Category Archives: Family

Birthday Knight Out

Not my birthday, but our daughter’s, one of those that end in a zero. So we’re the old pharts that got to go along with her and all of her wild and crazy friends to eat with our hands and watch dudes in very extravagant costumes ride horses and pretend to fight with various swords, flails, lances, and maces. (Macii? Maceses? Mace?)

It’s bright and colorful and loud…

…but I couldn’t help but wonder what their worker’s comp rates must be like.

I need to update my usual profile picture, but I’m not sure this is the one to use. I think at the moment I was not only contemplating how I looked in the crown, but the fact that our youngest child is now starting her fourth decade.

I can’t possibly be that old!

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No Context For You – February 10th

There are places that we need to have ready if we should need them – but we really don’t want to ever need them.

There are places that don’t exist that we desperately need to have, but we go on every day knowing that they’ll never exist.

This reality thing is really weird sometimes.

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No Context For You – February 01st

No matter what you think this might be, it’s not. I’m pretty sure of that.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. While that’s one of my all-time favorite films, I don’t think there are any days in the last couple of weeks that I would want to live over and over and over. While we’ve come out the other end in pretty good shape, the journey to get here has sort of sucked.

But February’s going to be better!

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In & Out

It’s not just a premium hamburger chain any more. It’s how we spent our day dealing with the hospital, starting at 04:30.

The Long-Suffering Wife is back home again tonight, and that’s a good thing. It was touch and go and she actually was re-admitted this morning, but they think they’ve got the latest issue figured out and corrected, so we’re gonna try this “sleep in our own bed” thing again.

Much better is the fact that the biopsy results are in and they show her to be CANCER FREE! We are not anticipating the need for any follow up treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. They caught it early, they dealt with it, we have a great doctor, and despite the usual annoyances and delays that are a part of dealing with a huge, complex operation (see what I did there?) like a major hospital in a huge healthcare organization, it went just about as smoothly as could be possibly be hoped for with results that are about the best conceivable given that we’re dealing with cancer to begin with.

See, posting that “FUCK CANCER!” thing last night twice worked! (That was odd by the way – WTF is up with FaceBook with that particular issue?)

Now I really, REALLY need to get some sleep. A third of a night’s sleep combined with three weeks’ worth of adrenaline is highly contraindicated.

 

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FUCK Cancer – Again

I know it’s been said before, unfortunately even here previously (five years ago), but it’s time to say it again:

“FUCK Cancer!”

Tonight I brought The Long Suffering Wife home from the hospital, having once again had a major surgery for cancer. We are hopeful that it was caught early (we won’t know exactly for a few more days when the biopsy reports come in) and she’s an Olympic gold medalist in quick healing. It helps a lot that the procedure was done laparoscopically, and it helps a lot that she had a truly outstanding surgeon. Still, they were telling us to expect at least four to five days in the hospital, possibly even twice that, and she’s home in half of that.

So now it’s time for recovery again, a slow climb back to a new “normal.”

It also should explain the tone of many posts in the last couple of months. Let’s hope that the tone can improve along with the situation.

(Interesting – FaceBook in their infinite prudery won’t allow me to post a link that has “fuck” in the name? Let’s see if this alternative URL name will work…)

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FUCK Cancer – Again

I know it’s been said before, unfortunately even here previously (five years ago), but it’s time to say it again:

“FUCK Cancer!”

Tonight I brought The Long Suffering Wife home from the hospital, having once again had a major surgery for cancer. We are hopeful that it was caught early (we won’t know exactly for a few more days when the biopsy reports come in) and she’s an Olympic gold medalist in quick healing. It helps a lot that the procedure was done laparoscopically, and it helps a lot that she had a truly outstanding surgeon. Still, they were telling us to expect at least four to five days in the hospital, possibly even twice that, and she’s home in half of that.

So now it’s time for recovery again, a slow climb back to a new “normal.”

It also should explain the tone of many posts in the last couple of months. Let’s hope that the tone can improve along with the situation.

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2018 – The Year Without Christmas

In what I will almost certainly always remember as one of the most bizarre and chaotic years of my life, above all 2018 for me will be The Year Without Christmas.

I understand that there are whole cultures on the planet which include billions of people to whom “Christmas” is only an abstract idea and commercial construct from a distant Western culture, something that gets rammed down their throats as they make their living in June making cheap toys for under our trees in December.

But I’m not a member of any of those cultures. And while I may have rejected the religious basis for the holiday when I rejected the religion, and while I may be incredibly cynical about the commercial aspects of the holiday, there’s still plenty left to “Christmas” that is warm and comforting and familiar. (And, no, I’m not talking about the damn Hallmark Christmas movies.)

Childhood memories of Christmas are happy ones. (Not all other childhood memories can say the same.) Even as a young, single, college student, going home to my parents’ house at Christmas was something to look forward to. When I got married and had kids, making Christmas special for the kids made it special for me. And for decades as my kids grew up, a significant family tradition of putting up enough Christmas lights to become a hazard to local air traffic.

In 2018…

After everything else that went on in that God-forsaken year, we had the opportunity to go away for almost two weeks, to Seattle and Kansas Cityto see some football and a whole slew of museums and other sights. The kids are grown. The pets are gone. The office is closed. Why not? Wasn’t this exactly the sort of opportunity we’ve been waiting for all these years?

The trip was a lot of fun and I don’t regret a moment of it. But there was a tiny side effect, which wasn’t completely unexpected, but I misjudged the magnitude of it.

There was no “Christmas.”

We were flying from Seattle to Kansas City on Christmas Day. As expected we found KC to be pretty much shut down on Christmas Day, not a fast-food joint to be found open and most of the regular restaurants shut down as well. We ended up scrambling just to find a place to have dinner.

The hotel was festive and decorated to the nines with a huge Christmas tree in the lobby – but it wasn’t home. We had put up our tree before we left, but in all of the chaos and being gone, this is the first year in several decades that I don’t have a picture of it.

There was never a single gift put under the tree – the trip was our gift to ourselves. And since we were gone, the gifts for the kids and others were just gift cards delivered by email and FedEx and UPS.

Mostly as a result of the new, smaller house, but also as the result of 2018’s time pressure on me and the chaos that seemed to fill the year, the number of lights put up was less than 20% of what we normally put up.

New Year’s didn’t do much better than Christmas. We were flying back home on New Year’s Eve and our big “celebration” for the evening was finding an open grocery store and getting enough staples to make it through New Year’s Eve and Day without needing to go find an open McDonalds. With the jet lag and the early wake up call to make our return flight, staying up to midnight wasn’t quite the thrill that you see on TV.

Overlaying it all was the “trip mentality” where I was completely unanchored from my usual routine, leaving me constantly trying to remember what day of the week it was and what the date was. On Christmas Day I literally forgot a dozen times that it was Christmas Day, leaving me wondering where everyone was on the freeways in KC and why there weren’t any stores open. If you want to feel stupid, have that dazed and confused “what planet are you from?” look on your face when you say to some Hertz rental car clerk, “Wait, you mean TODAY is Christmas??!”

Now we’re already a week into 2019 and the routine is being re-established. But there’s a hole in the end of 2018. Where normally there would be memories of presents and family celebrations and college football bowl games and a big turkey dinner, we now have memories of museums, BBQ, and freezing our butts off at Arrowhead.

The new memories aren’t bad in any way. For the most part they’re all wonderful. But they’re not “Christmas.”

So where do we go next year for “Christmas?” London? Hawaii? Rome?

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