Advice For People That Are New To Weddings

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. It’s a day you’ll always remember, and will frequently look back on. Because of this, you should do everything you can to make sure your big day goes as smoothly as it can. Here are a few tips that will make your wedding great.

Hiring an unknown or untested photographer can really be throwing caution to the wind when it comes to the lasting memories of your wedding. You want every moment of your big day captured in pictures you and your future spouse can treasure for a life time, so don’t take chances on a cheap photographer or one that has not shown proof of his or her expertise!

You can make great use of big box stores, like Costco, when planning your own food service for your wedding day. You’ll get better deals on large quantities of food if you shop wholesale. Think about asking friends to contribute to the food bill.

Don’t be a bridezilla! Delegate tasks for your wedding to your loved ones to help relieve the stress on you and get them involved. If your Mom loves to cook, ask her to help with the catering. If your Dad is a wine aficionado, have him help with the wine selection for your reception. Get everyone involved!

When trying to find a color palette for your wedding, check out home décor books. They will have great color combinations for you to choose from. Choose the colors that catch your eye and carry those colors around with you when making purchases for your wedding. This will help you match the colors.

Wedding bands are a vital part of the wedding, as they help to signify the joining of two parties. Make sure that on the days leading up to the wedding and on the wedding itself to have someone who you can count on keep track of your wedding bands to ensure security.

Sometimes a good wedding tip is to keep it simple! The more detailed and extravagant the more expensive. Sure it is the best moment of your life, but perhaps that money could be better spent on a house, or even the most amazing vacation ever which we colloquially call a honeymoon.

Vintage or antique place settings are a perfect addition to a retro or period-inspired rehearsal dinner or reception, but they are also extremely expensive. Instead of spending days trying to track down a complete set, consider private rental companies that, for a modest sum, rent out entire place settings, silverware, and serving utensils.

It is okay to let loose at your wedding reception. Many people take their wedding day too serious and do not remember it is supposed to be a joyous occasion. When this happens, they look back at their special day with unpleasant memories. Laugh with your guests, and dance to upbeat music.

When picking out your bridesmaids dresses for your wedding, let your bridesmaids have some say in the decision. You want to make sure that they are comfortable in what they wear on your big day! Plus, having them help to make the decision can take some of the pressure off of you.

Do not try to please everyone at your wedding. Some guests don’t like chicken, and some family members do not like the type of flowers you like. These things are unimportant in the long run. It is your day and that means making yourself and your future spouse as happy as possible. Sure you can have special meals for special diets; however, it is your day in the sun. Let yourself shine.

When it comes to weddings, there’s plenty that can go wrong. Luckily, there are also plenty of things you can do to make sure things go right. The advice in this article will help you avoid problems and will assure that you have an amazing wedding you’ll fondly remember for the rest of your life.

Tips You Need To Know If You’re In College

Acquiring a college education is a goal that countless individuals hope to achieve. However, the idea of selecting a school, choosing a major and charting a course for ultimate success can seem like a series of insurmountable challenges. Fortunately, the tips that follow below offer a framework for getting the entire process underway.

You should not consider going to college unless you have a good idea of the kind of career you want or at least have a general idea. Meet with a career counselor to find out more about your different options and take the time to do some research about different schools and programs.

Try to take advantage of your college’s resources at all times, as you should visit the counseling center if you are feeling overwhelmed. The people in this center can help you to get back on the right path and make sure that you do not dig a hole that is too deep during your stay.

Consider living in a dorm room during your first year at college. While it’s not as fashionable as having your own apartment, it’s a great way to become more involved in campus life. You’ll be close to other students, making you more likely to make new friends and avoid the loneliness of living alone.

Learn to budget. No matter where you get your money as a college student, you need to make sure your money lasts as long as you need it. Make a list of your expenses and think of how you can cut corners so that you can do what you need to do without going broke.

Do not crack under the stress of selecting or declaring a major right away. Some professors might try and draw you into their department early on, as the more students they have the more job security they have. Never rush major decisions, and do what is right for you, not anyone else.

A good tip to put in to practice when you’re in college is to never procrastinate with your homework or studying. It’s always best to get your work done as soon as you get home, so that you have the rest of the day to dedicate to whatever you want.

Do not let anyone, including yourself, pressure you into rushing your declaration or choice of major. At most colleges and universities, you are going to spend at least two years doing general education classes regardless. Use these to explore various avenues and fields of interest to winnow down to what really fascinates you.

Remember that you can always transfer. Sometimes college students feel stuck, and don’t like the school they have chosen. The good news is that you can always look elsewhere and go to a different school if you want to do so. There is no shame in doing that, and you may be happier elsewhere.

Get to know the people in the financial aid office. If you make friends with them, they will appear more friendly to you. Then, when you have questions, they can assist you more easily. While they are all professionals, it never hurts to grease the social wheels when it comes to your financial needs.

Don’t be afraid to have fun when you are away at college. You should also limit the time in which you party. There is always time for a party after you get your studying done. Remember you are not there just to party and you will end up being disappointed in yourself if you ruin your chance to make a mark in life by wasting it going to parties and skipping out on class.

Try to take advantage of the shuttle system that is on campus, which can help you get from place to place. This system can save you a lot of time and money if you are good with timing and can save your parents money on a car for you the first couple of years.

Flip-flops aren’t just for politicians! Be sure to wear your flip-flops every time you use the dorm shower. They will protect you from getting athletes foot; however, don’t stop there. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly after showering and use a medicated powder. Pay special attention to the area between your toes. Be sure to store your flip-flops in such a way that they will dry thoroughly between uses. For example, you could hang them over a hanger in your closet if there is enough room for air circulation.

Avoid using your financial aid funds to go on a shopping spree at your campus bookstore. This is common, especially among first-year students. When you learn that you have financial aid credit at the bookstore, it is tempting to buy things you don’t really need. Avoid this impulse and your pocketbook will thank you later.

Keep a notebook and a folder for each class. Even if it isn’t required, you will find that keeping each class’ work separate is easier for staying organized. Keep any returned assignments or handouts in the folder. Use the notebook for taking notes or recording your thoughts after class.

Don’t go home every weekend even if you live close by. Part of the college experience involves learning to live away from your parents, for the most part. Limit visits to school vacations so that you can immerse yourself in campus life and get used to being independent of your parents.

Mind your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves. Realize that there are many excellent free activities all over campus. Take good advantage of them to have fun, learn and experience new things and save a ton of money. The activities offered in a college setting are unlike those offered at any other place and time in your life, so be sure to make the most of the opportunities you have at your fingertips to build great college memories.

There is no denying the important role a college education can play in just about anyone’s life. But, many worry that they do not know enough about higher education to make intelligent decisions about their future. By keeping the above information close at hand, it is possible to make the entire process clearer and much more intuitive than you may have thought possible.

All About Laptops

There are a lot of reasons that people chose to use laptop computers. They play games, do work and surf the Internet on them. No matter what your laptop is for, there are things to consider before buying one. Keep reading for more laptop information.

Get the right sized screen when you buy a laptop. Look at the screen of your computer right now, and decide whether that is going to be a good screen size for your new laptop. In fact, take a look at bigger screens as well. Just keep in mind that the larger the screen is, the more the laptop will weigh.

Don’t bother buying preinstalled software. Typically you’ll be paying full retail for these pieces of software. It’s better to purchase this software separately from a discount online vendor. You can save between 20 and 30 percent, and may even save more.

Make sure you have great sound on a laptop. Some laptops have terrible sound. Then, as you watch video or listen to music, the sound is not very good. Always see how the sound is functioning.

You must balance the need for security with price when determining whether or not to buy a warranty on your laptop. Warranty options vary from total protection to extremely limited protection. If you are prone to accidents, pay more for the warranty that offers more protection. If you are relatively careful with your belongings, choose a limited warranty.

Think about the amount of hard drive space you need when looking for a laptop. Like standard computers, the hard drive will hold all your files and information. It it gets full, you’ll need to replace it, or use an external hard drive. When you check out the hard drive specs on a laptop, make sure to get the maximum size hard drive. It’s usually best to consider the possibility that you will eventually run out of space.

Battery life is an important consideration when you are considering the purchase of a laptop computer. Check how long the manufacturer says the battery will last, but keep in mind that your actual usage may affect this number. If you intend to use your laptop for more than 3 or 4 hours, plan on an extra battery or someplace to plug it in and recharge.

Think about the size. Laptops now come in a range of sizes. There are big laptops that are best suited to desks, and tiny laptops that can fit in a little bag. Decide how you will be using the laptop. If you need portability as a main feature, go small.

If the purpose of your laptop is just entertainment, consider getting a tablet. One good aspect of a tablet computer is the use of apps; this keeps your important programs at the tip of your fingers. You can even connect these to a wireless keyboard.

If you are buying a laptop on a small budget, look for refurbished laptops. These are used laptops that have been cleaned up and tuned up. You can get a great deal on a perfectly functioning laptop. You still need to do some research to make sure the computer you pick fits your needs.

If you want to be able to connect your computer to your television screen, you need a VGA port. You also need a newer model television that can accommodate your laptop. This option give you a much bigger screen to work with. You can also use it to watch videos from your computer on your television.

If you need to create and edit WordPress excerpts on your laptop, think about using Excerpt Editor. It has the capability to add excerpts to pages while also auto-generating and adding excerpts to Pages, Posts and Archive listings. It can even replace posts that you have listed on the home page.

Computers often go on sale around the holidays. If you can wait, buy your laptop on Black Friday. Look at all the sales ads and check prices online. You may be able to get a better quality computer at a lower price. Remember, these are usually one-day deals that must be purchased at a specific time of day.

Check the battery life of any laptop you are considering buying. One of the main selling points of a laptop is that it is portable. In order for your laptop to be able to go with you, you want your battery to last more than an hour or two.

Pay attention to what you are buying when you purchase a laptop. Sure, you can get a laptop for a few hundred dollars, but what are you really getting. If you want a longer battery, sharper screen and better performance, you will have to pay more. Know what you are getting and don’t just pick a laptop because it’s the cheapest one.

There are many things that you should know before you buy a laptop. All of the computers out there weren’t made equally, so you have to be sure you know what you’re doing before getting your laptop. Apply the insights gained from this piece to get the computer you really need.

Solid Tips For Making The Right Car Choice

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Are you looking for advice on shopping for a car? If so, then you have come to the right place. The goal of this guide is to make you into a master at shopping for a car. All you have to do is read the advice below and follow it!

Do not buy a car just because it is a good deal. You have to live with this car after you take it home, so it needs to be something that you really like and that works for you and your family. You also need to make sure you can really afford it.

Do your research online in order to find the best deals. You can save a lot of money by doing online research. Once you know which vehicle you like, you can drive over to the dealership to purchase, or arrange for your local dealer to obtain it for you. If the source isn’t too far away, go get it yourself.

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Two-Thirteen

Rent was ten days away. Rent was not impossible. It could be earned in ten days. Non-stop work, lots of hours, overtime hours. Six hundred dollars wasn’t really that much money. No, rent wouldn’t be a problem. The problem was that at that exact moment Mitchell Donnelly had only two dollars and thirteen cents to his name.

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He hadn’t eaten all day nor had he eaten the day before. He was weak and sore all over his body like you get after a long workout. Only he hadn’t been working out. He hadn’t been doing much of anything other than lying down watching old DVD after DVD. Movies he had already seen a hundred times nevertheless replayed to kill the boredom.

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GAZE

“Jack, I really think you should come over.”

I rubbed my eyes. I’d been dreaming about using a piano as a raft during a flood. I didn’t even remember picking up the phone.

“Jack?” It was Audrey.

“I’m here. What’s going on?”

“It’s about Julie.” As if in confirmation, I heard a low moan in the background. “It happened again.”

I didn’t say anything. In the back of my mind, I pictured the three of us at Ed’s place last night, and tried to remember if there had been anything out of the ordinary. Nothing came up.

“Jack? Are you there?”

“Yeah, I’ll be right over.”

“Thanks.”

“Audrey-” I began.

“Yes?”

“We’ve got to figure out a better way of dealing with this.”

“I know.” She paused. I could hear her breathing. “But you’ll be here, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Thank you.” I grunted, and put the phone back on the hook. It was going to be one of those days.

I got up, got dressed, and got out. It was eight – in the morning. And I was on my way to my ex-girlfriend’s apartment to make sure a mutual friend wouldn’t turn herself into any more of a wreck while no one was there to watch her. A hell of a way to start a Monday. But this was it. I’d drop by, make sure she wasn’t dead, and never set foot in that apartment again.

Three years ago, when Audrey and I started dating, everything in the city was new. The day, the night, the work, the life. I’d just graduated from college, and like most people who’d gone to school in small towns, I was ready for something new. Boston was two hours away from Sheffield, and it looked better than anyth

“Jack, meet Julie.” Audrey introduced us the week after we broke up. I’m not sure why she hid her from me for so long – we went out for three months before we decided we worked better as friends – but she never saw it that way. I let it go.

“Nice to meet you.” We shook hands. She was pretty, but it was out of the question. At any rate, I wasn’t the kind of guy who picked up where he left off with his ex’s friends. So Julie and I became friends – good friends. I guess you could say the three of us found one of those rare forms of balance, where none of us slept with each other or envied the other for doing things we weren’t supposed to do. One year passed, then two. It wasn’t until Julie started drinking that the city started losing some of its charm.

“How long can you keep covering for her?” I asked Audrey ten months ago, after the second or third Monday in a row I’d had to come over. “You know I can’t stay past ten, and you’ve got to be out by eight every morning.”

“I know, Jack.” She was pacing about the room in pajamas, glancing at me intermittently from the corners of her eyes. I’d seen this before – we’d had this entire conversation before – but this time, I wasn’t going to let it go.

“Just give it some time. I’ve spoken to her about it. She’s trying.”

“People at work are already starting to ask questions,” I said. “I’ve been putting everyone off for a while now, but once they catch on, it’s not only going to put her out of a job, you know.” I checked my watch. It was seven. Julie was in the other room, passed out. “They’d have every reason to fire us both, Audrey.”

“Don’t you think I’ve thought-” she cut herself short and lowered her voice. “I’ve thought about that too, Jack. But…”

I turned away and went to the sink. All of a sudden, I felt sick. Not physically sick – just tired.

“Can I make you something?” Audrey came behind me and rested a hand on my shoulder.

“This isn’t going to go away,” I reached for a glass. I couldn’t think of anything else to say.

We stood together and made coffee, eggs, toast. We ate on the couch, all the while talking in low voices. The weather report predicted cloudy skies with a chance of snow. Highs in the twenties. I don’t know why I remembered this while on my way to Audrey’s, but I did. It was ten months ago, and ten months later, we weren’t much closer to a solution. It wasn’t that we hadn’t tried. We did the Al-Anon, the tough love, the interventions – all of that. But short of throwing her out of the apartment, which neither of us were willing to do, there didn’t seem to be anything capable of snapping her out of it. And I was tired of waking up early on Mondays, on Fridays, on the occasional Wednesday – merely to take care of a friend who didn’t seem interested in getting better.

“Julie?” I pressed the intercom, Apartment 27. It was strange. I had a pair of keys – Audrey and I never traded back after we’d stopped dating – but no matter how often she told me to let myself in, it always felt like I was entering a world that wasn’t mine. It reminded me of when I was a kid, and my sister and I would sneak into my older brother’s room to use his playing cards when he wasn’t in.

“Who is it?” the voice was low and hazy. Definitely Julie.

“Jules, it’s me – Jack.” I rubbed my hands together while breathing on them. My gloves were somewhere in my apartment; I’d forgotten them in the rush.

“I’ll buzz you in.” A moment later the door clicked open, and I went inside. It didn’t take long to reach her. Up a flight, to the left, down the hall. I knocked, knowing she wouldn’t answer the door. I walked through the kitchen, closing the door behind me, and saw her through the curtain Audrey had put up when the two of us used to spend entire afternoons in the bedroom, so we wouldn’t smell whatever food we’d left on the stove. The room carried the unmistakable scent of cheap champagne.

“Hi Jack.” She sat on the side of the bed, staring at me through her hands. I felt oddly overdressed in a pair of jeans and a winter jacket. She wore a shirt with a painting of someone sailing a piano through a storm. I didn’t realize what it reminded me of until much later.

“You’re going to leave, aren’t you?” She said it so flatly. Then she started smiling. “Are you leaving me, Jack?”

I looked at her, and was about to launch into the argument to end all arguments when the phone rang. Julie picked it up. She toyed with brown hair by her ear as she spoke.

“Yeah, I’m fine, Audrey.” She looked at me blankly. “Yeah, he’s here.” She lowered her gaze. “Yeah, I’ll give it to him.”

I was halfway to the door when I heard her trying to explain where I’d gone. That was all it took to show me I didn’t have the will to leave. She crawled back into bed and handed me the phone. I flopped down beside her and picked it up. Julie pushed a pillow under my head, and started to kiss me. I held a hand over the receiver and whispered.

“We shouldn’t be doing this.”

I said it over and over again, quickly, sternly, softly. But no matter how often I said it, it never sounded convincing – not even to me. She just kissed me again – lightly, on the forehead.

“Then why are we doing this?”

I turned, but when her hand reached for and twined into mine, I didn’t push away. I turned back to her, and she just kept staring at me with that hypnotic, melancholy gaze. In spite of everything – or maybe because of everything – I tried to listen to Audrey. Her voice was a distant buoy, tinny and tossed aside by waves of static. She kept repeating my name.

“Jack?”

“Yeah, I’ll be here.”

Sketches From the Accident

1.

I am fourteen years old. I am not a good skier. And yet there I am facing a nameless closed trail that snakes along a ski path named Devil’s Playground. The trail runs through a forest and I know it’s closed because there is a row of ski poles blocking the entrance to the path. If you want to ski on this trail you must push by these poles, something you do not have to do when a trail is open. There is also a sign by the entrance to the trail that says, “closed.”

I ski down the trail with my friend Aaron and my inability to turn well, much less with confidence is immediately exposed. There are an endless number of trees to get around and as it is not something I am able to with any ease, I ski real slow, I loop as widely as I can around the trees before me, and I focus on one thing, and one thing only – staying on my feet during each poorly executed turn.

Falling seems inevitable, but I do not fall during the run and flush with success and windburn, I decide to join Aaron for one more run. We slide off the ski lift and easily part the wall of ski poles blocking our path. Aaron is off like a shot and immediately out of sight. I begin my lumbering run around the trees, leaning left, then right, breathing hard and feeling anxious. I fall into a semi-rhythm and hope for the best.

My rental skis give a little with each turn, the clamps that connect the boots to the skis straining as I throw my weight around. The clerk at the rental shop never tightens my ski clamps as much as he could. He tells me that a guy who falls as much as I do should keep them loose.

“Too tight,” he says, “and they’ll never pop off when you fall.

“So what,” I say, “what difference does that make?”

“You don’t want to get tangled up in your skis,” he says, “you’ll break your leg, man, or worse.”

I don’t ask him what worse is.

2.

I am getting too close to the tree before me, it looms there, dark and gray, its leafless branches envelope me, blocking out sun and sky. I bang a hard turn to the left. I am already moving slowly, but the turn is even slower. I watch, as my left ski turns parallel to the tree even as my right ski does not. The right ski is suspended for a moment in the snow, and so am I, the ski pops loose and I am now sliding on just the left ski alone. I try to stay upright and as I do I head straight for the tree. My left leg clears it, but my right leg, which is now aloft does not. I slam thigh first into the trunk.

The tree does not give, and I fall into a heap at its base. I contemplate whether I should get-up and walk down the hill or just lie there in the snow. I feel so tired suddenly, and I’m so comfortable there, the snow like a brand new mattress.

I lay there taking in the cold air, the silence only occasionally disturbed by a skier flying by on Devil’s Playground. I start to doze-off, but realize that Aaron may not know that I failed to finish the run. I start to yell his name, but there is no response. I keep yelling and begin to get cold, shivering violently and uncontrollably. My right leg is lifeless, and it lies before me like a sack of potatoes. I scream “help” over and over again, but no one comes. More time passes. I panic. I wonder if anyone will ever come. The trail is closed, who else would even think to ski down it?

As I begin to doze-off again I find myself surrounded by the bearded and red-jacketed members of the ski patrol. They don’t say a word and begin to slide me onto a wooden sled. As they do my right leg begins to spasm. I no longer seem to have any control over the muscles on that leg and I scream in pain as they begin to look elsewhere for a new home.

“His thigh muscles have detached themselves from the bone,” I hear someone say. The voice is cold and clinical, the person sounds far away. Someone gives me a shot at the bottom of the mountain. The pain slowly starts to recede leaving me with something more akin to a charley horse.
They load me into an ambulance, and I finally drift off to sleep.

3.

I awake in the hospital and I’m not sure what’s going on. My parents are standing over me and watching as a doctor shaves my right shin with a disposable razor. He is methodical and quick. He picks up a hand drill and starts drilling through my shin about three inches below my knee. He does not say a word, nor does he waste a single motion. When he works his way to the other side of my leg he slides a thin metal rod through the hole. He pauses for a moment, measures the length of the rod now jutting out of the left side of my leg, and cuts off a section with a pair of wire cutters. The doctor surveys his work and looks pleased. He has yet to say a word.

I find out that I have snapped my femur, or thighbone, in half. One half of the bone has slipped under the other and they need to pull it back, re-connect the two halves, and allow it to set and heal. They could perform surgery and place a larger rod in the bone that would hold it in place until my femur is healed, but given my age, and concerns about stunting my growth, they have decided to put me in traction.

What they are proposing is attaching a clamp to the rod just inserted into my leg and then connecting the clamp to a series of weights and pulleys that will slowly draw the bone together and hold it in place. The healing process will take three months and I will be on my back in traction the whole time.

I am placed in a bed, which is covered by a metal frame that extends from one end of the bed to the other. My right leg is placed in a sling held aloft by the top of the frame and then connected to a pulley that is attached to the part of the frame that is fastened to the foot of my bed. Every time I move the series of weights and pulleys move with me, allowing for a false, but welcome sense of mobility.

After I am fully secured my parents leave for the night. My father comes back the next day with exercise equipment in hand. A friend of his has lent him a taut, perfectly straight, coiled metal bar with red handgrips on either end. You grasp the handgrips with each hand and then slowly try to bring them together forming an upside “u.” The bar fights you every step of the way and the resulting resistance builds muscle in the pectorals, triceps, and lats.

After a couple of half-hearted practice efforts I try to bend the bar into full “u” mode. As I do the right hand grip immediately flies out of my hand and smacks me in the chin as it straightens out. Blood sprays across my face and gown and for a moment everything goes black. When I am able to focus again, my jaw is screaming and my dad looks sick. A doctor is brought in to patch me up. No stitches are required. I have only been in the hospital for twenty-four hours.

4.

I cannot leave my bed or get off my back. I do not go to the mall, I do not go out to McDonald’s, and I do not go to the movies. I cannot go to the parties my friends are attending or go to school. I live in the hospital now and I am no longer a member of the world as I have come to know it. I am in hospital world, and it is all about constants and sameness.

Every day I am awoken at 7:30am so my temperature and pulse can be taken and every day at 7:45am just as I am falling back to sleep I am given my pills – one for constipation and some aspirin for circulation. I brush my teeth on the tray that folds out of the table next to my bed and the nurses wash my hair for me every day or so, some times less if they are busy.

At some point mid-morning Donna the cleaning woman comes by. She has long dark hair and wears a lot of blush. She arranges her schedule to be in my room every day at 11:00am so we can watch Young and Restless together. We don’t talk all that much, but to comment on the inanity of the story lines, the subterfuge of the various characters, and the prospects of Victor and Nickie ever being happy together.

Just after lunch my tutor Chuck comes by. He has a thick black beard, a receding hairline, and wears an army jacket at all times. He never gives me any assignments to work on, and though at one point he does ask me to read a book of essays by Vietnam Veterans, we mostly spend our time together hanging out and talking about hospital life. Chuck is a nice guy and I like him, but I never do any schoolwork and no one seems to notice.

As early afternoon blurs into late afternoon, my friend Richie stops in for a visit. He’s got a bowl haircut and freckles on his nose. He tells me about what’s going on at school, who’s hooking-up with who, and what’s been happening at the parties I’ve been missing.

“So, Steve and Sue are going at it in the front yard of Tonya’s house, right, and he tries to get down her pants,” Richie says.

“Yeah,” I say, “and then what?”

“She says she doesn’t go to third with a guy unless she’s going out with him,” he says.

“All right,” I say, “I can dig it, so then what?”

“Steve says, well, do you want to go out with me then?”

“Yeah?” I say.

“And Sue’s like okay,” Richie says.

“Cool,” I say, “and?”

“And what,” he says, “he gets to the third with her.”

“Just like that,” I say.

“Just like that,” he says.

“That’s beautiful,” I say.

“Yes, it is,” Richie says, “yes it is.”

5.

Throughout the day, I have to use a bedpan for bowel movements and a plastic bottle to urinate, and while it is not as bad as it sounds, no one rushes to empty them either. On the one hand even this isn’t terrible, because I quickly adjust to the smell. Hospitals are filled with smells, urine of course, and bowels, but hand creams, salves, soaps, and cleaning products as well. Soon enough it’s all one smell, hospital smell, and part of the background, like white noise.

On the other hand, I eventually have to use the bedpan and bottle again, and when that happens I have a problem. For the most part, the nurses somehow always make it back before there is an accident, but I wait and I wonder, and on occasion I weigh just how much room really remains in the bedpan or bottle lying before me.

On this day, as my calls are ignored and the hours drone on I am forced to urinate into a handful of toilet paper. This is much messier then I expect it to be and as the toilet paper starts to shred and meld itself to my hand I throw it against the wall in a fit of frustration. When the nurse finally comes in I point to the overflowing bottle and the toilet paper on the wall. He takes both without saying a word.

As evening sets-in, my mom comes by to hang out with me. She has long dark hair which she pulls back with a beret, and she brings me Chinese food from the House of Yu – won ton soup, spare ribs, sweet and sour pork, egg rolls – and bags of Haribo gummy Coke bottles. Except for Upstairs/Downstairs my mother never watches television in the real world, but the hospital world is a different and parallel one, and here she watches Hill Street Blues with me on Thursday nights, North Carolina State’s improbable run to the NCAA title, and maybe most important the Thornbirds mini-series with its illicit, yet tantalizing love affair between Richard Chamberlain’s wayward priest and Rachel Ward, his sexy, but married paramour.

My mom has to leave at some point, and when she does I have to face the biggest obstacle of the day, trying to fall asleep. I’ve never slept all that well anyway, and after the visitors have all gone, the street noise has dissipated, and the hustle and bustle of the hospital has slowed down to crawl, it’s just me and my bed, my television, and my books.
Soon enough, there is nothing to watch, and eventually I don’t want to read any more either. At this point I can turn off the light, but that doesn’t mean I will sleep. Having been in bed all-day to begin with, I’m both rested and wired. It might be different if I could move around and find a comfortable position, but I am in traction, which means no squirming, no adjustments, and no real movement of any kind. I am on my back and I will stay on my back, tonight, tomorrow, and every day until I leave.

And so it goes most of the time, though tonight I am offered a break from the monotony. They bring in a loud guy with greasy hair and a day’s growth. He’s been in a car accident and he’s accompanied by not only a doctor, but by a police officer as well. The cop asks him what he’s been drinking and the guy says “motor oil.” The cop looks at him quizzically and replies in-kind “motor oil?” “Yeah,” he says. The doctor and the cop leave the room muttering to themselves and the guy looks over at me and says “can you believe they fell for that shit?”

A nurse comes in moments later.

“Do you give back rubs?” the guy asks her.

“I do,” she says.

“Do you rub anything else?” he asks.

The nurse leaves without saying a word and the guy starts to laugh. He then looks over at me again and says, “I thought it was worth a try.” I sleep like a baby that night. He’s gone the next day.

6.

Before I entered the hospital I ran like the wind, endlessly flying up and down the hills around my parent’s home. I took flight out there, and could run forever, effortlessly and breathlessly, with wings on my heels and a never-ending reserve of stamina at my disposal. When my mind wanders here in the hospital I fantasize about running again, and it never occurs to me that it won’t be the same when I leave. No one has told me otherwise, and so it’s my belief that when I get out of traction, I will be healed and as good as new, ready to run again.

They don’t tell me though that the tendons in my right knee have shrunk from lack of use, or that as strong and mobile as I might feel after three months in traction, my leg can still snap at any time when I first get out. Nor do they tell me just how much the muscles on my legs have atrophied, or that the blood has barely been circulating through my feet because I have been horizontal and not vertical all this time.

They also don’t tell me that when the clamp is taken off and the pin is removed from my leg I will only be able to bend my knee a few degrees, and that when I try to stand for the first time the blood suddenly rushing to my feet will make it feel like I have been hit with a sledgehammer. Nor does anyone tell me that after three months in traction I will need to re-learn how to walk and that using crutches will leave me breathless and exhausted after merely cruising back and forth down the hall outside my hospital room.

It may be that someone was supposed to tell me all this sooner and forgot, or maybe they just want to protect me. It may also be that people just assume I ought to know all this. It is never quite clear to me. Then again, I learn it all soon enough. I also learn that it’s not forever. After no time, I feel stronger, no longer so exhausted, and easily moving from two crutches to one. I walk again too, slowly, and tentatively at first, but I do walk. My feet stop hurting as well, and though my right knee will be perpetually prone to soreness and pain after this, it does bend again.

One night just months after I leave the hospital, I try to go for a run, though just to the corner and back. It’s dark and cool out, damp, and kind of beautiful, stars everywhere in the clear night sky. At first I awkwardly plod along and within minutes I’m sweating profusely. Soon I am lumbering from one step to the next, practically dragging my right leg behind me.

I’m not swift or graceful and will not be for months. It takes me forever to get to the corner and back, but I do it, and I keep doing it, and somewhere along the way as I learn to run again, the path, the crash, and even my time in the hospital, all slowly become memories of sometime in the past, all parts of an event I participated in long ago.

Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your Home Mortgage

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So you’re in search of that dream home and wondering what it takes in order to pay for it. That is where the home mortgage comes in, and you will want to understand how to get one. The tips in the article below are simple to follow, and will show you what it takes to secure your new home.

Save enough money to make a down payment. Lenders may accept as little as 3.5% down but try to make a larger down payment. If you put down 20% of your total mortgage, you won’t have to pay private mortgage insurance and your payments will be lower. You will also need cash to pay closing costs, application fees and other expenses.

Prepare yourself for your mortgage application early. If you plan to buy a house, you have to get your finances ready as soon as possible. That means building up a nest egg of savings and getting your debt in order. You run the risk of your mortgage getting denied if you don’t have everything in order.

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You Don’t Have To Live With Stress Anymore

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If you feel stressed out, strung out, or just plain fed up, then keep reading this article for advice on how you can deal with the things that are currently giving you that stress, and ways that you can avoid stress in the rest of your life. There are plenty of things you can do.

Take time for a mini self-massage. Taking the palm of your hand and simply massage it with the thumb of the other hand in a circular motion can help to relieve your stress. You could also use a massage tool to do this. Massage works wonders at getting rid of stress.

A very simple way to reduce stress is to start your day ten or fifteen minutes earlier. By giving yourself that extra few minutes each day, you’ll have time to sit and enjoy your cup of coffee or give you a head start on your commute so you won’t have to battle traffic, therefore reducing your stress level. That extra time also gives you a chance to catch up on things that might not have gotten done the previous day. It’s amazing what a few short minutes each day can do for your stress levels!

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