Aug 1 2012

Christmas 2011 Thank Yous

Ran into my friend Logan last summer. He apologized for not having replied to my email–from two years ago. He said he started a reply, but every time he went to send it he ended up revising it and  it is still in his Drafts folder.

It sounded funny at the time, but I now have a blog post that I started December 26 and have never posted, thanking everyone for the gifts that I asked for and/or received for Christmas. The problem was that I started the post in the hospital, then got out, and then got massively sick from what I assume to be a virus I picked up in the hospital.

So here it is. View this as an uncompleted time capsule from Dec 26, 2011:

This year I am endeavoring to do what I should have done every year: spend as much time thanking people for gifts as I did asking for them.

First, as noted on my Christmas list, I really wanted the first two books in Alan Gordon’s Fool’s Guild series of mysteries. Got em! Glad of it too–I spent all of Boxing Day (O Canada!) and part of the next day in the hospital with another bout of A-fib, and I was glad for a good book. So, I thank you, Tom. I’m sure the roommate I didn’t push out the window would thank you as well.

Its not like I just go around pushing hospital roommates out of windows, but I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, either. The guy talk–loudly. He had a hearing aid, but didn’t wear it, and spent the entire visit talking–to his visitors, on the phone, and then when he went to sleep, to himself. But sometimes he didn’t talk, like when he was watching TV. Without his hearing aid.

Anyway, thank you for keeping me entertained and from being a felon.

Speaking of the hospital, I got to wear my sharp new retro Star Wars sleep pants instead of looking like a mental patient, so thank you, The Baby. While we’re on the subject of Star Wars, my brother Nube gave me a sweet Boba Fett shirt. You would think as popular as he is, BF shirts would be easier to find. It was nice to wear it after I doffed my mental patient gown.

Speaking of Nube, he also got me something I have wanted for a while: a 3 pot Crock Pot. The reason was so that I could experiment with my various stews without ruining an entire batch (especially when making Irish Lamb Stew).

Is there anything better than a bag of coffee for Christmas? Yes, yes there is–two bags of coffee. A bag of The Dunks from The Robert, and a bag of Drowsy Poet White Christmas coffee from Jessica. So appropriate, because if you have ever seen a cup of Jess’s coffee, you would know how amazingly white it is.

The Baby also got me Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, which I read quickly, while I was having cabin fever, and it was great.

While I was reading all of these books and wearing all of these clothes, I was eating like a king, as a great number of people made us homemade desserts. The Herberts made us some buckeyes, which are peanut butter and chocolate confections, the Clarks made us cookies–specifically and including gingerbread (the best!), the Spencers made us hard candy, and the aforementioned Robert made us turtles and Russian tea cakes.

Now would be a good time to mention that between July and November I lost twenty pounds. When I went to the ER I found that I had made up for most of the loss.

Tom also also got me some seeds so I can grow some Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango! I can’t eat ’em any more, but I can still dream…(cue sad music).

From Jake the Snake, Heather and I got matching Mickey and Minnie Mouse Mugs, all the easier for when Heather wants to slip me a mickey (ba dum ching!).

My brother Dahoo got me the Dreams of Flight CD I had so long coveted, and it was every bit as awesome as I remembered (even more so, because I don’t have to rewind it).

The Other Bruce got me a router table–now I can set my internet router on it. I don’t know why he thought an electronic appliance the size of a sandwich needed its own large table, but hey, it’s all good. Unless he meant for me to use it with my Porter Cable plunge router…in which case, that is pretty flipping’ awesome. Plus, it was wrapped very nicely, like a life-sized Tin Man.

Coda: For everyone I forgot, I am truly sorry. Like I said, I drafted this while in and recovering from the hospital, and, like you learned in Fellowship of the Ring“…some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.”

 

 

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Jan 3 2012

Slacking, reading

Yeah, I know: my streak is finally broken. I went for almost five months with updates every 2-3 days, and then just totally fell off the wagon. I’ve had a few things going on (and by a few, Perry, of course I mean a googolplex).

Anyway, I have at least spent some of my time being somewhat productive: I have read three books already since Christmas.

First, I read Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, a gift from The Baby, and it was just as good as the others in the series

For Christmas I also received the first two books in Alan Gordon’s Fools’ Guild mystery series that I had asked for, thanks to Grampa Tom. I really wanted these books, and it was kind of cool the way I received them: each book was from a different edition, and both were from different editions than the third book that I already owned. See the obvious significance? A jester’s motley is made up of a wide variety of bits of cloth, and my collection of books starring jesters is…

Fine, whatever. Philistines. Anyway, despite the fact I really wanted these, I didn’t plan on reading them as quickly as I did (I finished the first one two days after Christmas, and finished the second the day after New Year’s). But when you get hospitalized because of your stupid A-fib, suddenly you have lots of time to read. I was still in the joint when I finished the first, Thirteenth Night, and started Jester Leaps In shortly after I got out.

For my evening devotions before going to bed I am reading The Man God Uses, by Henry and Tom Blackaby. I’m just a few pages in, but it is good so far.

For months now I have been trying to read The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay–a book about a young woman from Tasmania who gets a job working in a used bookstore in New York City. It started off amazing, but has become a real chore to try to get through. Kind of odd, really, since I started reading it while I was reading The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, a history of the founding of Australia (and Tasmania), which also started brilliant, couldn’t put it down, but by the time he got to the chapter on Norfolk Island, I was really just slogging through out of duty.

Anyhoo, I’m not making any apologies or excuses or promises: the fact is, if I don’t have anything to say, I won’t waste my time–or yours–creating a fluff piece that isn’t interesting for me to write or interesting for you to read.

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Dec 13 2011

Worst. Vacation. Ever. pt. 2

Part 1 is here.

At St. Mary’s they put me on a different medicine, but my heart still wasn’t acting right, and they said they were going to have to put me under and hit me with the defibrillator to reset my heartbeat. CLEAR!

Since they had to put me under, that meant no food. It also meant no coffee. It was about lunch time now and I hadn’t had either all day. My vacation was ruined, I was starving, and I had a massive caffeine headache. I started to develop a bad attitude. On top of that the nurses came in periodically to stab me or rip some more of my arm hair or chest hair out.

Ba-bm, bum, …., BBBBM!

Later in the afternoon I had some visitors: The Bob and Bruce. Bruce had to be hospitalized for months due to a kidney tumor, a faulty heart valve, and a complication from surgery from which he literally almost died. Bob had had a heart transplant just four years before.

“Do you know how you know you have a lying heart?” The Bob asked seriously.

“Um, it’s in the Bible?” I couldn’t think of the verse. Jeremiah, maybe?

“No–it’s A-FIBBER!

Bruce and The Bob exploded with laughter. Not only was I spending my vacation in the hospital and being starved and coffee-deprived and depilated–but now I had to endure puns.

“You know,” The Bob said, “You really do have a lot to be thankful for; this could have been so much worse.”

“Yep,” I said flatly. I was trying to ignore the very audible rhythmic clockwork tick of Bruce’s mechanical heart valve.

“That sounds like mental assent instead of heart acceptance.”

“Yep,” I said again. I was in a bad mood and I didn’t want someone ruining it by counting my many blessings. And don’t get me started on Bruce. Sure, we had a lot of laughs when I visited him in the hospital, but this was entirely different.

A couple hours later the medicine finally worked its magic, and my heart started beating normally. I was finally allowed some food, but no coffee.

That night was the first–and only night so far–that I have spent in the hospital as a patient. I was awakened in the middle of the night by my roommate’s bladder, and the small circus that resulted as nurses and care assistants piled in to deal with the situation. Apparently the collective noun for nurses is a clown car.

An hour later I was awakened again so another nurse could stab me in the belly with a needle.

A couple hours later, more bladdericious fun.

The next day I had more tests–and finally–some flippin’ coffee.

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