Thursday, January 29, 2004

Nothing Clever to Say Here

Sorry it's been so long since the last post there. I don't like to let things lie fallow for more than three days at a time, and I really fell off the wagon, evidently.

Unfortunately, for the time being, I don't have anything funny to post, either.

I just found out yesterday that my Grandfather is having emergency brain surgery today at 1pm, so I'm not in the best of spirits. Sure, it's "routine" or whatever you want to call it. I know I've got my skull cracked open on a regular basis. Routine brain surgury is like saying painting the Sistine Chapel is a passtime.

I'm pretty nervous about it for a variety of reasons, none of which are the obvious "OMGBRAINSURGERY" ones everyone should normally consider going into something this delicate. My reasons are much more personal, first of which is an old, dear mentor of mine named Marty Lennon, who, god as my witness, I will never forget. Marty gave me my start in the industry. She believed in me and my skills when everyone else was passing me over, and she invited me to come interview at the company she was going to be a production manager at. Later that same year, she was diagnosed with brain cancer (note: radically different than what my grandfather is diagnosed with), and it was operated on. Marty Lennon died that day, and someone else came back from the hospital. The live brain tissue that was removed with the tumor was "minimal," but the difference was significant. For all we know about the brain, we could fill a mouse-sized thimble. Any wrong move, too much post-operative swelling, an ounce of foreign matter causing an infection, and I could be visiting someone very different at the end of this week. It's incredibly nerve-wracking for me.

Second is the fact that he went in to see the doctor for a chronic headache. He's had this one for three weeks now (although nobody knew because he wouldn't complain about it; that's not what a WWII veteran does). It was evidently causing a buzzing in his ears. The doctor had him take a quick MRI scan, and they didn't even wait for the test results to come back. They could see that he had excess liquid in his brain case, and it was causing too much pressure on his brain (thus the buzzing sound from pressure to the hearing zones). He was scheduled for emergency surgery the next day (which brings us to today, an hour ago).

In many ways I'm a carbon copy of my Grandfather. I have his face, his eyes, his hair (or at least his hair thickness). His body-type. His way of thinking. His headaches. My Grandfather's suffered from migraines his whole life. My mother suffers from ones that knock her off her feet and keep her bed-ridden and nauseous for days. I started getting them in college.

So now I'm wondering if this isn't The Family Disease. I guess I'll find out later if this condition is hereditary, or if it's just some random fluke. Right now none of us knows that much about it, and are just hoping that we get our Bill back. I'm probably freaking out more than I or anyone in my family needs to, but it's kinda hard not to, y'know?

[Update: He's out of surgery, and doing great! Wooooo!]

Friday, January 16, 2004

Cold Front

I don't mean to sound rude at all, but I have to side with Lilek's thoughts on the fact that New York is colder than Iceland right now: big deal; it's par for the course out here in the midwest.

And don't think that we like to brag about how cold it gets here. We don't like that it's negative one degrees on a regular basis for two to three months out of the year (it hasn't been in the negative digits in Boston for something like a hundred years). It's that we're proud that we somehow manage to live through it year after year. Hell, one of the factors that attracted us to the house that we bought this year is that it exceeds the current recommended insulation R value, which is already one of the highest in the country.

But seriously, east coasters, come talk to me when it hits -72 degrees, and we'll talk. Yes, I've been outside in -72. I changed a frozen car battery in -72. You have to go outside and make sure that you start your car every hour for about twenty minutes or the fluids freeze, including the battery acid. I learned that the hard way. Let me tell you something, you don't want to have to thaw out a frozen car battery in your apartment. It takes a long time, and you'll be tempted to use the oven, and that's a whole 'nother story. Also, leather gloves are an excellent insulator against electric charges from batteries when you accidentally connect the positive with the negative bolts when your wrench slips and touches both simultaneously. Again, another story.

When it's that cold, your spit freezes before it's even halfway to the ground (not only did I try it, I marvelled that the spit crackled through the air as the ice cracked and re-froze until it shattered on the ground and the liquid inside then immediately froze upon exposure), but any exposed skin will become frostbitten almost instantly upon contact with the cold. And it's not the slow, gradual frostbite where you don't really notice it, or your cheeks start feeling a little bit burned or raw. It feels like the wind is using your face for a pincushion. Shit, it's so cold that not only does the hairs inside your nose freeze solid, you're actually in danger of freezing the inside of your throat and lungs if you're not careful enough to warm up your scarf and breathe through that. Slowly.

I remember talking to a tour guy in Jamaica about that winter, when it was 110 in the shade (just for extreme temperature comparison, doing easy math, that's a 180 difference. If you used the temperature of freezing (32 degrees farenheit) as a starting point, adding 180 degrees would make your blood boil. Literally). He asked how cold it got in Illinois. He asked "Is that colder than my refridgerator?" We answered that it's colder than his freezer. "How long would I survive dressed like dis in dat weather?" (He was wearing nothing but swimming trunks).

I responded, "You'd be dead in five minutes."

Friday, January 09, 2004

It's the Other Princess Diana

Last night Liz and I were talking about how LAME WITH LAME SAUCE the Justice League cartoon is (and really, what asshats did they hire to do these episodes, anyway?!), when we started making fun of Wonder Woman.

A). When the fuck did she start flying?! When I was a kid, it was always the invisible plane (which admittedly, is much worse).

B). She might as well stop using the lasso. Every time she whips out the rope and throws it around someone, they just send a bolt of electricity up the wire, or they're bigger than her so they just yank on it, and she doesn't let go and gets thrown into a wall, or whatever. Every time she thinks about using the Lasso, she might as well just put it away, paint a huge fucking target on her chest and stand still for a minute. The result would be the same. In fact, she needs to just put a post-it note on the lasso that says "just stand there and let them punch you, stupid," because she obviously can't recall the last beat-down she suffered from an attempted lasso use.

C). Superman actually saved her from having a lampost fall on her. Not thrown at her, nor swung at her with super-heroic force. It just started tipping over from being damaged previously, and she was standing underneath it. Superman was all "DIANA!!!" and flew over to knock her out of the way. This had to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen in any super-hero show. Ever. And it wasn't even like, some old Victorian era lead lampost. It was one of those new-fangled aluminum modern ones that if it fell on your car it wouldn't even dent the hood. In fact, I think a mortal human could catch one if it fell at them. This is like you or I having to be saved because someone's drinking straw wrapper was falling on us. Later, she of course was punched by Superman in the face repeatedly, thrown through walls, had large things hurled into her, electrocuted, etc. But thank god Superman saved her from that lampost.

D). (Liz pointed out this last one, which is I know has been rehashed to death by the hard-core historians): If she's an Amazonian, shouldn't she like, only have one boob? And fire a bow? Isn't Princess Diana (daughter of Athena) really the Greek (or Roman, we can't remember which is which) version of Artemis, the goddess of shooting shit with arrows? So this proper description of what Princess Diana should look like inspired me to do some wicked-assed fanart which I need to get off my fat behind and do. One breasted true Amazonian Wonder Woman with a bow instead of a weak throw-me-into-the-wall-again lasso. And no invisible plane, either.

E). Liz: "Why is Batman always so damn grumpy."
Me: "Hey, you'd be pissed off too if the rest of your team was this incompetent and stupid."

(This counts in a Wonder Woman bitch-fest entry, as she's part of the team he's always so pissed off about. Ha!)

So, Wonder Woman fanart forthcoming. But first, I've got a backlogged Wolverine sketch to do.


Keeping up with my current trend of shorter and lamer entries than the one previous, today I point out the ultimate typo in the universe: "thisn't." Scalzi completely made up an entirely new readable contraction by accident at his AOL By the Way... journal in an entry about Pete Rose's lying earlier today:

But thisn't quite accurate.

I love it when language accidents happen. Please, feel free to use "thisn't" in everyday useage.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

One of Those Days

You know you're tired when you put on your watch in the morning, and then look at it later and think "holy god, it can't be a quarter after five already!"

Of course, it's really 11:45 and you've put your watch on backwards.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Now on Sale

I'm always envious of other Bloggers who have tons of IRC and IM logs of funny stuff they did to post, so luckily, our friends who we were IRC'ing with from San Francisco saved a copy of our New Year's Eve chat session (edited slightly so that it makes more sense).

Here is my favorite excerpt of mine. Enjoy!

JennieVersion2004: They don't get off Eastern time when they visit.
Safety_Guy_v2003_365: They didn't even make it 'til midnight last year, and they were on Eastern time then!
Bowler: Ah, true.
Bowler: A LOT.
JennieVersion2004: I'm glad I'm not the ONLY ONE!
Safety_Guy_v2003_365 puts in earplugs.

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