.  So the tally so far:  High-cost, seasonal, unsafe. . .

The only reason for getting a motorcycle, as far as I can see, is the tough-factor.  It’s the same reason people get a snake.  As a general rule, snakes are as boring as all get out.  As pets, they suck.  What exactly do they do?  They lie motionless, bask, eat.  But only rarely.  They have no capacity to bond with their owner, learn tricks, or cuddle.  People get a snake because snakes are feared by many.  Why do you think people walk around with their snake on their shoulders?  A snake is no good if nobody SEES you have one.

That’s just the thing with motorcycles.  Because otherwise they are completely expensive, uncomfortable, and dangerous.  Most impractical.  Bikers ride a motorcycle, because they want to be SEEN motorcycling.  Lame.

Narrowing Anatomy Topics

29 May

I’ll get rid of the super-obvious ones b/c everyone will pick those.  So Down Syndrome, Parkinson’s, M.S., stroke, and cleft palate are out.

I should also see how much information is available on the rest of these.  I don’t want something too obscure that doesn’t have very strong sources.

CHARGE syndrome (4,780 results)

Neonatal brain stem dysfunction causes poor suck swallow mech.  Facial palsy, hyposemia, anatomical problems in structures for sucking, swallowing, and breathing.  Symptoms can also be secondary to exogenious factors such as hospitalization time or dyspnea.

velopharyngeal insufficiency (1,200 results)

is the inadequate closing of the velopharyngeal sphincter often due to a congenital abnormality, can result in problems such as hypernasal speech or regurgitation of fluids through the nose when swallowing.

dystonia (oromandibular or cranial) (7,020 results)

Disorder of neurological movement.  Muscle spasms.

Wilson’s Disease (1,619 results)

Impaired coordination of chewing and swallowing.  Weakness of lips, tongue, and throat muscles.

achalasia (11,200 results)

This sphincter muscle is normally contracted to close the esophagus. When the sphincter is closed, the contents of the stomach cannot flow back into the esophagus. Backward flow of stomach contents (reflux) can irritate and inflame the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn. The act of swallowing causes a wave of esophageal contraction called peristalsis. Peristalsis pushes food along the esophagus. Normally, peristalsis causes the esophageal sphincter to relax and allow food into the stomach. In achalasia, which means “failure to relax,” the esophageal sphincter remains contracted. Normal peristalsis is interrupted and food cannot enter the stomach.

GERD–>esphogeal stricture (3,070 results)

When the lining of the esophagus is damaged, scarring develops. When scarring occurs, the lining of the esophagus becomes stiff. In time, as this scar tissue continues to build up, the esophagus begins to narrow in that area. The result then is swallowing difficulties.

eosinophillic esphogitis (3,230 results)

Decreases the ability of the esophagus to stretch and accommodate mouthfuls of swallowed food probably as a result of the presence of so many eosinophils but also, perhaps as a result of some scaring that occurs in the wall of the esophagus.

post-polio syndrome (537 results)

swallowing abnormalities due to weakness of the bulbar muscles of the tongue, mouth, and throat that increase the risk of choking

schleroderma (6,550 results)

Can cause wasting of the esophageal muscle and poor contraction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Often accompanied by heartburn.

diverticula (6,720 results)

May be responsible for the dysphagia, particularly if it is very large and filled with food or a bezoar.

cervical osteophytes (1,750 results)

Mechanical mass narrows esophagus or creates scar tissue.  Inflammatory reaction may produce muscle spasms as well.

ALS (9,620 results)

bilateral degeneration of the upper motor neuron in the primary motor areas also impairs further adjusted motor areas, which leads to a strong reduction of ‘swallowing related’ cortical activation. While both hemispheres are affected by the degeneration a relatively stronger activation is seen in the right hemisphere.

mysthenia gravis (7,320 results)

Antibodies block, alter, or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction which prevents the muscle contraction from occurring. Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often, but not always, involved in the disorder.

myotonic dystrophy (2,460 results)

Mouth, tongue, throat muscle weakness.  Esophageal sphincter laxity causes reflux.

Sjogren’s syndrome (2,680 results)

may be related to a combination of lack of saliva and oesophageal dysmotility. As well as reducing lubrication and hence prolonging pharyngeal transit time, absence of saliva predisposes to dental caries and to oral Candida, both of which may impair mastication [17]; it also diminishes the acid clearance capacity of the oesophagus

A. . . Searching Mood

28 May

For lack of better descriptor.  I guess it would be called searching.

I feel like I am in between two places. Gripping the edge of negativity and unhappiness with white knuckles, but unable to take the frightful leap of faith over to happiness and–dare I say it–optimism.  No, not optimism–too trite.  I have never been the type of person to utter the word “glorious,” and am skeptical with blind optimism in that same way.  I find it phony.  No one is happy ALL the time, and I can’t help but feel optimism just means hiding feelings, ignoring problems, and putting on a front.  Happiness and contentment would be OK with me.  Yeah, contentment, that’s the one.  I know there will be challenges and struggles, but I want to deal gracefully.

My mentality reminds me very much of the Tahoe Ropes Course we went to for a Natural Helpers Club team-building exercise. The course was fairly simple, and the one peril in particular that sticks with me goes like this:  Platform #1, a small jump to platform #2. But the key was that the space was just big enough that it couldn’t be a large step–you HAD to jump across. There was nothing in between platform 1 & 2 to hang on to. You had to have faith and jump over. If it was on the ground, it would be nothing.  From the forest floor, it looked easy–too easy. Laughably easy–how much had we paid to take a phony little jump like that??? Once you climbed far, far up in the trees (10 feet? 80 feet?) I have no idea how high–does the height matter, anyway? High enough that the tiny four foot jump looked like a chasm.  The higher up you are, the greater the distance seems.  And isn’t it funny that no matter what the weather, it always feels windy if you’re elevated enough?  I swear I could feel those tiny, frail platforms swaying.

It was high enough that my survival instict kicked in, adrealine pumped through my heart causing my limbs to shake. I tried to barter with the course worker to extend their hand to me and help me across. Something I would normally be too embarrassed for. And they said no. That was the whole point. You had to have faith and take a leap, risking a fall that long, long way back to the ground.

That’s the way I feel now.  And wouldn’t it be so much easier to step back into the middle of platform 1, hug the tree trunk for safety, and just stay?  The jump over to platform 2/progress just feels so far. . .  But like that day back in seventh grade, I just have to DO it.  Because I know I am strong enough.  Somewhere inside I realize I have the strength, and it’s not about leaping capability anyway.  It’s about mental strength.  The whole thing is a test of mental strength.

And I am strong enough to conquer my body’s natural instincts of staying with the known out of fear only.  So there you have it.  *insert cliche motivational/inspirational quotes here*

Spread Too Thin

27 May

Why our food is unsafe.  Well, contributing factors at least.  And yes, I’m “writing” a cheater’s post so that I can have an entry for every day in May, even though I’m too tired to compose something of my own.  These are directly quoted off “Food Politics,” but I’m posting them here because it’s interesting information.  Borrowed info in blue.

From Marion Nestle:
This report repeats what the GAO has been saying since the early 1990s:  There is no centralized coordination to oversee the federal government’s overall progress in implementing the nation’s food and agriculture defense policy.  Because the responsibilities outlined in this policy (HSPD-9) are fragmented and cut across at least nine different agencies, centralized oversight is important to ensure that efforts are coordinated to overcome this fragmentation, efficiently use scarce funds, and promote the overall effectiveness of the federal government.  Reminder: the present food safety system is mainly divided between two agencies: USDA (meat and poultry) and FDA (everything else).  Centralized oversight of food safety? What a concept.

And scary fact #2–or additive scary fact:  FDA can only realistically inspect a small percent­age (less than 3 percent) of the enormous volume of food products arriving at U.S. ports of entry, making it crucial that the Agency focus on ensuring that food products meet U.S. standards before they reach the United States.

Scary indeed.  I’ll add more commentary–or make another post when I’m not so tired.  ONE more day off 😀

Why Don’t You Cook Dinner?

26 May

But first:  Acknowledgement of my very first paid vacation dayEVER in my entire employed

This is never me.

life!!!!!  That’s 12 going on 13 years, for the record.  I have had time off for mandatory school activities/studying/tests/surgery–which isn’t really time off at all, is it?  And I’ve traded days with co-workers to procure time off for very brief vacations (usually to visit parents or do some other obligatory activity), but of course there is the working for the co-worker part of the equation.  But never have I just had a vacation day off free and clear to do whatever I want–and had the bonus of getting paid as if I was working.  I could get used to this.  And sure I would only be working from 8 AM to maybe 1 PM on a day without surgeries if it was a usual Saturday, but let me tell you how freeing it is NOT to.  Right now, I would normally be assessing how many hospitalized patients/early appointments/drop offs there are compared to how much cleaning there is to be done.  And worrying about what time I should shower in order to get that cleaning and pre-appointment stuff finished people having to cater to doctors and clients.

Friday was so much less stressful when I wasn’t worrying about getting screwed over on Saturday.  Two-three abscesses getting squeezed in?  No problem.  The owner wants to pick up at 8 AM Saturday?  Awesome.  There is a simultaneous appointment and drop off first thing Saturday morning?  Of a person notorious for showing up later then closing time to pick up the cat?  Not my problem.  The vacuuming in the lobby hasn’t been done?  Cool.  I was cool as a cucumber, actually.  Working with Dr. Makes Me Effing Crazy doesn’t make me crazy at all when it’s JUST the one day.

But enough about work already–I’m on vacation and from this point on, refuse to think about it.  And my impending schedule of DOOM.  I will try my very hardest NOT to think/worry/obsess about that this weekend. . .  Instead a cute story about our “baby.”  The youngest of our cats is four–but she’s always a baby.  She’s a funny little thing and bonded with Cool while she was home all day due to unemployment.  Could that last sentence be more convoluted and awkward?  Deal–I’m on vacation 😉 The two of them do “ups,” sauna, nap together–complete with drooling and jerking, moral support “peels” (out of 4 alarms that go off during the day, the kitty actually knows this is the treat one), high fives, “fajitas” at the end of the day . . .  A bunch of cute/sickeningly saccharine routines that make them (us?) real crazy cat ladies.

About the other day.  Well, first some background:  My little kitty always runs in if you open a can. I’m not certain why as I’ve never fed her scraps–or canned food. And when she stayed with my parents for a year or two, well they did. But they don’t really cook from cans. If anything, my dad would drop a scrap of meat to the kitchen floor.  But Choco-Luv (that’s her real name) runs in.

Cool and I were teasing her that she should cook dinner if she was going to be in the kitchen meow, meow, meowing. We continued:  She was welcome to cook dinner, and to have it ready by the time we got home from work.  And just as if she understood exactly what we were saying, Choco-Luv jumped up on the counter. Ready to cook I suppose.

I guess cats don’t understand joking. . .  So remember WHY we get it, and have a good three day weekend everyone–I will!

The Survival Plan

25 May

Looking at the bigger picture, I AM thankful for a promised maximum 30 work hours a week in the fall.  [I ought to get that in writing given the sketchiness at my work.]  This schedule will alleviate some a bunch of stress of school and hopefully garner A’s in both classes, which is THE most important thing.  That’s what I ought to think of every time I’m overwhelmed and frustrated by work this summer:  GPA.

That said, I have made it too easy to take advantage of my work ethic, quickness, and ability to pull through adverse situations.  It was unethical of my co-worker to game me as she did, and it hurts most because I didn’t see it coming from her.  I (stupidly) trusted that she was a good person with good intentions.  Now I know better.  And looking back, I should have known this WOULD happen.

I am dreading working Thursday, Friday, and some Saturdays in a row with Dr. makes me effing crazy.  Scheduling can still be a problem.  I don’t formally complain if the schedule is over-booked either.  I just suck it up and try to work harder, faster, get there earlier, anticipate what will be needed and try to prepare ahead as much as possible.  It stresses me to the max.  What I have to remember:  Being just one person, there is only so much I can do.  Given that I have to work with a slow, messy, doctor with high expectations and low communication all summer, I need to have a game plan to get through.  This WILL not ruin my favorite season, and break from school!  And I will not let it break me.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  When things are (inevitably) crazy or ridiculous, I will say something–to my boss.  Maybe even in writing to make it even more serious and formal.  Instead of just trying to grit my teeth and make it through the day, then bitching about it to Cool, my parents, and on my blog.  I am going to bring up every incident that makes me crazy-stressed to my boss, who is able to make changes and fix things.

If there are no tangible results or changes made after making a sincere attempt to bring problems to light, I will truly HAVE to search for another job–to save my sanity.  This is no longer exasperated empty threats.  I promise to keep my word to myself and work elsewhere, because I deserve to not stress to the breaking-point.  But I think as long as I am not just complaining, but bringing legit concerns to light, they will try to accommodate me.  I am a dependable worker, and good employee.  It is usually not in my nature to verbally complain (except, obviously on here) and internalizing this stuff AT work is hurting me.

So here is to making it through 10 weeks with the difficult doctor.  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. . .

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Anatomy Essay–>More DZ Details

24 May

down syndrome

low muscle tone, small mouths which make tongue appear large, tongue thrust, teeth can appear at a late age & be abnormally shaped

CHARGE syndrome

Neonatal brain stem dysfunction causes poor suck swallow mech.  Facial palsy, hyposemia, anatomical problems in structures for sucking, swallowing, and breathing.  Symptoms can also be secondary to exogenious factors such as hospitalization time or dyspnea.

velopharyngeal insufficiency

is the inadequate closing of the velopharyngeal sphincter often due to a congenital abnormality, can result in problems such as hypernasal speech or regurgitation of fluids through the nose when swallowing.

dystonia (oromandibular or cranial)

Disorder of neurological movement.  Muscle spasms.

Wilson’s Disease

Impaired coordination of chewing and swallowing.  Weakness of lips, tongue, and throat muscles.

Parkinson’s Disease

Progressive loss of muscle control.  Weak tongue or cheek muscles can impair chewing & moving food around mouth.  Motor impairment of throat.  Medications can cause lack of saliva.

M.S.

Damage to brain and brain stem can cause in-coordination of swallowing.  Medications can cause lack of saliva.

achalasia

This sphincter muscle is normally contracted to close the esophagus. When the sphincter is closed, the contents of the stomach cannot flow back into the esophagus. Backward flow of stomach contents (reflux) can irritate and inflame the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn. The act of swallowing causes a wave of esophageal contraction called peristalsis. Peristalsis pushes food along the esophagus. Normally, peristalsis causes the esophageal sphincter to relax and allow food into the stomach. In achalasia, which means “failure to relax,” the esophageal sphincter remains contracted. Normal peristalsis is interrupted and food cannot enter the stomach.

GERD–>esphogeal stricture

When the lining of the esophagus is damaged, scarring develops. When scarring occurs, the lining of the esophagus becomes stiff. In time, as this scar tissue continues to build up, the esophagus begins to narrow in that area. The result then is swallowing difficulties.

eosinophillic esphogitis

Decreases the ability of the esophagus to stretch and accommodate mouthfuls of swallowed food probably as a result of the presence of so many eosinophils but also, perhaps as a result of some scaring that occurs in the wall of the esophagus.

stroke

Injury to the central and periphery nervous system causes difficulty.

meningitis

cleft palate

A cleft palate can preclude an infant from creating appropriate intraoral negative pressure during suckling.

post-polio syndrome

swallowing abnormalities due to weakness of the bulbar muscles of the tongue, mouth, and throat that increase the risk of choking

schleroderma

Can cause wasting of the esophageal muscle and poor contraction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Often accompanied by heartburn.

diverticula

May be responsible for the dysphagia, particularly if it is very large and filled with food or a bezoar.

cervical osteophytes

Mechanical mass narrows esophagus or creates scar tissue.  Inflammatory reaction may produce muscle spasms as well.

ALS

bilateral degeneration of the upper motor neuron in the primary motor areas also impairs further adjusted motor areas, which leads to a strong reduction of ‘swallowing related’ cortical activation. While both hemispheres are affected by the degeneration a relatively stronger activation is seen in the right hemisphere.

mysthenia gravis

Antibodies block, alter, or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction which prevents the muscle contraction from occurring. Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often, but not always, involved in the disorder.

myotonic dystrophy

Mouth, tongue, throat muscle weakness.  Esophageal sphincter laxity causes reflux.

Sjogren’s syndrome

may be related to a combination of lack of saliva and oesophageal dysmotility. As well as reducing lubrication and hence prolonging pharyngeal transit time, absence of saliva predisposes to dental caries and to oral Candida, both of which may impair mastication [17]; it also diminishes the acid clearance capacity of the oesophagus

Anything Else??!

23 May

Today (I wrote this yesterday, actually) really made me feel glum.  Angry, sad, resentful, hopeless, trapped, frustrated, disliked, annoyed, paranoid, depressed, agitated, infuriated, irate, unimportant, suspicious, pissed, sorry for myself, restricted, mad, un-trusting, worthless, unloved.  All in cycles.  You’d think I was the bipolar one.

Cool:  Her mood has been a range of 3-4 on a scale of 1 (suicidal) to 10 (manic euphoria).  She is withdrawn, depressed, listless, and as a result everything is more difficult.  She’s tired all the time.  When she does show any emotion it’s annoyance–at me.  She has no money.  She can’t find anyone to borrow from (as she learned her financial habits FROM her parents).  She owes her psychiatrist $250 for the LAST appointment, so she had to cancel her appointment on Monday.  That she needs.  Having no money, makes her feel like a loser, which makes her MORE depressed.  And she needs the doctor even more–a real catch-22.  She’s going to try to sell her plasma tomorrow and Friday to get money. . .

Work:  Informed me I WOULD be switching my co-worker days off.  Remember my post turned rant on this very issue?  Look back in the archives, to refresh.  So the co-worker heard me say no to trading and went over my head to my boss.  Meaning I have to work with Dr. Makes Me Effing Crazy every Thursday, Friday, and alternating Saturdays for 10 weeks of the summer.  I might will go crazy.  Meanwhile, my co-worker gets the perfect schedule–of Monday through Wednesday on with the faster, cleaner, easier to work with doctor ONLY, Thursday through Sunday OFF.  The receptionist will keep her every other 3 day weekends (I’m certain), and the tech will now have Fridays in addition to her regular Saturdays off.  My reward?  I get to have no more than 30 hours in the fall while I’m taking 6 credits.  Fair?

School:  Good news is going part-time means I get to put my undergrad loans into forbearance, which will save me about $300 per month.  Bad news is the loan companies (3 different ones, no less) require verification of part-time status.  Of course, the school, requires forms to verify the loans–one form per loan company.  Maddeningly, the school, true to their colors, is making me jump through a bunch of hoops.  Despite filling out every blank on their own form, they already “discarded” one request all-together without so much as a notification, and refuse to verify enrollment until the first day of classes–which is specified nowhere on the paperwork.  And the website says, “Students needing to verify their enrollment for a future term.”  My emphasis on future.  But this gal, called me (at work) and accused me of not putting enough information on the form.  Even though I filled all the blanks on THEIR form.  And told me she can’t verify my intentions, I’d have to re-submit on the first day of class.  Never mind, I could still drop my classes for full refund at that point–that’s the arbitrary and annoying date.  Even though I owe tuition money before that.  Oh–and I have to re-fill and re-fax the paperwork–she can’t put it on file until it is useful.  And obviously, I pissed off the one person that handles these verifications with my implication (through pointed questions and tone of voice) she wasn’t properly doing her job.  Good for me!

Additive:  1-3) The co-worker who gamed me by manipulating the schedule, asked me at the beginning of the week if I could take my half day Wednesday.  This meant I would have to go to the bank on a work day.  We don’t have direct deposit at my work b/c some spoiled bitch hates change, so I tried to deposit my check at the ATM Monday.  Which I hate doing, because it made me have to go out of my way, winding through downtown in rush hour.  Only to find they had closed yet another branch of Bank of America.  To get it done, I had to go out of my way to deposit my check before work.  While co-worker left work early.  4) The weather went from summery and 80s to rainy and 55.  And gray.  5)  My face is breaking out–really big and ugly.  6)  I’m sure there’s more, but it’s a new day today (the day I’m editing my writing) and I’m tired of thinking about how awful yesterday was.

I took my very first (EVER) paid vacation day (4 hours really) this Saturday to give myself a full three day weekend, when the rest of the country is taking their Memorial Day weekend for granted.  I need that time off.  Badly.

S-L-O-W

22 May

It was 84 degrees yesterday last week, actually is when this happened!  Cool and I HAD to be outside–obviously.  But first she had to work from 1-5:30 PM.  So we went out on our trail right when she got home and walked 2.5 miles downtown.  Surprisingly, hardly anyone was on the trail on such a nice Sunday.  Weird–considering it was a hot weekend.  I guess everyone was at a restaurant or park with mom?

Problem was, on the way home the sun started to set.  Did I mention Cool always walks 3 mph?  Which feels S-L-O-W to me.  I’m a naturally fast walker, but I feel like she slugglishly crawls along.  It is really, really annoying that she always trails behind, and I’m constantly nagging her to hurry up.  And we didn’t really want to be on our now super-sketch trail in any kind of dark.  Just in case.  So I was just going a brisk pace and leaving her behind.  All the way back home.

Finally, we get to our part of the trail–where hardly anyone no one is out and about, and again, where someone was stabbed to death a week and a half ago.  The sun was almost down, and it was gray and dusky out.  We could either hustle down (the middle of) our road or go UP the hill along the main road 2 blocks and through the more populated neighborhood.

Tired as all get out from “jogging” home Cool chose the shorter way–our road.  It’s all blocked off and covered with heavy construction equipment.  Tubes along the entire sidewalk, huge wood things in the middle of the road, blockades and dirt berms on each side street.  We walked up the middle of (the now dirt) road, making it halfway home.  Then, behind us was a Jeep coming fast.  We wondered who would be driving on our closed road and decided to go around some construction equipment onto the sidewalk.

When the Jeep got near us, instead of speeding by as I expected it slowed down, then stopped.  Next to us.  Maybe the driver needed directions?  Maybe he was going to warn us against being down here at night?  I looked towards him as I walked to see what he wanted.  His passenger-side window was open.  But he just leered.  And said nothing.  It made me feel creeped and and suspicious that he would stop right next to us, but didn’t seem to want anything.

Since I was looking at him instead of the sidewalk, I ran into a wheel-barrow full of concrete on the sidewalk.  I stopped.  And still the man said nothing!  Cool was behind me per the usual.  I got a bad feeling and just started running, hoping she would run too.  I had initially planned on walking up the whole road until we got to the stairs by our apartment, but since the creepy guy was there I chose to cut up past the berm–where he wasn’t able to follow in his Jeep.

When I reached the point he couldn’t drive, I turned and looked back to see where Cool was.  Walking.  How frustrating IS that?  We might be killed–and she’s too tired to save herself by running. . .  Anyway, I’m watching her (slowly) walk toward me, and I see the Jeep slowly pull forward, try to turn up the road, then seeing the blockade/berm speed up Riverton.

I don’t know what that was all about, but it was disruptive to my psyche considering the recent events down there!

And Cool and I would make terrible witnesses.  I thought the car was a red Jeep, she thought it was a blue-something.  I thought the guy had longish, black stringy hair, she thought he was wearing a black hoodie.  We could agree he was a pale Caucasian.  Hopefully, we never witness a crime, because we could definitely NOT get our story straight.