Archive for Life

Is that a gallstone in your cystic duct, or are you happy to see me?

[ music | Alanis Morissette – Not the Doctor ]

Ok, so, Monday I had my little surgical consultation about my gallbladder surgery. It’s scheduled for December 8. The day after the day that will live in infamy. It’ll be a laparoscopic procedure, with four small incisions; one for the camera, and three for instruments. that is, it’ll be they “keyhole” operation if things go ok, which they should. The issue is it seems my liver, pancreas, and gall bladder are a little higher up in the abdomen than normal, and thus further up under the ribcage a little more. This means there’s a slightly higher chance of “complication” that would mean it would have to be an open procedure. This would be an 8-10 inch incision through the abdomen, which the surgeon described as “a bitch”. I would tend to agree, despite my limited medical experience. So I’m hoping he can get high enough with the instruments to avoid the “bitch” procedure. We’ll see. Sometimes you just gotta roll the hard six.

I love how with every single medical procedure I have the doctors come back with a, “Well, there’s this little issue…” It’s like nothing in my body is quite average. It’s always, “well, isn’t that interesting!” Although I must admit, when I had the ultrasound exam, it was performed by not one, not two, but three beautiful young ladies, one student, one graduate, and one “skilled technician”, not one of them over 28. Forty-five minutes being palpitated by cute girls? Almost worth it.

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I still love the night.

[ music | Imogen Heap – The Moment I Said It ]

I always loved this hour of the day/night/what-have-you. Right now it’s ten to five a.m., 54 degrees out, and foggy. There’s just something about it tha tmakes the perfect endcap to whatever kind of day I had, good or bad. Sitting up in the wee hours, chatting with a friend or three, watching the world sleep. It makes me feel powerful in the sense that there’s a whole nothing day ready to dawn, I can see and feel it coming. It really makes the idea of a life stretching out before me palpable. It’s one of the few times I can look around a find some genuine hope, a feeling not ginned up nor blindly clung to for the sake of mental health. There really is another day coming, life goes on.

It’s been one of the roughest years yet so far, and it’s not over, but frankly I think rock bottom was hit, and is receeding at an increasing rate. You can sit and think about how you’d take various forms of bad news, but you’re never right. I really assumed I’d take certain things a lot harder before I could move on, but I didn’t. That shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. For a mere moment, it was, “Holy shit.” But a beat later it was, “Well, ok, so, where do we go next?” Unchangable situations are just that, unchangable, so don’t waste your time complaining. The faster you get on dealing with it the easier it is. I guess the old advice is correct, just rip the bandage right off and get it over with.

I still love the nights, too. I think I’m almost ready to start finding someone to share them with, too. Almost, I’m not that mature yet. 😉

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[ music | Johnny Cash – Hurt ]

And I don’t do anything in half measures. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right.

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Throw me overboard already.

[ music | Aimee Mann – Save Me ]

I have such a crushing headache my head feels like it’s filled with neutronium. I’m not sure if it’s gravity is trying to implode my head, or it’s explosive pressure is trying to blow open my skull. Either way, with various meds doing NOTHING to kill it, it’s time to pass out for a while and let it ooze out my ears.

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Flight 666, please return to the tarmac, there are corpses on the runway.

[ music | Badly Drawn Boy – Once Around The Block ]

<Tom> jx are you stable now or what
<jX> Temporarily stable. Still moving back to Boston though, just to a nicer place.
<jX> I look at this as like a plane going back to the taxiway after discovering a problem on the runway.
<Tom> oh you're back home?
<jX> yeah, for the moment.
<jX> sadly.
<jX> but it's ten thousand times better than that hovel.
<jX> And after driving in Boston for a week, I will NEVER EVER AGAIN bash PA or Pittsburgh roads again.
<jX> Apparently, the concept of a level driving surface is unknown in Mass.
<wheels> o_O
<jX> And they have loops on roads, where multiple roads connect (rather than cloverleaf exits and such), they call them Rotaries. Rotaries are exempt from all driving laws apparently. They're little mini Thunderdomes.
<jX> The only rule I discovered is if you think you have to slow down, just go faster.
<jX> And if your car can't accelerate fast, God have mercy on your soul.
<Chewie[]> Or, er, body.
<jX> No, soul, because if you can't gun it, your body is history.

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Not dead yet…

[ music | Monty Python – Always Look On the Bright Side Of Life ]

I want to go for a walk…

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Walmart Optical Sucks

[ music | Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor ]

I had an eye exam a week and a half ago at Walmart’s Optical center. Why there? Well, five years ago I had a good experience with them. This time the eye doctor was excellent. That’s when the good times stopped. They still have good prices on frames, relative to the insane prices most places charge. However, unlike 5 years ago, they don’t have the “bundle” prices anymore. It used to be the frame price included the base lenses, and you could upgrade for moderate charges depending on your choice. No longer. Now even the cheap plastic lenses are another $40, which I was told they didn’t even sell (I found out later was a lie, not that I was going to buy them, they’re terrible quality).

The set I was looking at ran $110 per pair, and that was the lowest of the three upgrades lenses. The sales lady of course tried to talk me into the $220 lenses, which I immediately told her I was not going to buy, twice. She proceeded to give me the sales pitch anyway, which consisted of her tellign me that basically their lens grinding process ruined the cheaper lenses, and only these super expensive lenses would actually work. I said a third time I wasn’t interested because if the lenses didn’t work, I would demand replacement sunder their warranty policy, and that it’s illegal to sell products you know are defective but still advertise as functional. She finished by saying she really recommended them to everyone with my type of vision (I’m nearsighted). I didn’t bother to mention that’s a lot of people to push pricey lenses on. So I settled on a mild upgrade to $140 because that set of lenses was significantly thinner, and had anti-glare coatings, etc.

Then I learned they no longer do the lens grinding in-house. It takes a week because it’s sent to their labs in Indiana. This really displeased me, but no one nearby does it any faster anyway, which is why I went to Walmart. So fine, it takes a week.

I went in Thursday to pick up my glasses. I put them on, and vision in my right eye was still quite blurry. I pulled of the glasses, they were clean, put them back on, still very blurry, but different from my normal vision. Immediately I knew what happened. They screwed up the prescription, or the lab used the wrong lens. The girl this time tried to tell me it was my eye that just needed to get used to the new glasses. “Excuse me? If any old lens worked, and my eye just needed to ‘get used to it’ then I wouldn’t be here spending $200 on these. This is wrong.” Another moment of arguing about it, and finally she conceeded and wrote on my chart “patient refuses to take glasses home and try them out for a while”. She went to go get the doctor, and I added to the chart, “because the lens is wrong, and he knows taking them home won’t fix the lens.”

Well, after a few minutes with the doctor, lo and behold I was correct and the lens is wrong. Whoever entered the doctor’s report into the computer ordering system introduced whatever the optical equivalent of an “off by one” error is. The lens was one power “notch” lower than it should have been, according to the doctor. So this time they double checked all the entries, and reordered the glasses. There’s no such thing as a rush according to them, and so I must wait another week. I was too busy, and too angry at the situation to deal with it, so I let them continue, although tomorrow I plan on having a word with a number of people about this. Especially the part about how my eyes would just “get used to it.”

On the brigh tside, I still have 20/10 vision with corrective lenses, and the doctor compared my prescription now to what it was 5 years ago, and my eyes have slightly improved from then. Apparently this is not unheard of to eye doctors, although it’s incredible news to me. I thought that my current glasses weren’t strong enough, but it’s that now they’re actually too strong, however so slightly.

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[ music | Sheryl Crow – The Book ]

To: Grey Hodge
From: [editor]@[publisher].com
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 14:03:16 -0500

Oh, and the title passed with flying colors so we are definitely moving

[Editor] | Acquisitions Editor | [Foobar] Publishing

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Updates All Over The Place!

[ music | Devo – Whip It ]

The first thing you might notice reading this today is the new look. The new logo and title graphic have been here for a bit, and now you see where I was going with it. I have a couple extra title images, I’m not 100% sold on that one, but we’ll see.

Second is some donations! Woo! Two weeks ago I received not, but two $30 donation to my campaign from a great pair of gents. And last week I received a $100 donation from a wonderful lady in New York who is also getting married shortly (congrats!). Three cheers all around! I’m dancing here, people!

And last, but most certainly not least, some potentially big news. Tuesday in the early afternoon I will find out if I land a contract on a tech book. Yes, another. An authorship this time, something for which I am well qualified. People in the know seem to feel it’s 80/20 in my favor, so heres hoping and praying. I’ve been busy these past few weeks, thankfully, so that’s why there’s been a dearth of updates lately. I’ll be doing better with that now. Be sure to give The Hot Fix box on the right a click too for great info on Microsoft’s upcoming Service Pack 3 for WinXP. They were smart enough to buy some small ad space here, and I want to make sure they get their money’s worth. 😉

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How to admit defeat.

[ music | The Cardigans – Been It ]

Sometimes there are things you just can’t do, no matter how hard you try. This is the story of one of those things. It’s a long one, so if you want to read the whole thing, you’ll need to click the [Read More] link.

» Continue reading “How to admit defeat.”

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