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.

 





Some tasty Spam…

21 11 2009

One of the features of having a nifty WordPress site is a spam catcher.  Most spam isn’t very interesting to read, but a couple days ago I got a beautiful one.  I’m not making this up:

Why hello swain forum people! I just wanted to interpose myself here as this looks like a very attractive forum! I myself am gripping in things like writeing and computer repair so if anyoune needs serve let me differentiate! I also Suffer from Sciatica so if you aslo fool this contagion let me recognize so we can stake some stretches!

So much goodness here, I don’t even know how to pick  my favorite part.  No…that’s a lie, I definitely know what my favorite part is.  My favorite part is: “…if you also fool this contagion let me recognize…”  I have no clue what that means, but it just sounds like poetry.

Anyway, can anyone translate this for me?  Leave your best word-for-word translation of what you think this spam message is trying to say in the comment box, and the best one will get, um, a surprise.  A “surprise” as in, “Surprise!  You get nothing!”





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.





A little T & T…

1 10 2009

I have a problem, friends.  My brain has stumbled upon a paradox which I, thus far, have been unable to resolve, despite vigilant research and contemplation.  The problem is as follows:

I can’t decide if girls with tattoos are hot or not.

This brain puzzle comes to me courtesy of the blog Tits & Tats (extremely NSFW, obviously).  The blog is, as the name implies, just a bunch of pictures of hot naked girls with various interesting tattoos.  Cool.  Unfortunately, looking at these pictures has planted within me a chicken-or-the-egg type question…Are these girls hot because of their tattoos?  Or are the tattoos hot because they are on naked girls?  Let’s look at the arguments:

On one hand, the artwork on display on this site is unquestionably beautiful, and there is something about the way the tattoo artist incorporates a woman’s physical shape into the piece that really enhances the natural beauty.  Plus, when you see a girl with tattoos like this, you can’t help but get the impression that she’s the type of girl who will, you know, do it with you without a lot of annoying questions, such as: Where is this relationship going? Do you have any diseases? or, What did you say your name was again?  That’s always nice.

On the other hand, the tattoos can be a problem.  Girls, you may find this hard to believe, but the reason we guys want to get you naked so badly isn’t just so we have easier access to your fun parts, although that is certainly a huge factor.  However, we also want to get you naked so we can look at your naked body, because that’s hot.  And for girls with tattoos, particularly the ones with extremely large, full-body tattoos, it’s like they are wearing clothes that we can NEVER GET OFF!  I will never be able to see that patch of skin that is now covered by a tattoo.  And that makes me sad.

A dramatization of what my penis goes through, when I see a girl with tattoos.  Hmmm....

A dramatization of what my penis goes through, when I see a girl with tattoos. Hmmm....

Another issue: Girls with tattoos that are in writing.  I don’t know how I feel about that.  I’m an avid reader, so…I certainly like having the extra reading material, I guess.  But do I want that extra reading material during sex?  I think when I’m having sex, I just want to have sex.  If I wanted to read I’d, you know, go read.  You’re already entertaining enough in the bedroom, ladies…you don’t need to provide me with reading material to pass the time.  We’re having sex, we aren’t sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office.

So, I’m still at an impasse.  Tattoos: Hot?  Distracting? Slutty? Unnecessary?  Weight in with your opinions in the comment section.  In the meantime, I promise to work diligently at cracking this conundrum by studying…possibly for hours upon hours…the naked girls with tattoos pictures.  And if you are a girl with a tattoo who would like to contribute to my research by getting naked and letting me look at you, that would be super appreciated as well.

Together, we can finally solve the ancient HOT GIRLS + TATTOOS = ? equation.





Fun search engine phrase of the day…

29 09 2009

These are the terms people used to find your blog:

if you dont eat right for a week
and keep taking pain killers can your baby die?

Dear Person Who Typed This Into a Search Engine:

Hello.  Welcome to my blog.  I’m not sure how this particular search led you here, however, as I do not possess a medical degree, nor do I have any special knowledge concerning the subjects of eating right, pain killers, or babies.  However, your question (which clearly is an important and personal matter for you, being as you went to the trouble to type it into the search bar of Google, Yahoo, or perhaps Ask.com) intrigued me.  So I went looking for answers.  And, as I do with all problems that stump me, I went looking for those answers on some dude’s t-shirt.  Here is what some dude’s t-shirt told me:

duh_tshirt-p235129105826167815q6wh_400

So…there you have it.  Straight from some dude’s t-shirt.  Not eating + week straight of pain killers = Probably a dead baby.

Oh, t-shirts!  Is there any problem your clever catch phrases can’t solve?





Smokers outside the hospital doors (Part 2…)

20 09 2009

Sunday

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”)

Friday

“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…”

Okay…

“…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.

Probably?

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

Saturday

“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.”

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.

Except…

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.