Archive for the ‘Random musings’ category

Don’t Forget the Fish Oil Capsules

September 18, 2006

Enough with the hospital, already. Suffice it to say that, besides the family, my other visitor was the Director of Production for my building, at work. Which was definitely a nice gesture. He’s a good guy who happens to be my immediate supervisor but who’s comfortable enough to talk to, so that he ended up visiting for about an hour with no awkward “forced hospital talk” that makes those kinds of visits so awkward. For example – “So, they got you in the hospital, eh? How’s the food? Hope you feel better. (long silence) Well. I know you need your rest (which never happens). I guess I better be running along. Bye. Hope you like the flowers. (Yeah, sure. Just what I needed for that funeral parlor ambience).
Suffice it to say, I was released and I’m doing better.
Although, I had to re-visit my eating habits. One good thing about the year 2006 is that there is an abundance of nutritional information right on the packages of food. Not only that, but there seems to be a plethora of pre-prepared, frozen, microwave-ready dinners that contain a sensible amount of fat and calories. They’re tricky, though. Finding the ones with enough food for an actual meal can be daunting. I tried a couple that would only qualify as a meal if you also ate the cardboard packaging that it came with. Even then, you’d still need dessert. So far, the “South Beach Diet” dinners fill me up the best. I’m not sure what the heck the “South Beach Diet” is all about (I’ll be looking I up right after this post). They should just call it “You Get Enough Food – But We’re Watching the Fat Content Diet”. Fine by me.
Hey, who says you don’t get pre-occupied with your health when you turn 50. I guess the next stop for my attention will be bowel city. Lord – I hope not…
Next up – How I fell in love with my new VHS\DVD player (Got it Saturday).


I’ve Had Better Vacations

September 13, 2006

The first three days of my hospital visit were spent in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This is similar to an obscure form of “friendly torture” practiced by the Monty Python version of the Spanish Inquisition. Everyone was very cordial as they proceeded to awaken me every hour on the hour for lab samples. Between the lack of sleep, food and Dilaudid cocktails, by the time I made it upstairs to my own room, I was certifiable. By now, I was feeling bold and negotiated a “clear liquid” diet consisting of broth and Jell-O (yay!). I also began to notice that the clock on the wall had these peculiar red lines running along it’s face like a miniature laser light show. Interesting. To add to the festivities, it appeared that I was being paid a visit by a small hoard of mechanical spiders that were checking in on me to see if I was OK. I didn’t recognize them as colleagues from work, so I assumed they were from some other reality. This actually helped a bit, since my sense of humor kept me from being too disturbed at this latest development. It was the voices on the other side of the wall that occupied my thoughts with more focused attention than anything else. This required some inspection on my part. After crawling out of bed and dragging my IV pole along with me, I made good time to the entertainment center that housed the TV. My reckoning was that the trip took less than a month. When I arrived, I noticed that I had been deceived. There was no door leading to the promised party on the other side of the wall (and here I had my heart set on some form of debauchery to while away the hours). Oh well, back to bed. This took the better part of several weeks to navigate since the IV tubes had taken on a life of their own and refused to cooperate. Fortunately, none of this was noticed by the hospital staff, thus I avoided any embarrassing restraints to keep me from my periodic sojourns. I still don’t understand how I managed all this and still didn’t miss my once-every-four-hours Dilaudid fix. I attribute this to my refusal to adhere to linear time. Things were looking up.
Next – a visitor! (human, this time).

And Now a Word From Paddy Chayefsky

September 12, 2006

Well. That was an interesting adventure. It all started on Tuesday night, August 29th. I was feeling rather poorly with a sickening anticipation of a possible ulcer attack. This didn’t surprise me, since I had been under some unusually heavy stress on the job, as of late. But my diet didn’t really hint at an ulcer attack. But there it was, getting stronger every minute. Finally it reached a ridiculously painful point whereby I phoned the wife at her job (she was working as a nurse supervisor from 3PM –11PM) and casually mentioned that I might need a ride to the emergency room (or the local morgue, whichever was closer). She hurried on home and away we went.

Upon arrival, we were told that it might be a few hours before we were seen. This was the point when my wife went into full RN mode and demanded to see the nurse supervisor of that hospital (not the one where she had been working – this was more of a “country club” type establishment). My wife not only works as the occasional nurse supervisor, but runs her own nurse staffing agency – so you don’t want to mess with her. She’s all business. Needless to say, we were seen immediately. Good thing. First of all, it wasn’t an ulcer attack – it was a cyst on my pancreas causing acute pancreatitis. The kind associated with high cholesterol that accounts for 80% of the fatalities associated with pancreatitis. They took three blood samples and couldn’t get a reading of my electrolytes because, somehow, I was dehydrated and according to them, my blood was turning to “sludge”. That precipitated IV’s of saline given pronto since I was NPO (nothing by mouth – but I negotiated for some ice chips). Next up was a shot of morphine for the pain. Which worked about as well as a half of a St. Josephs Aspirin for Children tablet. So out came the Dilaudid. This was injected straight into my vein at the junction where the IV was inserted. This was followed by a phenergan chaser for possible nausea. Now, if you’re not familiar with Dilaudid, then consider this – it’s pretty much synthetic heroin about eight times as powerful as morphine. They ended up giving this to me every four hours (on the dot) for a period of five days! Next up – “Is that really a gang of spiders and why haven’t I been invited to that party on the other side of the wall?”

Down But Not Out

September 8, 2006

Unfortunately, I was hit with a serious case of pancreatitis, last Wednesday and just got out of the hospital early Thursday morning. More details on Monday.

Rainy Days and Mondays

August 28, 2006

Today feels like I’m dragging myself through a thick sea of mud. It’s probably due to the fact that it’s a rainy day. I never do well on rainy days. Oddly enough, getting up is no problem but after that, it’s a struggle. I had a great birthday weekend. Spoke to all the standard relatives and friends. Received the standard birthday cards, etc. I had dinner out with the estranged wife on Saturday. Spent the day by myself on Sunday. Watched “Star Wars – The Attack of the Clones”. On second viewing, I think I appreciated it a bit more. I had a little more patience for Anakin’s whining and, overall, I guess my expectations were lower than when I paid to see it in the theater. The Jedi’s battle was the highlight for me as well as Yoda taking on Christopher Lee. I have a feeling that when I get an opportunity to see the final chapter (actually Chapter 3) again, I’ll enjoy quite a bit. It didn’t strike me as all that bad when I saw it originally. They were wise to keep a dark edge about it. Not to mention the scene when Darth Vader was outfitted with his new armor and “flipped out” (not a term you would use to describe him in his presence) when he was told that his wife had died. The scene, of course, was reminiscent of the Frankenstein monster being brought to life. Probably the only truly great scene in the last 3 “Star Wars” films. I’ve also noticed that my mind is beginning to spawn new ideas for NaNoWriMo (even in my dreams). It’s amazing how participating in that competition really brings out one’s creative side in day-to-day life.

The Shat Hit the Fan

August 21, 2006

An uneventful end of the week. I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the estranged family. Wife, older stepdaughter and I went over some business issues with the Staffing Agency, later in the day, on Sunday. Earlier that day, however, I had the chance to hang out with daughter Rhiannon, who explained to me the various types of current music she appreciates. I have to admit that my eyes rolled far into the recesses of my cranium when I heard the “new” tune that borrows (steals) the riff “I ain’t got nobody (dum dum dum dum dum) – that I can depend on.” She didn’t believe me when I referenced the ancient verses of one Carlos Santana. Not only that, but for some reason she likes modern day Heavy Metal tunes that are nothing more than poorly recycled 70s – 80s fare. She asked me what music I liked to listen to and I replied “Jazz”. I refrained from sounding snooty. After all, bonding takes precedence, here.
Later in the evening there was a terrific lightning storm that took out my power for about an hour. I didn’t have any emergency lights, etc. handy – so I just sat there in the creeping darkness. Fortunately, the power came back on for me to check out the William Shatner roast on Comedy Central. Parts of it were hilarious. Other parts were just vulgar for it’s own sake. My favorite bit? Uhuru (Nichelle Nichols) approaching Shatner as if to give him a hug and a kiss – then immediately turning around and telling him that he could kiss her black a__ (!) He quickly replied “If I could find it.” (!!) Everyone was a good sport. I was a bit amazed at the wit exhibited by the ageing Betty White. She managed to be vulgar and funny at the same time.
Right now, I’m beginning to collect my thoughts for this year’s NaNoWriMo competition. It’s not until November, but it’s never too soon to begin thinking of ideas for a possible storyline.

Pimp My High School

August 15, 2006

Yesterday was an exercise in normalcy. Nothing unusual which is rather startling for a Monday on the job. As it turns out, Rhiannon had a good first day in school – which is always a relief. I remember my first day in high school. Talk about not fitting in. But that was OK, since it was the Bronx High School of Science in New York (as opposed to Nebraska, I guess). At that school, you had a mélange of students from the far corners of the city (and beyond), eager for a good education and willing to ignore the fact that most of them were considered nerds in their previous environments and ostracized for their academic achievements. Getting straight A’s has rarely been considered “cool” (just look at Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween”. I thought she was almost hot. But, then again, I went to Bronx Science). It was like a vast sea of strangers who were more or less accepting of diversity in a Star Wars cantina scene sort of fashion. Which was good for me, since it gave me a day to change my clothes. Maybe I should explain.

For the first eight years of my academic life, I attended parochial school. St. Clement Pope in Queens, to be exact. I’m sure you know the drill regarding Catholic school uniforms. These have never looked “cool” (At the risk of sounding perverse – the lone exception was when I lived in Japan – I think you know what I’m getting at.). Anyway, the students at St. Clements talked incessantly regarding all the cool clothes they were going to get at graduation and subsequently wear to their new high schools. I distinctly remember the wonderful ensembles that I hounded my parents into buying for my upcoming debut. Let’s just say that this was the summer of 1970 – not a great year for fashion. We’re talking medallions and white vinyl vests, here. Don’t forget the bell bottoms and psychedelic shirts with the Sister Betrille collars. Now, my mom warned me that these kids would be a) not fashion conscious and b) would be more of the Bob Dylan school of “cool”. I refused to listen. Therefore, on my first day in high school, I looked like I just stepped out of a 70’s disco on my way to a job interview for the position of assistant pimp. Fortunately, we were all dazed (since some, like myself, took over an hour by train and bus just to get there). Next day – jeans and a t-shirt.

Odd side note (Thanks, Cullen):
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Iron Man
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Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

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