first dynamic fitting

Yesterday I went back to Prosthetics in Motion for the first dynamic fitting for my new bionic hand. Last time, we only had a test socket to work with to get the sensor sites right. This time, the arm was fully built and ready to be tried on. In terms of the creative process, this stage is like the first full draft of an essay before you edit and revise it for publication. (Yeah, I totally snuck an English teacher reference in there.) While it was fully made and completely functional, the arm still needed some fine-tuning to make sure that the fit and usability were absolutely perfect.


The arm, in all its glory

The arm, in all its glory

The arm itself is gorgeous, although it’ll look very different by the time I take it home in a few weeks. The body of the arm starts off as transparent, with all the wiring inside clearly visible. The thin red strips inside it are the battery packs, and the blue wires connect everything together. It’s pretty crazy how everything fits in the arm that way, isn’t it?

For this fitting, we focused on functionality and fit. So after making sure that the arm was the right length and size for me cosmetically, the prosthetists had me test out the arm again and asked about the fit of the socket. It pinched my small arm in two places when we started, but they stretched out and cut out parts of the socket to make it super comfortable.

We ran into some technical trouble when the thumb kept jamming and the sensors weren’t lining up properly against my small arm, but the guys went to work at diagnosing the problem and ironing out the issue right away. They really are an amazing team of prosthetists (and extra kudos to them for putting up with my terrible jokes and constant nosy questions)!

If all goes according to plan, I have one more dynamic fitting and one final fitting to go until I can take my new bionic hand home. I’m beyond excited!!!

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testing out my new hand

It’s been FOREVER. I know, I know! I’ve taken a very long break from blogging in the past couple years, but I’ve missed it like crazy and now I’m back!

A couple months ago, I decided to look into getting a new prosthesis with more functionality than my passive cosmetic hand. Now I’m about to become a bionic woman over here, and I wanted to make sure I document every moment of the process and provide a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make and use a new myoelectric hand. I’m getting a hand called the BeBionic, which is made by SteeperUSA. It’s absolutely gorgeous and looks futuristic as heck!

I can’t wait to introduce you to my new cyborg hand so, without further ado, here’s a video of my first fitting with the test socket and sensors.


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would you rather? (with books!)

I stole this from The Book Journal and just had to do it. Feel free to take it and fill it out for yourself!


1. Would you rather read only trilogies or only stand alone novels?

I prefer stand-alone novels. I get a little nervous when trilogies and series suck me in for book after book, leaving me waiting for the next one’s publication date. Torture!

large-12. Would you rather read only male or female authors?

Both! Geez, how could someone choose? There are so many great male and female writers.

3. Would you rather shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

I’m obsessed with my Kindle and spend 34% (my economics-major boyfriend calculated) of my income on books and ebooks.

4. Would rather books became films or TV shows?

I can never follow TV shows, so I’m going to say films.

5. Would you rather read 5 pages a day or 5 books a week?

5 books a week – the more, the better!

6. Would you rather be a professional reviewer or an author?

One day I’ll finally find the time and motivation to write my own novel. I should probably be more proactive about that….

large7. Would you rather read your favorite 20 books over & over or only read books you’ve never read before?

I love starting new books.

8. Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

I’d love to be a bookseller.

9. Would you rather only read your favorite genre or every genre except your favorite?

Oh, this one is tough. I think I’d have to choose to read only my favorite genre.

10. Would you rather read only physical books or ebooks? 

While I’m a huge fan of physical books, I love the way I can carry an entire library with me wherever I go with my Kindle.


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the purge

DesignNo, I’m not referring to the horror movie – this is about something far more awful and frightening. Every so often, my neat-freak boyfriend designates a “Cleaning Day,” an entire 24 hours devoted to tidying up around the apartment and getting rid of anything we haven’t used in a while. As a shopaholic and natural hoarder (seriously, it runs in my family), I can’t help but get a little panicky when I’m asked to throw things away. So the conversation with my boyfriend goes kind of like this:

Me: “I can’t do this.”

Him: “Yes, you can. Let’s start with this – which clothing items don’t you need?”

Me: “I need everything.”

Him: “Okay…Which clothing items don’t you wear anymore?”

Me: “I wear everything.”

Him (holding up sequin-covered top and dark blue wrap skirt): “Even this belly dancing outfit you bought on a whim?”

Me: *nods solemnly*

I wish I were naturally this neat

I wish I were naturally this neat

Okay, so maybe that belly dancing costume was an impulse buy. And maybe I’ll never get around to taking dance lessons or using my indoor trampoline or figuring out how to put on those outrageous fake eyelashes I bought. But for some reason, it’s still super tough to get rid of things. I LOVE shopping and I love things. I get a thrill out of receiving a package from Amazon because it’s like a gift from my past self to my present self. Nothing lifts my mood on a bad day quite like buying myself a little something.

Shopping has never been a problem for me, though, because I always stay within my budget. The only issue now is that there’s barely any space left in the small apartment I share with my boyfriend and my dog. The closets are full and there’s not many places we can put new things (even though we’ve gotten creative with our storage options.) So when it comes time to clean up the place, I know I’ve got to let some things go. And to be perfectly honest, a lot of the things I’ve accumulated fall neatly under the category of junk.

What my apartment would look like if I had my say

What my apartment would look like if I’d had my say…

So why do I hoard “junk”? I think that at the heart of hoarding is an anxiety that there will come a time when you’ll actually need and use the “junk.” The problem is that usually that time never arrives, and you’re keeping all that crap for no reason. As someone who has struggled with anxiety issues before, I’m perfectly aware that letting go of irrational beliefs and the anxiety associated with them is extremely freeing. So for the sake of being freed and relieving my home of pointless clutter, I decided to put together a list of five things I don’t really need in my apartment. Here goes:

1. Magazines – I’m a total magazine hoarder because it just feels weird throwing away all that information, you know? I have no problem getting rid of flyers and receipts, but magazines sometimes have content that’s worth revisiting and rereading. In the olden days, this may have been a legitimate reason for keeping glossies forever, but the beauty of technology means that now most major publications are also posting their content on their websites. So goodbye, magazines!

2. Shoeboxes (and all pretty boxes, really) – I have a ton of boxes from ShoeDazzle (you know, the hot pink boxes all their shoes come in?) and perfume boxes

3. Business cards – I used to keep these in an ever-growing messy pile, just in case I need people’s contact info in the future. But now I just save the number and email in my phone and throw out the cards.

4. Books – I am a HUGE bookworm and a believer that you can never have too many books. That said, I’m also aware that there’s only so much space in the apartment. Enter the Kindle, my favorite way to download ebooks and carry an entire library around with me everywhere. And those books I own that I know I’ll never read? I donated those, and now my bookcase no longer looks like it’s going to topple over from the excess weight.

5. Clothes I know I’ll never wear – Okay, so maybe I did keep the stupid sequined belly dancing top, but there’s definitely a lot of clothes hanging in my closet that I didn’t even know I owned. So everything I was 100% sure I’ll never wear again (or even once, since some stuff still had tags on them) went to my sister and to charity.

Voila! My apartment is now free (or at least freer) of clutter and junk!


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halloween 2014

This year’s Halloween costume came together at the last minute, but I think it turned out okay.


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