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Thursday, October 27, 2005
You Would Think that Being Off Work All Day Would Mean Lots of Time with the Internets. And You Would Be Wrong.
I found out Tuesday that I'd be taking off the entire day two days later. To be at home while "the AC guy" installed our new all-electric system. Yeah, eat it, gas prices! Suck it, fuel-oil furnace!

The ACg said he'd be here between 8:15 and 8:30. I dutifully signed the proposal he'd left and then tried to help Michelle get Mia ready for "school." We were just getting out the door when the ACg and his assistant arrived with our new HVAC unit on a trailer.

It was quite a long day. For them. I got to do all sorts of . . . well, nothing productive. I did watch them some, offering inane chit-chat. I even offered a crucial helping hand once or twice. So what else did the day hold for Scott-san?

0. tried to watch a DVR'd installment of the World Series of Poker Main Event, only to see continuing coverage of the World Series (of baseball) finale (Hey, ESPN2 is for poker, assholes.)
1. watched an episode of "Invasion" I'd (successfully) DVR'd last week
2. worked extensively on my super-secret Christmas project
3. washed dishes
4. watched an episode of "Firefly" (the one where something in the engine blows up and we get flashbacks to how the whole crew came together)
5. rinsed out the recycled bottles and cans
6. watched an episode of "Firefly" (where the crew land on Ariel and Jayne tries to sell out Simon and River to the Alliance)
7. paid some bills

Michelle picked Mia up at school while I watched the ACg and his Cuban compatriot finish up and then clean up. And then I wrote a really big check. Later Michelle went to practice. I had some momentum left.

8. watched another episode of "Firefly" (Oooo, the infamous one where Wash and the Captain are tortured by that crazy old German fucker)
9. watched the installment of the World Series of Poker main event that I'd tried to watch earlier . . . DVR'd safely with baseball over and done for another five or six months

All in all, a pretty good day.

Wave bye-bye to the bane of our motherfucking existance, nasty-ass fuel-oil furnace. We never really liked you, furnace. When you stopped working properly, our dislike turned to Hate. With a capital "H."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Florida: The Sunshine State? If the Motherfucking Hurricanes Don’t Get You, Unseasonably Frigid Weather Will.
Granted, our fair state escaped the worst of this Hurricane Season (*knock on wood* . . . we still have over a month to go, right?). Now that Wilma has blown through and swamped all the kooky diehards down in Key West, those of us in the Panhandle are freezing our proverbial balls off.

I love Winter. Enough to capitalize it, apparently. But we’re still in the midst of our HVAC repair. By which, I mean that no work has been started or even formally scheduled, but we have picked our contractors and we’re getting everything ready.

In talking with the contractors (who I’ve oft referred to as “the AC guy” and “the electrician”), I wasn’t trying to rush anyone. Besides, we’d only had one cool spell that lasted a couple nights. Even at 49 degrees outside, the temperature in the house never dropped below 70. So, of course, the Weather Gods are now laughing their asses off about walloping us with sub-40 degree cold. Last night, the thermostat dropped from 71 to 64. I’ve borrowed a second space heater from the in-laws to combat the cold in Mia’s room. I’m hoping that the bright sunshine of today will warm the house, even if the ambient temperature hasn’t made it to 70.

I really need “the AC guy” to return my call now. I think we’re going to need to get him to our house. Yesterday.

Monday, October 24, 2005
Marching Bands Across My Abdomen
About 10 minutes ago, I was listening to Death Cab’s new CD, and Ben Gibbard was telling me my love is gonna drown. Right now, I’m underwhelmed. I’m currently continuing the stomach-testing, having some of Uncle Ben’s (not Gibbard) Thai Chicken. I “officially” took my last dose of Flagyl this morning, so now I can have a beer in about 72 hours. The mystery illness that I probably didn’t have was Giardia. But, in an interesting development, three other people in my office came down with stomach ailments after mine began. Limited investigation, however, has not uncovered a connection.

Yeah, this weekend, I started reacquainting myself with caffeine and spicy food. So far, we’re doing okay. “We” being my stomach and I. Let’s see, there were a couple double mochas, a jerk-chicken pizza, a jerk-chicken buffalito, some chicken wings (are you sensing a theme?), and pad thai (. . . chicken).

Also this weekend, I informally began work on my plan for Christmas firebombing. Or shotgunning. Anyway, it’s a plan. If you’re reading this, odds are you may get an e-mail about it at some point.

Alrighty, I’m off to write my suicide note.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Monthly Newsletter: Month Thirty-Seven. And a Half.

Dear Mia,

What a beautiful little girl you’ve grown up to be. Y’know . . . when I say “grown up,” I mean relatively.

We’re excited that you’re almost 100% potty trained. I mean, you are potty trained except for the occasional early-morning mishap. Actually, just this morning while eating your paternally mandated mix of Cheerios and Cap’n Crunch (with milk and by yourself), you told me that you’d wet your pants. I looked for a puddle under your booster seat, and then something in the seat after I’d picked you up. Nothing. And then you pissed like a racehorse when you got on the toilet.

Maybe you like toying with us. Like when I went to get you up a week or so ago and, in the dark of your room, you kept insisting on handing me something pinched between your little fingers. The first time, I asked you what you were giving me and you didn’t answer. Then you did it again, and I asked again, and you said, “Booger.” Ah, there’s daddy’s girl.

Of course, you’re also your mother’s daughter. Like when we signed you up for pizza on Fridays at your pre-school, and you stopped eating it. Pizza. What kind of American kid turns her nose up at pizza? You’d really better enjoy it, because when you get to middle school, it’ll be the best meal you get. Seriously. I'm talking all meals.

We recently took you to a birthday party where you had the opportunity to ride a horse. Twice! And go on a hay ride. We had to negotiate to get you to stop screaming and asking for another ride, and I think part of the trade off was that you’d eat no real food and have a piece of cake instead. Making sure to stick your fingers in the frosting and lick them. I can’t remember offhand how hard it was to get you to bed that night. But I’d put my money on "very."

Oh, and how about that playground at Tom Brown Park. It’s only a few minutes from our house! Yeah, it was finished earlier this year and cost us City of Tallahassee taxpayers a gadzillion dollars. Or something. Anyway, you really enjoy running around in the area designated for kids over 5. Almost as much as I enjoy chasing you. (Though certainly not as much as Michelle enjoys sitting in the shade and watching me chase you.) Of course, then comes the time when we have to coax you away from the playground and back to our un-fun home. Whether you’ve been at the playground for 30 minutes or 30 hours, I’d imagine your reaction would be the same: “Nooooooo! I wan’ play for minutes!” And then hysterical crying. Heavy on the snot.

All in all, your first three years have gone fairly smoothly. Much better than I would’ve expected when Michelle first said she thought she might be pregnant . . . which was just days after I’d casually mentioned maybe she should go back on the pill. And much better than when you spent more time screaming and involuntarily kicking your legs at Heaven. Because, y’know, that really sucked ass. We’re glad you’re not a little baby anymore. Yes.


Daddy (who has no original ideas left, so we're now borrowing from Dooce)

More photos here.

Monday, October 17, 2005
Taking the Good with the Bad


-- The guy in the office who keeps asking if it’s “No-Tuck Day” just because I don’t have my shirt tucked in.

-- That the upstairs urinal at my office requires at least two flushes to reach “all clear.”

-- Tommy Maddox.

-- Telling my doctor and his nurse all about my adventures in gastronomy, including descriptions of pain and bloating brought on, seemingly, by food. Pain and bloating severe enough to make me induce vomiting. Which I hate, more than Paris Hilton. More than the City of Miami and all of its football teams. And then have the doctor come out of left field with the diagnosis of . . . a parasite. Whose name escapes me but, after reading about it, it seems way less plausible than all of your helpful diagnoses, People of the Internets. Anyway, I’m on antibiotics now. As opposed to the “the sauce.” Which I can’t touch for 10 days.

-- Bad officiating in the FSU / Virginia game. Like Virginia’s backwards pass early in the game that was blocked and on the ground . . . a live ball. And refs called it a “forward pass.” Even when the replay showed it was clearly not. The announcer was, like, “I don’t want to rock the boat or criticize the officiating, but there is no way that was a forward pass.”

-- USC. And Reggie "We Can Only Beat Ourselves" Bush pushing Leinart into the end zone. Granted, Notre Dame put them in the position to win. It was my first and only time rooting for the Irish.


-- I’ve finally seen Serenity. Even after seeing the “spoilers” over at Gen/Syn (yes, I was warned). Anyway, it was wonderful. Different than expected, but great nonetheless. Better than most of the Star Wars series. No, I’m not even fucking kidding.

-- Metric. I’m still warming up to the new CD, but they’re awesome. You should get to know them . . . if you don’t already.

-- Having a nice, relaxing weekend. We had almost no obligations for the entire weekend, and the weather was beautiful. Nice. Just what I needed, I think.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Saturday Night I-Wish-I-Were-Dead
Styro is REALLY Gonna Love This Post
Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve been treating this “ulcer”* just like my previous GI problems. I figured if I was wham-bamming my stomach with Prilosec OTC and Zantac 150, I could eat whatever the Christ I wanted.

Yeah, so we went to dinner Saturday night. Sushi. I chose the spicy tuna rolls and the shrimp tempura rolls (with spicy sauce). And dipped everything into the soy/wasabi bath. And chased it all with a generous amount of Sapporo.

Things didn’t really start getting bad until a couple hours after dinner. It started with the familiar cramped feeling. We left our friends’ house and went home so I could take my Zantac (which I hadn’t taken yet). I took it a little after 10 o’clock, and was watching T.V. in the bedroom as I waited for it to kick in. Michelle was trying to go to sleep. After more than an hour, I started lamenting that I didn’t think it was going to work. The pain was still there, and worse. There was no way I was going to sleep, and Michelle was worried about me so she wasn’t sleeping. So, we watched Saturday Night Live.

Holy Sweet Christ! I understand how Ashlee Simpson got to where she is, and that the pre-teen music-buying public will lap up anything that’s TRL’d down their throats. But obviously, none of these kids care about her live performances. She is AWFUL! There are no two-ways about it. She is to “talented” as quadriplegics are to “good at swimming.” Weak voice, no range, lame stage presence. And the song she says she “wrote” after her last appearance was sad . . . and trite and overflowing with pap. Michelle and I were looking at each other and shaking our heads. And now I also understand more about why we have the president we do.

So, roundabout 1 a.m., Michelle’s really wanting to go to sleep. I felt worse laying down than sitting or standing. She suggested that maybe I could try to prop myself up on the chaise couch in the living room and maybe get some sleep. ("You might surprise yourself.") Which I did . . . after (unsuccessfully) trying to make myself vomit. (It turns out that this is possible.) I couldn’t really get comfortable in the living room as I watched the clock go past 2 a.m. towards 3 a.m. Not wanting to disturb Michelle, I got a mixing bowl out of the kitchen and conducted a (successful, this time) vomiting session in the living room. My stomach continued hurting, but I felt less bloated.

I think I dozed off at some point . . . probably a total of two hours. Maybe three. I felt like Hell all day on Sunday. The stomach pain was slowly diminishing, but I was afraid to eat much. Still, I had to keep food in my stomach. By Sunday night, I was a zombie. I could barely stand up to wash dishes, constantly feeling light-headed and queasy. I'm better now. But I'm relegated to eating only non-spicy food and drinking no alcohol. I'm turning into a repressed British person!

So . . . don’t let this happen to you. The End.

* My blood work came back yesterday. I’m negative for the ulcer-causing bacteria, which disturbs me because everything going on is consistent with “ulcer.” I called his morning and now I have an appointment with my doctor. Jesus . . . I hadn’t seen that guy for a couple years and now I’ve seen him several times in the past few months. I’m fucking falling apart!

Friday, October 07, 2005
This is What My Life Boils Down to, Basically: A Snapshot
It’s been a while since I’ve done a list, so I thought I might as well “phone one in.” It’ll be just like my efforts over at Reverse Survivor.*

-- Speaking of, I’m still “on the island.” Which, if you don’t follow or get the concept of Reverse Survivor, is bad. ‘stella was voted off quickly during the first cut of three contestants. When I was in fourth place by 5 one-hundredth’s of a point.

-- The gastro/abnominal issue marches on. I started the Prilosec/Zantac two-step on Monday night and Tuesday morning. I called about the bloodwork yesterday, saying that I was told the test results should be back by Wednesday. “Who told you that? Us or the lab?” “Um, the lab.” “Oh, well, the doctor has to sign off on the test results, if we even have them. And it could be seven to ten days before we get them.” This morning, I had a mid-level (DEFCON 3?) episode that was alleviated with some generously donated Tums. I was feeling better by lunch, so I had a frozen Boston Market turkey and stuffing dinner and chased that with a Krispy Kreme donut and some Sprite. Fuck you, stomach! I might go buy some malt liquor to kick this “game” into overdrive!

-- Michelle’s band is playing in NYC next Wednesday. I already e-mailed Miss THB the details. If you’re interested, check their website.

-- Mia’s getting settled in to the preschool routine. But today is the last day for one of her “teachers,” who is taking her English degree to an editing job with the State. My mind races at the potential this blog would have if I worked for the State (again).

-- I have all the bids for our new HVAC system. We’re actually gonna deep-six our current fuel-oil furnace and start from scratch. We’ll be having a pow-wow over the weekend to run the numbers and do the pros/cons thing. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about this adventure in the weeks ahead.

-- My band is about to be on a little “break” during our bass player’s honeymoon (see posts below regarding nuptials). We’re in the midst of recording a full-length something, so we could work on that. But, as fate would have it, our recording engineer/producer is the one that our bass player married. So . . . yeah, we won’t be doing a lot to further that project. But we’ll be writing some new music, sure to be inspired by the bands we played with the other night: Mono and Bellini.

-- I’m not gay. Really. I’m not.

-- This weekend, we’ll probably be laying low. Which, if that were true, would mean catching up on all the shows flooding our DVR. But we’re taking Mia to a birthday party this Sunday where she will have her first experience riding a horse. Or pony. Something. Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be a much-photographed event.

-- How long can I go without coffee or alcohol? Coffee? Feh. That’s not really a big hit, although I’m about halfway done with my coffee-shop survey, and I’d miss my brevé mochas. But alcohol? Sheesh. It was really hard to play the show the other night without having a drink. Well, not play the show, per se. But hanging out at the venue for hours and hours without bellying up to the bar for free beer? That just seems wrong.

-- Fuck you, stomach!

* This is what makes my RS failure that much more painful: I've actually been trying. Except for the week of the "cut," which I went into with a solid lock on second place. My entry kind-of blew, and many contestants agreed, dishing out low votes and scathing commentary. I can only blame myself.

Thursday, October 06, 2005
Sunburst and Snowblind
So we went to the wedding for my friend (and our band's bass player) this past weekend. Where I had my "gastro episode." But before all of that, we got to watch the ceremony, unembcumbered. Well, except for having to stare into the motherfucking sun. Oh, and knowing that I'd dated almost every female in the wedding party back in college. (Yes, including the bride.) Otherwise, it was all very romantic and touching.

Here are some other pictures I took. None of them are of me.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I Don't Have the Stomach for This . . . Again
Looks like I'm going back on prescription antacids again.

Saturday night, during a friend's wedding (entirely another post), I had an "episode." Y'know . . . mild stomach pain to not-so-mild stomach pain to bloating to having trouble breathing to friend-running-to-bride's-parents'-house-to-look-for-antacids to having to leave early to numbness in limbs and bordering on panic attack. And then it started to fade. I nuked the last remnants of pain with a Zantac 150, and then went back to catch the reception. I had to take another Zantac at bed as I felt the pain coming back.

I was great all day Sunday and had almost completely forgotten about it. Until yesterday morning. I was awakened at 2:45 by some pretty hardcore stomach pain. Now, we're not talking reflux. This is lower-stomach, not esophageal. Anyway, I tried a little of everything and then started to panic. Thus started a five-hour battle that ended with me throwing up. I eventually made it to work and called my doctor. A nurse told me to get some Prilosec OTC (for mornings) and Zantac 150 (two hours before bed). And get some blood work done to rule out an ulcer. Funny that, later, Michelle e-mailed me a link to this site, which lists my symptoms. Under the heading "What are the Symptoms of an Ulcer?"

Great. Old, indeed.