A stupid update and stupid Ebola

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I realized that I haven’t been posting lately and although I’m sure no one has noticed, I have, and that right there goes against the whole point of this blog experiment. This is not to say that I haven’t tried. I went and started about half a dozen of these but then got too overwhelmed or tired to complete them. So here I am with a brief synopsis on my junk, which I may or may not go into further detail on at a later date.

When last I posted it was shortly after my cousin’s memorial service. It’s been really hard, and affecting me in strange little everyday ways – but also in big ways. Like how I celebrate Christmas sort of ways. This year has been upsetting and disruptive to my routine, traditions and things that make someone like me – someone with major anxiety and depressive issues – on edge.

My great aunt, who is really my grandmother (she was there for me like a grandmother when her sister, my actual grandmother, wouldn’t be), suffered a series of strokes that have left her barely able to think, see, hear or speak. The matriarch of my family, as well as the single wisest person I know, has now lost everything, is in a senior living facility, and her life is being dictated by this monster of a cousin-in-law whose motives in the whole situation are dubious at best. I feel so entirely helpless in this that I don’t know what to do. TheRapist has tried to help me with it, but she doesn’t understand our relationship. She doesn’t get how for the majority of my life I felt that only one person in my entire family understood me, and I’m losing her: systematically, and in most despicable ways.

A terrible run in with the cousin-in-law has also started a strange thing in my family. People by and large are on my side because this woman is particularly offensive. However, it’s making things hard in other ways.

My house is entering its fourth year of renovation. Meaning that my entire house is in disarray, half of it has little to no electricity and no lighting, many of our belongings are in storage (including stored in my studio – thereby preventing my being able to use it) and it’s just not a big enough house for this much disruption. The main reason this is happening is because my father insists on doing these renovations by himself, but he doesn’t want to do it. He’d rather play with his boat or his band. So a project that could be finished in a weekend or two has taken nearly four years. Any interference from my mother or me is met with hostility and accusations. It’s created an environment of stress and resentment that is just too much right now.

Especially considering that my mother has atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. We finally got the heart failure into remission when she just made all of her stress worse and now it’s acute again. Awesome. Add to that my father quitting his fucked up (once epically awesome job) for a new one, and having to wait for the new health insurance to kick, it’s been a ball over here.

And it’s not just my mom who is sick. Our ancient greyhound is not doing too well either; and we don’t expect to spend another Christmas with him.

Personally I’ve not been in a good place. I may have to have a surgery next year that I’m not really on board with but am afraid I am without choice. My anxiety is at epic levels (obviously), I’m unemployed and unemployable. I am now, for the first time in years, officially broke. I don’t know what to do anymore.

Everything has been coming at me from all angles (even more things, things that I don’t want to even mention, lest I well up or throw up), and just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, my grandmother called crying yesterday. My grandfather isn’t well, and instead of going to the doctor or the hospital, he’s refused medical treatment and aid. He won’t let us move him or let the ambulance take him. He’s announced that he wants to die and won’t get out of bed and eat.

So right now there’s this epic vigil going on at my grandparents’ house. We’re all just waiting for him to knock it off or die. And seeing as he is a stubborn old fool, and he isn’t well to begin with, he’s going to slowly die in his bed, breaking the hearts of his four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. And there is nothing we can do about it.

For the first time I really don’t think that I can handle this. It’s literally too much for me.

So there’s that. My completely bullshit life, and the reason I’m not really up for much socializing or generalizing or blogging.

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Before I go, I do have something I’d like to say about this Ebola outbreak. There’s been a lot of panic, a lot of bullshit reporting, and apparently even some ignorant and ridiculous conspiracy theories. But what it comes down to is this:

The reason why Ebola is spreading through Africa uncontrollably right now is because of poor sanitary conditions. The poor sanitary conditions are a direct result of having no access to clean water. This is a larger, much more terrible, much more difficult, underlying problem that needs to be addressed and no longer ignored.

Having no clean water is a major and horrific reality that you almost never hear about, and that most people in the western world don’t give a shit about. But the fact is, around a billion people worldwide have no access to clean water. An estimated 345 million of those people are in Africa alone. So now these diseases that are rare, that are containable – hell, some that should have been obliterated ages ago – are free to go unchecked because there is just no way to maintain sanitation when there is no sanitation to begin with.

What is happening with the Ebola outbreak in Africa is only an issue with us in the Western world because it’s starting to affect us directly. And like most things that happen around the world, they get ignored until they affect us directly. It’s sad.

Coming up with new treatments that only first-worlders can afford, or doing special new screenings at airports is ignoring the real issue and placating the few. It is the equivalent of walking into the most used room of your home, seeing a steaming pile of shit in the middle of the floor, covering it with a facial tissue and then walking away.

Without fixing the whole problem, the core problem, the ACTUAL problem, things are going to get worse and worse. For all of us.

Everything that happens everywhere in the world, everywhere on this Earth affects us directly. There is no us and them. There is only us. This is our problem and it is spreading. It won’t be long before it’s a rampant issue in the US. And note how I said ‘rampant’ – because it already is becoming an issue here.

So I just wanted to point that out. I also want to point out that these massive problems aren’t impossible. There are solutions. Everyone and anyone can help. You can raise awareness. You can demand it become a central political issue. Go to water.org to get further educated and see what else you can do to help bring clean water to these areas.

That’s it for now. Later.

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Hamster Cardiology, Rabbit Euthenasia and Synthetic Pain Management

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When I was a kid, somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, I performed surgery on a hamster. I removed worms from its pericardium, and put them on a slide.
I still have the slide.

Now, dear reader, I suspect you have some questions. I mean, that first line is upsetting in itself. And yet, not too surprising; little kids are known to do such things. They torture bugs: burning ants, dissecting beetles, and tearing the wings off of flies. They take apart little things like frogs and minnows. All of this of course is done generally out of curiosity, and only occasionally out of psychopathy. Most little kids don’t even get the significance of their actions and feel that perhaps they can glue the little things back together and everything will be okay.

So that last bit there about pericardia and slides must have really thrown you.

Would it help if I mentioned the hamster was part of a laboratory trial, and the laboratory in question was at Harvard University, and that the entire procedure – from sedating the little guy (which I remember to this day as being a strange combination of horrifying and cute) to the surgery and subsequent staining of the slide sample was all done under the supervision of one of the head researchers in the trial?

What was I doing in a major experimental research laboratory after hours performing life saving surgery on a cute hamster? I DON’T KNOW.

Well, I sort of know, but it’s not really important. What is important is that this really happened and it would go on to support a long held belief in my family that by now I would be a doctor or a veterinarian and I’d be successful and happy and at the very least smart and stable. Well aren’t I a colossal disappointment?

I think however, the most significant thing about this particular childhood incident is the fact that whenever I replay events in my mind, I imagine that the hamster in question is clothed. I believe this has everything to do with how it reacted when it was going under sedation: it rose up on two legs, then sunk down into a very human-like sitting position – on it’s rump with it’s little back legs stuck out straight in front of it and it’s tail sticking up in the back. Its jaw dropped open in a dumbfounded sort of way, its tail drooping, before finally falling onto its back – hind legs in the air.

Despite how human and adorable my rodent patient, I had no trouble going through with the procedure. I followed every direction, did not get ‘grossed out’, and later I found the worms on the slide endlessly fascinating. I was remote, practical, professional and clinical. And I was still in primary school.

So fast forward some decades later to last summer, when I woke to find an amazingly horrific sight: my ancient rabbit (we suspect him to have been at least fourteen earth years in age), Killer, was in a condition so awful I can’t say here what it was. Let’s just say that it was so disgusting that when I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT and ran for help NO ONE BELIEVED ME. It was so unimaginably awful all I could keep saying was “Why is he still alive?”

This prompted the urgent and immediate necessity to put him out of his misery. And I, as the only person in the house not in cowardly denial, was the obvious one tasked to do it. So I tried and found that I couldn’t; I just couldn’t. I don’t know why exactly. It needed to be done, it was the merciful thing to do, and I knew this. I cried and I vomited and then I cried and vomited some more but I couldn’t do it. I even went so far as to try and poison him with prescription painkillers but (not surprisingly) he wouldn’t drink or eat anything. I didn’t know what to do.

I often wonder what happened to me between then and now – between hamster and bunny – that made me change. Especially when you consider how absolutely shitty life has been to me. I mean, why am I suddenly kinder and not a serial killer? Where did I go wrong? Why couldn’t that clinical, in control reserve that allowed me to cut into a hamster as a child help me now? I mean, I call it up more often then you’d think. So why, when I needed it the most did it fail me?

When bad shit happens I’m usually the only one in the room with their head on straight. Be it driving somewhere with Mum when lost, calling 911 when someone needs emergency care (and riding in the ambulance), taking everyone’s shit when someone dies – I’m the one who keeps everything together. And seeing as I have an awesome case of panic disorder, this is really saying something.

I keep finding myself wishing I could tap into that clinical 8-to-10-year-olds’ magical detachment. I think these days it would really help.

Ultimately BB put Killer down, and it’s been a few weeks since my last nightmare about it. But I can’t help but wonder and question, all the time, why I was so weak.

So…

I have to take vicodin more often. It makes me write the BEST blag posts ever. Really.

Yeah, so I’m on painkillers. WOOO! Or, if you’re me: woo.
I hate being on drugs. I don’t like feeling out of control of my brain – understandable, especially when you consider it’s all I’ve really got going for me.

Last Friday I spent in the ER at a not-so-local local hospital, and after a few hours of agony where they determined I was not in fact a drug-seeker, they gave me an intravenous cocktail of painkillers and antiemetics which was just… awful. Granted, it dropped my pain level from a 7 to a 5 and at one point a 4.

This is the World's Most Accurate Pain Chart. Possibly the ONLY accurate pain chart. It was created by Allie Brosh. (Please don't sue me.)

I borrowed this from Allie Brosh (please don’t sue me). It is the World’s Most Accurate Pain Chart. Possibly the ONLY accurate pain chart.

But it also did a few awesomely shite things like give me mushmouth and make me a bastion of profundity, dropping such gems as: “I hate my hair now. It’s not fair that my hair can’t be purple anymore.” (Tear slips down cheek).

When they put it in the IV, and then into me, it HURT. And I mean, it was like suddenly hot lead was being poured through my arm, across my shoulders, out my other arm and down through my head into my neck. It physically felt as though a great hot weight was suddenly forcing me down. And the taste in the back of my throat was awful.

After they sent me home I spent the night having crazy fucking vivid dreams and hallucinations. I literally could not tell awake from asleep, and I couldn’t do anything about it but ride it out. This resulted in my not taking ANYTHING for the crazy pain – that is nowhere near resolved – for the next few days. Not an unreasonable reaction under the circumstances.

Unfortunately I can’t keep up the pain side of things, and have succumbed to the prescription I was sent home with.
Right now I’m just trying to head the pain off at the pass until some better plan arises. I am taking the ‘conquering a migraine approach’.

So that’s been fun…

Books, Movies and Le Chapeau Mal

The Guide To Reading

I realize that when it comes to this blogging thing I suck.  I mean, seriously: this is the 32nd post in this mess I started in 2012. And although that may sound like a lot when you say it out loud (thirtee-too), in the world of blog that’s nothing. Folks around here type volumes daily over years. Decades. What the hello?  Wordpress is constantly sending me friendly little reminders about how to get my stats up, the most important thing in that equation being my actually writing stuff enough to get people to notice me and to follow me.

This may come as a surprise, but, I don’t necessarily want nor need people to follow me. I mean, if you do, I really appreciate it. That’s awesome, thank you. But I’m not looking to up my stats. I was just really hoping that feeding this blog would encourage me to write more, because, while I love to write, I often hit these brick walls of creativity where I could and should finish something but instead get desperately sidetracked. I have a lot of outlets and a lot of interests and a complete spaz for a brain. Therefore, it is too easy for me to get sidetracked.

So what have I been doing with myself, instead of finishing blag posts, or my book or whatnot? Well, so far this year, I’ve watched twelve movies and read only five books. I know this because my local library has a counter that keeps track for you, and at the end of the year, those who have finished over fifty books (and in a separate contest, fifty films) are put in a raffle to win a prize. I have never won, even though I’m fairly certain no one else in my town reads as much as I do. I read 151 books in 2013, beating my personal goal of 150 books by one.  150 was my goal for 2012, but I only made it to 126, which is interesting when you consider I wasn’t in school in 2012. It’s strange how I’m apparently reading more even though I have significantly less time.

Keeping track of what you read in a year is a good idea. Not controlling in the way my nifty little acquisition tends to be, but just an account. If I compare the 2011 list with the 2013 list, there are interesting trends. I notice that I tend to read in patterns – genres change during certain times of the year, and I have a list of go-back-to reads that are surprising, especially to me. Who knew I’d read Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson at least once a year? Not me.

Here is a sample of some of the hats I knit for the youth.

These are some of the hats I’ve knit for the youth.

You may have noted that it’s only 18 days into the New Year and I’ve already seen twelve movies. What the frak have I been doing that I haven’t been able to post my giant blag about 2013 in review, but I’ve been able to see The Social Network for the nth time? Well my semester of scary math, cosmology and neuroscience (what the frell?) is almost upon me. So I’ve decided that last years poor offerings in the knitting-hats-for-bald-kids department was appalling and shameful, and therefore I’ll give myself a fighting chance this year, and try to get in as much knitting as I can between now and next week, when the academic shiz starts to get out of hand.

Right now I has a sessee stack of about 12 woolen and 2 cotton caps that I’ve churned out since the 4th. (I’ll maybe post a picture here if I remember in the morning). Plus one that I made for myself that remains a cause for great ethical and philosophical debate between me and my brain. The debate goes something like this:
Me: I really love this hat pattern I have been knitting incessantly for days now. I should really knit myself one.
My Brain: Why don’t you? You need a hat, and we’ve got all that wool from your mom’s friend.
Me: Yes, but isn’t that wool earmarked for the bald kids?
My Brain: No. They got you the yarn, they didn’t intend for it to go to the charity, they wanted you to get some use out of it. You were the one who gave it to the knitting project.
Me: Yes but…
My Brain: No buts. Just do it. You need a hat, you like this pattern, you don’t have the money but you do have the wool. And the wool was yours to do with what you would. The only one who will be upset about it will be you.
Me: Okay. I’ll do it. But I’ll swim in guilt forever.
My Brain: Sounds like a plan.

So I knit myself the hat, and it’s faboo. It’s a lacy slouch cap, and it looks good with my hair up or down, and covers the baldish bits as well as my ears, and keeps the snow off and the heat in. However, I feel like a jerk half the time that I A: wasted perfectly good yarn on me, B: that I meant for all the yarn to go to my hats for brats project, and C: I wasted perfectly good knitting time on me and not the project. Even though everyone says I’m overreacting, I kept feeling like I was a Bad Person.  This resulted in BB telling me that I ‘must be a Bad Person, because that is a Bad Hat’. He then informed me that in France my hat would be referred to as ‘Le Bad Hat’ and I told him it would be called Le Chapeau Mal and sneered.

My own personal cyborg provided this, the official donations bank for my knitting endeavor.

My own personal cyborg provided this, the official donations bank for my knitting endeavor.

I’d ask my readers or nonreaders their opinion on the ethics involved here. But it’s kind of moot as I know that the second I get any moolah it’s all going in the yarn donation bank to cover the price of the yarn I used on my hat. And don’t worry, I’ll round up to the price of a full ball.

Now, after taking the long way around, we get to my point which is: I watched 12 movies so far this year mostly because I’ve been knitting in all my free time, and I cannot read and knit at the same time. I can, however, knit and watch all the movies I want at the same time. Couple that with four days of free HBO and a DVR, and I’m all set for knitting bliss.

The only exception to this knitting thing would be having gone to the cinema to see the new Hobbit film, much to my chagrin. Tolkien must be rolling in his grave over that mess.

Other things I have been doing are equally disturbing and boring and can best be explained in the following blaggage: The Year in Terrible Things and The Year in Musical Instruments.

Until then…

An Embarrassing Comment On Lou Reed and a Thank You

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Everybody who is anybody is writing about Lou Reed right now, and as I’m nobody this seems a nonstarter right off the bat. But here it is.

When I was growing up I was inundated with an amazing spectrum of music: My father was uncharacteristically eclectic listening to everything from the Beatles and CSNY to Miles Davis and Johnny Cash. My grandparents loved the standards. I was training to be a classical musician and had a lot of that going on. My mom was a sucker for Neil Diamond, Phoebe Snow and ‘80’s pop. My cousins were musicians into punk and metal and Sonic Youth.

But my favorite of them all was David Bowie.

From the beginning and in a very unhealthy way, too. When I was three or four I had a five alarm tantrum when my folks went to see him in concert and THEY DIDN’T TAKE ME. I had this insane dream that he would adopt me and take me to New York where I would hang out with all of his cool friends and sing and make art. And that was when I was still in single digits.

Someone eventually, probably my dad, started introducing me to those cool friends: Iggy Pop and Lou Reed and Brian Eno. And I loved them too, but I hadn’t the… agency I guess to pursue this music myself.

But when I was in junior high my life was shitty and I was lonely and all I wanted to do was my art and play music and lock myself in a room with paints and a needle and thread and try not to exist. I went to all the local museums and to the libraries and checked out all the art books. I went and taped all the free records from the library. Among them was Lou Reeds’ Transformer. I would put the new tapes in and let them play through and move on to the next, deciding what got kept and what got taped over. But that one…

I wore Transformer out. I had to check it out from the library again, tape it again. See, I hadn’t had any money of my own to buy it (things were complicated) and I had not yet become the teenage PR ne’er do well who hung out at Fort Apache and went to parties with AFP. There was no interwebs to scope out music on and my few friends weren’t nearly as learned about these things as I, so I was stuck with what I could find when I found it.

To say that this album was influential would be an understatement. If David Bowie was the key, then Lou Reed was the doorman, because he opened wide a world of music that I didn’t know existed. I went through all of his albums, which led to the Velvet Underground (of course) and to Nico. Which led back to Jackson Browne (a favorite of my dad’s) and around to Patti Smith, Wire and the New York Dolls. Which led to Suicide and Magazine. Grace Jones and Laurie Anderson. It even somehow led me to Throwing Muses, my favorite band of all time. (Throwing Muses, in their own right would change my life. But that’s another story).

On top of all that Lou was endlessly cool. I could never see him living some weird glamorous rock star life. I imagined him walking after dark in his leather jacket with a cigarette. Sporting shades. And I would look in my art books and he was there. He was a photographer. Just like me. And his music was unreal – painfully simple and infinitely complex, all at once. And his words were poems, stories, rants, narratives. He created worlds in his songs where you can smell the blood and the wet pavement and see the dealers and feel the love for the junkies and prostitutes and punks that lurked around every corner. He took me to the city where I no longer was and most wished to be. Best of all it was completely unapologetic. He could screech or drone monotonous and have six minute pseudo pop songs because fuck you this is art.

I wanted to meet him. I wanted him to be my friend. I wanted to show him my stuff. I wanted to thank him for being him. I wanted to call him Uncle Lou.

And I did. Every time I put on an album or cassette or CD, I would say “time for Uncle Lou”. Every time I saw him in an interview or on teevee or in a book “hey look – it’s Uncle Lou”. Somehow I felt like, as an artist, whatever I did in life somewhere out there I had an Uncle Lou.

And that was my big mistake I think. Because when this happens, when someone that great comes along and changes everything for you, you make them immortal in your mind. And in a way they are immortal – as is the nature of art. But that’s what’s so dangerous about this thinking, because they are really just people, and they get old and they get sick and they have accidents or they get murdered and in the end they die. We all do.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when, on Sunday, at the worst possible moment of an inexplicably bad day (seriously, if I wrote about it here the WTF chorus would be stunned mute), my dad told me that Lou Reed had died. He was human, after all. But I was. The air was sucked out of my lungs, and it was all I could do the exit the building, don my shades and get in the car before the tears overcame me.

Lou’s music is always somewhere in my head and at the tip of my tongue, and in a way that I didn’t really realize or think about until Sunday.

In the soundtrack to my life he was a major presence. He was there for every major phase, stage and disappointment. I learned to drive listening to a compilation tape of every Velvet Underground song I could squeeze onto a super 120 cassette. When I printed photos in the lab it was also to the Velvet Underground. The time I was nearly locked in the wet room it was my singing ‘Satellite of Love’ that saved me. Me and dad on the T going home from a Bosstones show where I got sick before the main act – he was singing ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ to cheer me up. Hot water at the Tasty, after midnight in the Pit, the 77 bus to Arlington Heights, waiting in our seats at the Orpheum Theater, trapped in a Central Square parking garage, sitting alone on the floor of my bedroom – my memories are a Lou Reed mix tape.

And I know I can say the same thing about Bowie and Kristin Hersh and David Byrne and so many others. But none of them are or ever will be my Uncle Lou.

I never got to thank him. So I’m going to do that now. Thank you.

Philectomies and Hazardous Waste

Yesterday morning I had my surgery. A Philectomy.  It was… an experience.

The surgery itself went really well.  It took less time than they thought it would. Phil was surprised so he didn’t resist much when it was time for him to be escorted off the premises. I was home a few hours later.

But.

A few things went down that I was not so happy with.

It seems that everywhere I go these days I get paired with the new guy, or the intern, or the trainee. This day I got new surgical nurse Jarod, who was all right I suppose. It’s just, you don’t want the guy who supposedly knows what he’s doing also to be the guy you saw the automated security system reject over and over again until someone inside came out to bail him while you were waiting for someone to call you to your (possible) doom. You don’t want the guy who is taking your vitals and entering your information into the computer not knowing how, or not knowing where the equipment is or how any of it works.

Then there is the waiting and the awesome, esteem-building johnny they make you wear. And it’s freezing.

When the anesthesia team comes in, I was not really in the mood for anything else to go wrong. I should mention that at this point I hadn’t slept at all the night before, I hadn’t been permitted to eat or drink anything after midnight, and so I was completely off my game with exhaustion. I was so thirsty my lips were cracked and bleeding. The anesthesiologists’ assistant came in, and she was nice, told me what she was going to be doing: setting-up IV’s and then monitoring me while I was out, and later helping me wake up. Then the anesthesiologist blasts in, introduces himself, and then leaves. He appears frazzled in a demented mad-scientist sort of way. He has little circular band-aids all over his face where he apparently had shaving difficulties. As you can imagine my confidence was positively BOOMING right about then.

Up until this point I wasn’t so much nervous as tired. I just wanted to get on with it. But then the anesthesiologist’s assistant starts trying to start an I.V. She ruins the only good vein I have left, because she tried to use a too-large needle on my very dehydrated veins. I was so dehydrated that it took at least fifteen minutes for her to start the I.V. in a terribly painful spot on my wrist.

While all of this is going down, the co-surgeon comes by with the surgical nurse for the meet and greet. This is in the midst of the a.a. shredding all the veins in my arms. I was trying to be cool about it, but it was painful and I have had an irrational fear of I.V.’s since I was a child (and apparently that shit does not go away, even after years of blood infusions and transfusions, and hospital stays for Crohn’s problems and dehydration). So I’m trying to talk but am having difficulty making eye contact.

Then the crazed anesthesiologist bursts back into the crowd of now seven people surrounding my bed, just as his assistant gets the I.V. going and injects the first sedative, to tell me – and surgeon No.2 – that he just talked to my doctor and they’ve decided that instead of putting me under they are going to give me a local, a nerve block and put me in ‘twilight sleep’. Then he turns to me and says “all right?” No. Not alright. I try to ask if this means what I think it means – that I will basically be awake while they cut open my foot and separate egg-shaped Phil from the nerves (and vessels) that control movement and feeling in my toes. But now I can’t talk and faces are getting hard to differentiate, and they are doing something to my hair, and the walls start melting and people continue talking to me all at once as they pull the bed away.

And it’s even colder and they shift me onto the surgical table and put a screen across my chest so I can’t see the gore, all the while assuring me that I’ll be asleep and won’t really need it. And then it begins.

The nerve block is basically like an epidural but for my leg, not my spine. They give me more drugs that make me feel like I’m underwater; like the air pressure was just raised from fifteen cubic lbs to one hundred. They start prepping my foot and I can still feel EVERYTHING. The yellow gunk they pour over my foot, the taping, everything. My pulse must have jumped because the a.a. starts rubbing my head and telling me everything is okay. Then I guess they wait for the stuff to really kick in on the leg-numbing front, then begin.

So I am not sure what they thought was supposed to happen or why this would be a better idea than knocking me out. Maybe my insurance changed its’ mind about how it wanted this to go down, whatever. All I know is, I fucking felt everything. It didn’t hurt, but I can feel moving, tugging and cold. I was aware. I heard the surgeons saying “Damn” and muttering to each other. People kept telling me to close my eyes and asking each other why I was still awake. They kept adjusting the medication which just made the drowning feeling worse and made everyone’s words melt together.

What is it with sedatives making reality melt? Or better yet, why is reality so meltable?

At one point something went awesomely wrong with the nerve block and I felt EVERYTHING. And I gasped but it came out garbled and mangled. My blood pressure went crazy and made it all the harder to breathe. There was all this rushing around and this unbelievably awful sound in my ears, and then it was over. It probably lasted a minute or two but for me it was forever.

When it was over they wrapped me up and started bringing me down from all the druggins. The a.a. kept stroking my head and whispering that it would be okay and that I wouldn’t remember any of this later. Yep.

In post op they put me in an empty ward alone with a nurse. I was across from the room where they have refrigerators full of juice and stuff for the patients and staff. So I got to watch interns sneaking beverages which was pretty funny. I was seriously cold and couldn’t get warm. And it turned out not to be in my head, either – they were having trouble bringing my body temperature and pulse rate up. I don’t know what my temperature was, but my pulse monitor would go up to 53 and then drift back down to 39 and all the alarms would sound. That’s why they kept me separated with my own nurse.

Finally they let my family in and then the surgeon came in all happy and self-congratulatory. I still couldn’t properly talk or I’d have strung together more expletives than he’s probably ever heard. I’d say Belg*um so many times I’d be imprisoned for verbal assault. He declares that he’s changed his mind about the crutches, since I’m supposed to be off my feet for three weeks at least anyway. He gave me a big boot to walk in instead and reminded me to always keep it elevated.

They asked me if I was ready to go and I said yes. They asked me if I’d like to pee first and I said yes. They asked me if I’d like a wheel chair and I said not to go pee and they said fine. Then they left me in front of the bathroom and I was on my own. As in, they didn’t come back. I had to walk back to the car without crutches or assistance, drugged, with a numbed, recently dissected leg.

Assholes.

Then, for the piece-de-resistance: when we got home my pharmacy called to inform me that my health insurance rejected my prescribed pain killer and substituted something significantly less effective instead. So right now I am on waaay more than the prescribed dose of something which is having no effect on the pain in my foot (or my head at that matter), but is making it rather hard to read or watch television.  This is bad as I have to read two Melvilles by tomorrow night for one class, and Frankenstein by Tuesday for another. (I would have started the Shelley earlier, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea to read it before having surgery.)

I have good reason to believe the insurance company was also responsible for the sudden change in anesthesia and the lack of crutches. I’ll find out more and deal with that later.

I’ve been typing this thing for over three hours, mostly with my eyes closed, so I hope you can follow it.
I hate being on drugs. When it’s too much and I can’t function outside of my head it’s upsetting. When it’s too much and my head is fuzzy and/or my thought are garbled I panic. Right now I’m in the upsetting category. I can’t express myself properly verbally, but if I take my time I can type. It makes me frustrated and I sound like I am snapping at people when I’m not. It also makes it easy for people to misinterpret me, ignore me or do things I can’t stop. So my mind churns on, getting into a nice lather and I start thinking things I can’t properly express. It’s hazardous, and a waste of my energy, time and fabulous grey matter.

Right now am seething because as soon as we came home, my parents, happy with the surgeon’s post-surgical spiel set me up in bed and then jumped on the telephone. They called all the people they had already told, but called a bunch more who weren’t informed. And it was both of them on two phones. I couldn’t stop them. All I had asked was that they not tell anyone they didn’t have to until after the biopsy results. That’s it.
Calling people with ‘good news’ is too early: while I don’t think it’s at all cancerous, we don’t know for sure. I don’t think anyone should have to worry while they wait either. That’s why I’ve only told the people who NEEDED to know, who were close to me and would you know, catch on to the fact that I had been crippled for a month.  So now my grandparents know and they are pissed at me that we didn’t inform them. They have SO much bad shit going on over there right now, and if there was an Olympic prize for worrying, my grandmother would be the all time gold medal champion. They’d have to come up with a platinum medal to adequately give her her props. Worrying about my biopsy results is the LAST THING she needs.

Now am angry with my folks for doing this. It’s not just that it’s pre-emptive, and it’s not just that it’s gossipy. It’s because they never listen to me, and they always tell my business, especially my secrets. It’s disrespectful and hurtful, and when I point that out they disagree and continue to do so.
So it’s understandable that I don’t like to tell them anything. Especially since, as giant overgrown children, if you tell either of them that you are upset with them, or that they are doing something to upset you, they immediately become defensive and get angry at you. It’s ridiculous and nothing gets sorted and everyone walks away mad.

Such a healthy environment, don’t you think?

The hospital just called and told me to take all of this other stuff with the prescription painkillers, and now I am SLEEPY.

I’ll leave you this picture of my new guitar. For no reason.

Wilson in all her glory.

Wilson in all her glory.

Thanksgiving Clusterf*ck and The Asian Club Goes to Japan (Where There Is No Math. Allegedly.)

This is an angry retelling of my bullsh*z Thanksgiving bonanza. However, it gets fairly amusing near the end. So bear with me. I promise I’ll try to make it light. Try.

Scenic Drive From My Brothers Apartment

Scenic Drive From My Brothers Apartment

Thanksgiving is a holiday I can do without. As a mere yout’, the holiday was celebrated at our home, my mother losing her mind and obsessing over the most mundane things while food went uncooked.  It was also the only holiday my maternal grandparents would spend with us, suffering through a visit long enough to eat dinner before running off to my aunts’ house down the road, their favorite child with whom they spent all other holidays. And weekends. And annual tickets to “A Christmas Carol”. (I’m not bitter, I swear. I’m just accurate.)

Anyway, since we’ve all supposedly grown up (and frankly I can contest that on all points), my brother moved out and ‘married’, and my grandparents have passed away, my parents decided to start a new tradition: Disaster Thanksgiving, or the less PC, NSFW version that I prefer: Thanksgiving Clusterf*ck.
They’ve decided that instead of going to my paternal grandparents dinner (in which more food is served than could possibly be eaten by the entire city of Boston, all with a side of love), or going to our extended family’s giant dinner (where we would all be guaranteed a good time), we would instead make the dinner ourselves and then drive it twenty five miles into the city to eat at my brother’s apartment (where no fun is ever had. EVER).

The only back story that you need to know here is that my brother and I don’t get along. We’ve never got along. We’re completely opposite in nature. I’m a giver, he’s a taker. He’s also the favorite. C’est la vie. He married a girl with a handicap that makes them unable to travel to our parent’s house. Which is fine. I had no problem with his wife until their wedding last year, when I basically made them a wedding from scratch and she became a psychotic Bridezilla (a word I typically find offensive, but is the only thing that aptly describes what went down last November).  After many months of death threats and defaming me via social media, one could see why I’m none too pleased with either of them, and why spending time with them is not my idea of fun.

But we’re a family dammit. So even though I wanted nothing to do with it, I am told that I either show up or never show up to anything again (which is kind of a stupid thing to say when you’re original point is that we’re a family and we need to stick together). I figured, fine, I’ll cooperate. But the second things start to go downhill I’m flipping the table and screaming “PROSTITOOTION WHOORE!!!!” at the top of my lungs.

It’s a week before Thanksgiving and my family still hasn’t shopped. My mother has already gone into lunatic shutdown mode, so I plan to make all the food so she doesn’t ruin the day with a breakdown or just panic to a point where she spends the day in hospital (RE: Christmas three years ago) or tries to otherwise sabotage it (RE: Last years Drunken Christmas).  I don’t mind cooking, it’s just I’m a lactose intolerant vegetarian. You can only imagine how well that goes over with you know, typical Americans on Thanksgiving. So BB agreed to do the meaty bits and I do everything else. That meant cooking eight dishes for dinner as well as blondies, brownies and three pies. Don’t ask.

I make it happen like a freakin turkey day miracle, and we get my wound-up-to-all-hell Mum and all of the grub in the car, and I loop ‘Funky Fanfare’ by Keith Mansfield on my headphones and take off for the inner city. When we get to his place my brother meets us, helps us into his apartment, and acts like he’s really grateful but yet put out by our being there. As if the holiday he begged for us to bring to him was really putting him out, when all he had to do was clean up a little, clear off the table and turn the oven to 350 before we showed up. He didn’t even have to provide silverware. When we open the door the first thing that hit you was the stink. Then the absolute filth, as if no one had cleaned anything in that apartment since they moved in two years ago. The ground was sticky, there was cat hair and food and feces EVERYWHERE. The very small kitchenette counters were covered with filth and used dishes – as of course was the sink. And the pièce de résistance to the scene – there wasn’t a table anymore. There was no where to eat this magnificent dinner that I slaved over for two days. Plus my table flipping Plan B is now right out.

My parents don’t say anything. They put the bags down by the garbage – the only clean spot in the room – and start cleaning. My brother walks around, not acknowledging the filth at all – or the cleaning – and instead starts complaining when he finds that we have forgotten the butter. I mean, we’re only providing the food, plates, cups, silverware, trash bags, napkins, beverages and toilet paper (an addition I made to much derision from BB, only to find that no, not only had he not cleaned the bathroom, he had no toilet paper at all). How could we not think to remember the butter? So while they spend an hour cleaning the kitchenette so we can use it (and subsequently have to reheat all of the now cold food) he goes to the bodega next door for butter and coffee. (Not toilet paper).

When it came time to eat I wasn’t sure what to do. I was too busy being silently bullshit and staring at my stolen elliptical machine that he uncovered from under a pile of trash and dirty laundry to use as a coat rack when we first came in. Apparently we were supposed to eat standing around his sick wife’s bed. Seriously. Frankly, I couldn’t really eat anything, I was disgusted. I stood with a plate by the gigantic television and spent most of that time chasing the cat who “doesn’t go on the counters” off the counters and away from the food. BB ate with the wife in the bedroom, but my Mum, I have say, ate with me. The second we were done we packed up to leave; we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. But my brother couldn’t be bothered to help clean up or put anything away. So, again, it was up to us. I didn’t care. At this point I was just trying to get the hell out of there, while my mother was obsessing over her soiled Pyrex. (“Dammit Ma, we can wash them at home!”)

When I left I took the toilet paper.

Finally we were off to the ancestral home to have dessert with my grandparents. I love my grandparents, but in recent years going to their house is painful. My aunt and her kids live on the first floor of their house. But recently, my cousin, angry that my grandparents and her parents refused to let her and her boyfriend move into the third floor bedrooms and build them an apartment up there, got pregnant. On purpose. So now she and her boyfriend and her baby live on the third floor – formerly my grandparents’ bedroom. There is talk of making it a separate apartment. Fancy that.

My cousin, as you can see, is a monster. She has been her whole life. This comes of never ever being told ‘no’. When she was a child I refused to babysit her again after I told her she couldn’t do something and she had an unbelievable tantrum. Neighbors called. Glass was smashed. I think it was the first time anyone had ever failed to give her or let her do what she wanted.

Her baby just turned one and is becoming just like her – which is what happens when you have your 90+ year old grandparents raise your baby because, even though you have no job and don’t go to school or leave the house, you can’t be bothered. It’s like a cycle of monsters. My grandparents are just the most wonderful people, and it sickens me to see my cousins take advantage of them like that. They don’t care if their actions hurt people, or that they are killing my grandparents. And I mean, they are literally killing them. Adult Protective Services are threatening to take my grandfather away. It’s that bad.

So while dessert should have been fun and homey, it was awkward and uncomfortable: The baby having tantrums every five seconds when she was told she couldn’t smash the stereo, knock over hot coffee or hit my grandmother; my cousin just sitting there, screwing around on her new iPhone. It’s so hard going there now. That place used to be a respite from home, a comforting place. Now whenever I’m there my stomach hurts and later I have weird dreams. It’s messed up.

When I got home I was so glad it was over. Mum was tired but pleased, acting like it was some great success. I told her we were never doing that again. If she expected me to come to Thanksgiving again, let alone make the dinner, she had better come up with an alternate plan. If she couldn’t she could forget about Christmas, too. I also told her that I wanted my exercise machine back, and would break into his apartment with some thugs to get it. (Yes, I have thug access. Fear me).  She got silent and angry, but whatever. She knows it was a disaster, and she knows she can’t handle the holidays without me.

So I hope you read this story and realized that, no matter how stupid your holiday may have been, at least it wasn’t nearly as shetty as mine. And frankly, I was holding back, as I didn’t mention the fact that we shopped last minute (thanks to Mum’s neuroses), the snake, how lost I feel in my old neighborhoods, the sinking house or any of the other crap. I didn’t want any of you to kill yourselves.

Thanksgiving doesn’t just have to be bad, though. I can often look at it as the start of the ‘holiday season’ which can often be a good thing. For me this means parties and visiting friends and family whom I love but only really get to see this time of year. (It also means the Cookiepocalypse, which will get its own magical post, and is guaranteed to blow your minds). The first party of the season, I’m glad to say, went down the Sunday after Thanksgiving and has restored my faith in humanity. It was thrown by my extended family, you know, the ‘guaranteed fun’ people. It was a milestone birthday for a cousin who turned 50. He has eight brothers and sisters – all but one in attendance – with their kids and a few of us cousins and aunts for garnish. The house was completely decked out in balloons, streamers and bad over-the-hill jokes, full of food and laughter.

While for most people these cousins would be too far removed in relation to know or at least to know very well, I was raised to see them like aunts and uncles. I baby sat or was actually nanny to many of their kids and grandkids, and I often feel more comfortable with them then I do with my own immediate family. So when I got there I was instantly pounced upon by three of them:  sisters, 14 and 9, who I was nanny for in college (I probably spent more time at their house than my own in those days), and their 12 year old cousin, who I babysat. They jumped all over me (as per usual) and we talked and laughed and had a blast.

The sisters were talking about how their dad only gets ‘three days a year’. “Three days for what?” I asked, to which the 9 year old – looking at me as if I were an idiot – responded “To shine.” I thought that was sad, that he only gets three out of 365. So I made an agreement with their mom, promising that if I ever played a lottery and subsequently won, I would pay her many millions in order to procure him a fourth day. To shine.

Conversation came around to the topic of school and the 14 year old complained about how her school’s Asian Club won’t leave her alone. They are so annoyingly persistent that she refuses to join. Instead she joined the Jewish Club. “But you’re not Jewish.” “Yeah, but they have better candy.”

Then the 12 year old says that we should form our own family Asian Club, as we practically are one anyway (the 9 year old was adopted from China, her sister and cousin are both from Korea). So it is agreed. We would be the LAC. It is also agreed that Thunderball is a member too, even though she wasn’t there. I tried to point out that neither Thunderball nor myself were Asian, nor did we share their last name (the L), but they pointed out that it didn’t matter. “You’re practically Asian.” (Apparently it’s an awesomeness that can rub off.)

So we began our club plans, which were basically a discussion about candy which turned into a discussion on what kind of candy which somehow turned into them agreeing that Thunderball and I will make the candy, and they will help. Which I took to meaning that one of them will lose an eye, as I stressed to them how very similar to napalm melted sugar was. That just garnered responses of “what’s napalm?”

At that point the 9 year old was lying across me with an arm over her head but in my face. I asked if the LAC will come with me when I run away to Japan, to which she flew up (further into my face) shouting “I’ll go to Japan!”

“You want to go to Japan?”
“Yes, because they don’t have math in Japan!”
“What? Yes they do –”
“Even if they do have math it’s in a different language and I won’t be able to understand it so I will never have to do math if I’m in Japan!”
“Math is sort of universal. They do have the western version of math in Japan.”
“I love Japan because there’s no math! I HATE MATH!”

So now I’m deaf in one ear, and apparently going to Japan, as it is completely devoid of math. This, I suppose is as good a reason as any to go to Japan. Plus, it’s just a hop skip over to Korea, and that’s something. Hopefully we’ll all survive Candy Armageddon in tact enough to make such plans. I’ll keep you informed.

Halloween and Fat Death of the Endless

Things have been sort of strange and slow on my bit of planet, what with all the cleaning, illness, the holidays, and my recent realization that maybe I’m actually Atlantean, and not alien, as I had originally suspected (or both – maybe my people didn’t disappear into the sea, maybe they just left). So I think maybe now is as good a time as any to back track to Halloween; a time of triumph or trial, depending on how you look at it. Either way, there is always lasagna, spontaneous candy checks (can’t let the little ones fall victim to poisons and razor blades, can we?), and at least one great ape. Occasionally there are film festivals (your Plan 9 From Outer Space, your Nosferatu, your Mommie Dearest, your Jason-on-a-boat) or Addams Family marathons. But every year it’s a little fun or at the very least interesting.

Traditionally Halloween is also a holiday for gorillas. One, rather, who sits in a lawn chair in my front garden distributing candy and bananas to the youth of my neighborhood. Occasionally there are two gorillas as Thunderball is often wont to sport the spare gorilla suit and tear around the yard doing the finest ape impression. (This is something not relegated to Halloween.) Last year there was even a fog machine, and so there were Gorillas in the Mist. The gorilla is pretty much the biggest attraction in our area (outside of my ridiculous dog, but that’s something else entirely), and people come from far and wide, driving miles even, just to see him. Families who have moved away return for this one night, and there are those who have had a picture taken with him every year (some since infancy). You’d also be surprised and a little proud by how many children go for the banana over the candy.  Perhaps there is hope for the American youth yet.

This year Thunderball and I were manning the door alone as ‘Superstorm Sandy’ rescheduled my aunt’s wake, and BB went to represent. Every year we get dressed up and mess around with the neighborhood kids. Last year we had two Halloweens (New England is a fickle place) and so Thunderball was Marceline the Vampire Queen as well as a gorilla and I painted my face and sported wings (make of that what you will). A few years before she was a witch, I wore a Christopher Walken mask and together with BB the gorilla we danced to “Thriller” on our lawn accompanied by a dozen or so neighborhood kids. It was epic. This year Thunderball showed up to my house about three hours before go-time determined to make a Brolaire of Astora costume – from scratch. So we hopped into the spaceship and sped to the nearest craft store with an idea and a ridiculous deadline.

During the ride over she and I discussed my recent trend of weird dreams about my teendom. I suspect this trend had a great deal to do with a recent meeting with escapist Sean Von Gorman, who unfortunately got some of my word vomit on his shoes, and heard a bit about my escapades. I get anxious telling these stories to people because I worry that I may sound as if I’m lying or crazy; because strange things do need explanation – if not context. Hence stress dreaming about my old comrades and exploits.

The dreams (and the vomit) lead to my writing an epic blog entry about my youth, which lead to me spending a day exhausting myself on ‘paper’ only to scrap the whole thing and back slowly away from the computer. I told some of the stories to Thunderball (who may or may not have heard them already), like about the time I was at a party and was accused of being homophobic (me with the hag DNA, of all people) when I pointed out that all the young gay men in New England (at the time) were named Mike, and so I yelled “Hey Mike!” into the crowd and pretty much every gay dude answered me, thus proving my point. I was trying to explain to her that it was a lot harder to write about that stuff (my strange employment, the random people I was acquainted with, my complicated friendships and home life) than I thought it would be. It’s strange to think that you are so far removed from your past, only to find that really you aren’t or to realize how much you miss parts of it, and just which parts those are.

So for those reasons I am not posting what I wrote anytime soon. In the future I’m sure I’ll regale everyone with random tales of drag queens, street art, AFP, Fort Apache, Rivers Cuomo, home invasions and the like, but for now the dreams have stopped and have returned to the normal vivid nightmares with excellent soundtracks (these days I dream in Grizzly Bear) that I’ve grown accustomed to.

At the store it was like old times in art school: budget shopping; being as creative as possible with as little purchasing as possible, brainstorming insanity that just may work. In just a few minutes we had a gameplan and had freaked out half the store- and as many scrappin’ moms as were in attendance – with our whirlwind savvy. (Whilst oohing and aaahing over new Martha Stewart tools a scrappin’ mom pointed out that she – Martha – was ‘moving up from Walmart’ and I pointed out that it’s high time that Martha joined Thunderball, Anthony – Tony – Bourdain and myself for a night of drinking, ‘cause we all know how Martha can put it away, and oh what a night that will be. Which just served to set Thunderball off in the same vein, as this has been a plan of ours – to get our drink on with Tony and Martha – for ages and we’re really excited about it. We have big plans, people, and this will happen. Oh yes, this will happen. You can imagine how well that entire outburst went over with scrappin’ mom, who hightailed it out of there first chance she got. )

Yeah, if the helm fits...

Yeah, if the helm fits…

Back at the hacienda, we proceeded to assemble a suit of armor from cardboard, duct tape and magic. It was amazing. And beautiful.

Art school pays off.

With Adventure Time and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog for a soundtrack, we literally worked right up until zero hour, whipping up this outfit like two nerds who forgot that today was Comicon.

Brolaire of Astora

Brolaire of Astora

I didn’t even have a chance to suit up myself, so I left Brolaire of Astora to greet the first of the kiddies as I perfected my look: Fat Death of the Endless (because I rule). I was much pleased by the new makeup – which held up all night unlike the glop from the beta test that smudged and spread and bled.  I donned the Generalissimos’ hat (to cover the bald) and joined Brolaire and my dog at a table we’d set up with Coleman lanterns (we have no outside electrics due to the giant crater that is half my house) and candy bowls. We also had a six pack of Sunny D – part of Brolaire’s costume and a prize to any trick-or-treater who could properly identify our costumes.

My house was bombed with sugar crazed masses seeking giant gorilla glory. We had to tell them that the gorilla escaped his enclosure during ‘Superstorm Sandy’, stealing my wallet and all of the bananas before hopping on a bus out of town. While the kids were all disappointed at least our story was believable. Hurricane Sandy had been a complete betch throwing a wrench into many plans and lives in the last week.  They all agreed to keep an eye out for him, and to report back with any information.  I felt really bad for a few of them though, especially the little kid who showed up in a full gorilla suit. I think he was hoping for a replay of last year, where he could have run free through the fog with Thunderball.

The brave steed, looking for reassuring hugs between candy goblins.

The brave steed, looking for reassuring hugs between candy goblins.

Most people got over the absence of the gorilla upon seeing that my dog was present. He is a local celebrity after all, even if he did try to hide behind Brolaire every time someone came in the yard and then demanded huggings and pettings after every encounter. I don’t know what it is about him, maybe his ridiculous height – he is very tall for a greyhound – or his clownish nature, but everyone in town LOVES my dog. Seriously – one time he was six miles down the road, going for a car ride with his head out a window when a bunch of kids on bikes shouted his name. He’s a frikkin rock star. And he’s not the only dog on the street either.  So everyone was so glad to see him and pet him ‘up close’ and tell me a story about the time he ‘got out’ – the most epic twenty minutes in small town history, apparently. Everybody in the neighborhood has a story from that day. One family tells of how he played with their kids in their yard. A mother with a toddler recalled walking the baby in the stroller and his accompanying them around the block. He saved a family from a burning house, delivered a baby and rescued a kitten from a tree. All I know is, the second we realized he got out (something that never happens and I’ll discuss why at another time) half the neighborhood formed a search party. People I have never met in all my years living here got in on the action to find my neurotic greyhound, who was out gallivanting and helping little girls sell lemonade.

As the night wore on we were quickly running out of candy but remained well-stocked on Sunny D. A lot of people tried, mostly guessing that Thunderball was someone from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (got to hand it to my neighbors on that one), and one precious little kid (had to be maybe three) did manage to finagle a juice as he assured us he was really thirsty and just wanted to go home. Costume-wise I am happy to report the absolute lack of zombies, which I’ve previously stated are the Disney Princess of costumes these days. I was sure we’d see dozens of those. Rather, I was shocked to see a surprising number of Mario Brothers, especially Mario. Am not sure what that was all about, but it was a trend I did not see coming.

In the end we were down to a handful of candy when a bunch of high schoolers in some decent getups show up. They were accompanying a young man who lives a few houses from me who is mentally handicapped. He was upset when I told him he couldn’t take all of the candy that was left, in case we got any more late comers. So he got sneaky and replaced our remaining candy bars with candy from his bag that he didn’t like. Touché, kid. The rest of the group was preoccupied with scoring Sunny D from Brolaire, and failing miserably. One of them, a guy in drag, was particularly endearing. He was in a miniskirt and boots with bad makeup and a big blonde wig, all giving him the effect of a drag queen who just woke up in an alley behind a dumpster. I asked him if his name was Mike. Thunderball nearly lost her shit (epic spit take ensued).

As we were closing up for the night, folding up the table and chair, gathering lanterns, my neighbor came over walking his dog. (Of course my dog is asleep back in the house when his girlfriend comes over). He isn’t looking for candy. He’s come specifically to ask if Thunderball is a Sun Bro. She almost keeled with joy. He tells us that he saw us from his candy distributing station at his house across the street and was dying to ask but his wife wouldn’t let him come over.  So when the kids stopped coming he snuck over under the guise of walking their dog. It was awesome. Much Sunny D was shared, the Sun Be Praised.

Praise the Sun

Praise the Sun

So I guess it was a successful night. Lots of diabeetus was encouraged, much praise was given the sun, and my dog continued his work as Ambassador to the Neighborhood. Plus, Thunderballs’ night was made, so that was good enough for me.

Oh, and here they are, the last pictures of me to appear on the interwebs.

It's all about the angles, baby.

It’s all about the angles, baby.

Not so bad for someone with so many chins. It’s all about the angles people. Awww yeah.

Fat Death

Fat Death