I'm used to cultural touchstones matching up with my life. It's a little jarring to realize I'm now the "older generation."
But, yeah, they're all completely gay.
It's time to make some serious decisions about my life.
Up to this point I have lived with my parents.
It is time for this to change.
So anyone who is thinking about setting me up on a date or introducing me to someone in the future, I no longer live with my parents.
My parents live with me.
I'm used to being the guy at the New Year's Eve party who doesn't get kissed. Hell, I wasn't even expecting an opportunity to be at a New Year's Eve party this time around, so I suppose I should consider myself lucky to have had any festivities at all, but somehow being in the midst of strangers with one person you hoped felt for you the way you felt for him but doesn't is so very much worse than being among loving friends who all have someone else to kiss.
To those loving friends, I miss you and hope y'all had a spectacular New Year's Eve.
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The first was at the gas station. She was taller and broader than I am, but probably lighter. She wasn't thin by any means, but I'm a real lard ass and she wasn't at all. She was a woman who could easily wear formless, shapeless, genderless clothes and never be questioned about her femininity. "Of course she doesn't dress like a woman, they don't make women's clothes in her size." However, she was dressed in an obviously feminine, without being frilly, black top with small white polka dots and a purple shorts that would have probably been capri shorts on a smaller woman. I can't recall how she had her hair done exactly, but it was somewhere between a man's cut and shoulder length. She was not wearing makeup.
Seeing her, it occurred to me that a woman of her proportions has to do a little work to actually appear feminine, and I mentally applauded her for expressing her gender in her way rather than giving in to the pressures of expediency.
At the grocery store, the look of another woman struck me. This woman was quite normally sized and svelte. What struck me about her was the extreme of femininity she was putting out there. Normally I wouldn't start with the shoes, but I don't believe I've ever seen . She was wearing a white short skirt and bolero jacket ensemble that was set off with hot pink tank or t-shirt (can't tell the sleeve status with the jacket on). Her hair fell to mid back and was that particularly brassy shade of a bad red die job.
Upon close inspection, I'd say she was well over 40 or had lived a very hard life in less years than that. She was also tattooed just shy of "heavily".
All in all, my first reaction to her look was "lolita hooker" which might be a bit harsh, but is an accurate expression of my immediate take.
Both of these women were quite emphatically expressing femininity. But to one I had an overwhelmingly positive response while to the other it was quite negative. I'm not sure what that says about me, them or society, but I found the whole experience interesting.
And let's face it, how often am I going to get to type "six inch cork wedges with pink patent leather uppers"?
Wandering around an ICU you can appreciate the aclchemy of hospitals. It's a place that turns despair to hope, and, unfortunately, hope back into despair. Every room here is a story. Not just a story of illness and crisis, but a life story. From what I've seen, the majority of people here are older and have with them family, some large, some small, but all with multiple generations. While the families don't really communicate with each other much, there seems to be the easy coexistence of shared hardship.
Walking out of here last night, I remarked to the nurse that just glancing in the various rooms tells me how fortunate we are. Very few people here are awake and aware. There are many bedside vigils more stressful than mine. Sure Dad's sleeping at the moment, but it's sleep, not unconsciousness. He'll be awake again in time for lunch and heartily eat
"Cardiac arrest" are a couple of scary, scary words, but the reality is it happens and people recover from it all the time. 75 year old diabetics with a history of heart problems perhaps not as often as a younger, healthier patient who had an odd moment of crisis, but even 75 year olds recover from this. And Dad is doing well. Certainly better than most of the others I've seen on this floor.
An incident like this puts both one's parents' and one's own mortality in perspective. I've been trying to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable for several years now. I know I'm more prepared than I was mentally, but I'm not ready. I'm not sure I ever want to be ready. We were ready for my grandmother to pass. That was excruciating in its own way. I don't want to live through that again. On the other hand, being surprised is not going to be much better.
What I'm not doing is losing weight. I haven't changed my eating habits. In fact working out has significantly increased my appetite. So that's the next battle. It is nudging me closer to a bariatric solution, but that really scares the hell out of me.
I'm hoping things kinda even out in the long term, but at the moment it's a little disconcerting. On the other hand, I've been steadily increasing the difficulty and duration of the workouts and my stamina is definitely increasing, which tells me somethings happening to me.
At the moment, I'm doing 25 minutes on an elliptical runner and 25 minutes on a recumbent bike. I figure at the moment any activity is better than what I was doing, but if I don't start seeing more dramatic results shortly, I'm going to have to work with the training staff at the gym to find something that will be a more aggressive workout for my current condition.
Surgery went fine.
I guess I just don't have a lot I want to say about the experience. Perhaps later I'll be more talkative about what's going on.
Just wanted to make sure everyone knew I'm still alive and still dealing with this damn infection.
If a room is available, I will be operated upon at noon tomorrow. They will be draining the abscess and installing some sort of vacuum device which will continue draining the resulting cavity for three to four weeks. There will be a sponge in there as part of this device which will need to be replaced every three days either by home health care or at the Medical City wound care center.
This device also included an external pump of some sort I will have to carry with me at all times. I'm looking at a month of sweat pants, of which I have about one pair.
I spent most of today, even before knowing about surgery, freaking the fuck out. I had completely run out of both my sunny disposition and any ability to deal.
At one point, I'm standing in my own blood which is flowing down my leg on the verge of tears and my mother chose that moment to walk into my room. Yeah, composure quickly became a word with meaning only for other people.
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Very early, I sweat through the adhesive keeping my IV in place. Since I'm such a difficult stick in the first place, the nurse changed the adhesive but not the IV itself.
Fast forward to later in the morning, the next dose of antibiotic is hooked up and flowing. Eventually, I realize my hand was blowing up like a balloon.
The IV had slipped the track and was filling up my hand rather than my veins. A quick removal of the IV port and now my hand was leaking a drop or so of saline and very expensive antibiotic every second or so.
Shortly after that, my leg decided my hand was getting too much attention and started seeping as well. Not the wound the ER opened on Monday, but part of the very hard edema that developed after that.
So now my gauze and my hand are much larger. There's no pain in the hand, but it's not very flexible. The leg, on the other hand, still hurts and has issues if skin irritation on top of that.
So that's the story from Lake Woebegone, where the men are all handsome and the skin infections are above average.
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I was having difficulty with this purchase. On the one hand, I was justifying it by saying that it was more a contribution to a cause (whatever that cause might be: gentleman farming, the Community, a couple of guys I want to help) than a purchase. But those kinds of purchases do not make for sustainable businesses, and that's really the cause I would want to get behind. It doesn't matter how cute the baby goat (or the goat's minders) is (are), if the product isn't worth the price paid for it, people won't return to buy more. And people returning to buy more is the only way small businesses selling small products can survive.
So now that I have my $30 worth of soap, will I buy more?
On the plus side, the shipping became more reasonable when I experienced just how dense the package was. The soaps are quite heavy for what I expected. They were also quite large. I had noticed the website suggested cutting off a piece to keep the rest from drying out. I didn't realize I would be able to get three or four (maybe five, we'll see) reasonably sized bars out of one "bar."
So the value is greater than I expected.
What about the product itself? you inevitably ask.
Well, it's soap. It's very lathery. It smells nice, though not quite as strong as I expected, which is probably a good thing. The scent stayed with me for a while, but was not overpowering. My skin feels pretty good, but I think it'll take a few more applications to decide if there's any additional benefit to regular application.
There are a few other products of theirs I'm interested in. The goat milk caramel looks very good. While the habanero goat milk caramel looks terrifying. However, I know I have an audience for that sort of thing. I'd be interested in onion jam, but I'm not sure interested enough to invest $10 (plus shipping) for 9 oz.
I am, unfortunately, a candle person. I see one of these in my future.
While I might be tempted to pick up a "Basics" gift set, that's more about my fondness for signed books than any need for more soap at this time. However, I'm unmoved by tchotckes, even those that aren't clothing that doesn't come in my size.
So, in short, I think this is a vendor worth supporting and will probably buy a few more things. However, I do not believe I will ever indulge in 100 bars of custom made soap, not even at less than $5 a bar.
Carnival Cruise Lines is one of those vendors. While I've never really considered myself much of a cruise sort of person, I have always wanted to do an Alaskan cruise.
Carnival has very reasonably priced seven day cruises out of Vancouver. Flying to Vancouver would add ~$600 in air fair. Flying to Seattle, on the other hand, would cost about ~$250.
I'm pretty sure I can spend less than $350 renting a car in Seattle, driving it to Vancouver, dropping it off, getting a cab to the ship, getting a cab to the rental place to get a car upon my return, driving to Seattle and dropping it off at the airport. The only question is whether I can pick up a car in the US and drop it off in Canada.
On the other hand, I bet there's mass transit between the two cities that would be cheaper than $350.
The real problem is finding the time to do this. With my extended illness, I'm running low on days off. And I've already committed to some extensive traveling in 2012. I won't really have time to do this until 2013, but it's now high on my list.
And, ultimately, this is more a thought exercise than actual planning. I was just so surprised by the price difference in flying to the two cities, my OCD little brain started constructing scenarios on its own.
There are also a couple of new "experiential" vendors (Excitations and Great American Days if people are interested) on the website selling everything from pottery classes for kids to racing classic sports cars. They also offer the astronaut training experience of weightlessness, more commonly known as the "vomit comet," though never by the people promoting the experience.
I want. I want badly. I don't want badly enough to pony up the $5,000+ required.