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

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.





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?

Anyway…

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.





Fuck you (Presidential Election Edition)…

19 09 2008

“Fuck” is like, the best word ever…when someone finally says, “Hey, fuck you,” there’s nothing better. I just look at them and go, “Yeah, that’s right. Fuck me. Good use of fuck right there”…once somebody hits you with “fuck you” that’s it. There’s nothing better, there’s nothing above. You can’t come back with, “Oh, fuck me? Yeah? Gaylord!”

—Dane Cook, Harmful If Swallowed

In my Old MySpace Blog (henceforth known as the OMB), I wrote a blog entitled “Fuck you…” As I mentioned in this blog, usually when I am writing about a subject, my English degree demands that I use persuasive arguments that are logic and fact based rather than emotional. But that shit’s boring! And sometimes it’s just cathartic, instead of trying to be reasonable, to just look at who or whatever is pissing you off, and giving it a big “Fuck you!”

So come along and join me. It’ll be fun!

Right now the primary source of my rage is the presidential election. I got a whole bag full of “fuck you’s” to hand out on this subject. If you are staunchly anti-political, please feel free to skip the first chunk of this blog and start reading at the bold section titled “NON-POLITICAL FUCK YOU’S”. Or feel free to not read my blog at all. What, you think I need your approval? Do you? DO YOU?

Please like me.

POLITICAL FUCK YOU’S

Democrats and other Obama suppoerters

Obviously like most elections in our country now days, this presidential election has turned into a “what-crappy-thing-can-I-say-about-the-other-guy?” fest, rather than any intelligent discussion about how we can make our society a more tolerable place to live. Here are some common zingers Obama supporters have been using against John McCain:

1) John McCain is old. I seriously can’t get 3 seconds into a political discussion, or 10 words into a piece of political writing, before I have to hear or see some moron say: “ZOMG, McCain iz soooo oldz, lol. He’s, like, gonna die anys minute.” No fucking way! John McCain is OLD!?!? Incredible. Hey, you know what? FUCK YOU, OBAMA SUPPORTERS! He’s 72 and looks like he is in great shape. He’s going to have access to the best medical care possible (I mean, he’d be the fucking President, get real here), and, realistically, all things being equal…wouldn’t you prefer someone older being President? Do you really want some 35-year old who is going to miss the next big International Environmental Conference because he scores front row tickets to Van Halen? With age brings wisdom…respect your elders, people. Or at least get off their damn lawns.

2) John McCain is just a continuation of George Bush. My next favorite little saying: every half-assed liberal wannabe I know has at some point either uttered, or used as their Facebook quote, the saying: “John McCain…he should be named John McSame!” BLAH HA HA HA HA HA! Get it? Okay, see “Cain” and “Same” almost kind of rhyme, only they pretty much don’t, just like McCain is exactly the same as George W. Bush, only he pretty much isn’t. Do you people even remember the 2000 Republican primary? These two HATED EACH OTHERS GUTS. Granted, McCain sucked it up during the 2004 election and basically got in line behind Bush’s re-election, and you can criticize him for that if you want. But anyone who thinks that a John McCain presidency will in any way resemble a George Bush presidency is just a blindly loyal Democrat ball licker who wants “there guy” to win, without any regard to balancing the real pluses and minuses of each candidate. FUCK YOU, OBAMA SUPPORTERS.

Republicans and McCain supporters

Of course the sturdy right-wing side of our countries political spectrum isn’t being anymore reasonable. Here are the two most infuriating arguments I have to listen to about Obama:

1) Barack Obama has no experience. “What has Barack Obama done?” McCain supporters ask. “How is he fit to be President?” Every time I hear this argument, the question I can’t help but have pop in my brain is, “How many times has John McCain been President again?” The answer, of course, is a big fat ZERO. Does anyone really think President is a job you can get experience at without ACTUALLY BEING THE PRESIDENT. I mean, I guess governor is almost kind of close, but not really, and neither of these guys have been the governor of a state. You could be President of another country, but I’m not sure any voters would go for that. The fact of the matter is, experience would be great, but I think the primary qualities of a good President would be someone who is intelligent, cares about making our country better, well-spoken, and with an ability to work with a large variety of people to solve problems. With that in mind, both of these men seem plenty qualified to me (way over-qualified, if you judge by how the position is filled currently). So, sorry, but FUCK YOU MCCAIN SUPPORTERS!

2) Obama will astronomically raise your taxes. This one has been a head scratcher for me, not just in this election but in the last several elections, where Republicans have somehow performed one of the greatest magic tricks ever and convinced the American public that Democrats will come into office and take all your money. I think McCain supporters honestly believe that if he is elected, they will live in a paradise world where they pay almost no taxes, and magical fairies build and repair the roads, educate their children, and fight the wars they love to fight so much. Okay folks, first off all it’s time for a reality check on a couple different issues. First, like gas prices, your taxes ARE NEVER GOING DOWN. Ever. How can I, a mere liberal arts major with no economic background tell you this? It’s a simple fact of life: once any organization, be it a single person, a family, a business, or the government, get used to operating with a certain amount of money, it is EXTRAORDINARILY difficult to go back to less money. How much would any of you have to hate your job before you’d be willing to go to a job that pays half as much? Or even just 3/4 as much? Could you even hate it that much? Or would you stick it out until you found something that pays the same? I know what I would do.

So. Your taxes aren’t going down. The only questions remain, then, are: Will they go up? By how much? And, most importantly, WHO IS GOING TO DO THE BULK OF THE PAYING? Now, Obama and McCain are both going to talk a lot of shit, because it is an election and that is what you do, but realistically, I don’t think either of them could honestly answer any of those questions with any degree of accuracy right now. They would need to get into office first, see what the situation is, who needs money and how much, etc etc. However, we can use the past history of the parties to give us a clue as to how this will play out. Thanks to a washed up B-actor who somehow managed to get himself elected President and will remain nameless, (by the way, did you know before said actor was President, he sold out a ton of his friends to the House Committee on Un-American Activities for being communisits, though they mostly weren’t, used American hostages as leverage to get elected to his first term, and sold weapons terrorist organizations and then lied about it? Yeah, a quick off-topic FUCK YOU, RONALD REGAN…oops, I named him), Republicans have had this wonderful idea that if rich people, particularly business owners, pay very little in taxes, the economy will run great because they will use all this extra money to employee poor and middle class people, an idea that both observation and a little logic shows is utter bullshit (rich people don’t use that extra money they save in taxes to employee people, they use it to buy a fleet of 27 luxury cars they don’t need…FUCK YOU, P-DIDDY).

Democrats, however, are more inclined to think that maybe we shouldn’t crush already poor people and struggling middle class people with higher taxes, and instead get that money from the rich and super rich, who let’s face it, can afford it. Right-wingers will bitch about this being class warfare, and how they shouldn’t be punished for being successful, and blah blah blah…

Whatever. I honestly have no intention of debating the rights or wrongs of this. But the point is, I think it’s pretty reasonable to believe that unless you are mega-rich, your taxes will not be going up under Obama. And if you are mega-rich…BLAH HA HA…well let’s be honest, you were never voting for anyone but McCain anyway. I mean, you probably contributed to his campaign, for God’s sake. So…FUCK YOU, MCCAIN SUPPORTERS

You

And finally, I’d like to take a quicksecond to say FUCK YOU to…you. That’s right…you know who you are. You are that person that is so intent on seeing “your guy” win this election, whatever election it happens to be, you don’t bother to debate issues and how each candidate would affect them. Instead you focus on what “that other guy” did, said, or might have done 15 years ago when he was a sophomore in college. You send me ridiculous e-mails with video clips about some tiny, tiny gaffe the other candidate made while being grilled by Sean Hannity. You post retarded bumper stickers and sayings on your MySpace page. You basically treat these elections like they are the big game between the Vikings and Packers: your team just has to win for no other reason than THE OTHER GUYS SUCK!…instead of treating it with the seriousness that selecting the people who make and enforce the laws we live under deserves. You ruin our election process, and make this time of year annoying and painful for the rest of us. FUCK YOU, YOU!

Also, please stop sending the e-mails. Seriously, no one cares what you think. 95% of people already know who they are voting for, if they vote at all. And the other five percent are just going to vote for the guy that is tallest:

Outcome Electoral vote winner Popular vote winner
Taller won 59 percent 65 percent
Shorter won 37 percent 30 percent
Same height 4 percent 5 percent

source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heights_of_United_States_Presidents_and_presidential_candidates#The_taller_man_wins.3F

NON-POLITICAL FUCK YOU’S

Okay, this blog is getting long. I apologize, so I will make these ones brief. Some random other fuck you’s that have nothing to do with politics:

During the most recent MTV movie awards, host Russell Brand made some jokes about the Jonas Brothers and their “Promise Rings” that declare them as virgins until they are married. Apparently, former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, who also wears a promise ring, was not amused.

If you don’t want to watch the video, the summary is she basically said anyone who doesn’t wear one of these rings and save themselves for marriage is a slut. Okay then, well…FUCK YOU, JORDIN SPARKS! First off, I won’t bother mentioning the fact that it is super easy to abstain from sex when you are a gross looking fat ass (oops, I just mentioned it). For the super-hot, sexually viral rest of us, it’s not so easy. Hey, Jordin Sparks, I like to have sex, but I’m not planning on getting married. Am I a slut? How about my friends, all of whom are very intelligent, secure individulas, and many of whom are…<gasp>…female, who also like to have sex, but are not married? Are they all sluts, too?

Here is the problem with sex and our attitude to it in this country, and why I will never support abstinence only education. We need to stop treating sex like it is an inherently dirty thing until you are in the confines of marriage, and instead treat it as what it is: a perfectly natural act that has inherent risks that need to be talked about and accounted for. Also, being a slut has nothing to do with who you have sex with, or with how many people, or if you are married or not. Being a slut is using sex to get people to like you, and not because you want to be having sex. Period.

And on a quick side note: are any of us really falling for this whole “The Jonas Brothers are virgins?” Didn’t we just go through all this shit with Britney Spears a few years ago, and now it comes out that, extremely unsurprisingly, she was banging people at 14. Who cares if any of these people are virgins or not? FUCK YOU, MUSIC PRODUCERS, for using these young kids sexuality as a ploy to sell records.

Also real quick…

FUCK YOU, CANCER! Seriously, if I have to spend one more god damn minute in a doctors waiting room, reading the same crappy magazines, staring at the same fish tanks, and having sex with the same big-chested nurses in the bathroom after they draw my blood, I’m gonna freak.

And…

FUCK YOU, COOL RANCH DORITOS! I mean, c’mon! Why are you so delicious? Do you seriously have to make me eat THE ENTIRE BAG! I am usually a very reasonable snacker, but once I put one of you in my mouth…that’s it baby! I ain’t stopping till I am licking the crumbs from the bottom of the bag like a homeless person. What the hell is all that multi-colored spice on there, anyway? Heroin?

Ahhh…didn’t that feel good? It did for me. I invite you all to leave your own “Fuck you’s” in the comment section below…you’ll feel better, trust me. Also, unlike K-Bell, I encourage political discussion on my blog, so feel free to “fuck you” some of my “fuck you’s” However, just remember this one important thing if you start arguing your political crap: I really don’t care what you think.





I’m not dead…

27 08 2008

I haven’t posted anything in a while. I was going to write a very crotchety, smart-ass, Andy Rooney styled screed against the Olympics, and how boring and pointless they are. However, K-Bell forced me to watch NBC’s coverage a couple of nights, and maybe I’m just getting old, but I found some of it fairly entertaining. The gymnastics was especially impressive. The track events were fun to watch as well.

Did I just write that? What the hell is wrong with me?

Ah, well. I still think certain aspects of the Olympics are mega-dumb (for instance, how come all these different countries can come together and peacefully decide on the rules of games and compete with each other at them, but they can’t work peacefully to, you know, NOT BLOW EACH OTHER UP WITH BOMBS?), but I would feel hypocritical writing a scathing Olympic piece after watching them. So I’m not going to.

My writing was also interrupted this week by a trip to the hospital. I was diagnosed on Tuesday with melanoma (a form of skin cancer for everyone who, like me, was dumb and didn’t know what that is), told I needed surgery on Wednesday, and spent Thursday getting carved up like a T-Giv’s day bird, and then spent the weekend laying in bed in a drug-induced stupor.

That last part was pretty awesome.

So then I was going to blog about that. But I’m not going to. At least not yet. It’s not that I am shy about it…the problem is that it is long and only kind of funny. Maybe another time. But for now, its enough to say that the whole experience has taught me to appreciate life to the fullest, love every precious human like they were your own child, wake up with a smile, and really develop a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

BLAH HA HA HA HA HA! Just kidding about that last part, obviously. It’s business as usual for me from this point forward: bangin’ bitches, drinkin’ beers, and chewin’ gum. And I’m all out of beer and gum. This experience HAS, however, given me a scar on my shoulder that looks like it came off of Frankenstein’s monster, and the knowledge that Vicodin + alcohol = a great nights sleep.

I start work back up on Thursday. Hopefully in the next few days I’ll have something interesting to blog about again. In the meantime, as always, let me plug my girlfriend’s blog, The Pilver. It is one of the hottest blogs on WordPress right now (for serious!) and she is much more prolific than I am. Also, here is one of those adorable LOL Cats pictures for you to look at:

Isn’t that adorable? It’s like he’s saying what cats are thinking, in comically misspelled computer speak!

You love it.