Saturday, December 29, 2007
Look, I don't buy enough new music to be able to cull the "Top Ten of 2007" out of a huge pile of cds, or go to the movies enough to have ten favorite films for the year. But, I listened to some new stuff, and watched some cool things, and I'm going to post my half-assed list of my favorites of both.
Just so that you know that I realize what I'm doing here is ridiculous.
Best Records Of 2007 (that I spent money on):
1. Arcade Fire "Neon Bible"
The songs are simple folk tunes, really, but arranged and performed with such over-the-top orchestration that they just hit you in the head like a wall of sound. "Keep The Car Running" is still one of my most favorite roadtrip tunes, and I have no idea why. I just drove to Dallas and back, and singing along with that freaking song just makes me laugh and kinda cry.
2. LCD Soundsystem "Sound Of Silver"
Proof that dance music can be smart and rock out, and have soul. I discovered James Murphy and his band a few years ago when "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" was a video on MTV2. I'll admit that I was afraid to spend money on the cd, because I had a bit of an aversion to dance music. But, when this cd came out, I just bit my lip and shelled out the cash and, man, am I glad I did! I think I love it because it seems like "Garage-Dance-Punk"...or something. Get Innocuous" and "Us v. Them" are my favorite tracks.
3. Glen Hansard & Markta Irglova "Once - the original motion picture soundtrack"
Tiny movie about an Irish folk singer who meets and collaborates with a Czech immigrant in Ireland. They make a demo tape of music. Each song seems chalked full of sincerity and personal insight. By the end of the movie, you root for these two artists and you feel like you've come to know two real people. Oops, this isn't supposed to be about the movie, but about the music in the movie. I can't separate the two. Rent the dvd. If you like it, you'll want the cd.
4. Spoon "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga"
Britt Daniel and Spoon are an Austin band, but this record is bigger than Austin. The guy sure knows how to make quirky music that sounds familiar enough to be called Pop Rock, but veers away into some weird little figure so that you are always having to pay attention to try and keep up with him. He noodles around in the studio a bunch. His compositions are always laden with little treasures, sonic layers and tricks, and then he takes them away from the listener. Lots of hooks that never get repeated enough for them to really be hooks. This is a cd that will just get better and better with time. Cool Stuff. SNL even featured Spoon as the musical guest back in the Fall. This may not be the release that breaks Spoon into "The Big Time", but I'd bet the bank that their day will come. Faves include "Don't Make Me A Target" and "Don't You Evah".
5. Foo Fighters "Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace"
Thank God SOMEONE had the balls to make an actual Rock And Roll record this year! Where the fuck has Rock gone? Well, it is safe in the hands of Dave Grohl and his band. Guitars that chug and chime, drums that crack and rattle, and a bass the drives right into my spinal column, this is the cd to jam on when I just wanna get LOUD! The beauty part is that it's a record filled with melody and careful arrangement.
I first fell for Foo Fighters way back when "The Color And The Shape" first came out. What was that, like, 1997? To tell the truth, I thought that record was a fluke. I mean, how could someone who played drums for Kurt Cobain in Nirvana actually pull off leading his own band, stepping out from behind the drum kit, and be the songwriting frontman that he has become? Seriously, how could that happen? Well, it did. With each release, Grohl and company prove themselves all over again. He's no fluke. Favorites include "The Pretender", "Erase/Replace".
Best Movies of 2007 (that I spent money to see) (NOT in any particular order!):
I am as embarrassed for myself as you are for me. Goofy, stupid, cheesy, and just a whole lot of fun. Kinda like sex with me.
Not embarrassed about this one. Sweet, deep, and satisfying, even if it IS about rats in the kitchen!
4. The Bourne Ultimatum
I really didn't think I'd like this, since every time I see Matt Damon now, I think of that marionette of him in "Team America". Fuck yeah! But this movie never slowed down long enough for me to remember that. It was just relentless, and Damon pulled it off. Who knew?
5. The Host
Okay, this is a Korean movie about a monster that comes up out of an industrialized, polluted river and starts eating people. The thing is a mutant fish or something. The story is of a family of losers who have to save the youngest of their family from the fish that abducts her and is saving her for a snack some time in the future. It's hard to follow, because sometimes sub-titles suck (but are ALWAYS preferrable to overdubs!), and there are language and cultural issues that can befuddle you. But all-in-all, I enjoyed the mixture of humor and horror. The ending was really very sweet.
You either like this movie or hate it. I see the flaws and can accept why some just hate it, but I found it refreshing and funny and honest in the relationship between the two boys who are the center of the story. And, the kid who played McLovin came out of NOWHERE to steal the show.
Seth Rogan will some day love me as I love him. Just wait.
7. Hot Fuzz
Look, I saw this on dvd just over Christmas, so I didn't pay to see it at the theatre. Shut up. If you saw "Shaun Of The Dead" and liked it, you will love this movie. Same guys made it. Quirky British sense of humor and story-telling, but with more of a budget this time. Not that they used the extra money wisely. It's like they didn't know how to end it, which made me laugh all the harder. Just freaking ridiculous when all is said and done. I'm sensing such a style as these two movies have is an aquired taste, but I found them delicious. Nick Frost is a superstar, in my book.
I told you my lists would be half-assed, and they surely are. But, these were the cds and movies that I enjoyed the most this year. What were yours?
Friday, December 28, 2007
Yes, today is a special day for me. Like most important days in my life, I will be introspective and quiet and amazed at all this day means. But this "special day" has extra significance to me.
Today is my birthday.
Today I turn (eek!) 49 years old.
Could someone slow the ride down just a tad? I mean, I'm having a wonderful time, but Holy MOLY, things are blazing by me pretty fast.
Today I begin the last year of my forties. Man, oh man!
Some people my age are grandparents. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do and BE when I grow up. Why am I so far behind the curve? What in the Hell am I doing?!?
Well, I'm doing the best that I can. I am being myself. I am trying to accept my place in The Pattern and work WITH it, instead of against it. I have a heart full of Love that I am determined to share with those I meet along the way. The ones I don't want to kill, that is.
I make ridiculous mistakes, nearly daily, but I try to not beat myself up over them. I am impatient, and loud, and WAY too self-involved.
And, I hope to do better for my forty-ninth try at it.
Do you feel your age? Are you amazed at how old you are?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering. Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."
So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
They e-mailed with attachments.
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports.
They did every job known to man.
Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency, and Satan was faster than hell. Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.
Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld. Jesus just sighed.
Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! "I lost everything when the power out!"
Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work. Satan observed this and became irate. "Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"
God just shrugged and said, "Jesus saves."
Hi. I'm in Dallas, spending the holiday with a buddy. It's quiet, and laid-back here. I wanted to say that whoever you are, wherever you are, my wish is for you is a special and meaningful holiday.
As a gay man, many of you may think that I am without a relationship with God. Well, you are wrong yet I have no desire to try to convince you otherwise.
I wish for Peace. I wish for Love. I wish for Healing.
To all the friends I have come to know through this here little blog: Thank you. Bless you. I am honored to know you.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Alright, I turned the automatic function off of my jukebox. I just wanted some of you'se to actually hear the song. For those of you who missed it, feel free to go up to "jimmy's jukebox" and hit play. Rufus's tune is loaded right up top, and you can hear what has been playing over and over in my head the past couple of days.
Perhaps I should clue you in that one of the reasons I think the song hits me in the throat (besides the whole gay subtext and acknowledgement of my self-destructive tendencies) is that my sister Rebecca's FAVORITE hangover remedy involved chugging store-bought chocolate milk with her morning cigarette when she had partied a li'l too hard the night before. "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk", indeed.
So, yeah, the song reminded me of me, but it also reminded me of Rebel.
And that made me smile.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
- Rufus Wainwright
Cigarettes and chocolate milk
These are just a couple of my cravings
Everything it seems I likes a little bit stronger
A little bit thicker, a little bit harmful for me
If I should buy jellybeans
Have to eat them all in just one sitting
Everything it seems I likes a little bit sweeter
A little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me
And then theres those other things
Which for several reasons we wont mention
Everything about em is a little bit stranger, a little bit harder
A little bit deadly
Its not very smart
Tends to make one part
Sitting here remembering me
Always been a shoe made for the city
Go ahead accuse me of just singing about places
With scrappy boys faces have general run of the town
Playing with prodigal sons
Take a lot of sentimental valiums
Cant expect the world to be your raggedy andy
While running on empty you little old doll with a frown
You got to keep in the game
Retaining mystique while facing forward
I suggest a reading of lesson in tightropes
Or surfing your high hopes or adios kansas
Its not very smart
Tends to make one part
Still theres not a show on my back
Holes or a friendly intervention
Im just a little bit heiress, a little bit irish
A little bit tower of pisa
Whenever I see ya
So please be kind if Im a mess
Cigarettes and chocolate milk
Cigarettes and chocolate milk
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The amazing Bigg has finally done something no other man (or woman!) has ever done to me: he popped my meme cherry! Yes, up until this very day, no one has ever tagged me to do one of these things and, quite frankly, I have been green with envy as I have watched and read others playing this little interview game. Now, I have seen bloggers open a meme up to anyone who wanted to join in and participate, but I'm hardly the type to invite myself to a party - so I just sat back and waited for my turn to be asked personally, figuring it would never happen. Well, guess fuckin' what - it just happened!
Yay! seriously, this is a big deal to me!
Then, I notice, lo and behold! that this meme isn't about silly stuff I can share. You know, asking about favorite sexual fantasies/exploits, or embarrassing anecdotes from my childhood. No, this meme doesn't center on the crotch or the funny bone. This meme is all about the heart. Considering how gooey and sappy I have been in recent weeks here anyway, I guess this will dovetail nicely. It's just not what I expected for my virginal voyage. So, here goes:
1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.
2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving, or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.
3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.
4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and find the spirit. Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.
1) At the risk of looking like a Kiss Ass, I have to admit that the first blogger to come to mind here is the man who tagged me. I have followed Bigg for well over a year now, and his story continues to be compelling and heartbreaking, yet courageous and Life-affirming.
What started as a blog about a mature man coming out of the closet, turned into a blog about a man dealing with dating and falling in love with another man, which then incorporated the story lines of divorce and fatherhood, and then turned on a dime into a blog about mortality, sickness, and cancer. Yet, the whole time, his story has been about Dignity and the Human Spirit.
He is so strong that I feel like he's teaching me how to be a Man as I read him, and yet so stubborn that I want to shake him by the shoulders and lecture him until he comes around to MY point of view. I believe in my heart of hearts that if we lived anywhere near each other, we would be dear friends. Or, he'd have me whacked because I'd be such a nuisance. Either could be true.
I don't comment on his posts much anymore, because I feel he's got such a strong group of supporters that my two cents often just echoes what everyone is telling him already. But I look in on him nearly every day. I adore this guy. Always will.
My wish for him is Health and Happiness. He deserves it so.
2) I KNOW I just posted about this, but the story of how my little sisters went out of their way to attend to my older sister's corpse after she died is just profoundly moving to me. This was an act of selflessness that I, as a family member, could NEVER have done myself. It has completely changed how I view my younger sisters now. Before this they were cute, and sweet, and...well... young! Now, I see them as deeply loving and Spiritual and full of a maturity that I can only hope to know one day myself.
3) My "selfless act" before the end of the year involves taking on the project of making a dvd of my father's life to be presented at his surprise 75th birthday party on January 12th. I am already knee-deep in family photos (some of my own, and many, many from other family and friends) that need to be scanned, cropped, assembled, edited together, and set to music. The family also wants me to narrate the thing when it is shown at the party, so I'm going to have to develop a "script" for the presentation.
Silly me, I thought this would be no big deal when I got roped into it. Now, I see how much time it is going to take, and how my family has expectations about how it will turn out. Distilling a man's life down into a 20 minute slide show that catches glimpses of his history, sense of humor, his dedication to his family, and his Faith is a real challenge. I hope to do it justice. Right now, I'm a wee bit overwhelmed, but deep inside I am bursting with pride that I have been given the opportunity to honor this incredible man and share my love of him with a room full of people who feel the same way as I do.
4) Okay, here's where I tag three others! As a gay man, I am all about the Divas in my world, and I would like to single out three of my favorites. So, Kirby, and Sue Doe-Nim, and my darling Mel, please step up and spill your guts. If I ever get tagged again, I'll go gunning for some of my favorite Men-types. That's a promise.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Here it is Friday Night and here I am enjoying it in a way that makes me blush: I have spent the entire evening cooking.
Yes, I admit it, I wanted nothing more all day than to do what I am doing. See, it was a cold and wet and dark and gloomy day here in Texas. It wasn't super cold, but it was the kind of chill that seeps right down into your bones. I knew at about 11AM this morning what I longed to do tonight.
So, right after work, I flew to the grocery store and bought my supplies. It was cheap, the fixins.
And it was worth it.
After 4 hours of chopping and slaving away over a huge pot, I am happy to report that I can make some killer fucking chicken soup. And I made enough to live off of for the better part of a week.
I am happy to be home and taking care of myself. It's been a rough couple of weeks, and I needed to find a simple way to pamper myself. This was it. Homemade chicken soup.
It's the little things, babies!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Woke up to pee and thought I jump on to say howdy. Howdy! Did I mention the other day how weird it was to sit in the waiting room at the urologist's office with a HERD of wrinkly-faced and grimmacing old men? I have seen the future, and it has an enlarged prostate.
I'm heading back to bed. Stay warm, you snugglebunnies!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The stint is out of me (and, yes, fucking OUCH! when they took it out) and I am glad to be alive.
I worked a full day at the job today, and hugged two co-workers at different points, just cuz I'm so GLAD that shit is over.
I'm a hugger.
Not the most professional tendency at work when you are a supervisor. The guys I attacked kinda liked it today, though.
I'm drinking OceanSpray Cranberry/Blueberry 100% juice (no sugar added). If I could afford to bathe in this stuff, I would. Tommorrow I stop.
It's raining penises outside right now. Uh, maybe I mean that it's pissing down rain, or something.
I hope you love your life, too.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Pardon my tardiness. Just a note to let you know where I am.
Mom Turns 73
It's my Mother's birthday today! Man, she's having a tough time of it. She called me from the road, returning back to Michigan from Virginia, so I could wish her a "Happy Birthday". I told her how much I love her and how her children can see how much she loves us. She'll be enveloped in grief for a while yet, and I intend to give her the space she needs to grieve.
She also told me a story about my younger twin sisters, Leslie and Lisa. Seems these two amazing women took it upon themselves to dress and prepare their older sister for her viewing at the memorial service. They not only clothed the body, which is a daunting and disturbing task under any circumstance, but was addedly difficult because so many internal organs had been harvested for organ donation. The funeral home staff supervised her dressing, but the hands on her body were those of her siblings. Wow. They also fixed her hair, did her make-up (Leslie apparently plucked her eyebrows a bit, knowing Rebel would have wanted to look her best), and gave her a manicure with fresh "nails" (she always loved those fake nail-things).
Afer the service, Lisa (the deaf sister) carefully cut the long locks of Rebecca's hair from her head. This was the last of Rebel's donations: her hair will go to that company that makes wigs for children with cancer who undergo chemotherapy.
This strikes me as a brave and beautiful tribute for two sisters to prepare the body of a loved one for burial, to be so intimately involved. Seems like a ritual that has occurred for humans for ages and ages. I thought of the ancient Egyptians. I thought of my deaf sister and her need to visually say "good bye", and how this act allowed for that. I thought about how strong and loving the women in my family are.
I thought about how there was no fucking way I'd ever do such a thing. I'm so proud of them for this, I could just burst.
Rebecca was cared for, and loved, and handled by family throughout her final journey. It blew me away. I'll never look at my "little sisters" in the same way ever again. I am in awe.
The Last Step In An Unpleasant Process
I go to the urologist tomorrow to get the stint removed from my ureter. One last trip in through the out door. I shudder to think about it. I will survive. After tomorrow, it's all over.
One Good Thing About Being Sick
...is that I dropped some serious weight. My pants be FALLIN' off my ass. Was re-introduced to my erection the other day, and - MAN!- it sure feels like I'm packin' extra poundage in THAT department! (that's right: I said "poundage"!)
I'm going back to work tomorrow to put in some time until my urologist appointment at 2PM. So, I'm headed to bed. Thanks for checkin' on me, folks. I love ya'll and will post again soon.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Her nickname was "Rebel" (a contraction of her first and middle names), given to her by a friend as a teenager. She loved the name and it stuck and she waved her name like a banner throughout her life. A non-conformist, she lived her life as she saw fit, and never apologized for how she saw and dealt with the world.
She drank, she smoked, she loved cowboys and the country life.
She adored animals and always had dogs, cats, and birds in her house. She once nursed a sickly baby bluejay back to health in her backyard, and the bird lived for three years out there, never caged, guarding her property and terrorizing neighborhood cats.
She bred and raised Great Danes, acquiring championships and a name for herself within the dog breeding community and the dog show circuit.
She loved antiques and collectibles, and spent many hours rummaging through local flea markets, looking for a special piece, like a lamp, that she could fix up and re-sell at a profit.
Her early occupation was as a hairdresser, and did that for years. As her brother, she would cut my hair, and I never got any input as to how it was going to look. She knew best. Honestly, I was okay with that.
The last few years of her life were spent caring for a retired military General who needed homecare. He was the father of a friend. She found tremendous satisfaction in caring for "The General".
She was a "Nurturer".
As a kid, she opened my eyes to Rock and Roll. I first heard The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers", the soundtrack to the movie "Woodstock", and the Original Broadway Cast recording of "Jesus Christ Superstar" by sneaking into her bedroom and playing her records when she was away. She was very fond of Elton John's "Madman Across The Water" album, with the single "Levon" on it. It became one of my favorites as well.
She was "cool". And, she made me want to be "cool" as well.
My mother had four children. Rebecca, me, and my younger twin sisters Leslie and Lisa. When the twins came, Mom got a little pre-occupied with keeping track of them, and had Rebecca watch over me. So, she really kind or raised me from when I was 4 until I was about 9. I called her "Beck".
Once, at the dinner table one night, my mother told me something. I turned to my sister and asked "Is that right, Beck?" As if I wasn't going to believe my mother until my big sister told me she was right.
My mother still tells that story.
Today, my family is holding a memorial service for her in Virginia, and I can't be there, so I thought I would post a little memorial of my own here.
Angus & Julia Stone "Mango Tree"
They're an Australian brother and sister that make music together. I think the third person in the video is their drummer. I like this song, and I'm thinking of my sister.
Take the picture.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I had the lithotripsy on Tuesday, spend all day today in bed. My pee went from cranberry juice-looking to a sort of blush. My kidney is still cramping and I'm guzzling water per doctor's orders and incontinent to the point of ridiculousness. I can't possibly go back to work for I shall, undoubtedly, piss my pants. I can't tell when I'm going to urinate, and when I do, man, it's painful.
My urologist says this is due to the stint (sp?) in my ureter that he placed to keep the walls from collapsing after he removed the stone. I may remain this incontinent until it is removed, which will be Monday.
Meanwhile, the memorial service for my sister is Friday afternoon, and I don't see how I can possibly fly in this condition. I sobbed like a baby when I told my mother and father over the phone tonight. They understood. We've all been doing a lot of crying.
If any of you out there think your death will not devastate the lives of the people who love you, I ask you to think again. You are cherished. You are loved. You will be mourned.
You are a Gift from God.
Monday, December 03, 2007
My parents are in Virginia tonight to say goodbye to their eldest daughter, before her organs are harvested and all life support is turned off and her remains cremated. My heart just ACHES for my folks!
I'm in Austin and spent the day at the urologist, where is was determined that the chunk of the Grand Canyon in my abdomen seems stuck, and unwilling to move.
Tomorrow, at noon, I have agreed to go through a procedure where Mohammad goes directly TO the Mountain and digs the nugget out. Blasting caps and mining helmets will surely be involved.
Won't be fun, but it will be over faster than the way things are preceding right now.
I'll post again when I'm feeling better.
BIG THANKS for all of your kind words and thoughts. You'se my peeps, and I loves ya.
And, seriously, does your family know how much you love them? I swear, it wouldn't hurt to tell them more often.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
It's approaching 2PM here and it feels like I've been awake a week since I woke up this morning at 6AM. Here's what's going on:
Awoke at 6AM, needing to pee. I actually slept about 3 hours uninterrupted since this whole "Romancing The Stone" plotline surfaced back on Wednesday. As usual, I climbed out of bed, got into the bathroom and positioned myself above the commode with the strainer. And I peed.
Nothing out of the ordinary. I checked the strainer closely, because I'm desperate for some evidence of StoneHenge, but there was nothing. I shrugged, chugged another liter of water from my trusty Gatorade bottle, and climbed back into bed. That's when I realized that my side wasn't aching. I had last taken a vicodin at about 2AM, so I was well into the window of needing another. But, I wasn't cramping. In fact, I didn't hurt at all.
Well, I thought, either I'm still doped up from the last dose, or I'm too tired to realize that I'm still in pain, or maybe that fucking rock has finally hit my bladder. I'll just lie here a bit longer and see if I start to cramp up again.
At 7Am I still wasn't hurting, so I got dressed and jumped in the truck and ran to the store. Bought some cranberry juice, a gallon of milk, and a six-pack of Glucerna. Stopped at MickyD's and got their Big Breakfast (scrambled egg, sausage patty, hash browns and a biscuit). Look, I'd been nibbling on spaghetti made on WEDNESDAY all week. I needed something fresh, okay?
Got home. Could only manage to eat half the breakfast, took a swig of cranberry juice, guzzled some more milk, did NOT take any more vicodin, and crawled back into bed. Feeling good. Feeling damned good.
At 8AM I got a phone call from my mother in Michigan. I was happy to report how much better I was feeling and lalalala it's-all-about-me when she said that she was calling to give me some bad news.
My older sister, Rebecca lives in Virginia with her boyfriend, Dean. They have lived together for about 8 years now. Rebecca gets up on weekend mornings and hits all the flea markets in town. It's what she does. She loves that shit. Well, she got up this morning, kissed her boyfriend goodbye, and jumped into her car to leave. A half hour later, Dean went into the kitchen to make himself some coffee and saw her car still in the drive. When he went out to the car, he found her body slumped over the steering wheel.
My sister had a brain hemmorage.
EMS came out, rushed her to the hospital. Doctors operated on her to relieve the pressure on her brain. The damage is too severe. She was in a coma and was on life support until Dean, my Mother , and my Father all agreed to take her off life support. The Doctor advised it. The best that could be hoped for was her living in a nursing home in a vegetative state until she died.
I lost my big sister today.
I can't stop crying.
[Late Edition Addition: Turns out my sister has an organ donor card, so she is still on life support until she is "harvested", which will probably be in the next day or so. That gives my parents time to get up to see her, as well as Lisa, who desperately wants to see her sister before "God takes her to Heaven". Me? No, sorry. I love her, but couldn't bear to see her this way. I'll be there when a memorial service is put together]
Saturday, December 01, 2007
It's Saturday morning. I still have the Little Bastard lodged inside me. I'm chugging water every time I turn around, I'm peeing about every half hour, and I'm MISERABLE.
I'm too grumpy to even try to joke about it. Just thought I'd post an update.
I'm headed back to bed (where I am SICK TO DEATH of sleeping!).
Someone have some fun this weekend, okay?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
For what it's worth, please note the little quote in my last post says specifically "anything EXTERNAL". I am keen to point that out now, as I have become seriously involved with a kidney stone, lodged somewhere between my kidney and bladder presently.
Pain? Oh, my friends FUCK yes, and I haven't even gotten to the stage where it travels from my bladder, through my urethera, and out. Kidney Stone World Tour 2007. That, without a doubt, will be a truly memorable adventure.
I spent yesterday in the ER of the hospital trying to figure out why I was cramping and had such abdominal pain. The CT scan showed us (the doc and me) why. It's small, 2cmx3cm, and there is only one of them, but it is really fucking with me.
[generic pic pulled off of Google Images. Mine will be bigger, it seems.]
I've got a bottle of Vicodin for the pain, and a jar of phenegren for the nausea (yep, this kinda pain makes ya puke), and a couple of strainers that everyone wants me to pee through, hoping to catch the little bastard. Now I just chug as much water as I can and wait to give birth to a chunk of mineral. yipee.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Need a little update on all things jimmy? The coffee is hot, I'm slowly waking up, and I'm here to spill the beans. I call it my MopUp. My friends call it "that thing you do". Let's proceed. Carefully. Might I suggest hitting the jukebox and letting me play a tune or two for you as you try to get throught this mess?
A Quick Weather Report
Whoa, Texas is nippley nowadays! Makes for lazy weekend mornings, with the blankets pulled up to your face, burrowing into the covers like a mole. The birds outside my window have stopped singing lately, and started squawking something that seriously sounds like "What the FUCK?". Shouldn't those things be in Central America by now, anyway? Migrate, you silly bitches!
[Here's a little factoid about me: I despise turning the furnace on in my house. The central heat here dries my sinuses out and can give me chapped lips, literally, overnight. Waking up to a huge sinus headache just aint a fun way to start out your day, ya know?
As a big old Hunk O' Funk, I can get by with no heat for quite a good while. It's one good benefit of being so well "insulated", I guess. But, 'round about Thanksgiving, I knew I needed to warm Casa de Jimbo up a bit. My solution? Laundry. I've been washing and drying clothes like a mofo all week. Seems my dryer has a bit of an air leak in the exhaust and heat from the monster toasts up the downstairs quite nicely. And, since the clothes start out WET, the heat is kinda MOIST! Plus, I'm gonna have clean clothes to last me until the new year! See how smart a monkey I am?]
Point being: it's cold. Cold for Texas, anyway. Lows into the lower 40s at night. Yes, we Texans are "weather pussies". Go ahead, punch us in our parkas.
Cochlear Implant Update
It was pointed out by a friend that I have done a shitty job keeping you posted on the progress of my deaf sister and her surgery to get a cochlear implant and how all that is going. Sorry.
The backstory is that Lisa, my sister, is 45 years old and has been totally deaf since about the age of 2. No one knows how or why she lost her hearing, but deafness DOES run in my Dad's side of the family. Back in October, she underwent a surgery to have a cochlear implant inserted into her head, behind her left ear. Painful process. They drilled a hole in her skull and inserted wires that will produce electronic facsimiles of what the brain will interpret as sound. So, in essence, she will not be hearing the actual sounds of the world, but an electronic re-creation of impulses by a device that feeds the brain information. Her ear is being bypassed entirely.
Does that make sense? I'm just trying to point out that this device cannot make her ears work again, but is providing a detour around the ear, and trying to give the brain something with which to work. Will she ever hear the actual, natural, original sound of our world? No. She's getting an electronic representation of sounds via this miraculous little device and her brain must now be taught that "this" stimulus is equal to "that" source.
See, it would be one thing if Lisa had actually had working ears for some time in her past. Then, she would have some context about what things should sound like. She doesn't have that luxury.
Right now, she is going through a period where she goes to see the audiologist every two weeks or so and they 1) increase the volume, and 2)fine tune the channel frequencies. This process could take up to six months. She is currently cranked up to about 2/3's volume. From what I understand, there are hundreds of frequencies that this device can be set to. It's a daunting challenge to try to determine which one will work best for her.
Lisa reports that she can tell when her dogs bark (short, sharp bursts of noise - not too complicated to figure out, huh?) and can associate a noise with the sound of her husband's voice, if he is standing in front of her and she can read his lips. But, for example, if he were talking to her and there was music playing in the background, she would have a hard time differentiating the noises coming into her at the same time. She would need her lip reading skills to help sort out the sources of the noise.
Ever heard something that you couldn't identify and said "what was that?". I think Lisa is in for a long period where everything is "what was that?" until her brain starts getting some context.
How successful this is going to be is still up in the air. Right now, we are being told to be patient.
To say the least, Lisa is thrilled with what is going on. Her only bitch is that the device that hangs on the back of her ear isn't very comfortable, so she takes it off when she gets too irritated.
Now, what I have just tried so feebly to explain may actually be WAY off the mark. I'm learning about all this, as the family is, as I go. If someone with expertise in this field should happen upon this post, and want to correct me, I would surely appreciate any input.
(excuse me while I dash off for a refill of my coffee...I may need to throw another load of laundry in. My toes are cold, and my penis is lodged somewhere in my abdomen. - By the way, it should only be fair that, in the cold, vaginas should shrink as well. Imagine how popular sex in Alaska would be!)
Bariatric Surgery Update
Okay, I went through my three days of appointments the week before Thanksgiving at the amazing Methodist Hospital in Houston. I went with an open mind, but was leaning towards the lapband surgery, not the gastric bypass (called a "roux-en-y"). Well, in the orientation seminar, it was very clearly pointed out that the roux-en-y was the most effective surgery for weight loss, and that the lapband had lots of potential complications. Being the eager student that I was, I was easily convinced that the intestinal re-routing of my guts was the only way to go, and I jumped on the Bypass Bandwagon, and nodded like a reborn Christian in church that Bypass was my only Salvation.
I met the surgeon the next day, and when he asked me of my choice of procedures, I immediately assured him that Bypass was my decision. He smiled at me, and agreed with me, and signed off on being my doctor. His only caveat was I have to lose 30 pounds before he will operate.
Friday was my "clinic' visit, where I was evaluated, psychologically and nutritionally, and given notebooks full of information concerning the procedure. I was instructed to read carefully about all facets of the process, so that I was comfortable with what my future was going to entail.
So, I read.
It took me a couple of days to get through it all, and the more I read, the more I started hearing a little voice in my head. I've named this voice "Jess". Sorry, inside joke there.
Anyway, what I was discovering was that the procedure I had chosen is, indeed, the most effective weight loss procedure, but also a procedure that will mess with my absorption of nutrients and calories is a drastic, drastic way.
See, I am a big guy. I'm not talking fat here, I'm talking about beyond the fat. I'm a large, barrel-chested, big-shouldered brute of a dude. I played football at one point in my life, and it helped me develop a musculature that, although buried right now under pads of fat, is still there.
Sure, I want to shed the fat, but I'm worried about shedding the muscle tone as well.
The weight loss from the Bypass is so severe and quick that I fear I will not be able to keep up with maintaining muscle through exercise and working out. Keeping protein inside you is a huge issue with Bypass patients, and I'm scared I won't be able to give my body what it needs nutritionally.
My dear friend just had the Bypass done two weeks ago. She dropped 13 pounds in one week after surgery. This is after dropping 74 pounds on a liquid diet she has been on since Memorial Day. That kinda freaks me out.
The weight loss from the Lapband is slower, thus giving me more of an opportunity to keep my muscles. If I'm not feeding my body enough, I could supplement my diet with a protein shake. The recovery time for the Lapband is a few days. Recovery from the Bypass is weeks.
My head was swimming with all the facts, and I was completely overwhelmed. By Saturday night, I finally had to admit to myself that I was on the wrong track. I would be more comfortable with the Lapband, I decided.
I called the doctor's office on Monday. They returned my phonecall on Tuesday and were alarmed with my decision. I was told that because I am diabetic, the doctor may not agree to do the Lapband, that the Lapband may not help me knock the diabetes out. I reminded the nurse that there are no guarantees that the Bypass would, either. She pointed out that the Bypass is shown to help patients drop up to 80% of their excess weight, while the Lapband figures are at about 50%. Fifty percent off of my excess weight sounded pretty damned good to me, I replied.
We talked a whole lot longer than this, but you get the gist.
She wasn't happy with me, but told me she would pass this information on to the doctor and he would either agree to it, insist on meeting with me again to discuss it, or simply refuse to do the procedure.
I'm still waiting to hear back from them.
Odds & Ends
Mexican cuisine is a mystery to me. How can such simple ingredients turn into such savory flavors? I went to a favorite Mexican restaurant the other day and treated myself to something I will soon no longer be able to eat: well...Mexican food! This stuff is so unhealthy it's ridiculous. Just a big plate of carbs and fat, with a side of protein, and I know it. But, I was jonesing for cheese enchiladas, and since I start a serious freaking diet next week, I allowed myself this one indulgence.
Shut up. I mean it.
So, I'm sitting in this small, largely empty restaurant, just CREAMING over my plate of hardening arteries, when a guy walks into the restaurant and sits a table away from me. There were only about 5 customers in the whole place, and this jackass has to sit within arm's length of me. Okay. THEN, he pulls out his cellphone and starts on one of the most truly surreal one-sided phone conversations I have ever had to endure in my life. In full voice, like he was in his living room or something, I heard this:
(the following is an abbreviated, Cliff Notes version)
He was talking to an unnamed woman about being kicked out of the house by Becca, who was angry that Zira told her all about his past with Merriam. He couldn't believe it! He didn't love Merriam. Actually, he still had the hots for Zira, but she only thought of him as a friend, which made living with her difficult in the past. He never intended to hurt Becca! Well, without a place to live, he was certainly going to have to find a job right away, even if it meant moving out of Austin. Yes, he was sick of Austin. People are so rude here! He appreciated the friendship of the unnamed woman on the phone. What? He would never want to come between she and Samantha! Well, maybe he would consider it if a job offer that he couldn't refuse surfaced here in town. Becca has just lost her mind! He wasn't sure how much time he had to get his shit out of the house.
I considered stabbing him in the head with my cheesy fork.
Becca might be mentally unstable, you know. She is always picking on him for ridiculous reasons! All he has ever wanted to do was help her manage her life! No, Merriam won't take his phone calls anymore. He thinks she lives on the east side now, and has driven past her house a few times, but never sees her car there.
Why would Zira try to sabotage him in this way? Maybe she realizes that she DOES have deep feelings for him, and is trying to get him back? Life with Zira was carefree and fun. The sex was fantastic! He thinks about that all the time. Why are women so fickle? Why can't they understand that men just want to please and gratify women? Did the unnamed woman remember the time they fooled around in Corpus Christi? He sure did. He hoped that he satisfied her, in that way, too.
I swear to God.
By now, other customers were being sat around us. I turned to look at an older woman who had been there nearly as long as I had, sipping a cup of coffee and trying to read a newspaper. She rolled her eyes at me.
On and on, it went. He never stopped. Talked continually through his plate of beef enchiladas. I could NOT believe what was going on. I wish I had asked the manager to intervene, but I think I was convinced that this doofus was going to stop at some point and allow the rest of us to eat in peace. Never happened.
Folks, if you have a cellphone, turn the fucker OFF when you are in a restaurant, or at least put it on vibrate. If you have to take a call, excuse yourself from the dining room and talk out of earshot from the other guests. Why is this so hard to understand? What the fuck happened to manners?
Okay, that's it for now. I got a little long-winded, but felt I should spend some Quality Time with you. The coffee is cold, and I've lost the will to type. Check back with you soon!
Friday, November 23, 2007
p.s. and for those of you who I blogroll and tout whenever I can, would it kill ya to blogroll me as well? Am I not worthy? Am I sounding pathetic and whiney?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Look, I can't do this today. I've tried several times to start a post, and it just implodes on me. I am currently upset about knowing that I have some critical eyes reading what I write, and it's fucking with my head, man.
I'm wondering if I have sabotaged myself, and this silly little piece of personal fluff that means so much to me, by not keeping my writing completely anonymous and "underground" from my real life.
Next week is a short week at work. Monday and Tuesday, and then I'm off. I'm still unsure if I will have to hit the road to hang with family for Thanksgiving. I'd rather not, this year. The last thing I want to have to do is face the mountain of food that this holiday brings. I don't need the pressure, ya know?
For those who don't know me very well, let me tell you that Thanksgiving is BY FAR the best holiday of the year. No, I'm not talking about food. I just LOVE the concept of taking a day to focus on all of the blessings you have in your life and just shut the fuck up with the whining fer once and be GRATEFUL. Say "Thank You!" to the Universe. Look around and realize how fucking GOOD your life is, dude!
So, jimmycity just wants to remind you to take time on Thursday to be quiet and reflect upon all that you have and all that you love. Go inward. Take a deep breath and listen to the air as you expel it from your lungs. Savor the silence and the shutting up for a minute. Be sure and say "thank you".
Isn't it awesome?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Hello. Yes, I am in Houston. I'm here for three days to determine if I am going to accepted for gastric bypass surgery. I'm holed up in a Homestead Suite with my laptop and blackberry. The wireless connection in the room is lame, I can't fire up my webcam, or download music or porn, but I will survive. These suites have a li'l kitchenette, so I bought some diet drinks and hit the Taco Cabana (a step up from Taco Bellch), so I had a breakfast this morning of two chicken fajita tacos and a Diet Coke. The bed in this room makes me appreciate my new mattress at home. This thing feels like I'm sleeping on a big square of jello with mystery fruit in it. (Does that feel like a big ass grape, or a smallish orange section?)
Lumpy and wiggly, is my point.
I spent 2 1/2 hours at an orientation last night, hearing stuff I already knew -because I've been to these things before - and was reminded of one good thing about these 'get-togethers": for once, I'm never the largest guy in the room! Now, please don't think I'm all competitive and shit about such things but, trust me, if you are used to going places and being the largest object (besides the furniture) in a given place, well when you aren't, you kinda NOTICE it, okay? All in all, I was with "my peeps", who were sweet and interesting, and excited, and nervous...just like me. I even carefully
Today I meet with the surgeon, Dr. Garth Davis: awesome guy. He, along with his father, spoke to the group at orientation last night. I'm not sure what all happens at the consultation today so I'll fill you in later.
My appointment is in less than an hour, so I've gotta get going.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Yes, it's that time again, when I sit down with a bucket of coffee, a li'l somethin' to nibble on, and I spend some time catching you up on what is going on whilst I juggle some household chores and get all domestic an' shit. I call it "Sunday Mop Up" and it goes like this:
[ -11/13/07- This section has been deleted, due to claims of inaccuracies, exaggerations, and rude commentary by the author (me). None of which were my intentions, by the way. Well, sure I can admit to exaggerating, because I don't think I've ever blogged and not exaggerated. Seriously.
The fact is, I had a great time at this party, but somehow managed to hurt some very nice people's feelings by writing about it. This saddens me greatly. I hope to have the opportunity to speak with anyone who feels slighted and try to explain myself. I began that process this evening.
Let me be clear here. I am very sorry if I offended anyone in this original post. Very sorry, indeed. ]
With the painting of the master bedroom walls last week, I thought I would move the furniture around a bit and de-clutter the room. I have an armoir made of teak that I use as an extra closet which I intend to convert into an entertainment cabinet (holding a tv, dvd player, telephone, and a place to stash my gay sex stuff), so I kept that in the room, but angled it in a corner, so that you can lie in bed and open the doors to see the tv (which will eventually be a 32 inch, flat panel, LCD HDTV- do ya hear me, Lord?). A small teak end table was moved away from the bed and across the room. This table holds an oriental lamp and my clock radio. Nothing else. I need my alarm to be out of arm's reach from the bed, or I just turn it off in the morning and roll over and continue to sleep. I know, I'm a slug. My laundry hamper is now over by the bedroom window. And that is all that is in my room now. The main thing is that I moved my bed and black laquer chinese screen (that I use as a headboard) from off of the south wall to the north wall of the room.
When my sister heard this, her comment was "Oh, that's GOOD feng shui! Sleeping with your head to the north will give you MUCH better rest at night!" I told her she was ridiculous, and laughed it off.
Since moving the bed, I have woken up every morning more fully refreshed than I have in YEARS.
I'm not finished with the room. Besides putting the entertainment center together, I need some cool artwork on the long, south wall, and a nice piece over the small table as you enter the room. My closet in that room also needs a complete overhaul, if I am going to stop using the armoir as closet space. I'd like to buy one of those closet organizer systems, but holy HELL they are expensive!
I'm also going to start reading about this feng shui shit.
[Intermission as I refill the bucket o' coffee, and swap some laundry downstairs]
I'm back with a bowl of clam chowder and more coffee. Man, I love Sundays!
It's The End Of The World As We Know It
(And I Feel Sick!)
My friends know that I love a good, goofy little song, and a buddy of mine sent me a link to a music video by a guy on YouTube, singing a song about lesbians eating each other's shit and vomiting on each other. Despite the subject of the song, the arrangement of the tune, as well as the performance, was quite sweet. But, along with the video was a link to the video that the guy wrote the song about, and I made the unfortunate decision to click on that link and witnessed a video that is certainly the most disgusting, disturbing, and vile video clip I have EVER laid eyes upon. It was, indeed, a clip of two lesbians involved in some scat rituals that, seriously, should be removed from the internet immediately.
Do any of you know of the infamous pic of goatse? Dude, this video makes that look like Saturday morning cartoons.
At what point does free speech turn into free rein to do nothing more than frighten and sicken the public? Is everything and anything acceptable to exhibit? Look, I'm a bleeding heart liberal and all, but MY GOD, this is the most heinous thing I have ever come across, and I have to worry about innocent, immature eyes finding such a thing out on the web.
This is like a sign of the Apocalypse, or proof that Satan is real, when a "Caligula - The Home Game" kinda video is the current YouTube rage.
I have no intention of sharing a link to this with you. If you wanted to dig for it, I'm sure you could with the little bit of info I have posted here. Trust me, you do not want to see this.
For all I know, these kinds of sex rituals have gone on for centuries. Still, sharing them for anyone to see on the internet is just friggin' WRONG.
My glasses. Again.
If you should stumble across them, please mail them back to me, okay?
Friday, November 09, 2007
1. Just finished painting the master bedroom. Went from a stark, cold white, to a warm and glowing honey/wheat color. Had a friend help me. Took all week. We painted naked and would get a single wall done, and then "celebrate" (nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more!). Dude, I HAVE my priorities! I'm so happy with the change, that I'm considering doing the guest bedroom (where I sit at the computer) during Thanksgiving week. We'll see if my buddy is "up" for it...
2. I have a series of appointments at United Methodist Hospital in Houston next week (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) to determine if I am an acceptable candidate for gastic bypass or lap-band surgery. I still haven't firmly committed to which procedure to have, and I'll explain it all another time, but I am friggin' PSYCHED that this is going to happen. Although I will probably lose the friends I have who like me as a big, fat fag... I am more concerned about my health and quality of life. Ya know, if you don't want to be my friend because of the change in what my body looks like, you were really never my friend anyway. Piss off.
I'll probably take the laptop and blog about the experience while in Houston. By the way, my surgeon is Garth Davis, one of the two doctors from the tv show "Big Medicine", which was on Discovery Channel and now is on TLC, I think. More about it all later!
3. My mother called the other day and has gotten her fanny in a financial hole. The woman lives beyond her means. It makes me crazy. But, she was sweet and frightened and I ended up loaning her a thousand bucks. I was so upset afterwards (cuz, I really don't have that kinda cash to throw around) that my spastic colon kicked in, and I had diarrhea the rest of the day.
TMI? Yeah, I figured.
It's Friday, people! I expect everyone to get naked with someone else by day's end. Understood? I mean it.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Yes, I haven't blogged in, like, forever. But I'm here now so strap it on, lube it up, and point it at someone you love 'cuz it's that special day of the week! Let the Mop Up begin, babies!
I'm Always The Last To Know
Did you know that the darker the roast of the coffee bean, the less caffeine? It's true.
While out buying a new batch of whole coffee beans for my beloved morning cuppa, I was schooled on this by the salespunk at Starbucks. See, I had been buying the more expensive, darker roast beans all this time, gladly shelling out the extra money for what I thought was more of a kickstart to my central nervous system in the morning. Turns out, for a lot less money, I can buy Kenyan beans (not as darkly roasted AND nearly 30% cheaper than what I had been buying) and the additional caffeination (is that a word?) is completely apparent. For example, I am only halfway through my first cup/mug/bucket so far and all ready my nipples could cut glass. It's a good sign.
Well, maybe the house is a little cooler than usual. That could account for it as well, but I'm sticking to my first hypothesis.
So,the lesson is : the roasting process actually burns off some of the caffeine in coffee. The longer it is roasted, the less is contained. Duly noted. Thanks, salespunk!
Long-term readers of this blog know how I feel about Halloween. By the way, "long-term readers" don't exist here, and I friggin' KNOW it, okay? Please, just humor me and read along.
Halloween is a holiday that belongs, in MY humble opinion, to CHILDREN. Yes, I am well aware of this "history" of this day and the "SO not about children!" aspect to it, but we have evolved as a culture and society now and this holiday should now belong only to children. Because adults have turned it into an excuse to be drunk, sick, and stupid - all while dressing up in very uncreative and largely pathetic costumes.
I'm not into "dress up". I'm not into drinking. I'm not into proving what a moron I am (although I still manage it frequently).
My disdain for this holiday can be traced directly to my life as a bouncer many years ago. Drunk people suck bad enough on any usual day of the week, but add to it the capability of hiding some prop within their costume to use on you as you try to escort them out of the door at closing time? I fucking hated working two days of the year at the bars: Halloween and New Year's Eve.
And, for what it is worth, I maintain that Halloween is the perfect excuse for many "straight" men who are confused about their sexual orientation to dress up in drag and not be considered a transvestite. If you have any male friends who, year after year, wear makeup and pantyhose on Halloween, it's time you sat them down and had a little talk. "Oh, you're Courtney Love AGAIN this year, Bob? How interesting!"
My guess on a popular costume this year -at least for us fags? Senator Larry Craig in a restroom stall. How CLEVER (cue: eyeroll)!
Now, 'scuse me while I go pour a second bucket of coffee. Be right back...
I've recently gotten news that a guy who I've chatted with online for several years now, just lost his life partner of 12 years earlier this month. Gay men living together for 12 years in a committed relationship? How NOT married is that!?!
Tony is a wonderfully sweet, tubby gay guy who, although partnered with the older Guido for lo these many years, found his sexy butt on several "bear smut" magazines. Yet, the love they had for each other, Tony and Guido, was never a question.
Well, Tony has posted a little memorial to Guido on his LiveJournal page, and I thought I would share it here. If you are disgusted and repulsed at the sight/thought of two grown men loving each other, don't bother playing the link. I found it touching and sweet and makes me wonder why anyone would object to the concept of two adult human beings wanting to honor and commit to each other before the eyes of God and their community in the sanctity of a vow of marriage?
Love is Love, people.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm doing this for the benefit of Dick Small, who claims on his blogsite that he doesn't know who this hot hunk of thespianism is.
He was Samwise in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, he was Rudy in the movie "Rudy" (a football movie). He was a cute little geek with a lisp in the movie "Goonies" way back when. He is the son of Patty Duke and John Astin (remember Gomez in the tv show "The Addams Family?). Hell, he was in "Encino Man" with Brendan Frasier and Pauly Shore. REMEMBER? Come ON!
He is Patty Duke's best work EVER!
Okay, maybe I just like lookin' at him.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Look, I just spent an hour and a half writing a post, and Blogger chose to eat its ass out and now it is nowhere to be seen.
Didn't even autosave it, like it claims it does.
I'm now in a foul mood and uninterested in rebuilding the little gem of a post that I had constructed.
Screw it. I'll try again another time.
Lisa is doing fine, but has a connection issue with the appliance (?). It's gonna take some time to get it figured out.
I got told by a punk/thug at MacDonald's to drive away from the drive thru, because he "doesn't give a fuck". I'm meeting with the store manager on Monday to discuss said punk's big, stupid mouth.
I loathe teenagers.
Jimmy's jukebox is freshly loaded with some new stuff, including the most sick and twisted co-dependent love song ever written in the 60s. I've included the original and a badass cover version.
That's all I can manage for now.
Monday, October 15, 2007
This just in from Sister Central:
Lisa (yes, that is her name) goes to the doctor THIS FRIDAY to have her implant powered up and programmed. The family isn't sure what to expect, but we are very excited and feel so amazingly blessed that our family member is getting this chance that she has dreamed about her entire life.
I hold my arms upward toward the sky and feel The Universe hold me in Its embrace.
I'll keep ya posted, my friends!
Friday, October 12, 2007
"They say it's like a Bloody Mary," the cashier told me.
"More like a Dry Heave Hannah!" I replied.
Let's see what the judges have to say:
Also, while researching the above atrocity on the web, I came across this little beverage sold in Japan:
Yum! Cucumber flavored Pepsi! Not kidding, it's sold in Japan. Let's go to the judges again...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Warning: Staring at the pictures too long and/or experiencing Resort Envy may mean you are "family", if ya know what I mean.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Oh, how sweet! I'm nowhere to be seen for over a week, and none other than that dear "Ravn" is the sole blogbuddy who asks where I am and what has happened! Thank you for your concern, Ravn, and trust me when I say that you are my FAVORITE (insert a nasty look here over to Dick Small's direction)!
I spent 45 minutes at the Post Office today trying to retrieve all the mail I had on hold while gone. Would someone explain to me again why we don't privatize the Post Office? Jesus, I've never seen so many rounded shoulders and dead eyes and lifeless shuffles and "fuck you" attitudes! I could feel my blood pressure spiking as I watched those governmental zombies stumble through the Hell they call "work". I wanted to scream "Lick a stamp and lick my fucking ass, for GOD'S sake!" I'm gonna buy stamp software at some point, so I don't ever have to set foot in that crypt again.
It kinda ruined my day, truth be told. Anyhoo...
Yes, I've been back home for several days now and have been very neglectful in posting. Let me catch you up:
Sister is doing very well. The hospital where the surgery was performed is a "teaching" hospital, so things went slowly as every med student who could get in on some of the action - did! I'm not kidding. The poor girl had three separate anaesthesiologists (I nearly slipped into a coma just trying to spell that friggin' word), three nursologists, a head surgologist and two -ologists that I still have no idea what their function was.
They had to drill a hole in her skull. Behind her right ear. It's where the wire goes that stimulates the nerves in the middle ear. A hole in her skull. Fuckola!
Her rough and tumble husband was kind of in a bewildered fog of anxiety during the surgery. I was glad I was there. He lost her bag of personal belongings at one point. I found them in the cafeteria. He couldn't get any staff to give him any progress reports. I flagged down a nurse and stood in her path until I got answers. When Sis got out of surgery and into Recovery, I could tell she was still in an inordinate amount of pain. I insisted she get more drugs. I did a lot of eye to eye contact with staff and spoke very measured and calmly and slowly. They responded to my requests quickly.
Look, I know this isn't about me, I'm just saying I think I helped, okay?
She was scheduled for surgery at 9:30AM...she didn't get into surgery until noon. We didn't get to see her until nearly 5PM. We finally got her packed up and into the car, bound for home, by 7pm. When we all got home, EVERYone was wiped out.
A day later, her husband had kicked into "caregiver" mode very well. Even my niece was being helpful. Sis, however, was distracted by my presence, and WAY too worried about how I was, whether I had enough to eat...did I sleep okay, and so on. I decided I needed to leave so that she would concentrate on herself and stop trying to be the good hostess.
So, my work was done and I bolted.
I check in on her online regularly. The hole in her middle ear has caused balance issues, but that was expected. She will spend the next four weeks healing before they get in and turn the implant on and program the chip. That's when we find out if it will help her hear again.
Remind me to tell you about the gay motel/resort that I stayed at on the way back to Texas. Yup, a gay resort. In Oklahomo City. Too funny.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Man, Missouri is really in the middle of America and in the middle of nowhere. I'm a city boy, and this is really testing my patience.
My sister and her family are treating me like a king, I SO don't deserve it.
The operation is tomorrow, but they won't program the chip and plug her in for 4 weeks or so.
We're getting up at 6am tomorrow to make the 90 minute drive to Kansas City. I want a friggin' medal for voluntarily waking up at such a God-Awful hour. I'm asking nicely.
Great, I'm lying here naked on the bed, on my belly, with the bedroom door closed, typing away on my awesome laptop, and my sister just opened the door to see if I was okay. I don't mind being an exhibitionist when I am in control of the situation. This was not one of those situations.
I can still hear her laughing in the other room.
It's okay. Family rocks.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Okay, wait, before I tell you that, let me give you a little background:
I was born a middle-child. I have an older sister who is four years older than me, and two twin sisters, who are four years younger than me. I'm the only boy, and my Dad was a pilot in the Air Force and was gone all time time. Yes, I grew up surrounded by a mother who was trying to raise four kids (practically) by herself, and three strong-willed sisters. I turned out gay. Go figure.
Anyway- my "little" sisters, the twins, always fascinated me. In one family photo after another, you can see me focusing on The Twins and laughing my ass off. They were a hoot to watch grow up. My older sister was always a kind of surrogate parent to me. I loved her, but she was always telling me what to do - but my younger sisters were just a party. It didn't hurt that I was their "big brother", either.
The extra wrinkle to this is that one of the twins became deaf at about the age of two. The doctors were never really certain why, but it was nerve deafness and that was that.
This sister continues to just blow the doors off of me on a regular basis. When she was FOUR YEARS OLD she knew that she wanted to learn how to read lips and speak, not use sign language, to communicate. This is a big decision for the parents of a deaf child. Speech therapy is long and drawn out and frustrating. I remember quite clearly when she told my parents she wanted to lip read because she wanted to "talk to EVERYbody!"
My Dad was transferred to Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio, because at the time it had the best school for the deaf in the country: The Alexander Graham Bell School for the Deaf. My sister enrolled in that school at the age of four.
After several years at this special schoool, she let it be known that she wanted to attend public school, with her sister, her twin. So, she started her school career over, starting in the first grade, and took accelerated classes to catch up with her sister. Somewhere around 6th grade she caught up, and began attending class with her twin.
Am I doing her justice here? Can you understand what a strong spirit this person has?
My family attended church every Sunday. The deaf twin was furious that her sister and I sang in the children's church choir. She wanted to sing, too! My mother tried to explain that in order to sing with the group, you had to make some very precisely pitched sounds together. Pffft! she countered, God would LOVE the way she sang!
And sing, she would. Not in the choir in church, but after church, when we were home. You could find her tucked away somewhere, softly singing a song of her own. I found her many a time like that. She would be staring up at the sky, singing in a monotone that probably made dogs in the neighborhood cock their heads.
She went on to graduate from high school, get a job in a beauty shop, and married a young man in her early 20's. She is still married to that man to this day, and has raised two wonderful girls, my nieces, who are not deaf.
So, that's the background. Now, to explain my upcoming weekend...
My deaf sister is getting a cochlear implant on Monday. The thing Rush Limbaugh has, I think. My mother was going to fly to Missouri to be with her, but has determined that she can't swing the finances. When I heard that news over the last weekend, I have been wrestling with the thought of going there to be with her myself. I think she'd like her "big brother" to be close.
[pause here as I get a lump in my throat]
See, the thing is, the chances of this procedure working for her aren't all that good. But that's not important. What is important is that I want to honor the spirit of that little girl who wants to know why SHE can't sing in the choir, why SHE shouldn't be able to talk to EVERYbody.
She is so amazing, she just might pull this off! She's cool like that. Seriously.
I'm struggling like hell to get two weeks worth of work done at my job by the day after tomorrow, so I can take a week and not be missed. I'm looking at my bank account daily and doing the math. I hate math. I hate sweating over money. I hate not being wealthy enough that this kind of thing is easy to accomplish. But, fuck it. Something tells me that I need to be there.
So, I'm going. I'm gonna jump in my truck after work on Friday and drive to Middle-of-Friggin'-NoWhere, Missouri over the weekend to be with my fucking fantastic little sister (and her fucking fantastic family) on Monday for the operation. No one knows I'm doing this. I'm just gonna show up... and tell her that I love her.
Wish her Luck, okay? Thanks.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It's a link to the screaming twink/queen "Leave Britney ALONE!" kid. He calls himself Chris Crocker. If you haven't seen it, it'll make your eyes roll back in your head, whether you're gay or straight. The pathetic part is that this little piece of melodrama has had over 9 MILLION hits on YouTube in just over two weeks.
YouTube is the biggest internet phenomenon since Google. Equal parts Gong Show, American Idol, and America's Funniest Home Videos, it amazes me what people are willing to do to get a little recognition. Amost as bad as blogging, huh?
The last geek to catch our attention on YouTube was THIS GUY:
Does your gaydar go off with him, too? Mine sure does. Wretched freaking song. Seriously. Over 9 million hits for this trainwreck as well, but it's been around for about 5 months now.
But, back to Chris. Chris Crocker can bet his candy-ass that he's hit the Big Time when mainstream cable networks start making fun!
He was featured on Jimmy Kimmel, and Keith Olbermann, the Today Show (I think) and a slew of other media outlets. Here's another clip, from NationalLampoon.com:
If you haven't sniffed around YouTube, you really ought to try it some time. Just enter some wacked out topic, person, thought, or fantasy into the search field, and watch what pops up. I believe, and I'm completely disgusted to admit this, that we may be looking at the future of television here.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
(deep breath here)
DETROIT (AP) — A grand jury has issued new charges against a U.S. prosecutor from Florida accused of soliciting sex with a 5-year-old girl on the Internet.
A U.S. magistrate today ordered John D.R. Atchison held without bond. At his lawyer's request, a suicide watch also was lifted for Atchison.
Atchison is from Gulf Breeze. He's an assistant U.S. Attorney in northern Florida, based in Pensacola.
Authorities say he was arrested Sunday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after several weeks of Internet conversations between him and a detective posing as the mother of a 5-year-old girl.
He was charged with crossing state lines with intent to have sex with someone under 12; use of the Internet to seek illicit sex; and interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual contact.
I just want to puke. When are we going to wake up and start throwing the book at these monsters? Zero Tolerance for this scum. ZERO!
Monday, September 17, 2007
This is Paul. I've worked with him for over 10 years now, and I never knew he was a Superhero! A Japanese Superhero, at that! He's from New Jersey, for cryin' out loud. How could he have kept such a thing from me, his supervisor? Why wouldn't he tell me about who he really is?
Wait a minute, I didn't come out to him until earlier this year...
Okay, I guess we're even now. Except he obviously has better fashion sense.
Other fun facts about Paul:
*He drives a Miata and belongs to a Miata-owners car club. They go places and do things together. In their Miatas. That's how it works.
*Besides his love for cheesy (read: bad) sci-fi and monster movies of the '50s and '60s, Paul has also nearly memorized every line of dialogue from every episode of The Simpsons ever made. Maybe I'm exaggerating here, but it might be true!
* His job performance is the most consistent of anyone I have ever supervised. He is methodical and has a keen eye for detail. (Lifted from the last performance review I gave him)
*A notoriously cheap bastard, he only goes out to eat for lunch if he has a coupon from someplace and only gets a haircut if he has a coupon from someplace. It's really pretty funny.
*Because of his ability to squeeze a penny until it bleeds, Paul goes on a magnificent vacation once a year. A few years back it was Paris. Last year, I think it was Peru. He just got back last week from this year's amazing vacation to Mexico City. Now I'm beginning to wonder if he really goes to these places to vacation, or if he's fighting huge monsters and saving Mankind in his spare time!
* I used to call him "Coupon Boy". Little did I know he is "Ultraman"!
[Late Edition Addition - Lest you think I whipped that pic up, I want to assure you that I have no such graphics skills. He, in fact, emailed it to me earlier today. I guess everyone has secrets, huh?]