Sunday, December 30, 2007


In support of the dh, I've taken a complete leave of my senses and rescued a labradoodle puppy. Here he is, as yet unnamed. His foster family called him Houdini, because he liked to escape. That's pretty good but we're looking for other options. Any suggestions?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

if i only had a brain...tumor

Ok, the dh got through surgery. Over 5 1/2 hours. Now I can make jokes about the hole in his head.

He can't see or speak well. His eye-hand coordination is askew (a forkful of mashed potato is just as likely to land on his cheek as in his mouth). Hasn't started walking yet. He's in a safety bed for now, like a big play pen for adults. He can do somersaults and cartwheels in it, but he can't escape from it. It's kinda funny.

He'll start intensive rehab today: physical, occupational, speech...they promise to work him hard and not let him get in any trouble. He'll be in rehab for weeks.

His recovery will take awhile, but the surgeon keeps telling me that he'll recover most, if not all, of what he's lost. So then I can't make jokes about him losing his marbles.

I have to make the jokes. There's no other way of getting through it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

an ependymowhat?

Well, in an unusual turn of events, it appears as though the dh has a rather rare brain tumor called an ependymoma. When he found out I started combing the net, researching and digging up the worst possible information. When someone has a dangerous brain tumor, this is probably the last thing you should do. But to me, I'd rather know than not know. It's a strategy that doesn't work for everyone.

I've been telling him for years he should have his head examined, and he finally did. The MRI shows a tumor the size of...a tangerine? A small orange? Something bigger than a clementine, but smaller than a grapefruit. Something in the citrus family.

Maybe a sports ball comparison would be better. Maybe a baseball? A hockey puck?

It's hard to tell, really, but the thing is big, and it's right there in the back of the head, close to the brain stem.

It needs to come out.

So he has surgery on Friday, before Christmas. The outcome is uncertain. He could be up and about in a couple of weeks. He could end up in rehab. He could lapse into a coma.

Of course, the best way to deal with this, as with all other catastrophes and misfortunes that befall us from time to time, is with seriously dark humor, which hides a cautious optimism.

Consequently, there is an upside to this: I've successfully bailed out of making Christmas dinner for 12. Yay!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

pee-wee returns? dare i hope?

I hear that Paul Reubens may be coming out with a new Pee-Wee movie. "The time is ripe," he said. The public is ready for his triumphant return to the screen.

I know I am. I loved Pee-Wee's Playhouse back in the day. When I left Florida, my co-workers pitched in for my farewell presents: A pullstring Pee-Wee Herman doll and Chairry, to keep me company on my return to NJ.

Chairry has a mouth-slot between its cushions that you can move using a knobby thing in the back. In the show, Chairry was a rather uninspired and bland character, almost the moral center of the show. Playing with the moral center of a kids' show isn't much fun. I mean, it's a chair for pete's sake.

Pee-Wee, on the other hand, was fun to play with. He's stuffed, not bendable. Maybe 16 inches tall. At one point, he said "I know you are but what am I?" among other famous expressions.

Now, however, he sits in my lonely attic with Chairry, and when I pull his string he says "beeedeeebeedeeebeeddeeeee" in a very high-pitched whine. I should have taken better care of him so I could unload him on ebay, but the truth is: I could never part with him.

Sexual symbolism runs amok throughout the commercial, featuring a too-smiley 12-year-old kid, his banana-eating dad (or perhaps his "funny" uncle) and a bunch of monkeys in propeller hats. Honestly, though, I think Reubens got a bum rap in the movie theater. If getting caught masturbating in a porn theater is enough to get you thrown in jail (and isn't that the whole point of the porn theater, to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment in which to "shoot one's wad"), surely that makes Pee-Wee the perfect presidential candidate.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

love via currency

I got this in change the other day. A stamp like this would've come in handy back in my bar-hopping days. At the bar, enjoying a few cocktails...a guy buys you a drink and thinks that's a contractual obligation for sex later. You're not interested, so you make a bet:

"Ten bucks says you won't get lucky with me tonight."

But how can I possibly spend this? I mean, I thought this was funny, but I don't want to offend anyone. And I surely don't want people to think I'm sitting in my basement maniacally stamping away on all my currency. Perhaps I'll put it in the household emergency fund box, which I've just now invented.

I got this on the same day:

See there at the top? It says "I love you, cary 11-26-07" Maybe it says "cory." I can't tell for sure. In any event, that's almost me. Surely this is God's mysterious, cosmic way of telling me he loves me, even if he can't spell my name right. Although if he really wants to express his love for me via currency, if he really felt that way, he'd have showered me with a million of these. Hmmm.

Monday, December 03, 2007

yeah, i got your wintry mix right here, pal

I can't seem to concentrate, so this is just stuff that occurred to me, like, just now, or that pisses me off.

Whose idea was it to make rice crispy, and then put it in chocolate? I mean, rice and chocolate. That's like sliced bananas on a saltine.

Weathercasters here in the Northeast use this term "wintry mix" to describe a windy, rainy, snowy, sleety, icy, crappy weather condition that up until recently had not had a suitable adjective to describe it. Now they say it all the time, because it's a "wintry mix" time of year. Every channel. All the time.

"This morning, look out for a 'wintry mix,' and don't forget your umbrella. You'll need it for that 'wintry mix'! Hahahaha! Back to you, Juanita."

I frigging hate that expression now. "Wintry mix." Sounds like it should be something happy and sparkly, with little sugar snowflakes and peppermint, bits of silver and blue, maybe a festive pudding or a bowl of candy or something. But no. It's not something to look forward to. It's something to fear, encouraging people to run to the Ack-a-me RIGHT NOW to load up on milk and salt and a shovel that will only fall apart the moment you use it on the "wintry mix" left behind.

Speaking of pudding, I hate it when you're at the cashier, at, say, the CVS, say, this morning, and the person behind you just can't manage to hold onto their stuff, and stands very, very, too close to you to facilitate placing it all on the counter while you're still standing there continuing your transaction. Or even in the Ack-a-me, when people just can't wait to put their stuff on the belt after you. You barely have begun to put the divider thingy on, and they're already piling up their shit on the 1/2 inch of belt left.

Ah, yes. It's that grouchy, ho-frigging-Mchoho time of year.