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Dizzying Intellect » Vent

Category: Vent

Vent? Me?

You know what drives me crazy? Those stickers that you always see in the back windows of minivans, with, like, a soccer ball and the kid’s name. Baseball bat and “Bobby.” Volleyball and “Suzie.”

Hi. Do you think you could make it any easier for a pedophile to grab your kid? Now they don’t have to resort to “Hey kid, wanna see a puppy?” Instead, they can say “Hey, Holly. Your mom’s stuck at work but she asked me to take you to softball practice.” Maybe it only works on one out of ten kids (if it’s not practice day), but is it really worth the risk? Jeez, people.

Then again, I don’t think you should put pictures of your kids on the internet either, so what do I know?

damn it.

Did I mention we do cancer in my family?

Yeah.

My cousin Mike’s decided to stop fighting his, and go home.

His brother Bert did that a few years ago. I don’t understand and it makes me so mad I could scream. And yet, I don’t know that I wouldn’t do the same myself. Mike had prostate cancer last year, and then had surgery for bladder cancer a few weeks ago, and they thought they got it all. But the scarring caused an obstruction. The doc thought it could be solved with a strict diet, but they ended up opening him up again and finding that the cancer was back, and had spread.

So he’s giving it up. He’s got four kids. One of his daughters just got married a few weeks ago.

With all of the crazy experimental treatments right now, that are getting some people five, ten, twenty years. He’s going home.

When I was a kid, he used to play Piano Man for me, on the piano, and sing.

I love him.

I’m so pissed that I don’t know what to punch.

And I think maybe I ought to fly out, after his stitches are healed again, and play a round of golf with him while I can.

GOD DAMN IT.

Update 8/12: Wow. Mike died last night. That was… man, his mom said she didn’t think he had long, but that was so fast. He just sent an email a few days ago. That was so, so fast.

Give or Take a Zero or Three

This makes me sick. When Leona Helmsley died, she left her entire estate, worth roughly five billion dollars (that’s billion with a ‘b’), to dog-related charities, in her will.

While this makes me happy, being a dog-lover and avid animal shelter supporter, I don’t think it’s entirely normal. But she was “of sound mind and body,” she earned that money herself, and that’s what she wanted done with it.

Right.

Trustees of real estate baroness Leona Helmsley’s estate say they’re giving $136 million to charity - with just $1 million going to the dogs.

Helmsley’s estate announced its first round of charitable grants on Tuesday. The largest, $40 million, goes to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The majority goes to New York City hospitals and other health care systems across the country.

Helmsley’s estate distributed $1 million to 10 animal rights groups, including $100,000 to the ASPCA.

So, instead of all of it, her skeezy trustees are allowing her selected charities to have only 1/5000th of what she left them. That’s just disgusting.

The moral, I guess, is to tighten up your will to show exactly who gets what, dollar by dollar. And make sure your trustees aren’t sewer-dwelling scumbags. But who in the real world can afford to create a more airtight will than freaking Leona Helmsley?

On the “Fringe”

Oh, Meghan, Meghan, Meghan. I do not understand why this girl is still talking.

[B]etween you and me, many of the people in this business tend to take themselves entirely too seriously. I wanted to break out of that.

I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.

You know, all of this describes me too. Except she apparently thinks it makes her so very, very unique. (I thought that too, once. When I was twelve.) I would guess that at least 15% of Republicans under age 50 fit this mold. Take out the (aware of) gay friends part and you’re up to about 25%.

But the rest of us aren’t asking the whole party to conform to our beliefs. We know we’re the outliers. And we also know that running a moderate as our leader doesn’t work — the moderate we ran last time (I believe Meghan may have met him once or twice) couldn’t even beat a man with ties to domestic terrorists and no leadership experience.

Asking the entire Republican party to be like us, that’s like being the only vegetarian invited to a party, and demanding that the entire menu be changed so that no one else can eat meat either.

It’s not just stupid, it’s rude.

Update: One last thing, she actually said “My hair stylist, Josh Rupley who is here tonight and a proud new member of the Log Cabin Republicans.” Come on, really? She couldn’t find anyone except her freaking hairstylist? You ponderous, stereotyping hag. Please stop trying to sound outré. You’re not helping.

[Cross-posted at the Green Room]

Two-Seaters

I have mixed feelings about the airlines’ policies about making very overweight people buy two seats if they can’t reasonably fit into one.

On one hand, it’s embarrassing and degrading to the passenger, which doesn’t exactly score maximum points in the Great Customer Service Handbook. And different planes and airlines have different sized seats, so overweight passengers often wouldn’t know until flight time whether they’d fit or not. Whole vacation itineraries would be thrown off, connecting flights and cruises missed, by the off-chance that a second seat wasn’t available.

Ideally, there should be some way to know in advance, I guess. A website that showed the seat sizes of different aircrafts and their girth allowance. Less pain and awkwardness for all involved, which the airlines clearly don’t care about.

On the other hand, I was wedged in next to a 300+ pound man on Tuesday, on a plane barely bigger than a winnebago. And I swear by all that’s holy, he bathed in Old Spice that morning. I’m still getting over the migraine. So right this moment? Not quite as sympathetic as I might have been last week.

Borrowing Borrowers

So, like a few other states, Missouri’s delaying tax refunds. Nice.

Guess what? I noticed.

I’ve always gotten my federal and state tax refunds at the same time — usually on the same day, via automatic deposit — but not this year. And now I know it’s not just me.

Missouri has delayed tax refunds and quietly borrowed $325 million from its cash reserves in order to pay employees, public schools, hospitals and other bills.

So they’ve wasted the money that they borrowed from you and me, and now they have to borrow even more to pay the bills. Repaying the money that didn’t even belong to them in the first place? Not exactly their highest priority.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s director of budget and planning confirmed Monday that the delay in tax refunds and the borrowed money both were necessary for cash flow purposes.

The “director of budgeting and planning” is obviously lacking in natural ability to do either. Think they’ll find him a new job, or just a new title?

Although Nixon’s administration never publicized it, Missouri borrowed $175 million from its reserves in February and an additional $150 million in March, according to an April 2 cash flow analysis by Nixon’s Office of Administration labeled as an internal draft.

Missouri began its 2009 fiscal year last July with $557 million in its budget reserve fund. The state constitution allows money to be withdrawn from reserves for cash-flow purposes so long as it is repaid with interest before May 16.

And yet they still have to pay out our tax refunds. Think that $325 million is going to be paid back — with or without interest — by next month? Yeah, me neither. Wonder how they’re going to make up the difference. Let me guess.

The longer the state takes to process tax returns, the longer it earns interest on the money.

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

So I guess I won’t hold my breath, waiting.

Vaporware

Could any other company do business the way airlines do business? They’re willing to sell you something that they don’t have, can’t provide, and know with absolute certainty they can’t give you. Not just promise it to you, but charge your credit card for the full price.

I always buy non-stop plane tickets, when possible, because I know full well that the flights will be overbooked (because they always are). Personally, I think it’s worth the extra hundred bucks to be stranded in either my originating or destination city — rather than Detroit or DFW or somewhere, trying to sleep across three plastic chairs without getting my carry-on stolen.

But that doesn’t negate the fact that the airlines are selling you a ticket for a flight that they know you’ll never take. And that extra money you paid for the non-stop flight? You’ll be lucky to have less than three stops on the flight you finally get, two days later.

It’s like if you went car shopping, did your research, and decided on a Honda. So you do your negotiating, decide on a price, give them your financing info, and write a check for the balance. After all this, you’re about to drive it off the lot, and the salesman laughs, “Hahaha. No, no. Just kidding. You can’t have that car. We already sold it to someone else.”

“But,” he says, “you can go across the street to that Fold dealership. They agreed to give you a used car that’s been on their lot for a while. You can pick it up next Tuesday. Oh, and the air conditioning doesn’t work.”

Seriously, could that happen in any industry other than air travel?

[Cross-posted at the Green Room]

Frankenboob

Followup visit for the surgery this morning. I knew I had a hematoma because the one they hacked was weirdly hard in the middle — but I didn’t think it was very big, because they were still relatively the same size and shape, if not the same color.

Doc apologizes about fifty times for the horrific bruising and then tells me that he’s going to try removing the blood from the hematoma with a needle. If it’s still liquid, I won’t have to have another surgery to remove it. He takes out a needle with a barrel that’s maybe… six inches long by 3/4 or 1 inch diameter, I guess. I look away while he’s draining it, and I hear the paper wrapper crackle. He stops when he’s filled BOTH of them, and goes to get two more, and holds them up, full, so I can see them before he tosses them in the sharps.

I start babbling about “how could there possibly be that much blood in there?” and he reminds me that they took out a huge chuck, and that’s where most of the blood had collected. “See?” he says, and I look down. Oh my god.

I kept my shit in check while he bandaged me up, and started sobbing as soon as he closed the door. This is the first time in my life that I feel like I need a boyfriend. I love the company of men, but I’m just naturally very independent. This is the first time where I feel like I can’t handle everything that’s going on around me, and I need someone to take care of me. So, naturally, now I’m fucking deformed. It’s not like a dent. It’s a crater, a giant hole. And don’t tell me that a good guy won’t care, because even good guys have gag reflexes. It’s hideous. This is just great.

*sigh*

4:47am - Going to get sliced and diced today. I’ll be sure to bitch about it later.

Can I just tell you how much I hate being up for the day while my google fox is still asleep?

Er, gore warning.

Update: So it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The part that I was most worried about was that they were going to stick this metal wire into me, while under compression, that would go all the way into the area that was being removed — so that the surgeon would have a guide, and could work without an xray.

They gave me a local for the freaking IV placement, for pete’s sake — but the metal, stabby, smushing, very-sensitive-area part? Lidocaine wasn’t on the menu for that. They told me repeatedly during both visits that they try to stay away from the “areolar complex” because it’s so much more painful. But that’s where the lump was, so they couldn’t avoid it. During the biopsy, even with the local, I had my fingernails dug into my shoulder the whole time. And now they wanted to do this shit commando? I talked them into a shot, once they looked at the old xrays and saw where it was — and I’m so glad I pushed, because when they wheeled me away from the compressor, there was a huge pool of blood on the platform, and my gown looked like I’d been in a slasher movie. So I’m guessing it didn’t go smoothly. I didn’t watch.

I asked the radiologist how they were going to work the wire, since I had 1-1/2 hours of sitting around, between that and the surgery. How was I not going to pull it out, accidentally? And she said it had a fishhook end, so it couldn’t come out. At the time, I was relieved, because I really didn’t want to redo that experience — but it occurred to me later that it’d have to be removed eventually. So when I saw the surgeon, I asked how they were going to get it out, since the fishhook wasn’t just going to let go, and he said they were going to cut it off. I thought he meant that they were just going to leave it in there, and maybe it would dissolve (like so many medical supplies do, now) but he clarified that they were cutting out that whole area. Fishhook and all. Gave me a ballpark estimate with his hand that makes me think there really will be a noticeable difference — but whatever, that’s what plastic surgeons are for, if it’s too bad.

Everyone was super nice and friendly, from the nurses to the surgeon and the anesthesiologists — which I’ve often heard about that hospital. I don’t remember the surgery. It wasn’t general anesthesia, and I couldn’t get a really straight answer from anyone about if I’d be asleep or just relaxed. I had heard the word “cauterize” several times during my previous visits, and wasn’t interested in experiencing that, funnily.

I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist, and I don’t know if they have some leeway in how deeply they can knock you out, but I remember the mask, and trying to say “Oh, that smell tastes nasty” a few times but not quite getting the words out, and then I woke up in recovery.

One weird thing, several nurses in the past two months have looked at my age and asked me, “this was your baseline mammogram?” with various inflection. At first I was responding with my standard “I’ve always been an overachiever” reply, but it eventually made me start feeling sort of pitiful. Some of them were obviously just going “aw, that sucks.” But a few yesterday genuinely looked like “good luck making it to forty, tootsie.” Not in a freakishly bad bedside manner kind of way, but just plain old worry. That’s the first time I’ve really gotten, like, I’m really going to have breast cancer within the next few years if I don’t keep repeating this surgery. Which, I mean, I can do that. It’s just unsettling.

I got home around 1pm and vegged around. You aren’t allowed to drive for 24 hours, although I was perfectly clear-headed and I think I would’ve been ok to drive if I’d needed anything — but I’d picked up groceries the night before. Took a couple ibuprofin around 3pm, but wasn’t in much pain. And wide awake. Twittered a little. Dialed in to work to see if a production change I made on Thursday worked. I broke down and took a vicodin at 9pm, even though it didn’t hurt yet, because I was still not getting sleepy at all, and this stupid support bra kills my back.

I’d never taken a vicodin before, and I’m really susceptible to stimulants and depressants, so I expected to either keel right over, or start giggling like a maniac. I mean, one benedryl knocks me completely flat in ten minutes, and the one time I took a painkiller at home — when I had an excruciatingly painful e.coli infection in my kidneys — I was up and literally rollerblading in the living room twenty minutes later, with my poor long-suffering boyfriend alternately trying to get me to go back to bed, and following me on his bike. But this just knocked out the back pain and I was still up til midnight or so, trying to finish slogging through annoying, depressing King Lear. Then I woke up at 3am. Going OW OW OW OW OW OW.

Now it hurts. And it’s really swollen and jacked up. Not sure whether ice will help at this point or not. I’ll take the bandages off around noon and see if it’s as mangled, contorted, and bruised as last time.

On the other hand, I’ve got to seriously look into this whole spray-on tan thing. The parts of me that are still covered in betadyne (the recovery nurse said they just dump the bottle on you) look hot. I mean, it’s orangish, to be sure, but I look good with a tan, y’all. Who knew?

Colors

*groan*

I know, it’s not new. I’ve seen it before, and I even think it’s sort of clever, in the same way that those “roses are #FF0000, violets are #0000FF” shirts are clever.

I’m not mad or bent out of shape, I’m just tired. I’ll admit that I think a “#FF0000 Power” shirt would be cute (although no one would get it) and would fit right in at the Realm of Redheads store. But we all know perfect well that someone wearing a “#FFFFFF Power” shirt would still get the holy living hell stomped out of him.

And that’s where the cuteness kinda wears out.

I guess I just hoped that this nonsense was over. Aren’t we supposed to all be post-racial now? Or is that rule only for #FFFFFF people?