Monday, April 28, 2008

and the beat goes on....

surgery. tah dah. Doc thinks that the impingement is what is causing the pain. so, break out the arthroscope and take a look. he anticipates griding some bone off of the bottom of my clavicle to make more room in the joint, thus reducing the impingement.

I've had a few surgeries before, but as it happened both were accomplished with the equivalent of local anesthesia (spinal blocks and twilight shots). this will be the first time I will have been put out using general anesthesia and I'm a little apprehensive. I wish I could be awake, I'd like to see the surgery, weirdly enough. I wonder if he has tivo?

Meanwhile we are still working on our itinerary for Paris. The eiffel tower, of course - but at night or during the day? eat a the restaurant there? We've decided to eat most of our meals out at lunch, as prices are cheaper. We can do a bread, wine, fruit & cheese thing for supper either out somewhere or in our room. There is the place that only serves one dish - steak w/fries - the only thing you tell the waiter is how you like your steak cooked. There is also (you fans of Harry Potter aught to get a kick out of this) a restaurant in the home of Nicholas Flamel (or named after him or something like that - Laura knows but is napping right now). There is also the restaurant in the catacombs (amongst the bones?) and the restaurant that specializes in hog knuckles (or something like that - I should have waited for Laura to wake up to write this). And, as we are staying in Monmartre, there is always the little brasserie that Amelie worked in - a possibility, especially if we take a gnome with us. Anyway - food is an important part of our trip!

We are definitely going to Versailles, that will take a whole day. I'd also like to spend one day in the country somewhere outside of Paris. (someplace that is too beautiful for Bob to have come from). Laura offered to let me include The beaches at Normandy, but sites such as this are my fascination, not hers, and I'd hate to spend a whole day (and possibly more) on myself. The Louvre will also probably be most of a day. We will probably go to either Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame, and most probably a ride down the Seine.

All of a sudden, 7 days is not so long after all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A foggy day, in London town...

....meaning it's the same-old, same-old around here.

I have these pain pills I take before I go to bed so my shoulder won't wake me up with the impulse to cut it off immediately. The pain of the amputation would both distract me from the pain in my shoulder and it at least would go away eventually. In the moments between when the meds take affect and when I drift off to sleep I write these wildly elaborate blog posts in my head, meandering from topic to topic that are so clearly within everyone's experience that I would garner many comments regaling me on my observations and my profound way of summing up everyman's life experience in such a succinct way.

And the next day you are subjected to this. dreck.

Nothing much is happening around here. All we lack getting ready for our trip to Paris next month are purchasing some cheap sunglasses that, should they be lost, won't be missed. Laura is still working on her french, she is loath to be in the same situation as last year in Versailles - having TO GO really badly and not understanding the french directions to the loo in the back forty somewhere or another. Euros were purchased last month, not in time to get ahead of the tanking dollar, but ahead of this month's tank. We bought a street map Sunday and are finalizing our itinerary. We are staying in Montmartre and going hither and yon on the metro.

As for my shoulder, I moved my next appointment up to this Friday as the cortisone might as well have been water for all of the good it did. We will see.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Round Two

***updated below***

"There is a small degenerative subchondral cyst seen at the greater tuberosity. There is marginal hypertrophic involvement involving the acromioclavicular joint consistent with marginal impingement. There is no definite abnormal joint effusion. I cannot confirm any tear of the supraspinatous tendon. The long head of the biceps tendon is intact. There is no subcutaneous edema. There is some irregularity of the anterior labrum. There could be an anterior labral injury.

I. Possible anterior labral tear.
II. Marginal hypertrophic changes of the AC joint causing marginal impingement.
III. No definitive rotator cuff tear.
IV. Degenerative subchondral cyst identified at the humeral head near the greater tuberosity. If shoulder pain persists, shoulder arthrogram and MR arthrography may be indicated.

so - off to see an orthopedic specialist tomorrow.

wait and see. got a shot and made an appointment to return in 3 weeks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Here Comes the Party! WOOT!

My weekend: Saturday starts at 5:30 AM when I get up and head for work. We have to implement a project we've been working on since January. If everything goes well, I'll be home by 4:00 PM. Saturday night will be either British comedies on the local PBS channel or - Police Squad. My son gave me a DVD with the original TV show episodes. either way, a good way to wind down after a tense day at work. Well, that and maybe a fermented beverage or three. Sunday will be lawn day - I can't put off the back yard any longer.

Exciting, huh?

I hope everyone in blogland has a good weekend.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Q&A, part 2

I will start with the 2nd of Maggie's questions: My best life advice?

That is a difficult question to answer as it is rarely asked of me. get the best education you can afford. be curious. take the time to know, and most importantly like yourself. be as honest as you can be. travel as often as you can afford, and find a way to visit another country. read as much as you can, make time for it. look for the best in people. remember your manners especially in the face of rudeness.

De asked: If I could do anything (notwithstanding age, education, etc.) as a second career, what would it be and why does that interest me?

I would be a pilot. Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to learn how to fly. I'm not sure I can express why I want this. I've wanted to so long I don't know the reasons why. I've had a fascination with flight forever. In my mind, it is associated with going places, exploration, freedom even.

she also asked: How do I like the new music I picked up a while back?

I'm still getting to know these new albums and so far I like them all - I like to play new music several times and kinda let my feelings about it come from inside - kind of a gestalt. It's too soon to tell.

De finished with: Can I dance?

HA! I used to try when I was a young man. Now days I am obligated to once a year - at my wife's company Christmas party. I can do what my daughter refers to as the "daddy dance" which is merely designed to embarrass her. I sometimes wish I could do the typical ballroom dances - waltz, fox trot, etc. And when I'm feeling my oats - swing.

Puss asks: What's greens & cornbread?

greens are one of 3 leafs that are cooked in a way particular to the American south. There are collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens in order of popularity. They are typically stewed with a piece of smoked pork - a knuckle is most common where I was growing up. They are most commonly served with cornbread (of which there are MANY varieties) and pepper sauce.

She goes on to ask: Am I feeling any less depressed?


Puss ends with: Where do I stand on the naked body - show it off, or hide it away?

on a personal level, do what you are comfortable with. I think that if enough people were comfortable in their own skin we could solve a host of societal ills. Over here, unfortunately, nudity is equated with sex - so if you are showing skin you must be looking to knock boots. At a more abstract level, I think that there is beauty in the human body. And by that I do not mean solely a 6 foot tall, 16 year old waif with breast implants and a bolemic-ally small waist. Male or female, large or small, short or tall - there is something fascinating about the human form. When we are naked we are at our most vulnerable - and therefore most honest state. there's nothing left to hide, from ourselves or from everyone else.

Pat asks: a lot! He/She seems to be fascinated with procrastination and wants to know a lot about how I feel about various aspects of it.

I think that in some ways depression defines procrastination in it's extreme. At my worst, I have stayed in bed for days doing nothing but sleeping. That is the utmost in procrastination. I cannot compare the ways in which I procrastinate with the way other people do - I don't know but one or two people well enough to know how they procrastinate and therefore have no basis for comparison. I tend to procrastinate when making life-changing decisions - I, like many people, have a certain fear of change, of the unknown. I hate that I do this and am not proud of it. I don't know how to over come it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


No new questions have rolled in for over day, so time to answer those that did.

Meno asked: What was the MRI for?

I have been having having increasing problems with my right shoulder. It's gotten so that I cannot sleep through the night, every time I roll over the pain wakes me up. My doctor suspects a rotator cuff injury. If it is torn, it'll mean surgery. I'll find out the 14th.

she also asked how're the kids doing?

Both Zack and Kris are doing fine. Zack is still working 2nd shift (3:30 to 12:30) and isn't in a hurry to change it. Kris just changed majors and is happier with school. She had already declared a minor in English, so this shouldn't set her back very much, maybe just a semester.

Jen asked: When was the last time I laughed really, really hard.

As it happens, I bust my gut laughing twice on Monday. The first time was while reading this. The second time was later in the evening. When I was a kid I used to love watching the Dean Martin Roasts. My favorite part was when Foster Brooks would get up to speak. Well, a few weeks ago Dad gave me 6 DVDs of these comedy roasts and I watched one Monday night. I still laugh so hard I cry when Foster does his bit. Here's a taste:

Liv asked: What's my favorite book.

the simple answer is, I don't have one. I've been reading voraciously since I was in grade school. I would participate in the summer reading programs and use 3 or 4 sheets to list all of the books I'd read. So, in lieu of a favorite book, I'd thought I'd instead list some of my favorites.

the Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting. I LOVED these when I was in grade school, I used to imagine what it would be like to be able to understand what animals were saying. I just never found me a Polynesia to teach me.

The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon. This was my introduction to mysteries. I read every one of them (of the original series), and still have about 10 or 15 of them that were given me as presents. I always saw myself as Frank but I wasn't much interested in "his steady date" Callie Shaw - not being into girls yet. I think everyone knows by now that this series, along with Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and one or two other series were all the idea of one man, Edward Stratemeyer and were written by a series of ghost writers under various pen names - Carolyn Keene for Nancy Drew, etc.

The Foundation series by Isaac Asmiov. I got interested in science fiction in high school. I still prefer those athors I found first - Asimov, Arthur Clark, Larry Niven, etc. Asimov writes in such a way that his worlds seem eminently possible. (It helps that he was an actual scientist). Ditto Arthur Clark. He was also - I prefer for the science in science fiction to be so, I don't know, inevitable, that it fades into the background and allows the story to come out. You aren't constantly thinking - there's no way that could happen.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I found these while in high school and they remain at the top of my all-time favorite list. Every few years I re-read them. He created such a complete world with complex back-stories for all of the creatures in them, why they react to each other as they do, whey they behave as they do, you get completely lost in the Third World - and mourn it's passing at the end of the trilogy.

Agatha Christie's Poirot and Mrs. Marple mysteries - classics. I think I've read them all, I still pick one up and re-read it occasionally. Part of this is that I think I am a closet Anglophile. This are the epitome of the drawing room mystery.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - more classics. What can I say, I wish I had half the brains of Sherlock Holmes.

Anything by Dick Francis. He's an ex-jockey who used to ride the Queen mother's race horses. when he retired he started writing mysteries all with horse racing as their central theme. He writes of the everyman engagingly. You root for the good guy, despite his failings.

Anything by Douglas Adams - while the hitchhikers' are terrific, I think I like the Dirk Gently series better. The master of English wit, they are each so fun to read.

Anything by Terry Pratchett - those in the disc world series are my favorites, full of good british sarcasm where, unusually, I actually get most of the cultural references. Who else could name a city Didjabringabeeralong and the reader not immediately get that he's parodying Australia?

Anything by Christopher Moore - although my favorite of his is a tie between The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and Lamb. He reminds me somewhat of an American version of Terry Pratchett - irreverent, engaging, sarcastic to a gentle degree.

those are just the first few that come to mind. I hope this is a good enough answer because I don't have a favorite book. I've read too many good ones. Maybe that just means I haven't read my favorite yet?

Scott asked: If I weren't alive, where would I want to exist?

I am not an adherent of any religion. I don't have any firm belief in an afterlife (in heaven or hell), or a return to life (reincarnation). I don't know if I believe in alternate universes or parallel universes, or alternate streams of time - I just don't know. So - not having any beliefs, I get to pick and choose. I remember as a teenager reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I like the idea expressed in it that as you learn and evolve as a person you reach a point where you are ready for a new world/reality/dimension - one that holds new things for you to learn and new opportunities for growth.

Maggie asks: What is my favorite movie, and why?

This is as difficult to answer as the book question for much the same reason. I love to watch movies and I cannot select an all-time favorite. Also, I'm always looking for my next favorite so it's possible I haven't seen it yet. I read through the AFI 2007 top 100 and I've seen all but 11 of them. So - yet another list in no particular order:

Sergeant York - I'm not sure why I like this move so much - Gary Cooper does a great job in it, the story is clean (too clean for today's movie goer, I'm sure) but there's just something that, every time it's on TV, I watch it.

Mr. Hulot's Holiday - Jacques Tati made 2 movies with the Mr. Hulot character (that I know of). It is reminiscent of Buster Keaton wtth the heartwarming touch of Charlie Chaplin.

Blazing Saddles/Young Frankenstein - I can't count how many times I've seen them both. I can quote most of both. Two of the best genre satires I know of.

The Princess Bride - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means". my favorite romance film.

Saving Private Ryan - I doubt I'll ever watch this movie again. it had, I can only imagine, the most realistic portrayal of war of any war movie. period. It was worth seeing. Everyone should have an idea of what war is like so maybe we wouldn't be in such a damned hurry to send our children off to die in them.

Bringing up Baby - Carry Grant and Katherine Hepburn are wonderful in this, practically the definition of genteel, slapstick, screwball comedy. I always want to see this again.

I think this is enough to plow through, so I'll save the rest of the answers for my next post.