Greatest Hits…

28 11 2009

I regularly get people who tell me that they recently started reading my blog, or recently got some other new person to start reading my blog.  That is cool and all, but every time I hear this I am painfully aware that blogs are organized from most recent post to earliest, and most people won’t ever get to some of my (in my opinion) more funny ramblings because they have to wade through my most recent stuff, which for the most part hasn’t been as interesting.

This realization inspired me to put together a quick hit list of what is, at least in my opinion, the better bits of nonsense I’ve managed to spew out since I started blogging.  This list cuts away the stupid whiny posts or silly quick gag posts, and instead focuses on the posts that, though I’m a little too close to the joke to actually laugh, make me smile inwardly.  So, if you are new to my blog, this is a list of posts I think you should seriously consider reading:

(Note: I’m including on this list posts from the my old MySpace blog as well.  I am not including anything I’ve written in the past six months…not that I don’t think I’ve written anything good in the past six months, but that stuff can all be found near the top pages of this blog.)

“The Tubelessness Problem…”— K-Bell and I are introduced to the harsh realities of tube capitalism at The Waterpark of America, plus we discuss the complicated relationship between Batman and The Joker.

“Everything really does happen for a reason…”— I experience divine intervention at the Taco Bell.  I’m actually fairly indifferent to this blog, but Nikki W. still claims it as her favorite of all time, so…there you go.

“Never a dull moment…”— The trials and tribulations of being sick.

“The list…”— A simple statement at a work meeting permanently fries my brain.

“I attend a lame open house BBQ, share an awkward evening with old friends, trip over some rocks, and play Mad-Libs…”— I think the title says it all.

“What would Daniel Day-Lewis do?…”— An approach to acting, the Daniel Day-Lewis way!

“Piss off, Barack Obama…”— A little political satire.

“Sitting duck…”— My co-workers insist on talking to me…about this stuff.

“If you don’t have sex with me, the terrorists win…”— 9/11 changed the way I attempt to get laid.

“Chick flick…”— One of my little private fantasies.

“A brief moment of self-image re-alignment…”— My fragile self-ego gets crushed at a call-back audition for “Barefoot in the Park.”

“The miracle of burf…”— I spend part of the day my nephew is born embarrassing myself in front of a cute bookstore employee.

“Shallow Tim…”— My embarrassing shallowness is revealed to me while attending a show at my old college.


You know it ain’t easy…

11 11 2009

Christ you know it ain’t easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They’re going to crucify me.

–John Lennon

I have a car.  A list of things currently wrong with my car, in brief: It rattles like the Enterprise going through a wormhole when it shifts from first to second, the right front bumper is crumpled, the right front headlight is smashed so that it points to the side, the dome light doesn’t work, the gear shift is sticky, the registration tabs are expired, and the inside needs a thorough cleaning in a bad way.  My car’s in bad shape.

Pathetically, the cars owner might be in worse shape.

I don’t think its much of an exaggeration to say my medical situation is becoming a cluster fuck of epic proportions.  After recovering from the much ballyhooed flu going around, I discovered I need surgery to repair a hyrdroseal in my left testicle, possibly caused by the melanoma.  While waiting to do that, I began experiencing excruciating pain in my right side, and I do not use the word “excruciating” lightly, particularly since I don’t know how to spell it.  A trip to the emergency room that involved me vomiting on not one, but two nurses, and I am informed this pain is caused from a tumor that has invited itself onto my liver.  That would be my liver that was, as of two months ago, cancer free.  Fucking cancer.

New Oncologist has advised I begin chemo immediately.  And he’s not talking about the pussy kind of chemo I did originally, that involved pills and not losing my hair; he is talking full blast, hospital stays, going bald type chemo.  Fuck.  My.  Life.

The worst part of all this is it’s becoming increasingly difficult to fight the urge to stop living anything resembling a meaningful life.  I’d like to continue acting, writing, dating pretty girls, maybe find a job again…but I can’t resist the notion telling me that doing any of this stuff is a waste of time, as it will all go straight into the toilet the next time I become ill or need treatment.  For the moment I am still plugging away,  but for the life of me I don’t know why…

On a positive note (but also contributing to my frustration with my health), I was fortunate enough to be cast in Lyric Arts upcoming production of The Mousetrap, which started rehearsal this week.  When Lyric announced their new season, this was the show I was primarily interested in being in, so to actually get cast feels really good.  Such a huge percentage of the time with auditions, you go home with your fragile self-ego stamped into crumbs like a loose Crunch Berry, so it’s nice when you occasionally get cast in something you actually made it a goal to get cast in.

Now if I can just keep myself alive long enough to perform the fucking thing.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep driving the old car up to the theater…gun the accelerator through the rough gear shifts, try to ignore my right headlight pointed 90 degrees in the wrong direction, and so forth.  People tell me I should stop driving that car, but beat up as it is, I just don’t want to give up on it yet.

The car or its owner.

Smokers outside the hospital doors (Part 2…)

20 09 2009


Here’s the deal with hospitals: They are easily the least restful places on earth.  You’d assume that a place that’s sole purpose is to make people healthy would put a big emphasis on making sure those people are resting well.  But between the twenty-four hour noise going on outside your room and beds that feel like they are made out of plywood, sleep isn’t an easy commodity to come by.  Another problem: The nurses are just dying to take your vitals.  Morning, noon, and night, every hour on the hour, you are guaranteed to hear:

“Hey, Tim, can I just take your vitals real quick?”

It’s 5:45 in the morning.

“No, I’m dead, go away,” I mumble to Hot Young Nurse, who’s hotness and youngness are completely uninteresting to me because of my current lack of sleep.

Hot Young Nurse somehow sees through my “I’m dead” ruse, and takes her precious vitals anyway.  Thermometer in the mouth, blood pressure clamp, the dorky white clip thing they put on your finger for some reason.  Then, sit up and take deep breaths while they listen with the stethoscope for…something.  I don’t know…maybe U2 is doing a concert in my lungs?  Anyway, it must be something good, because they seem to love listening.

“Okay, everything looks good,” HYN tells me.  Yep, just like it did sixty minutes ago.  And will again sixty minutes from now.

I get a little more sleep before I receive a somewhat surprising visit from New Oncologist.  I like New Oncologist, because he’s pretty straightforward, and also because he isn’t a pessimistic creep like Old Oncologist.  However, New Oncologist does have this annoying habits of asking me personal questions about myself in an obvious attempt to form some sort of bond, and then completely tuning out when I answer.  Like now:

“What is that on your screen?” New Oncologist is asking about the desktop background on my laptop.  It’s a cool piece of artwork: A giant sphere consisting of every hole card combination you can be dealt in hold ’em.  I start to explain to him that I downloaded off the internet because I thought it looked cool, but he’s already reading something off his clipboard and not listening.  “Oh, yeah, sure, the internet,” New Oncologist nods and reads.  Just to amuse myself, I think I might just start inserting random things into our conversations to see if he notices:

“So, are you working on any plays now, Tim?”

“Yeah, I’m in a show in St. Paul.”

“Oh, yeah, St. Paul, sure.”

“It’s nice and convenient, because that’s where all my hoe’s operate, so I can pick up my cut when I’m there for rehearsals.”

“Oh, yeah, sure, hoe’s…that’s great.”

New Oncologist starts with a quick apology over the disaster this whole biopsy thing has turned into.  I shrug him off, as blaming doctors for any health problems I have seems counterintuitive.  He then gets into the meat of his visit: “Well, the results of the biopsy are back, and I’m afraid it is positive for melanoma.”  Disappointing, but expected.  And then comes the moment that epitomizes why I love New Oncologist.  It’s at this juncture Old Oncologist would have stared at me, waiting for me to…I don’t know what.  Cry?  Shake my fist at God?  Beg him to tell me he’s joking?  And then he’d ask if I have any questions, and when I inevitably shrug and say “Not really,” he would stare some more, and the whole situation would become more awkward than an escaped fart on a first date.  New Oncologist, however, makes his announcement, casually shrugs as if to say, “So, whatever, that’s what that is,” and then says, “So, here’s our options at this point…”

These “options” are less than exciting, and to my great disappointment not a single one of them involves me banging an asian girl, which I maintain would be the cure for cancer if there actually was a God.  Instead, most of them involve the usual combination of hospitals, drugs, and studies.  Except for one option, and this is the one that is quickly becoming the most appealing to me: Doing nothing.  Now, if you’d have asked me a year ago if  “doing nothing” was ever something I would consider doing if I had cancer, I would have said “fuck no.”  But I’m finally reaching the point where maybe I’ve had one too many needles shoved into my chest, one too many sleepless nights at the hospital, one too many attractive nurses helping me into a hospital gown…

New Oncologist leaves to go do whatever it is oncologists do all day while they are busy not curing cancer.  A different nurse, this one not at all young or hot, and in fact kind of big and scary, tells me the plan is to let me go home today.  So they are going to remove the chest tube?

“No,” she tells me, “you’re going home with it in.”  Um…is that a good idea?  “Well, we’ll prescribe you some pain killers to take with you.”

Sweet?  I weigh the relative pros and cons to going home with a plastic tube sticking out of myself, but getting some sweet pain killing drugs.  I finally rule in favor of  “sweet drugs” and make preparations to head home.  My mom, Aunt B, and Aunt B’s Hippie Boyfriend come and pick me up, and I am allowed to leave after a brief discharge process that takes a mere two and a half hours.

Sitting outside the front doors of the hospital, waiting for my mom to pull the car up, I see a group of a half dozen or so smokers taking desperate drags of their cigarettes.  They are all in hospital gowns; most of them look deathly pale and gaunt, like this is the first time they’ve been outside in years.  The obvious irony of sick people poisoning themselves right outside the building where they are trying to be cured bubbles into my mind for but a moment…but immediately bursts and is replaced by a much more lucent thought.  These people are ill, probably are stuck in this place for far longer stretches than I ever am, and spend a good portion of their day in some combination of pain, fear, or discomfort.  Right now they are outside on a beautiful day, enjoying the simple pleasure of smoking.  Isn’t the physical damage of this activity balanced out by the emotional benefit?  Are we crushing the last shards of our sanity in this place as we try to cure our bodies?

Hell if I know.  And now my mom’s pulling up in the car, so I shove these thoughts away and replace them with the pleasant knowledge of a comfortable bed, vicodin high, and minimum forty-eight hours away from this place that is my immediate future.

Smokers outside the hospital doors (Part 1…)

15 09 2009

The saddest thing that I’d ever seen
Were smokers outside the hospital doors

–Editors (“Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors”)


“Are you nervous?”

This question is posed to me by a plump, very friendly looking nurse.  I shake my head.  I’m not nervous.  At least, I wasn’t nervous.  But now this nurse, who presumably has been involved with a lung biopsy far more often than my zero times, is asking me if I’m nervous in a way that subtly indicates to me that, yes, I should be nervous.

“It doesn’t hurt,” Friendly Nurse informs me.  “You’ll just feel a little pressure.”

I just go ahead and assume she doesn’t mean emotional pressure.

“Also, you’ll hear a small ‘click’ when the doctor takes the sample.”

Did not need that information.  I don’t need to know the exact moment a chunk of my lung is being torn away.

I’ve been laying on the exam table for almost twenty minutes now, waiting for the doctor to begin a lung biopsy procedure that I am undergoing to confirm that my cancer is, in fact, cancer, because that seems like an important piece of information that a person would probably want to be 100% clear on, which is why the doctors rushed me right through and made sure I had this biopsy a mere twelve months after my initial diagnosis.  The doctor performing the procedure is taking his sweet ass time getting to me.  Apparently he is examining my chest scans to find a good “sample.”  Friendly Nurse and I discover that we both went to Winona State for college while making small talk, and we pass the time with an awkward chat about the pleasant beauty of that small town; it being awkward, of course, because I am shirtless, laying in a prone position, and my super manly physique is obviously making her sexually aroused.  Or bored.  I have trouble telling those two apart.

Finally, the doctor, a rather dour looking fellow of indeterminate age, decides he’s ready to give this thing a go.  “Okay,” Dr. Sourpuss addresses me, “I was just taking my time, trying to find a suitable sample.  I was looking at the cysts on your lungs…”


“…and there are many, many cysts,” the dour doctor informs me, dourly.

I inwardly curse Dr. Sourpuss for going out of his way to remind me that not only do I have cancer, but apparently I have a huge surplus of cancer.  Then I remind myself that this is how hospitals operate: the nurses are there to comfort, care, and baby you…the doctors are there to fix you.  And they aren’t particularly concerned with being nice while they do.

Dr. Sourpuss goes through the risks of this procedure, the same speech I heard from New Oncologist when we decided to do this.  One of the risks includes something called pneumothorax…which sounds awesomely like a particularly deadly breed of prehistoric beast…but is just a condition caused when a biopsy collapses the patients lung.  I’m told this only happens in one of ten cases.

As always happens when I am quoted numbers, I immediately put things into poker terms: 1 in 10.  I’m 90% NOT to have a collapsed lung.  So…I have pocket aces, and pneumothorax is holding 7-2.  Well, I’m insta-shipping my money in with those odds in poker, so I’m feeling pretty good about this…

“So…” Dr. Sourpuss is talking while he pulls out a needle that looks like it should be a joke prop in a movie about someone who is scared of needles.  I’m not, but…holy shit that’s a big needle.  “This won’t hurt a bit,”  Dr. Sourpuss informs me.

Approximately 45 seconds later, I feel something that vaguely feels like someone driving a knife into my chest.  I’ve never had a knife driven into my chest, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of that statement…but let’s just say if you imagined what you thought having a knife driven into you would feel like, that’s about what I was feeling.

Dr. Sourpuss sees my grimace and says, “That’s just me going into your lung.”

Right.  Except you said it wouldn’t hurt, and now it’s hurting, so maybe something is going wrong, and maybe we should rethink this a bit?  I try to calmly explain all this to him in those very words, but I’m in too much pain and it comes out as something like, “Ghaaarrrrrffffuuuu…”

I hear the “snap” the nurse warned me about.  The doctor pulls out the needle, and though I am in agony, I realize it’s over and it’s all sunshine and puppy dog kisses from here.

“Oops,” says Dr. Sourpuss, “that didn’t work.”

Apparently that sample was too small, and Dr. Sourpuss needs to try again…from the other side.  After giving me a few minutes to writhe in agony, the nurses help me flip over onto my stomach.  The second time hurts only 95% as much as the first time.

After the biopsy is done, they give me a chest x-ray and inform me that…CONGRATULATIONS! I am one of the lucky 10% who won themselves a collapsed lung.  Apparently I run as bad medically as I do in poker.  Another doctor, who I can’t picture in my memory because I was in too much pain to focus, tells me to go home and come back for another x-ray tomorrow, because the pneumothorax would probably heal itself overnight.


Faceless doctor nods and smiles.  “Yeah…probably.”


“Do you currently have medical insurance?” Front Desk Receptionist Lady asks me.  This is the second time in two days I’ve gone through this particular series of questions.  You’d think they’d…I don’t  know…write this stuff down somewhere.

“No,” I reply.

“Are you currently employed?”

Jesus Christ.  I sigh.  “No.”  I also haven’t gotten laid in nearly six months…I wonder if FDRL would like to ask me about that as well, as long as we are in the “All About Tim’s Pathetic Life” category of the Q&A session.

FDRL slaps a plastic hospital bracelet on me and sends me on my way to radiology, where after a short wait I am met with yet another new doctor, this one an impossibly friendly young fellow.  I don’t know if he was a pediatrician in training or a former kindergarten teacher, but he discussed my situation with me using phrases like “Everything’s going to be cool” and “You’re going to be okay, guy.”


Dr. Nicely-Nicely informs me that my pneumothorax is not getting any better, and he thinks our best move would be to insert a chest tube that will suck the air out of my chest cavity.  He goes over the benefits of this route, but concludes by saying, “But, you know, it’s up to you, guy.”

It’s up to me?  I mean, I consider myself a reasonably intelligent adult, but I feel wildly unequipped for the task of deciding whether or not this very kind gentleman I just met should shove a tube in me.  I’m not even sure what to base this decision on.  So I do what I always do when I am unsure about a decision…I flip a mental coin in my head.  The mental coin comes up tails.

“Hey, all right,” I say.  “Let’s get a tube up in me.”


Laying on yet another exam table, yet another nurse is asking me, “Are you nervous?”

Aw, shit.

“Well, I am now,” I mumble to myself.

Dr. Nicely-Nicely enters and immediately starts being nice.  “Okay, guy, we’re going to go real slow on this.”  He explains to me the basic procedure that, once you get past all the medical jargon, basically boiled down to this:

Putting in Chest Tube Procedure:

Step 1: Drill hole in chest
Step 2: Put tube in chest hole
Step 3: Lunch break

Dr. Nicely-Nicely steps over to the exam table, pulls out yet another obnoxiously sized needle, looks down at me and says, “Don’t worry guy, this won’t hurt a bit.”

Aw, shit.

Saturday (Later)

It did hurt a bit, but my reward was a high dose of some sort of pain killing drug injected straight into my IV.  I knew it was the good stuff, because despite the fact that I was condemned to spending the night in the hospital, I was feeling pretty warm, happy, and sexy.  My mom was nice enough to bring me my laptop, and I settled in for a night of watching crappy movies and floating on a drug-induced joy cloud.


A disturbing trend developed as the night wore on.   Every time I went to the bathroom to pee…I couldn’t.  Like, I needed to pee, but when I went to go, nothing would come out.  I started panicking.  After my surgery last year I had this same problem, and they put a catheter in me, and between me and you, I’d rather just die.  I vowed I’d take a life before I let them do that to me again…however as the night got later, I realized the problem couldn’t be ignored, and I would have to tell someone.

That lucky someone happened to be my nurse at the time.  And because I run as bad socially as I do medically and at poker, my nurse at the time happened to be an extremely attractive girl who looked to be a few years younger than me.  The next time she comes into my room to check up to me, I tell her I have a problem.

“I don’t know exactly how to put this,” I said, “but, uh…I can’t pee.”

The look in this young girls eyes as I say this phrase was one I’ve grown all too accustomed to seeing in my adult life.  It was the look of someone who has decided with absolute certainty that there is 100% no way they will ever have sex with you, ever.  Having established that, I decide I might as well go for broke: “I really don’t want a tube shoved in my penis, if you don’t mind, but I just thought I should report this problem.  Do you think it might be from the pain killers?”

“I…don’t…think so.”  My heart swells with genuine pity for this girl.  I don’t envy anyone who has to be my nurse, because I’m mostly ridiculous and when I get sick I tend to barf on the walls rather than into a receptacle.  Nevertheless, the kind nurse fetchs the little machine (I didn’t get its name) that they use to measure how much urine is actually in your bladder.  Apparently, it wasn’t really much.  “Just keep drinking water and trying to go,” Hot Young Nurse tells me.  “You should be fine.”

I should be fine.

It is now going on 4 am.  I can’t sleep because I’ve been sleeping on and off all day, and also I am addicted to sleeping aids and I have none with me.  All the good TV is done for the day, and the hospitals internet connection doesn’t seem to work well for streaming videos off the internet.  Facebook is empty of people to talk to, probably because everyone is in bed.  I’m bored, lonely, and I have to pee.

“Hospitals suuuuuck,” I whisper into the darkness around me.  I take its silence as agreement.

Can we get someone on this, already…

17 02 2009

I’d like to take a moment to address the world’s scientists and inventors, if I could.

Hey guys.  How’s it going?  I realize you guys lead a stressful life, what with everyone expecting to solve all the worlds super hard problems.  From climate change, diseases, and natural disasters, to automotive safety, communications, and entertainment, we, the regular folks, look to you to discover creative new solutions to all of life’s hardships.  And these problems are ridiculoulsy tough.  I mean, I have a college degree, and I’ll be honest, I only barely understand how electricity works.  Yet we all expect you guys to use electricity to not only power my car and television, but operate my pacemaker so I don’t die of heart disease at 31 and shit?  Tough gig.

So, understanding how tough your workload is, I’m not here to ask for much.  In fact, the rest of that crap can get put way on the back burner, as far as I’m concerned.  Global warming?  It’s freezing in my room right now, let that shit heat up!  Cure for cancer?  Take your time.  Flying cars?  I’ll ride my bike.

But could you please…please…PLEASE create a Taco Bell hot sauce packet that doesn’t PROJECTILE SPRAY THE SAUCE AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE WHEN I TRY TO PUT IT ON MY BURRITO SUPREME.  Seriously, it’s annoying.  I can’t eat Taco Bell anymore without covering everything in a 2 foot radious around myself in hot sauce.  My poor laptop has been on the receiving end of more spicy-flavored money shots than a porn star’s ass.  I just want the sauce to go…gently…from the packet, to the tip of my burrito.  That is all.

Thank you.

Warning: Contents Under Extreme Pressure!

Warning: Contents Under Extreme Pressure!

Five Wishes…

18 11 2008

When you have a serious illness, hospitals like you to fill out a “living will” that states how you would like your medical affairs handled in the event your condition makes you unable to advocate for yourself.  The hospital I am currently being treated at, St. Johns, has one specifically for their hospital that not only deals with the legal technicalities of medical treatment, but emotional and spiritual decisions as well.  Filling out a living will is a somber, important, sometimes frightening task that should be done with all due seriousness, and with the advice of family and close loved ones, in the privacy of ones home.  So tonight, I thought I’d get drunk and we could fill mine out together!

Come on…it’ll be fun.


The Person I Want To Make Health Care Decisions For Me When I Can’t Make Them For Myself.

Pretty straightforward: Who do I want making my medical decisions if I am in a coma or unable to respond due to failing health.  No mention if it covers me if I can’t make medical decisions due to the fact that I have skipped out on my doctors appointment and am currently using my medical insurance money to enter a poker tournament.  I’m going to assume it does.

I listed as my first person my mom.  Seems like an obvious choice: She has known me the longest and probably would be able to deduce what I want for myself better than anyone.  Also, she is the only person in the world I am nearly 100% convinced isn’t part of a secret government conspiracy to kill me and steal my precious bodily fluids.

In case my first person is dead, incapacitated, or lazy, I need two back-up choices.  For my first backup I listed my sister Amber.  I maybe should have listed her first…she is probably the most level headed person in my family, and unquestionably the most organized.  However, there is still the slight issue of a stolen Teddy Bear and its untimely demise from when we were toddlers, and I’d hate to have the plug pulled out from me just because my sister is still broken up about Mr. Wiggles.

For my third choice…and it is here that I depressingly realize I have no third choice.  I decide to list my dad because I can’t think of anyone else, but quite frankly if it comes down to him, I suspect that hospital staff will be too busy listening to his complaints of how badly his back hurts to worry about me at all.

After filling out the names, I notice this at the bottom of the page:

Choose someone who knows you very well, cares about you, and can make difficult decisions.  A spouse or family member may not be the best choice because they are too emotionally involved.

Well fuck.  NOW you tell me this.  If there is any two people in the world that are too emotional, it is my mom and sister.  Hmm…

After giving it some thought, I decide to scratch out all three choices and replace them all with former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.  Bill Cowher doesn’t know me well, and I have no idea if he cares about me, though I’d like to believe he does.  But he’s definitely a man that can make difficult decisions.  If you can figure out whether or not to go for it on 4th and 2 with 1:13 left in a tie ballgame, I think a little something like whether or not a 30-year old cancer patient should continue to live or die should be a snap.


My Wish For The Kind Of Medical Treatment I Want Or Don’t Want.

This section contains statements that you are supposed to cross out if you don’t agree with them.  The first statement is:

I do not want to be in pain.

God damn, if only my college exams were this easy.  Yes, I am quite amicable to agreeing to that statement.  No crossed lines yet.

I do not want anything done or omitted by my doctors or nurses with the intention of taking my life.

This magical document is reading my mind.  It’s like it knows me personally and has already figured out what I want.  Yes, magical living will, I do not want my doctors to purposely not do something in order to kill me.  Good call.


My Wish For How Comfortable I Want To Be.

This is a fun section.  If this is any indication, being almost dead will be far more pleasant than my daily life.

I do not want to be in pain.

Yes, I am still in agreement with this.

I wish to have a cool moist cloth put on my head if I have a fever.

Fine.  But just the cool, moist cloth.  No gay stuff.

I wish to have warm baths often.  I wish to be kept fresh and clean at all times.

Um, sure, why not?  Might be a nice change of pace from my currently lifestyle…

I wish to be massaged with warm oils as often as I can be.

Yes, please.

The only statement I cross out is this one: I wish to have religious readings and well-loved poems read aloud when I am near death.

Open message to my friends and family: if anyone is reading any “well-loved poems” in my room when I am about to kick the bucket, I am rising out of my bed, and my sick ass is taking you to the next life with me.  You stand warned.


My Wish For How I Want People To Treat Me.

Most of these are fairly obvious and uninteresting.  Several involve praying.  I cross them out.  The only time I want to hear God’s name invoked is when I’m in bed with a girl…if you get my drift.  Huh, huh, do ya?  Ya get it?

I’m talking about banging a chick and having her say “Oh God.”  Just thought we should clear that up.

One interesting statement: I wish to be cared for with kindness and cheerfulness, and not sadness.

I do want that, but at the same time, there is something creepy about the idea of being in my hospital room, dying, and my nurse walks in humming the theme to Mr. Rogers and makes me a balloon animal.  I’m not sure how I will feel about that…


My Wish For What I Want My Loved Ones To Know.

I wish for my family and friends to know that I love them.

I wish to be forgiven for the times I have hurt my family, friends, and others.

I wish to have my family, friends, and others know that I forgive them for when they may have hurt me in my life.

I want memories of my life to give [my family and friends] joy and not sorrow.

I don’t cross out any of these.

Finally, there is a space asking what I would like done with my body, with the option to circle “buried” or “cremated.”  I cross out both of these and write in the margin: I want my body stuffed, placed in the entry way of my home, and posed the way my family and friends will surely remember me–a sexy facial expression, my crotch thrusting outwards past my torso, and arms gesturing alluringly towards my body as if to say “I know you want a piece of this…”

Because nothing sums up my life like implied necrophilia.

Stuff and stuff and stuff and stuff…

30 10 2008

I haven’t written in a while, because…well, I have nothing to say. And I still don’t, but it would be a shame to let this valuable web-space go to waste. Also: I’m drunk. So here is me writing stuff about things:

Do we really have to let EVERYONE vote?

Okay, so back when Jesus came over on the Mayflower and wrote the Constitution, the law was only white, male land-owners could vote. That was bad. We have progressed as a society, and now everybody gets a vote. And I can’t help but wondering if we’ve gone a little too far.

For example, did you know there are people out there who actually, genuinely believe Barack Obama is secretly a terrorist who, if elected, will convert the entire country to Islam? And that there are people who, with a straight face, claim that John McCain will declare war on every other country and cause the collapse of civilization? “The Daily Show” did a great bit a couple of nights ago, sending a corespondent to both a McCain and an Obama rally. Watch the episode here, if it pleases you. If you don’t want to watch it, let me summarize it for you. There are some dumb people, out there. Like…mind numbingly, soul crushing, losing all faith in humanity, dumb. And these people get to vote. And their vote counts just as much as yours and mine. Which means, hypothetically, if I decided to go vote for Obama, my vote will just be canceled out by some some moron that thinks Obama is related to Saddam Hussein because his middle name is Hussein.

Are you fucking serious?

I’m sorry, but I think there should be a pop quiz when you go to vote. If you ACTUALLY think Obama is a terrorist that will force everyone to pray to Allah, or whatever, or you ACTUALLY think McCain is going to force all your gay friends to marry people of the opposite sex and read the Bible every morning, you don’t get to vote. Period. Also, I get to take you out back and wack you with various tough-but-non-permanent-mark-leaving objects.

Singing and dancing becomes cool again. Wait…singing and dancing were never cool! What the hell is going on here?

“High School Musical 3” is currently the #1 grossing movie in the country(see?). And I think that’s neat.

(Note: In order to get the correct interpretation of that last line, please picture me making a sarcastic wanking motion with my hand while saying it. Thanks.)

high school musical Pictures, Images and Photos

High School Musical: Where my soul goes to die and subsequently get anally raped by Satan for all eternity. Also: what’s the deal with the blond dude in the upper right corner? I have no idea who he is, but I’ve never wanted to punch someone so badly in my life.

I promised myself this would be a cancer free blog, but…

I have a question: Am I the ONLY person in the world under the age of 85 with cancer? Seriously, every time I go in for a doctors appointment, the God damn waiting room looks like Sunday morning at Perkins. Not that I would EVER wish cancer on anyone, but…I sort of wish some more people my own age would get cancer. You know, just so I have someone to talk to in the waiting room about something other than grandkids, hard candy, how loud music is nowadays, and what joint is aching on them today. Also, they smell bad.

How many old people stereotypes did I work into that last paragraph? I was aiming for five. Did I get five? I count five.

I should be in bed and I have to pee, so I think that is the end of this blog. Oh…I think I just thought of a clever ending catchphrase…

Never a dull moment…

9 10 2008

Narrator: When people think you’re dying, they really, really listen to you, instead of just…
Marla Singer: – instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?

Fight Club

Here’s the funny thing about having a serious illness: people are really, really, really nice to you.

I don’t mean polite. I don’t mean not cruel or unfriendly. I mean nice. I mean, they treat you better than they probably treat your spouses.

“If you ever need anything from me, Tim, just let me know,” Belinda told me after hugging me for the umpteenth time. At this point the news had spread at my job, and being that I worked at a school and my co-workers consisted almost entirely of middle aged women, they showed their sympathy through concerned questions, pitying looks, and hugging. Way, way too much hugging.

Also, the questions. Beyond their concern for my health, which was genuine, there was also the unmistakable air of: This is some juicy gossip, and I must know all the details. It’s fine, I don’t begrudge them. Co-workers at risk of dying is interesting water cooler talk, and after all, these ARE middle aged women. And I had suddenly jumped to being the most interesting thing in their work day. So I answered the questions: When were you first diagnosed? What sort of treatment are you on? For how long? You had surgery where? What stage are you? Where did you what and how?

Even better, every one of them has a story clearly designed to make me feel better: My [friend/cousin/neighbor/celebrity crush] had [cancer type] in [his/her] [body part] and it spread to [his/her] [different body part] and they had treatment for [amount of time] and now they are cancer free and [working/married/retired/taming tigers]. I love these stories, even though I know they are all some combination of made-up and rare.

One of the teachers at the school, a ridiculously cheery and kind lady named Jenny, says to me, “If you ever feel sick or just get tired, or just need a break, you go ahead and lay down in the break room, Tim.”

“Jenny,” I say, “that’s very nice, but don’t tempt me to abuse this.”

“Oh, abuse it, Tim, you go right ahead.”

Well…okay. So I wouldn’t say I’ve abused it yet. I’m currently writing this from my bed, where I have been laid up for the past week from side effects from the chemo. Stupid, feeling like you’re going to throw up all the time. You know what sucks about nausea? Even things that should taste delicious, don’t taste good anymore. Why, hello there, Arby’s Market Fresh Ham sandwich with mystery sauce. What are you doing out in this cold, lonely air, when you could be warm and comfy up inside my belly? Oh, wait, no, I can’t get you in there, because it feels like the entire contents of my stomach could come shooting out my mouth like Mt. Mauna Kea at any moment. So, I use this occasion to eat things I don’t like but should eat, because what difference does it make? Broccoli? You make me puke normally, but I’m grossed out anyway so come on inside. Also, I was so sick earlier this week that I didn’t change my underwear for about three days. Does that constitute abuse of my condition? I’m not sure where the line is here.

Quick health care financial report aside: The cost of the drugs I am taking, when I am taking both drugs, is at least $1,000 a night. It comforts me in my time of crisis to know that big pharmaceutical companies are making mad money off of my cancer. No, seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. I enjoy that people are getting rich from me desperately trying to cure myself. NO..I am super super super serious. This is not sarcasm. Some white, middle aged, Republican male gets to buy a new ‘Vette while I cram tiny pills I can’t afford down my throat so that I can not die. I love it. I am totally serious, people, why won’t you believe me?


Another thing: I have had no fewer than half a dozen people or groups of people claim that they are “praying for me.” That’s nice. And since I know they mean well, and are just trying to say the right things, I don’t tell them that I think praying is the MOST ridiculous part of the ridiculousness that is religion. I don’t even think it. And I won’t go into the inarguable logical reasons why praying makes no sense, even if you are a spiritual person, in this blog (I’ll save it for another one). So instead, in my brain, I just choose to hear: “I’ll be thinking about you.” But even that, though well meaning, is kind of dumb. I mean, why would you want to spend a significant part of your day thinking about someone dying of cancer if you didn’t have to? How depressing. I don’t even like spending a significant part of my day thinking about that. I’m just not given a choice by the numerous doctors, family members, pill bottles, insurance forms, and and surgery scars that serve to remind me every single day.

Stupid insurance forms.

But again, saying you will think about me is nice, but does little to help me out, unless you have the power to cure cancer with your mind, in which case I think there are several important members of the medical community that would like to have a word with you…

It’s about this time, after dozens of hugs, several well-wishes, numerous promises to pray for me, offers of “if there is anything I can do for you…” and blah blah blah that I suddenly start to get annoyed. Why? Why would I get annoyed at people being extremely, unbelievably, out-of-this-world kind to me? And then I know why:

These people are being so nice to me because they think I’m going to die.

For real. I’m not saying they are bad people…far from it. But let’s be serious here: if I was suffering from kidney stones, or alcoholism, or asthma, or any other serious but not necessarily life threatening disease…they’d be concerned, and kind…but they wouldn’t be bend-over-backwards-pull-out-a-chair-for-the-sick-guy-and-do-you-want-something-to-eat-or-drink DISGUSTINGLY NICE the way people are treating me now. They are treating me like a dead person already, and I’m pretty sure I don’t care for that. They think I am going to die.

I’ve got big plans on disappointing them.

My favorite reaction to this whole “Tim’s Got the Cancer Thing”* has been from Larry, who is the work program supervisor at my school. Basically, some of the higher functioning students have jobs during the day, and we have to take them out to these jobs and make sure they are behaving themselves. Larry is the one that sets all these jobs up.

(BTW…”Tim’s Got the Cancer Thing” is the name of my next album. Look for it to drop early 2009.)

Larry is a middle aged man with snow white hair and just a bit of a paunch. He’s one of those guys that you know is telling dirty jokes and is otherwise just a cool guy to drink with when he isn’t working in a school. The kind of guy that is constantly winking at you after another of his semi-lame one-liners. “Tim, you’ll be taking Reuben to work at this old folks home…it’s the type of place I’ll be staying at about this time next year.” Wink. “Old, fat guys like me don’t watch ‘American Idol.'” Wink. “Right after lunch we’re taking these kids to the strip club.” Wink.

I love it.

While riding on the bus back from a job one day, he asked about what was going on with me, having heard a few rumors from everyone else. I gave him a brief summary of all the fun details: melanoma, spread to the lungs, chemotherapy, no more Mountain Dew for me, etc etc.

He listened intently and with appropriate concern. “Jeez, that’s a shame, Tim. I’m really sorry to hear that.” Then he shook his head, winked at me, and said, “Never a dull moment, huh?”

I laughed. I think that is the by far the most appropriate summary of situation I have heard. Never a dull moment. True that.

As a quick ending note, for those of you who read my blog regularly…all two of you…and are worried that this space is going to just become an endless cancer bitch fest…well, I can’t promise I won’t talk cancer here, because it’s sort of what’s going on at the moment. But I can promise I will try to space it out to at most every other blog or ever third blog. And I can promise it will always be funny. Because I have other avenues to cry and complain and feel sorry for myself. Because without laughter I might as well be dead now. Because I can’t help but try…and mostly fail…at being funny in this blog. Because laugher is the best medicine…right after penicillin and aspirin and NyQuil and Benadryl and every vaccine every created. Because I’d rather make other people smile rather than cry, even if cancer is the thing making them smile. And mostly because…I mean, I have cancer, and when you think about it…I mean, really really think about it…

That’s pretty fucking hilarious.