things have never been more like they are right now
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
a real wizard
I realize no one reads this blog anymore, but for the hapless few who stumble upon it, I want to point out a recent posting from my friend Lonnie Bruner's blog. A while back his wife, a designer, gave him a basic tutorial on photoshop and he's just run with it. His rant on the value of pennies and accompanying Newsweek cover he doctored with his own photo is about as good as comedy ever gets.
After lunch today I was walking back to the office with a friend and passed a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk with a sign. There are MANY homeless people in our neighborhood so I really took no notice. But after we passed my friend said "That was the saddest thing I've ever seen." Turns out he was holding a sign that said "Money for a worthless piece of shit."
I haven't stopped laughing. I guess I'm just in a difficult place right now.
Anyway, it trumps the previous "best homeless person sign" I'd ever seen, also in my office neighborhood: "Nijas killed my family. Money for karate lessons."
I finally had surgery to blast one of my kidney stones into oblivion. I couldn't figure out why they called it surgery because they don't actually cut you open. But having gone through it, I now understand. Completely.
First of all, they knock you with general anesthesia. It was my first time on that ride and if you've never experienced it before, let me tell you it's a real trip. The thing that sucked most was that they couldn't find a good vein to run a line in me, so they completely mangled my left hand. I count eight holes in the top of my hand and wrist. And when the juice finally hit me, it burned so bad I thought I was going to puke. Like my whole arm was on fire. I've heard that happens when they give you too much anesthesia too quickly. So that kind of pisses me off. But they were probably reacting to the fact that I was starting to lose my shit... I was strapped down to a table and couldn't move and they had all these wires stuck to my face and whanot, so I was getting pretty anxious and basically begged them to hurry the fuck up and get that line in.
But anyway, the general anesthesia itself... jesus that's some crazy stuff. It's such a bizarre feeling because it's sort of like they turn your brain off. It's almost instantaneous. I'd say within five seconds after that juice hit my arm, I was out. And when they woke me back up an hour or so later in a different room, it was like they simply turned my brain back on. Sudden, total darkness and silence. And then suddenly and totally awake with sight and sound. And zero memory. No dreams. No hazy recollections. Just turned off. Then turned back on. It was like I didn't exist for a while.
In the recovery room I noticed three things: first, my throat was really sore; second, my ass hurt; and third, my left hand was so swollen and puffy it looked like someone had inflated it with a hose. Turns out my throat was sore because they shoved some breathing tube down it. Ass was sore because they shoved a catheter up there and filled me with some sort of dye to create a little contrast in the xrays. Hand was f'ed up because of the whole problem with not being able to find a vein.
The good news is, the surgery was a success. After peeing blood for a couple of hours, I eventually peed what could only be described as sand. Little, tiny pebbles. Didn't feel a thing. But I could see it plain as day.
I go back in for a follow up in a couple of weeks, at which point we'll decide what to do about the other larger kidney stone. Joy!
This image from the Hubble telescope shows innumerable galaxies slowly spinning in deep space. If you could travel at the speed of light, it would take you 100-thousand years to go from one end of our own Milkyway galaxy to the other. And that's just one, relatively humble little galaxy. Look at all those fricking galaxies!! I can't get my mind around the vastness this image represents. Then again, I have a hard time not putting my underwear on backwards each morning.
Man Charged With Killing Roommate Over Toilet Tissue MARION COUNTY, Fla. -- A man has been arrested for fatally beating his roommate with a sledgehammer and a claw hammer because there was no toilet tissue in the home, authorities said. Franklin Paul Crow, 56, has been charged Monday with homicide for the death of Kenneth Matthews, 58, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Crow told investigators that the men were fighting over the weekend about the toilet tissue when Matthews pulled out a rifle. Crow said he then began beating Matthews with the sledgehammer and claw hammer, according to an affidavit.
Capt. Thomas Bibb said Crow initially denied his involvement with the crime, but confessed when questioned.
Matthews was beaten so badly he had to be identified through his fingerprints, detectives said. Crow was being held at the Marion County jail without bond. It was not immediately known whether he had an attorney.
Okay, that's not entirely true. I am still playing a little bit. But my play time has plummeted these last couple of weeks. I was putting in a good hour or two a night. Now I'm going several days without booting it up at all. I've been really busy with work and getting home later, so I haven't had as much time for goofing off. I've also been spending a lot more time with my music.
Anyway, I say as much because I don't want my one or two readers to assume I'm not updating my blog because I'm too busy slaying ogres outside camp Arathi.
That said, I have to call bullshit on the latest issue of Vanity Fair and it's big "Tom Ford's Hollywood" spread. It's been getting a lot of attention because the cover features a totally naked Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley. Let me tell you, we have a subscription to VF and last night while watching Lost, I thumbed through the whole thing. It didn't take long. I think there were maybe 500 words in the whole issue. Just page after page of ads. I don't think I've ever seen so little actual content in something so hyped. The actual section on "Ford's Hollywood" is buried at the end of the magazine and doesn't offer much. If you've been wondering whether you should drop five bucks on a copy, save your money. You're not missing anything.
Tonight I went for my first run since discovering my kidneys are packed with stones. Actually, I felt great and had no problems.
Last week I saw a kidney stone specialist (notice how I don't say urologist). He said I had A LOT of stones in both kidneys and that I need shockwave lithotripsy to break them up. I'll have this done in a couple of weeks. After that he wants to do some tests to figure out why I'm getting stones because, he says, "a guy (my) age shouldn't have any." It does seem odd to have them so young. Then again, a friend of mine who's the same age had one a couple of years ago. So who knows?
I just hope they don't tell me I have to quit drinking coffe. It's on my short list of reasons to live.
Superbowl Sunday I went for a run. This was about two in the afternoon and I'd planned on using the little time I'd have left after my run to make some dip or something to take over to a friend's house for a party. But when I got back from my run, I went to the bathroom and pissed blood.
Let me tell you, that's an unsettling sight. Fortunately, thousands of dollars worth of therapy kicked in and I remained perfectly calm. I took a shower, got dressed, then drove myself to the emergency room where they gave me a CAT scan.
Turns out I have multiple kidney stones in both of my kidneys. Bilateral they call this. Tomorrow I get to see a kidney stone specialist who will tell me when to expect a sudden surge of crushing pain. I've been carrying around a bottle of percocet with me just in case.
On the underwear front, I'm happy to say the boxer switch I made is going very, very well. I threw out all my old underwear. Straight boxers now. I wonder how I ever lived without them before.
This morning I opened my underwear drawer and found it empty, except for a single pair of boxers. It's the only pair of boxers I own. I don't wear tighty-whities, but rather the hybrid kind (notice how carefully that model's man junk is curled out). I've never really liked the way boxers feel, all loose and whatnot. And to get comfortable with them you have to stuff them into your pants and make sure they're all smoothed out. But this morning it came down to wearing the "B" side of one of my hybrid pairs of underwear or wearing the boxers. I took a deep breath and reached for the boxers.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortably they were. Not at all what I remembered. I did have to go through the routine of getting them all smoothed out and positioned properly, but once I did, they were really nice. So nice, in fact, that after a day of wearing them, I've decided to go buy a bunch of pairs and throw out my old hybrids.
I sat down to pay some bills this morning and came across the monthly horror show that is our gas statement. I tore it open, unfolded the four or five pages explaining the charges and saw the bottom line: $353.18.
Our house is 11-hundred square feet, which is smaller than a lot of the mid-range apartments in DC. We keep our thermostat set at about 65. When the colder weather first set in, I sealed all the windows with plastic and put in new foam seals around the front door. We even drape a blanket over the front door for added protection. And it hasn't really even been that cold so far.
Still, the gas company thinks it's reasonable to charge us $353.18 to keep the house at a life-sustaining temperature. We can swing it. It hurts. But we can make it. But what about someone who's on a fixed income? How the shit are they supposed to suddenly come up with a few hundred extra dollars?? I'm not talking about poor people, which is another story all together. Just your average joe citizen who makes just enough money to pay rent, food, health care, clothes, etc.
I can't believe the leaders of this country haven't recognized the national energy crisis and demanded drastic, emergency and immediate steps to find alternative sources. Drilling more holes to find more of a resource we know is going to run out is not a solution. It's barely even a bandaid.
I'm certain there's a way to develop a sustainable, comprehensive energy supply from garbage and cow shit. But the man doesn't want us to have it, because that means all of Bush's oil-sucking friends might have to do with less.
Anyway... I must get back to my average life, doing my part, however small, to be responsible and make the world a better place. Today that involves several hours of WoW.