Monthly Archives: March 2012



So last Monday I went to the urgent care attached to my primary care provider, because there were no appointments available unless I wanted to wait another day AND drive over a couple of towns.  There I coughed very impressively and reported my tale of woe about how I’d been sick for two weeks and now I have this cough, and for this the codeine cough syrup was awarded to me.  Also a q-tip was twirled in the back of my right nostril.  Good times!

Over the past week the crappy cold has turned into a real peach of an upper respiratory infection.  Such is my racking cough that when we were at the Breast Health Center on Wednesday, three different people peeked into the waiting room where I sat and asked if that was me with that awful cough, and did I need a drink of water or something?  And one of them gave me a Werther’s.  Also, a brittle old lady got up and moved to sit at the other end of the lobby when we were waiting to be seen.  Well, The Lovely Rhonda’s boobs were the ones waiting but TLR and I went along for (moral) support.

The point is, I looked and sounded like death warmed over.  And that was Wednesday.  Today is Saturday.

Today I got up and hacked up what remained of one of my lungs — probably the right one — and TLR  more or less forced me to go to ZoomCare, which is like a mini-clinic where you can be seen for minor stuff like owies and boo-boos.  Oh, and according to the sign in the lobby, sinus infections and abscess lancing  and vaginal discharge.  And I sat there and tried not to cough too much, and pretty soon here came another customer — a guy on tour with his band, experiencing some kind of minor malady that he kept to himself.  He wasn’t coughing, hacking, limping, bleeding from any obvious source, or vomiting that I could see, so my money’s on an abscess from shooting up or a venereal disease.  But, thanks to stupid old HIPPA, I’ll never know.

(Just kidding, I’m a staunch supporter of HIPPA, this is just humor and should not be taken seriously except the part where I conjecture that he’s got VD because that’s totally amusing.)

I met with a very nice PA who listened sympathetically to my whining, examined me and said, “Yep, you’ve got a pretty decent upper respiratory thing, I’m going to put you on antibiotics because you’ve suffered enough and we don’t want you to get walking pneumonia which is making the rounds.”  She is my new hero because between the fever, the coughing, the headache, and the raspy voice from all the complaining, I’m not feeling so great.  Also TLR is about to pack my stuff and find me a new place to live.

So I picked up my prescriptions and took my antibiotic and all that other stuff, and I should feel better in a few days.


Paint me like one of your French bosoms


So today The Lovely Rhonda was compelled to visit the local “Breast Health Center,” or as I like to think of it, that place where they feel you up and get paid for it.  She had been having an Undisclosed Symptom that scared the bejeebers out of her medical provider and, by extension, us.  I was so disquieted by the whole thing that I could not find the words to talk about it to anyone.

Spoiler alert: everything turns out okay, but we’ll never get the four days of trying not to think about the worst case scenario back.

As you might expect, dear reader(s), tensions were high and we were both totally rocking the puffy-eyed hollow look of the frightened-beyond-our-wits.

They led her off to the dungeons to squash her bosoms flat and drag them into the next room to shoot some pictures of them, and then to some kind of foul antechamber where they further violated her frontal regions with an ultrasound.  I was then summoned to witness the sentencing.

The doctor came striding in and sat down and in the friendliest, most relaxed way said, “You know, I just don’t see anything at all that points to cancerous growth of any kind.  There is just nothing here at all that concerns me in the slightest.”

After the relieved shouting and confetti-tossing died down, we repaired to the dressing room with the nurse who could not have been nicer and insisted on giving TLR a warm, heartfelt hug once she was properly dressed and not in danger of goobering the nurse’s scrubs up with ultrasound medium.

Later over a late breakfast TLR described the process as being rather like taking part in a very bizarre photo shoot.  “They drape your arm around the machine.  Okay now drop your left hip.  More.  Try arching your back a little.  Closer, closer… turn… a little more… Okay now throw your head back, toss your hair, purse your lips.  WORK IT, WORK IT, MAKE ME BELIEVE IT, I AM THE CAMERA!  Make love to the machine!  Be a part of it!  … And I’m spent.  Lunch break, there’s bottled water and cigarettes in the green room.”

Just some evil hormones at play here folks, nothing to see, move along.

Instead of trolling


So somebody posted a link on FB of shop signs from The Simpsons tv show.  You know, like “Eye Caramba” for an optical shop, etc.

The first posted comment from a reader goes like so:

“almost all of these are old simpsons. 1. season 9 lisa’s sax 2. season 11 EIEI (where homer challenges everyone to a duel, then has to run and ends up growing tomacco 3.season 7 king size homer 4. season 11 the last tap dance in springfield 5. season 9 girly edition 6. season 9 das bus 7. season 12 I’m going to praise land 12. season 9 simpson tide and the third to last and second to last are from the same episode, cartridge family season 9. the new simpsons just are not as good because they are original. they took the family guy and south park way out where they just go off of current events and pure randomness. so don’t try to defend them its just an old program that ran out of ideas, still good for a couple laughs because the characters are so beloved.”

I was so tempted, internets.  So tempted.  Because the guy who posted this, from what I can tell by his tiny photo, appeared to be a middle-aged nerd posing with a ventriloquist’s dummy crafted in his own image.  Between that and his encyclopedic knowledge of this tv show, or his willingness to google each sign and collect the answers in his comment?  SO. TEMPTED. To leave some kind of comment speculating as to his probable virginity and almost certain residence in the basement of his parents’ home.

Not that there’s anything wrong with virginity or your mom’s basement, but dude.  Have you stopped trying?

Because I’m not really mean, and certainly not because I couldn’t figure out a way to post my snarky comment anonymously without investing actual time and effort, I am instead blogging about it.

Blogging: the coward’s way out since the late 1990’s (so sayeth Wikipedia).

Spring, and cleaning. Sort of.


So I have this stupid broken foot which necessitates the use of a big Velcro boot.  So attractive, and the very pinnacle of comfort.

I’m at loose ends today in that The Lovely Rhonda is at work and the children are all off at their other homes.  There’s been a lot going on lately that is not the sort of thing one blogs about, at least in my particular case, and a lot of it has been very stressful, so I’m restless.

Let’s review: hobbled by broken foot, and restless.  Oh, and it’s the nicest, warmest, breeziest, most perfect day so far this year.  The two days ago it snowed and school was two hours late, and now it’s a mild, hopeful sixty degrees out.

I was tempted to embark on some craft related tangent because I am exposed to Pinterest against my will via Facebook, but I felt that this was not really  justified in light of the fact that the house was a little messy and decided instead that perhaps I should direct my attentions to something a bit closer to home.

(Read this in an Andy Rooney voice:)  Did ya ever notice how when you clean your house, you clean everybody’s room but yours?  You’re so busy scrubbing the toilet and cracking the whip over the recalcitrant children to pick up their fifty bajillion toys that your own room remains untidy and cluttered behind the closed door.

Soooo, our bedroom, possibly the nicest room in the house next to the kitchen, is in need of some pretty comprehensive swilling-out, so I decided to start there.  And so I found the box of Christmas things laying around neglected in the corner under the comforter that disintegrated when we washed it after one of the kids threw up on it.  And there were some winter gloves and scarves and things and a few stray ornaments and such, and we keep that in boxes in the garage, and so I was forced to open the garage up.

Oh, the garage.  The last time we had any business to conduct in the garage was during the Great Kitchen Makeover when we had to paint a lot of cabinet doors in it because it was so rainy the paint wouldn’t dry on the back patio.  It’s been butt-cold since then, so it has remained disheveled with painting and sanding things strewn around.   I cracked the door open, and there was a whoooosh of that dusty, horrible tomb air that escapes this kind of sealed environment when you’ve neglected it for a while.  Once the bats and moths had cleared out and the eerie screaming died down, I knew that this was the real project for me today.

So I spent a delightful couple of hours removing things from the garage, loading certain of them into the van to be donated to charity or returned to their original owners.  There was sweeping, there was shifting of things from one place to another, there was organization.  The winter things and the ornaments were put in their respective boxes and the painting and sanding things were put back into their box, and it was all just so satisfyingly tidy when I was done.

But the side effect of having your one foot in a big stupid Velcro boot is that your other foot gets tired, so although I could have spent all day out there, my left foot now dictates that I stop.  Maybe later, if I’m feeling ambitious, I might consider putting a garbage bag over the boot and mowing the front lawn.

Or not.

I do what I want!



So we recently bought a new toaster oven.  It has a little dial you turn and it ticks while it’s toasting, and then when it’s done it goes DING!

Today The Lovely Rhonda was making some toast and I happened to be standing by when it went DING!  This caused me to sing out, involuntarily, “Toh-oast!” in a sort of high-pitched, quavery voice.

There’s a lovely movie called Billy Elliot, about a British boy growing up in the 80’s whose mother has died, his father and brother are striking coal miners, and his old gran lives with them all.  And he wants to be a dancer.  It’s a great movie, there’s certainly more to it than this, but the reason why I mention is a scene where Billy is making Nan some breakfast.  The toaster launches the finished toast into the air, and Nan sings out, “Toh-oast!” while Billy deftly snatches it out of midair.

Okay, so I haven’t thought of that movie in ages, and here I am singing TOH-OAST!  to the DING! of the new toaster oven.

This evening I sat down and started rummaging around in things on the interwebs and suddenly thought of a site I used to look at called Found.  It’s a site where people submit little notes and pictures and things like that that they’ve found.  I looked it up and the fourth or fifth thing to come up was a tiny scrap of paper that said, “Nor Dad!  I don’t like Borx’in!  I want to be a darn-sa!”

Which of course is a line from Billy Elliott.

It was a dark and stormy night. Also, I somehow broke a bone in my foot.


So I’m sitting here listening to the wind and the rain.  It’s blustering out there with all its might, and I look forward in the morning to the sight of tufty little evergreen branches all over the roads.

A couple of weeks ago I spent yet another delightful hour or two at the urgent care.  I’m thinking of having my magazines forwarded there.  Okay, magazine.  Maybe then I’d get a chance to look at my beloved Smithsonian before it’s Alphabet Share Day Featuring the Letter L! at the preschool and suddenly all the Lips! are cut out of anything with a mouth.

Anyway, I was there for this stupid pain in my foot that came out of nowhere, wouldn’t go away, and about which The Lovely Rhonda had wearied of my complaints.  They x-rayed it and didn’t see anything too obviously awry.  Based on this and several other urgent care experiences, I am fairly certain that there would have to be bones jutting out of something before anyone felt it might warrant medical intervention.   “But,” said the urgent care doctor, who had a name like an Italian Formula One driver but was disappointingly ordinary in real life, “since your feet are… well… since you’ve got, um… —  Well, anyway, I’m sending you to podiatry.”

I can’t blame the poor dear.  When the podiatrist remarks, “Wow, they really are flat!” you know you’re working with something a little special from the ankles down.  I try not to gloat but is it my fault such greatness is thrust upon me?

Finally I got in to see the podiatrist — the same one who made the remark, in fact — he pressed and prodded and wiggled things around with pretty unremarkable results, and then repaired to the control room or wherever the mysterious place is where they look at x-rays, to review my urgent care images.  Then he practically bounded back into the room, seized my foot, rather excitedly asked what did it feel like when he did THIS to it, and sank his thumb into a spot that had previously escaped his notice.

After I apologized for involuntarily kicking him in the beard, I asked that he kindly refrain from touching that particular spot ever again.

He then retrieved a model of the skeleton of the foot, which piqued the 7-year-old’s interest to no end, and spread the thing apart to point at a bone.  Don’t ask me which one, I’m a psychiatric nurse, not some kind of anatomy dork.  But he said, “You’ve got a fracture!  Right there!”

Really, it warmed my heart to bring such joy to the man.  I have a feeling he doesn’t get out much.

It Ends Here


Dear The Lovely Rhonda,

Please.  The paella pan?  The large round deep non-stick pan with the stubby metal handles?  The one we use a lot?

It’s non-stick.  It does not need to soak.  Nothing sticks to it.  Hence the term, “non-stick.”

And when you place it across the sink, balancing on its two stubby handles, it is as a pendulum.  And when you fill it with water and allow the detritus within to congeal into an unappetizing sludge overnight, you are essentially setting a trap for the unsuspecting Helpful Spousal Unit.  For when the HSU attempts to tip the horrible pan so that the sludge pours off into the sink, the merest touch sends it into a mad flip, dumping its contents rapidly into the sink and cascading over onto the floor, the aptly-named backsplash, and the HSU.

After the initial shock and the ensuing lengthy swear-fest, the HSU will bend down next to the sink and re-wipe the floor with a soapier sponge than the first try, thereby dragging her hair through some standing sludge-water remaining on the lip of the sink.

So I say it again:  IT ENDS HERE.

Kindly leave the pan down in the sink.

Yes, I know it sits at an angle and can’t soak that way.

And again I say, it does not need to soak.

In fact — and forgive me if I’m getting ahead of myself here — I daresay you could actually scrub the pan, rinse it, and leave it to dry on the stove, and the experience would leave you none the poorer.

In fact, your HSU might stop plotting ways to get back at you and start leaving you little love notes in your lunchbox.