Four ocular migraines in four weeks.

I'm not a fan of this.

The story of five sets of pliers at 9 o'clock in the evening

I'm scheduled for a brain MRI early Saturday morning. My neurologist would like to check that there isn't anything interesting going on there.

Several times I've checked through the paperwork and made sure I'm aware of everything I need to be aware of.

Jewellery? I don't wear jewellery. Earrings? Haven't got earrings. Metal implants? No, the IUD has popped out on its own. Staples? No, I've only ever had plastic or dissolvable stitches in places that have needed stitching.

Until at 9 pm on Friday EVENING it suddenly occurs to me: I have an eyebrow piercing.


Honestly, the thing is so ubiquitous to me that I'm no longer even registering the fact that I have it, and yet there is no way I can go into an MRI scanner with an eyebrow piercing on. The magnets would rip it out.

I get The Man's pliers and pincers, trying to dislodge the piercing's screw-on tip, but it doesn't work. It's very hard doing it myself in front of the mirror, where all my limbs' movements are appearing in reverse on the mirror's surface. The Man, bless him, can't help me either because he's pretty miserable in bed after having had a vasectomy this week and for a man who's sitting on a bag of frozen peas trying to operate pliers and pincers on someone's face is probably not the best idea of "fun time".

I call a friend. "Look, I'm in a bit of a trouble here..."
- "Come over!"

9:30 pm I'm at their house. She tries using two different sets of pliers but they keep slipping. The beauty salon that put the piercing in have done a really good job of securing it in place. Snipping "through" the piercing probably wouldn't work, either, because... well, surgical steel.

Her husband says, "Wait, I have some better pliers in the garage - be right back!" He returns with massive pliers which can be locked in place, and my friend tries using those, all the while saying how she's really not wanting to pinch my skin or hurt me otherwise...

Eventually, she exclaims, "Ooooh!"
- "Yes, it's coming!"

10 more seconds and the piercing's off. YUSS!

Which is fortunate, because I didn't need to use my back-up plan, which was to go into the hospital's emergency department really early in the morning and explain the situation. Being the emergency department, I'm sure they have all sorts of tools and machinery there for, you know, removing stuff ;)

I doubt I'll put the piercing back in. I think I'm done with it.

Scooterpark (='skatepark')

I have friends

I have friends here.

It feels awesome: to go for an afternoon walk with kids and (unexpectedly) meet a friend in the forest, and then walk with him.

Or spend a morning with another friend who is, like me, juggling a life of kids and things she would like besides kids :).

Or have another friend visit our home in the afternoon and have her feel comfortable enough in our company that she ends up crying at our kitchen table, telling us about her life choices, and share long hugs and warm cups of ginger tea.

Or another friend - a schoolmate - who is thinking of coming to Gillespie Pass with us this summer. (Probably a company of 4 people now!)

*this is what Gillespie looks like, below*

It's just... good, to have friends. To have lived here long enough that I've made friends with people I feel genuinely comfortable with and intrigued by.

It's such a warm feeling - and humans are such social animals!