This is dedicated to snowboarding...
...and the lizards who carve the mountain. SoBe yourself! I didn't know lizards carve mountains on snowboards, but that's what this bottle of SoBe is telling me.
Anyway, I went snowboarding at Peek'n Peak last week. In the grand scheme of snowboarding it sucked. However, it was my only time out this year, so it was still "good". I ride "Normal", which is left foot forward. I have big problems landing 180s (or failed 360s that are somewhere around 270 or so) because I can't ride with my opposite foot forward. If I can get out one more time this year I will alter my board so that it doesn't favor either foot and I will try to learn "Goofy" style, which is right foot forward. If I can get that under control, my trick abilities should get better.In other news...
Kelly and I are gearing up for our new house. We have dates set on the calendar. We walk through on Monday March 27th, we get the keys on Wednesday March 29th, and we have our BIG MOVE on Saturday April 1st.
I like to research every major purchase I make. Therefore, I have been in stores and online checking out refigerators like it's my job. Kelly doesn't research things in as much detail as I do, so that, of course, drives me crazy. We just bought blinds for every window in the house last night...and it turns out Kelly had the measurements wrong so it is not a perfect fit. More research I have done is on HDTVs and HTPCs (Home Theater PC, also called a Media Center PC). The end result of that research is that they are expensive, and we don't have the money for them. However, when we do have the money
, then I will already have much of the leg-work done as far as this research goes. The last thing we are checking out are couches, chairs, and ottomans for the living room. We have found one that is okay, but it is not "perfect", so I'm holding out for a little while. Perhaps until after we move in.
I made a big list of needs/wishes with price ranges, probable prices, expected time frame for purchase (now, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years) and I have decided that I need to start selling my body for money, because we won't even have half of the dinero
to get the stuff on the list. Oh, and of course Kelly and I see the prioritization of the list from completely different angles.
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:
"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"
The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe, that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child." Then he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?"
Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked around for guidance and a few boys nodded approval, why not? So he took matters into his own hands and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."
Shay struggled over to the team's bench, put on a team shirt with a broad smile and his father had a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing the other team putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over, but the pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the head of the first baseman, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to second base.
By the time Shay started towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team, who had a chance to be the hero for his team for the first time. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions, and he too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward second base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay."
As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to help him and turned him in the direction of third base, shouting, "Run to third! Shay, run to third."
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams and those watching were on their feet, screaming, "Shay, run home!"
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team.
"That day," said the father softly, with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."
Shay didn't make it to another summer and died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
Rest Of A Silly Tale, Before Esophagus Expels Food
After the endoscopy I was very incoherent and tried to figure out the words that were being asked of me. I think I said words back, and hopefully some of them made sense. I sort of remembered being in cardiac care (I got to watch my heartbeat!) where I was on oxygen. I had to get some chest x-rays and do a few barium swallows in order to determine whether things were taken care of. You see, with all of my lurching around, I could have helped tear open my esophagus. My throat felt like it was still blocked, so I asked for some water to ensure an opening existed. They wouldn't do that for me.
Anyway, you have to stand up for the barium swallow x-ray (and drink this very heavy chaulky liquid that responds to x-rays). I yelped "I'm gonna be nauseous!". They brought over some pan and I puked bile into it. Sweat started dripping down my face and I was ghost white. They gave me some cold towels to put on my head and I started to see spots and get extra dizzy. It looked like the various medications and sedatives were too much for me. Anyway, I managed to do the barium swallow once. Luckily, one test was enough to see what they needed.
If the esophagus rips it can cause lots of problems, not excluding paratinitis. Basically if left unfound and untreated, you get gangrenous from the inside out and it's usually not recoverable past a certain stage. I would have needed invasive surgery to sew up my esophagus. What did the x-ray show? Well, since I'm blogging, the answer is that there were no rips and 100% of the barium made it to my stomach.
After more waiting they admitted me some time on Saturday. I was rooming with a 75 year old recovering colon cancer patient with diabetes and other problems. He was hilarious. He hit on every single nurse, and he frequently asked the male PCAs where the female nurses were.
So, when you are on an IV drip for a few days, they take blood every few hours, and you get your blood pressure and temperature checked practically continuously and your roomate snores and yells in triumph at 4:00 AM because he was able to make some farts...you don't sleep well.
On Sunday I had 2 rounds of normal X-rays and a very extensive round of new Barium Swallows. I had 7 large containers of barium. I would probably equate the total quantity I had to ingest to about 13 cups. Meanwhile I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything the whole time (besides barium). Not even ice chips :(
The end of the story is that I got released from the hospital at about 12:41 PM on February 12th, 2006. Why is that significant? Because precisely 25 years before that moment Kelly was born. So, I get to go to the doctor a few more times and probably have more surgeries to get this taken care of. I'm on a liquid diet until further notice.
Prognosis: Sew Mouth Shut
My weekend was terrible.
It seemed like it was going to be a pretty good one, but it just never happened. On Friday evening Kelly and I got dressed to the nines for a Valentines Banquet for formal dinner and dancing. For whatever reason I felt very awkward that night, for no reason, but I was nervous and agitated. Anyway, I ordered the roast beef au jus, which was taking a long time for many people to get. That's not my complaint, my complaint is that our table of 10 had nine people basically finished eating their food, and I was the only person to not have any food yet. I'm not a fat guy, but perhaps they didn't understand how important food is to me. I was quietly getting pissed at my lack of food, so I finally had to approach a waitress who condescendingly and rudely backed down and decided to deliver my food against her wishes.
I was honestly not hungry anymore. I was fed up with this whole thing and was about to go home. It's one of those moments where it feels like the walls are folding in and the world is about to crash on top of you. Don't ask me why, I just get like this once in a while.
Anyway, I decided to play "catch up" and commenced with wolfing down my food. Mid-swallow of a piece of roast beef Kelly advised me to "make sure you chew your food!". Ooooh, 2 seconds too late. It was lodged. Bo, the guy sitting next to Kelly said "He's choking, isn't he? He can breath, but it's stuck in his esophagus, right? I have the same exact thing". After meeting up with Brian in the bathroom (who was enduring esophagus related problems of his own) I tried every which way to either force it down or throw it back up -- to no avail. Anyway, thanks to the many, many people that tried to lend a hand. I ran into 7 men that had the exact same problem as I had. I received prayer for healing from another group. I had a few nurses see if they could figure out the situation. Nate Rafiani ran to the store to get me some milk (one guy suggested it would help get the roast beef out).
Anyway, off to the emergency room. Hours of waiting later and many room changes later we had some idiot ER doctor take my case. Let's try giving you a tiny dose of this muscle relaxer to see if you are allergic. An hour later... Okay, we'll give you a single dose to see if it will work. Another hour later... Okay, we'll give you a double dose to see if that will work. Meanwhile we told him that this stuff is very lodged and a GI guy should just scope it out while it's not too late too call them. Also, I have to run to the bathroom periodically to yak up all of the saliva that is gathering in my esophagus (NOTHING - and I mean NOTHING - is getting down my throat).
Finally the idiot British doctor decides to refer me to a GI doctor. Thanks, it's been 10 hours. The GI doctor (Pola) decided to immediately endoscope me to get this out. He said, "Too bad I didn't get called in earlier, it would have been easier if this wasn't sitting in your esophagus for so long". Yeah, I would have loved to have you called in earlier, too.
The sedative medication was given at a dose to make me semi-conscious. This sounded like a good idea, except I was so tired that I fell asleep right after the operation was getting underway. Anyway, because I was not completely knocked out my body (beyond my control) was lurching all over and swatting doctor hands away from my face. The effect of that was to bruise and cut me up (from the inside) pretty badly.
This is getting pretty long, so I'll finish the story (I'm almost done) later. Just know that I didn't get out of the hospital until Sunday, and I may not be done with everything yet.
Something About 5s
10 Years Ago I:
Was in my sophomore year of high school at St. Eds
Was part way through a major personality transition
I drastically changed from introvert to extrovert
Was better than a 4.0 student
Thugged around talking ebonics and sagging my Fubu pants.
Weighed 125 pounds.5 Years Ago:
Moved to New Jersey after my junior year of college at CWRU
I worked a co-op job at [COMPANY] 50-60 hours a week in Princeton
Visited New York many times
Had lots of friends vacation out to New Jersey to visit me
Frat buddies got me banned from the Princeton campus (although I might have helped)
Realized I was actually really good at a real job (unlike school work)
Gained 25 pounds in 10 months to weigh 195.1 Year Ago
Was enjoying/dealing with my first year of marriage
Moved to North Olmsted and rented a house
Was working at the CWRU School of Medicine
Weighed 185...but this time I've been lifting and it's mostly muscleYesterday
Worked at 4TechWork on the SecuReach project
Lifted at Ballys on my shoulders and back
Ate pasta and salad for dinner
Watched "24" with Kelly
Geared up for our "Pre-Drywall" meeting this week about our new Ryan Home we are building!
Thought about the driveway I would shovel tomorrow (we drove over it too many times to count already).
Weighed 190, but that's because I have winter blubber sitting on my belly.
Now the 5's5 songs I know all the words to:
Vanilla Ice - Ice, Ice Baby
Wrecks-n-Effects - Rumpshaker
Any grunge-era song (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, STP, etc)
Any Metallica song
Banana Phone (Ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring Banana Phone!)5 Favorite Books:
Who cares about books? I dunno, I like most fiction books I read. I'll just toss out the last few books I've read: Waking The Dead, Chronicles of Narnia, Wild At Heart, Lord of the Rings, Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, and some book by Larry Tomzak.5 things I'd buy with a million dollars:
A million dollars is not really
all that much...but I could make it work.
1. A nice house with a giant yard. (I want to host get-togethers, play sports, etc)
2. Audi A6 (and a TT for Kelly)
3. Sorry, I'd actually invest most of it...
4. Some charities where I could have some control over the use of my donated money...and my church
5. Some remote controlled mice. (I think I could get it done with a million dollars)5 Places I'd Run Away to:
San Diego5 Things I'd Never Wear:
This is tough, cuz I mean...never? That rules out pretty much any jewelry, girls clothing, bikini style underwear, and anything obnoxious. So what would I actually NEVER wear?
That lotion that Kelly puts on that makes my eyes burn and makes me sneeze
A dress slip
Pre-owned tighty-whities5 Toys:
Computer, snowboard, Xbox, frisbee, over 50 bouncy balls5 Hobbies:
Snowboarding, Listening to MASSIVE amounts of music, movie watching (between 5 and 10 a week!), downloading stuff, programming/digital art. Oh, and I enjoy lifting.5 Greatest Joys:
Jesus, Kelly (wife), my family, my friends, my job
New House Update: February 2
This house was STARTED 3 weeks ago. I understand that Ryan Homes is in the business of building new homes...so it is in their interest to have an efficient turnaround rate. But, I mean, from a plot of dirt to a roof in three weeks is lightning fast.