Monday, January 23, 2006

to live by yourself is swell. now be a dear and bring me a tourniquet.

this post will be without capitalization to accomodate my gimpiness.

here is a not-so-typical but also not-so-un-typical day in the life of cupcake. i worked late, came home to brooklyn and went food shopping for more party ingredients. I walked in the door of my apartment and the first thing i did was preheat the oven. i started dinner on top of the stove, put some mini brownies in the oven and started to clean up. I reached into my dish rack not noticing that my knife was sharp side up, and cut my fingertip on the caphlon knife my dad gave me for christmas. shit. i started running my finger under cold water from the kitchen tap but the bleeding would not stop. suddenly, my smoke detector starts going off. I turn on the fan and go back to my finger. But the smoke detector keeps going off. I open the oven and smoke comes out. something on the bottom is smoking. noticing that i'm leaking blood everywhere i drag over my step ladder and open the kitchen window. I go to the bathroom to try to put on a band aid. blood is spilling over the sink and all my band aids. i manage to barely get one on and immediately bleed through it. shit shit. my oven timer starts going off. i wrap a wash cloth around my finger and i go back to the kitchen, turn off the buzzer, pull out the brownies and turn off the oven. i'm bleeding through the wash cloth so i keep moving it around.

i'm supposed to call my dad tonight because he called me at work. the washcloth is nappy with blood and sticking to my finger. my pasta is done cooking on the stove, i drain it and my finger is bleeding again. do not bleed on the ravioli. do not bleed on the goddamn ravioli! i dress my pasta and sit with it on my bed, the only place I get cell reception. I call my dad.

'dad, i'm bleeding. i cut my finger on a knife and my smoke dector is going off and ....'
'the knife i gave you for christmas?'
'what did i tell you when i gave you that knife?'
'i know its sharp.'
'i said, be very very careful.'
'i know, look my finger is really bleeding. what do i do?'

so then a conversation ensures over whether or not i need stitches. i tell my dad and his girlfriend i do not. they tell me to get some gauze or clean cotton and neosporin and peroxide and bandages.... hmm. i have band aids. crappy band aids. this does not impress my father. 'i don't know how you live alone,' he says. 'is the smoke detector still going off?' he is also yelling at me, 'you're breaking up! you're breaking up!' then he yells about my cell phone and how much money does he have to spend so that he can talk to me without aggravation. i'm about done with this conversation now. they ask what i am eating and i say 'pumpkin ravioli'. sweetie asks how i can eat with so much blood around and my dad says 'when nancy is hungry...'

my dad puts sweetie on the phone. she says, 'if you don't have gauze, you can use a kotex. your father was too embarassed to say it. don't use a tampon, but you know, if you if you have one of those cottony pads'. i say i will go ask my neighbor for help to see if he has gauze and such. i finish my ravioli. i am damn hungry.

i knock on the goodneighbor's door, the one patriotdave was inquiring about earlier today. 'who is it?' he asks. 'it's nancy.' he opens the door. 'hey, how are you doing oh!' he sees my blood spotted washcloth.

'i cut my finger,' i say. 'do you have any gauze?' goodneighbor takes me in, washes my finger, put some ointment on it and wraps it in sterile pads and scotch tape. he asks me when my last tetnus shot was and i say,'are you kidding?' then, 'i'm sorry, i don't know what i'm doing.' he keeps asking me if I am okay. 'my father,' i say. 'i called him for a little support and he gives me the, well, if you lived in rhode island, this wouldn't have happened line.'

'of course it still would have happened.'
'i know! i'm not moving home! it's been two years, pop!'

the goodneighbor is a saint and treats me with compassion. he gives me sterile pads to take home. i thank him profusly. i go home and call my dad. i tell him the goodneighbor took care of me and gave me ointment and gauze. 'now there is a man who knows how to live by himself.'

'can you just spare me, okay?'
'okay, the next time you call i'll give you the sermon.'
'give me a break. the point has been made, believe me. ' knives are sharp. be careful. keep first aid supplies on hand. don't try to do ten things at once.

my bandaged finger is all gimpy. there is no way i can finish baking the rest of the brownies. i'm so mad! I can't afford to go off my baking schedule! everything is so tight! will the batter keep in the fridge until tomorrow night?

i can't do anything else, so i wrote this blog post.

why don't i have booze in the house?


lebrookski said...

oh yeah, what i've been meaning to say since you got your snazzy new internet connection, is that you should get skype. so you can talk to all of your internet fans....(i apologize...a crazy german is making me inform everyone i know)

bbrug said...

Oh, honey. Welcome to the club.

It's pretty much guaranteed that if I'm really trying to be together and organized about having a party, at some point on the morning of the big day I will hack my hand open with a kitchen implement. It just happens. Only for me it usually means I've been in such a hurry that I neglected to sharpen my knives. I've almost never cut myself on a sharp knife; it's when I have a dull one that I press too hard or use a funny grip or do something else unwise. Anyway.

To you I say these key words: (1) Elevate! (2) Direct Pressure!

It's difficult, I know, to make yourself stop running around when the water is boiling and the oven is on fire, but if you can just clamp another finger and maybe some DRY tissue firmly over the wound while you deal with your other emergencies, and better yet if you can hold your hand ridiculously in the air while you do this, it will usually stop the bleeding. If it won't stop after about ten minutes of determined pressing, then you call your parents.

I don't have gauze in the house, and I've lived by myself for years. Apply direct pressure, my friend. And elevate. It works. Then, once it's stopped bleeding, slap your cheap Band-Aid on it and go back to cooking, elevating the affected limb again whenever possible.

Kari said...

Your batter will keep. The secret to brownies is not to cut them until you are ready to serve them - so you can avoid that knife until your party. Also, I am not sure what mini brownies are, but if you make them in a regular pan, line the pan cross ways with overlapping tin foil to help with getting them out of the pan.

Maybe you'll end up with a teeny tiny scar on your finger - and when people ask about it, you'll always have a good story to tell.

Carazy Cashew said...

I can tell you a story about using a femine pad on a cut. They are the best giant bandaids ever and I highly recommend them. I don't have a supply of gauze or any such thing at my home, mostly the craptacular bandaids that stick on for about twenty minutes and then lose their stickiness and fall off in random and sometimes embarrassing places. So for those major cuts I know I can rely on the one product I always have in my home for blood sopping. Sounds gross...tanywhoo, nevertheless it works great and you don't need those fancy gauze kits with their cloth wraps and needles and thread, just a good old pad and some cleaning agent and you'll be back in action in no time. It worked for me and the tale of my discovering this method of first aid is hilarious which I have been meaning to blog about but as yet have not done. *sigh* Hope the brownies turned out okay after all that and you actually got to enjoy your meal! Have a great day!

Cupcake said...

Thank you for your support ladies, I wish you all lived across the hall. And thanks for the brownie tips, Kari. Of course, I was baking brownies in little mini muffin cups. The ones that survived came out delicious but next time I'm going without a liner because they stuck a lot.

Cashew, I have no doubt the Kotex method works, but then what? Do you walk around with a giant Maxi pad taped to your hand? I don't think I could handle that. I'm Catholic.

Cupcake said...

Brooksy, as a person who runs towards misanthropic tendencies, I don't generally like to make myself available to 'chat' with people 24-7; that being said, I am considering downloading Skype. You'll be the first to know.

Joshua said...

Jesus. I hope you finger heals soon. People will understand about the brownies.
I was going to make some remark like this is why you shouldn't live alone. But upon reading the full post I realized:
a.) This is a jerky thing to say
b.) it's not true. I live with three girls and this easily could have happened to any of us, except maybe we could have found some better band aids. Maybe.

Sheena said...

I once nearly hacked off the tip of my finger with a Victorionox cheese knife. And, though I'm not afraid of blood, I very nearly fainted. There's something about a cut finger...Anyway, my mother was there, and when she saw me turning green she kicked it into high gear (she's a nurse practitioner) after yelling at me not to pass out on the stairs because she wouldn't be able to carry me the rest of the way.

Glad you survived. Definitely stock up on your first aid supplies since you're living solo...And I agree, elevation is a good idea.

VBeta said...

A bunch of intl. organizations that we've worked with all use Skype to keep in touch with their field staff. We're apparently not sophisticated enough yet to try that out. But I've heard nothing but good recommendations for it.

Cupcake said...

It's so nice to have a blog so that when you do something stupid, you can write about it and people offer you cheerful support.

I was speaking with Drew Belstock and he confirmed two major points:

1. Everyone cuts themselves on knives and starts fires in their oven. Everyone.

2. Never, never admit to any irresponsible behavior to your parents, because you will never hear the end of it. They should be the last people you call in such a situation.

As you can see, Belstock is a sage.