Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Left Hand and Basil

It's been one or two weeks since my last post. Let me recount: My summer internship has started, my left hand had been burned with mustache-removal wax, bathroom remodeling has started, getting through Crime and Punishment is becoming less painful, bioconjugation is starting to occupy my thoughts, Canada is approaching, and basils have finally started to flourish. Having said all this, now I feel that my summer is really eventful! Anticipation (of Canada trip next week), relief and satisfaction (from basils), pain and fear (for my left hand), curiosity (as my post-doc Aihua says "Chemistry is like cooking")!

I don't know what I feel about chemistry right now, except that I've just been reading and everything starts to sound a little bit more familiar. Bioconjugation. I used to dislike any subject that conjugates with bio- root, but I supposed if I'm stuck with it for the summer I must get used to it. As I sift through all the words and CONJUGATIONS (with apprehension in the beginning, of course, as my last chemistry course was in junior year of high school), things really begin to seem less intimidating. But OH! I don't want to say too much of what I feel about it. Don't want to jinx it! Ding! Flick flick!

I suppose I should give a detail account of what happened to my hand. But there is really not much too it. I was stupid and microwaved the mustache-removal for too long. Anyway getting it out was alright but as I ran up the stairs at night without any lights on, with that darn boiling wax carelessly held on by my left hand, some wax spilled out onto it and MAN DID IT HURT! I dropped the wax container (which made a big sppoosh on the carpet and splash on the wall before it rolled downstairs with more wax contamination) instantly and ran my poor hand in running water. I didn't dare to look but when I did and tried rubbing a bit of hot wax off a piece of skin fell OFF! SHOCK was even stronger than the pain. UH OH my skin fell off. What am I going to do. All of my cells were in a state of shock. I feel like there's some switch in me that had been turned on all of the sudden and all the cells are standing by in red alert. It felt funny, like I've triggered an alarm and there's a protective membrane that is separating me and the world. So some wax in between my thumb and my index finger connected the tissue. In desperation and perspiration I tried separarting the fingers. My heart was crying even though my eyes didn't. My careless mind is the one to blame! NOT my hand! I'm really sorry - that's what I've been telling myself...even till this moment. Anyway, I knew I probably had to go to ER. I've never been to ER since when I was less than 3 and the tip of my right pinky was about to fall off, but seeing my skin was all wrinkled and suffering in yellow wax, I knew it was my time for the ER. Besides telling my left hand that I'm sorry, I've also been apologizing to my parents and my bro silently, because it's my parents who had given me perfectly healthy body and it is I who had been so ridiculously irresponsible. I can't think of a reason why I also instinctually wanted to apologize to my bro...but it was probably along the same line that he's a witness in my growing up. Anyway I alerted my bro and my mom with my husky voice; they were in bed. My bro jumped up in one big leap and woke up my mom who was also very soon jumping up and down. It was as if calamity has descended upon us. Anyway long story cut short: My bro and mom rushed me to El Camino Hospital at ~11:30pm, with my hand in my favorite bear towel (that my mom threw away afterwards, to my regret deepest apologies). Our Big Car seemed to be nervous too (as the driver, my bro, is in shock) and it squeeled when we're going around the curb. But OH MAN I waited for at least 2 hours before the doctor saw me. By then I had already stopped trembling, and three of us were chatting. A really nice big nurse, male, and a really nice old doctor took care of me. (I recommend El Camino Hospital.) So I've been recovering ever since.

But of course you know - it would be unseemly to post pictures of my wound. Plus, looking at something like that will always make me want to apologize to my hand, my family , and my towel again. So stupid.

IN contrast, flourishing basils are always good kind of news to report. For a while now they've been bothered by their bents in their stems (actually not only two but four took hits during the shipping), and more severely by bugs who ate holes and finally entire leaves. How dare they! I looked up online, made some super-heavy garlic water, and sprayed the leaves day and night. Most importantly, I put them away from other plants. They are turning out better. Even the two stems that had only a lifeless leaf each are seeing some new leaves today. Very promising fellas! The other two are booming. I'm like a proud mother. I'll post their pictures later!

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