28 April 2008

I'm sorry, Gym, she's dead... dead tired!

I came up with an idea. It's something that every serious gym should have. There should be someone... one person per gym (per shift) would suffice... whose purpose is to walk people out to their cars after their workout, when they don't have the use of their arms, and help them into said cars. This person could be called a valet, or some such.

Simple task. Someone gets off the weight bench, the adrenaline dies down, and suddenly his arms are like well-used rags, hanging uselessly at his sides, and he can't even
lift his own keys. He needs someone to lift his belongings, escort him out to his car, open the door, set the belongings (and patron) down in the car, and close the door.

Of course, this person would have to be trustworthy, because people would rely on him to open their lockers, so they would need to be able to trust that he wouldn't give out their combinations, nor take advantage of his knowledge of the combinations. He would also need to be able to pass a drug test. I don't have anything against the use of recreational drugs, really, but honestly, do you want to have a line of fifty effectively armless people standing in line waiting for the valet to return from toking a doob?

And it would be more than just convenient... It would be safer! How many muggers target gyms, knowing that the people leaving are too tired to defend themselves? I don't know either, but I'm sure it's a really high number. With a valet to help people out to their cars, people wouldn't have to worry, especially about that embarrassing part where the mugger yells, "Put your hands up!" and they're forced to respond with, "I can't. :'-("

So he would gather their things from their lockers, escort them to their cars, and help them in. What the patrons do after that, sitting in a car but unable to use their arms, is up to them.

I'm sure I could sell the idea. Now, if I could just figure out how I could make money off the idea.

25 April 2008

Perchance to Dream...

So, I've started taking sleepy-pills. Just any pills that will make me drowsy all the time. Benadryl, Niaprazine, you name it. Whatever I can get my hands on.

I don't actually need them, but I figure that if I'm half asleep all the time, I have a great excuse for if I do something stupid or embarrassing. Apparently, even being half asleep I can still outperform the rest of my team, so it's not a problem, and if I do something like, for example, forget my name, I can just say that the pills are responsible.

The reality is that years of British comedy and keeping my head buried in a computer have resulted in a brain that resembles scrambled eggs on an MRI. But I can blame the pills instead. Taking personal responsibility for one's own shortcomings just isn't the American way, anymore.

But there are side effects. For example, I have strange dreams when I do actually get to sleep. Like last night...

Luann, Anna and I were riding in a stolen shadow government issue black SUV, on our way from a salon to a Vietnamese taco place. But as we were traveling along, a helicopter being flown by an elephant fell on our SUV and killed us all.

Stupid elephant.

Anyway, so we found ourselves in Heaven. There were ducks everywhere. There were more ducks than people. An angel came up to us and said, "Welcome to Heaven. We have one rule here: Never step on a duck."

We did manage to avoid the ducks for a while, but then one day Anna stepped on a duck. The angel came along immediately, dragging the ugliest man I had ever seen. He handcuffed the man to Anna and said to her, "For the crime of stepping on a duck, you have to spend the rest of Eternity chained to this man." Anna cried for a while, and Luann and I were more cautious than ever after that.

But one day, Luann stepped on a duck. As expected, the angel appeared and handcuffed a man even uglier than the other one to her. "For the crime of stepping on a duck, you have to spend the rest of Eternity chained to this man." She was distraught.

I was as careful as possible after that, constantly watching my feet, and wondering what kind of Heaven this was. Then, one day, that angel came up to me, dragging a gorgeous hunk of a man. Wordlessly, he handcuffed the man to me and walked away. I couldn't believe my luck! I said, "So, I get to spend eternity with you?"

He thought a moment, and said, "I don't know. All I know is, I stepped on a duck."

21 April 2008

General decline

What's the world coming to? I mean, I'm starting to feel overrun by foreigners.

No, I'm not a redneck. Hear me out...

So, today, I was having lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with my friend, Luann, who is Vietnamese, and it was time to order. A nice Vietnamese gentleman came to our table for this very purpose. He asked what I wanted to drink, and I told him, "Tra da."


"Tra da."


"Iced tea."

"Oh, okay. And what would you like to eat?"

"Ga xiao ca ri."


"Chicken curry."


He took our menus and left. I looked at Luann, and said, "I like to be openminded, but I believe that if you want to come to this country and work here, you should be required to learn Vietnamese." She agreed.

Oh, and to clarify... I'm a Choctaw, so to me English is a foreign language. I think it's originally from Australia, or something. They (Australians) just developed an accent over the years, while White US immigrants kept the language pure.

16 April 2008

The Eyes Have It

So, I went in for my first ever eye exam. I didn't think there was a problem, but my friends and family have been pressuring me to get an exam for like 15 years, so I finally caved in. Anyway, according to the doctor, I have like the best vision he's ever seen. He says that some people get surgery to have better-than-20/20 vision, and that I have better eyes than those people do.


So, I finally have a confirmed super power. I spent the rest of the day playing with my new super power. Everywhere I went, I looked at stuff. And you know what? What I looked at... I saw it! It was incredible. Not only was everything clear and focused, but it was in full color, too.

I've never seen anything like it.

So now I can check another item off of the list... I've started developing super powers. I knew that without at least two super powers my plans to take over the world would fail. Now that one power has emerged, I know that others will follow.

Next step... work on that d@mn hamster problem. I mean, who can take over the world without an army of superhamsters? I think that's the real problem that all those supervillains on T.V. have: Syler, Dr. Doom, Dick Cheney, Magneto... Not one of them has an army of superhamsters. So...

I took posession of two females from my hamster's first brood. Since he didn't know they were his daughters, I put him in with them. He impregnated one and ate the other. Hrm. Well, now I know that my new race of superhamsters will be carnivorous. And after all, who ever won a battle using an army of vegans?

So anyway, The pregnant hamster had three puppies. Count 'em... three. Half the normal number. This isn't going well.

My roommate, Anna, took possession of two of the males. She put them together in a cage, and we laughed for days at their antics, running around the cage, wrestling, running on the wheel... Then we realized they weren't wrestling. They were... ummmm.... They were doing the mommy-and-daddy thing. We tolerated it for a while... we're open to alternate lifestyles in this house. But then one of the males tried to castrate the other.

We had to rescue the injured hammy and put him in a separate cage. When we did, he started dong something obscene with his water bottle. In his mouth. I've never seen anything like it. Then I realized.... The humping, the attempted castration, and now deepthroating the water bottle... These hamsters really do have a relationship where one is the designated "girl".

My efforts to build a race of superhamsters isn't going well. Perhaps I should try gerbils. They're smart, right?

14 April 2008

20 more things a doctor shouldn't say

  1. Think of it this way.... The tumor cells are like the Cleveland Browns, and your body is the Oakland Raiders.
  2. And Oakland's entire coaching staff was arrested last night for indecency with a minor.
  3. And someone spiked the Oakland's Gatoraide with a laxative.
  4. Your lab results are in, but first, I need to talk to you about a company called Amway. Have you ever thought about financial independence?
  5. Think of the tumor as Red Team and the infection as Blue Team. And your brain is the arena.
  6. Many people lead perfectly normal lives without the use of their five senses.
  7. Have you ever wondered if there really is life after death?
  8. At this point, the best advice I can give is, "Go into the light."
  9. Strictly speaking, this treatment isn't approved by the FDA. In fact, it's banned in most civilized countries.
  10. What? You don't have a UPC tattoo! YOU'RE UNSCANNABLE!!!!!
  11. We checked for everything. You tested positive.
  12. This next test usually results in blindness, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.
  13. Have I ever mentioned that I don't like you? I don't know why. Something about you just rubs me the wrong way.
  14. Actually, "Doctor" is an honorary title...
  15. I decided that latex gloves were just a formality.
  16. Look up... Look down... Look all around.... YOUR PANTS ARE FALLING DOWN!
  17. Can you handle a whole lot of pain for just a few seconds?
  18. It sounds funny when you say it like that. hehe
  19. Were these two pieces attached when you came in here?
  20. I actually wanted to play accordion when I grew up, but my father wanted a carpenter. So we decided to compromise.

09 April 2008

Ode to a Butt Cushion

Today, it suddenly occurred to me that for a few days I've been all kinds of energetic and feel-goodish and stuff. I even noticed that I seemed to be riding a mild high such as the kind that I sometimes get from Vicodin. At first, I thought that perhaps my friend, Luann, had been sneaking hydrocodone into my Spicy Thai, in order to encourage me to have lunch with her every day, but I dismissed this on the grounds that... ummm.... Well, I just assumed she didn't.

Anyway.... So I wondered why I felt so good, and I realized that it's probably because I've been relatively pain-free since sometime last week, thanks to my new inflatable, donut-shaped butt cushion. I don't know why the butt cushion works, since the doctors have yet to determine the cause of the Mystery Pain, but it does work. But that got me thinking.

The pain isn't (usually) intense. It's just fairly constant. It's there all the time and I don't know where it comes from. So, it's almost more of a nuisance than anything else. But it was there. All the time. And now it's not.

Is the absence of pain, even pain that mild, enough to actually cause a sense of mild euphoria? I guess so. And that's interesting. In theory, the goodness will fade as I become accustomed to generally not being in pain. But in the mean time, it just feels so good, it's like I'm on drugs, except that I'm allowed to operate heavy machinery.

And so....

Ode to a Butt Cushion

Small, blue balloon upon which I sit,
To thee I owe my rest.
You comfort that through which I shit,
And help me through my day.

I fill you with my very breath,
When sitting at my desk,
And in return, you help me with
Your round torus-like way.

I think of you, my plastic friend,
Each time I use a chair,
You give support to my rear end,
And leave me free from grief.

And how you seem to offer hope
To my poor derrière,
Creating without any dope,
A measure of relief.

My doctor couldn't help me find,
The cause of my distress,
And I suspect that in her mind,
It isn't even real.

I wonder, though, that if she felt
Discomfort such as this,
Would I let her play as she dealt,
Without any appeal?

I want to think that I would take
Her to the dollar store,
And show her where to get a break
From all her suffering.

To share with her the pleasure that,
You've brought to one so poor,
And I'd know that the doctor sat,
Upon your sweet sibling.

O' sweet butt cushion, I love you,
You've saved a suff'ring lass,
From always knowing senseless pain,
From sitting on my ass!

08 April 2008

Anal Geez Ick

So my doctor told me that I needed a colonoscopy. Such a wonderful concept... Stick a camera on the end of a hose and insert it into a person's rectum for some landscape shots. I don't know how I could have gone so long without one.


So my doctor told me that I needed a colonoscopy. Sadly, this wasn't my first. I had one a couple of years ago. So this one should be easy, right?

First, I needed to be "cleansed". This consists of a day or mild torture. First, you can't eat anything that isn't "clear". Apparently, Jell-o is clear, no matter what color it is, and all forms of broth are "clear", no matter how unclear they actually are. I wanted to have pizza with anchovies and onions, but apparently anchovies aren't clear enough. So instead I ate nothing that day except melted vanilla ice cream. Hey, if beef broth is clear, so is vanilla ice cream.

Then, in the afternoon, you have to take some stuff that's going to "clean you out". I got the stuff at a drug store. It cost $60, and wasn't covered by my insurance. I was thinking that maybe I should just drink half a bottle of milk of magnesia and wash it down with two liters of Gatorade, but I didn't want to make mistakes. So I forked over the moneyI had earmarked for some "AAA" batteries and was handed a box the size of a small dog carrier.

The kit contained two pills and a plastic jug with some powder and three small flavor packets. The idea was to take the pills, add water and one flavor packet to the jug, refrigerate the jug, wait six hours, have a bowel movement, and then start drinking the contents of the jug, eight ounces every 15 minutes. And not have anything to eat or drink after midnight.

Now, if I followed the timeline on the instructions, I would still be drinking the stuff at 2:00 AM. So I just popped the pills and started to wash them down with some of the mixture from the jug.

Big mistake.

The stuff in the jug was salt. When I added water, it created salt water. When I added the flavor packet, it made no discernible difference. One swallow of the stuff was enough to induce vomiting. I managed to hold it in, but just barely. I decided that next time I'm definitely going with milk of magnesia and Gatorade.

Anyway, I washed down as much of the vile concoction as I could and then poured the rest into my roommate's dog's waterbowl.

I slept fitfully that night, probably because I had taken an industrial grade laxative (the pills from the "cleansing kit"). I got up at 7:00 that morning and spent some quality time on Mr. Potty. The youngest child had seen me enter the restroom, so naturally she followed and spent the entire time pounding on the door, shouting, "Ashley, I golla go potty!!!"

I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything, so naturally, as soon as I thought this, my stomach started growling profusely. I watched my roommate, Anna, prepare breakfast for the children. Pancakes. My favorite. Crap. Then, I had to go to the bathroom again.

I got dressed, trying to figure out the best thing to wear to a place where I was just going to take everything off when I got there. Usually, this means I would wear something short and tight, but on this occasion I decided to go with casual attire. (This wasn't a date, and my doctor's just not that cute.) Then, when I finished getting ready... I had to go potty again.

Anna had agreed to give me a ride, because for some reason hospital people don't like you driving after being anesthetized. So we went.

At the Endo center, sort of a Colon Mills Studios, I filled out lots of paperwork and agreed to give them permission to tell me what was wrong. Then I was informed that the copay was $464. In case you don't know, this is a lot. I'm used to paying more like $20, and then being sent a bill later for services I hadn't known would be done. But no, apparently my medical insurance has a deductible, so I had to pay that, plus a percentage, plus the expected $20. I felt like a dented car door. With a copay.

I showed up half an hour early for my appointment, so naturally I had to wait two full hours to go in. I was in the waiting room so long that the battery in my e-book reader ran down, so I had to watch what was on the idiot box - daytime television. I learned what was up with Erica and Tony, whoever they are, and I also learned about the various medicinal properties of low-fat mayonnaise.

During this time, I was sitting on a chair just hard enough to irritate the area that was my
very reason for being there. I could have brought my donut butt-cushion with me, but I do have my dignity. Or I did until I walked into the back room.

In the back room, first I had to go potty again, and then I had to get undressed and gowned, and put my belongings into a lidless Tupperware container the size of a sandwich. Having spent four years in the military, I was accustomed to packing into small spaces. When I was naked from the waist up, I had to stretch (it was one of those moments) so I did. Of course, after a night of prescription-grade diarrhea when I wasn't allowed to eat or drink, a quick stretch turned into a torrent of abdominal cramps. I spent several minutes trying to stop the cramps so that I could finish changing. In the mean time, I was surrounded by curtains in a room that was crowded with other people. I barely managed to get some covering before a head poked in, asking, "Are you alright?"

So I packed my belongings into the sandwich container and climbed under the blanket. Now, I have to admit, the nice, freshly-laundered blankets, still warm from the dryer, are almost worth the whole thing. Then, a nurse came in and proceeded to stick a needle the size of a Honda tailpipe into the back of my hand. On a side note, I got to spend a few minutes observing the normal happenings there. Mostly, it consisted of one nurse consistently forgetting who I was, one nurse pushing beds in and out of the back room, one nurse forgetting which way was the exit, and one woman who seemed to forget whether she worked there or not. I was beginning to lose confidence when the sudden intense burning sensation in my hand distracted me and I forgot who I was for a moment.

When I was wheeled into the back, a nurse (the forgetful one) superglued electrodes onto my torso to monitor my heart rate. Apparently, something they do when taking rectal photos presents a cardiac threat. I rolled onto my side... let's face it, we all know where they needed to get access, and stared at the instruments, trying to play with my heartbeat. Trust me on this... If you put in the effort to learn to make your heart stop, it's worth it to see the faces on doctors and nurses when you do it unexpectedly while they're in the room. hehe

I noticed at one point that the straight lines on the instruments were suddenly not so straight. I realized that I had been slipped a mickey, or something, and decided to see how long I could resist the anesthetic. I counted to 100 to test my will.

Well, technically, I counted to 3.

I woke up to one of the nurses telling me I needed to roll onto my back and fart. Her exact words were, "I need you to roll on your back and fart."

Being drugged out of my gourd, I complied. Or tried to. In tooted a little, then said, "It feels wet."

The nurse just laughed. "That's normal. There's a towel under you."

The thing is, no matter how drugged up I am, I still have my limits. I tooted as much as I could, but a sensor on my sphincter started howling, "Danger, Will Robinson, DANGER!!!"

Finally, a nurse helped me to the restroom again. I know I keep harping on this, but really, how could they do a colonoscopy and not notice that I still had a round in the chamber?

Anyway, as I sat on the bed, trying to figure out how to stand on my own, I was told that Anna was there to pick me up. They made her stand in the curtained area with me while I got dressed. Weird, huh?

They told me that the doctor had come by to visit. While I was asleep. I guess that's when he informed me of his findings. Yeah, really helpful.

Anyway, I got home and went back to sleep. For the rest of the day. Wishing I had one of those nice, warm blankets.

05 April 2008

More doctor sayings

Here's a list of 20 more things I don't ever want to hear my doctor say:

  1. How would you like to be in a text book?
  2. Do you know how to get blood stains out of a car seat?
  3. This is my colleague, Dr. Robbins. He specializes in exorcising demons.
  4. Ignore the man behind the curtain.
  5. Your insurance company called... How much cash do you have on you right now?
  6. Did you know that you can get a doctor's diploma through the Internet?
  7. Before I tell you your test results, I need to know if you're prone to fits of violence.
  8. I hope you like Jell-o, because that's all you'll be eating from now on.
  9. Let me point out that suicide can be quite a painless alternative...
  10. Does this stethoscope make my head look fat?
  11. I forget, where's the cocyx?
  12. I can't read this big words... what does this say?
  13. Have you been bitten by insects in the Amazon basin recently?
  14. You're not supposed to have three of these.
  15. The first thing to remember is that we're all mortal, so you're not alone.
  16. I would say that "treatable" is probably too strong a word.
  17. Just ignore the gas mask.
  18. I hate to be the bearer of bad news... So let me get a nurse.
  19. Until I saw the lab results, I thought you were kidding.
  20. I saw this once on an episode of Star Trek.

04 April 2008

Movie appeal

So, my roommate, Giordi, and I were discussing movies this evening, and I tried to convey my concept of the movie, Mortal Combat. The first one, not the second one. I described it as having lots of "gratuitous action". Now, most guys would have a problem with this concept, but Giordi has a gift for understanding things conceptually. It gets him in trouble, sometimes. Anyway, I was explaining how sometimes, during a plot gap, they would just insert a random fight.

Giordi said, "So, it's like porn, but instead of sex, there's fighting." I started to laugh, but then I realized that that's exactly what it is. So I laughed anyway. Then, he started describing how he saw it as playing out...

"Hi, there."

"Well, hello."

"How are you?"

"I'm fine, thank you. And you?"

"Just fine, thanks. Say, you look like a fighter."

"Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I am."

"Would you like to fight, then?"

"Certainly! Let us."

I'll never see Mortal Combat the same way again.

03 April 2008

World of Wargrift

So, today, as I sat at my desk at work, listening to the weather on the phone so that I would appear to be working, I pondered ways in which I might earn some extra money. Getting a regular job had seemed like a good idea, until I found out that after seven years I'm still making less money than new-hires on the cleaning staff.

Note to self: Next time, shoot the guidance councilor and become a bomb squad technician.

Anyway, I was pondering ways in which to earn more money. It occurred to me that with my biggest World of Warcraft character, I can earn nearly 100 gold per day without doing anything special, and that's a lot of money in WoW terms.

So I decided to try to earn money like she does. Now, I asked myself, how does she make money? Well... She goes around killing stuff. If it's skinnable, she skins it and makes leather goods. Otherwise, she loots the bodies. It seemed reasonable. So if I want to earn money that way, all I have to do is go around killing people and taking what's in their pockets. And also killing their animals for the leather.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not a cold-blooded killer. I needed a good target. I thought about driving past the courthouse and trying to take out some lawyers with my car, but the traffic downtown is nasty, and also I would never get the lawyer smell off my car.

I also thought about those police you see everywhere. I know they can't be busy, because I've called them for help before, and they never failed to disappoint. But then I noticed, after the first few, that they were all wearing guns, and I realized that if I weren't careful one of them might pull out the gun and shoot me.

I didn't want to target the wealthy, because they would sue me. And I didn't think that it would even make sense to target the poor. They don't even have money in their pockets. That's why they're called "poor". Also, I came from a poor background, and I don't wanna dis my homeys, y'all.

I reasoned that the leatherworking route was the best way to go. I could just run over some animals, peel off the leather, cure it, and sell it to places that buy leather from shady sources. And if the animal targeted had a person attached, such as a dog with a leash or a horse with a rider or a cat attacking someone's face, then I could both get the leather and raid the person's pockets.

Of course, there are drawbacks. In WoW, you have to periodically get your armor repaired to fix wear and tear (and poke and stab and burn). In TRL (The Real World), I would have to get my car fixed. That would be a big more expensive. Even just one horse could conceivably do 10 gold worth of damage to my car. So I needed to explore other options.

My father has lots of advice on earning extra money. But despite the fact that my father is actually one of the wisest men I know, I already listened to him regarding daily updates on my blog. I can't just accept another piece of advice this soon. I don't want to give him the impression that he runs my life. What kind of a daughter would I be?

My roommate (Giordi) has lots of avice, too, but I don't think I have that many organs that I can sell. I already donated my appendix last year, and I'm still using my duodenum.

My other roommate (Anna) still isn't speaking to me after reading my recent blog entries. Her last words to me (two days ago) were "You seriously need some professional help. No, really." Hrm.

My daughter's advice sounds all complicated and uses phrases like "day trading" and "forex", a word which I'm sure she made up.

I asked my cat's advice, and he just bit me.

So, it's back to the drawing board. Maybe I should play some World of Warcraft. It doesn't earn me extra money, but it helps me forget that I seriously need to go to bed. I say, going to bed when you're tired is the coward's way out.

02 April 2008

All that training...

Today, I compiled a list of things that I don't ever want to hear a doctor say to me:

  1. The good news is you won't be in pain much longer...
  2. Before we start, I'd like to get my payment up front.
  3. You remember last year when I said you looked healthy? Well, funny thing...
  4. I'll make this quick, because you don't have time to waste.
  5. Just out of curiosity... Have you thought about making your peace with God?
  6. This would be an excellent time to take out a huge, long-term loan and just spend it.
  7. Great news! According to the lab results, you'll never grow old.
  8. I've seen your x-rays, and I would like to be the first to welcome you to our planet.
  9. You should cancel any plans for this weekend.
  10. I thought we had fixed this...
  11. I don't suppose you took a cab here on the off chance you wouldn't be driving your car home.
  12. It's like this... Do you remember that scene in Alien, where...
  13. To be honest, this sort of thing almost never happens, since the end of the Great Plague.
  14. Any other time, this would be really funny.
  15. You know that saying about doctors being "only human"? Well...
  16. Ouch, that's going to hurt, if the feeling ever returns.
  17. Is your apartment rent-controlled?