Come With Me So You Can See What’s Going On

If you don’t care for long, random “what’s been going on since my last substantial post” posts, you can always check out Newscoma, who gives us Dwarf in a Pie.

What’s been going on?

Mostly, we’ve been preparing for Lintilla’s upcoming (as in Tuesday) surgery to remove the tumor from her kidney.  They tell us she’ll be in the hospital 3 days (hopefully the gases will flow freely this time 🙂 and she can get discharged on time).  The plan is that she’ll spend two weeks at home recovering, then have a couple more weeks of “light duty”, then back to normal. 

We purposely chose next week because the kids will be on spring break, and we won’t have the logistical problem of getting the kids to and from school.  They’ll spend some time with friends from our church family, some time at the hospital, and some time at home. (That’s a whole other discussion.  They have the great combination of maturity and sloth which makes them uniquely qualified as 11-12 year olds to be at home alone in certain situations).

So, I’m struggling to get the house clean, because I know we’re going to have a LOT of visitors the next couple of weeks.  We’re trying to institute a chore calendar (about 6 years too late), so hopefully I’ll get a little help.  It gets a little tiring, cooking and cleaning for every one else while working a full time and a part time job and participating in a music mission.  I’ll admit, I’ve let up a little lately and just let the house go.  I’ll clean before dinner, but after dinner, the best I’ll do is get the dirty dishes to the sink.

Our kids aren’t bad; they’ve followed our priorities.  We’ve always asked them to be Professional Students, and they are.  They don’t think twice or complain about putting in 2-3, sometimes 4  hours a night doing homework, and it reflects in pretty good grades at a very challenging school.  Nevertheless, I could use a little help around here, so we’re trying to bring things back into balance.  Not to mention that cooking, cleaning and laundry are basic life skills, and they are going to need them when they become adults.

In a way, I’m glad Lintilla is going to be out of work for a few weeks.  Her employer seems to be going through major chaos right now, with officials resigning left and right, and some kind of power struggle going on over the home health and facility teams.  She needs to get away from all that work drama for a while; her job is tiring enough without all that stress.

My mom was in the hospital for a couple of days this week.  The doctors are pretty sure she had a TIA, or mini-stroke.  Her vision became blurred in one eye, and her speech slowed.  They’ve put her on Plavix, which she’s not happy about, but it’s a necessary evil.  It’s sad, because Mom had just started getting better from all her other problems related to a fall a couple of years ago.  She’s been almost pain free and has been getting her strength back.  Now, she must take two steps back and start again.  Meh.

The major reorganization at my job is turning out to be a good thing that rose out of the awful layoffs.  Our two-man team has been given responsibilities that match our skill sets, and we are a couple of excited geeks.  It’s been a little stressful, transitioning our current duties and the new ones, but we had both been in a slump since the layoffs, and this has lit a nerd fire in us again.  Plus, it looks like I’m going to get to move to a different floor for the first time in 13 years.

It tickles me me death that Trillian is writing a novel.  I was about her age when I wrote my first, and I’ve complained here endlessly about how the producers of Red Dawn stole my story!  Of course, my version was set in Smithville, TN, but I’m still amazed that I wrote a book in 5th grade and later saw the same story on the big screen.  ANYWAY, I told Trillian to write away, and when she’s done, I’ll proofread for her then we’ll try to get it published.

She said the funniest thing: that being a published author would be a great extracurricular activity when she applies to high schools.  Heh.

I’m thinking about growing my hair semi-long.  I want it to look like this guy, but every time I grow my hair out, it ends up looking like this guy.  And I have the really cool white chin beard which makes me look either like a wise sage, or a little dangerous like a suburban unibomber.

I have made our lives into a cliche.  Due to some awful decisions over the last few years, we are now living paycheck to paycheck.  It wasn’t George Bush’s fault, it wasn’t Barack Obama’s fault, it was us (especially me).  We are now in the situation of digging ourselves out.  God willing, I will stay employed long enough to get us out of it.  We need to hang on long enough to pay off one of the cars next year, then things should snowball nicely.  Looming out there is high school in a couple of years, which costs 30-50% more than we’re paying now.  If I don’t get out of this mess now, it will affect my kids’ lives forever.  That’s motivation.

But oddly enough, we’re going to Disney World in June!  Don’t worry, most of it is being paid for with points from our Disney Visa (one of those huge mistakes from the last few years).  For you Disneyphiles, we’ll be staying a Coronado Springs resort, and we’re on the dining plan.  We’re on the buy 4 nights get 3 free special, otherwise we’d never be able to stay on Disney property.  Due to all these danged surgeries, Lintilla hasn’t had a vacation in a few years, and dammit, this year she’s getting one.

The band is working hard on our next CD.  We’re trying to get it completed before the huge tent revival going on in the west side of town in May.  It’s going to be AWESOME, and just what this city needs in these tumultuous times.  If economy has you afraid, tired, or depressed – this revival will be just what the doctor ordered.  There’s going to be such a diverse gathering of believers, speakers and musicians!  Just seeing the waves of bikes pulling up from Covenant Confirmers will make coming out worth it for you!   I’ll be posting more about it as the days go by, just mark your calendars to come to the revival the weekend of May the 29th. 

That ought to be enough for now.  I don’t know what time I’ll have to post , so look for quick updates on Facebook.

Posted in Random. 3 Comments »

A Snapshot In Time

Hello, everyone!  Here’s a few things that have been going on and/or rolling around in my head.

  • We’ve become THOSE parents.  Yesterday, Lintilla and I synchronized our calendars.  It’s become quite a juggling act.
  • Trillian’s first volleyball game is tonight.  It would have been this past Saturday, but they had to cancel it because the parents were all out of gas, and the game was in Gallatin.
  • Zaphod has the beginning work on his teeth done this afternoon.  Hopefully, he’ll have as good an attitude as Trillian did.
  • Even if this football season ends up the same as 1984 for Vanderbilt (it won’t, IMHO), I think it’s time that we all admit that Vandy’s doing just fine without an official athletic department.  Certainly, better than that multimillion dollar monstrosity to the east.  Heh.
  • I want my bailout.
  • Pray for my mom, those of you who pray.  She’s facing a major surgery, and I fear she’s going to try to put it off because she won’t qualify for Medicare for another year and a half.  Heart disease runs heavily on her side of the family, and the doctors are very, very concerned.  She (rightfully) would rather have the surgery done here in Nashville if she has it done, because we have several hospitals that are well known for their cardiovascular expertise.  No offense to the doctors in NW Florida.  Plus, Marvin and I and our families are up here and can help with my dad and Scott.  I just pray she makes the right decision, in time.
  • The Titans are just plain fun to watch this year, even if their number 1 QB is a headcase.
  • She won’t make it very long, but Cloris Leachman is a breath of fresh air on DWTS.
  • This Saturday is a big day.  I’m part of an ordination council for my good friend Mark Mills.  I have to giggle at the thought of ME being part of a council that judges someone’s fitness for ministry, but I will do it for the sake of my friend.  Should be interesting, to say the least.
  • That evening (Saturday), New Beginnings Church is holding another coffeehouse, and this one will be quite a doozie.  Not only will X-Alt be there, but we also have the return of the Sounds of Life.  Also appearing Bobby Marquez (videos on CMT and GAC), Gerald Smith (Two #1 country singles – writer for Lorrie Morgan, Collin Raye, George Strait, George Jones), and Nate Shapley and the Mighty Humbles.  X-Alt will have a secret sneak-peek EP on hand of some our our newly recorded material!  The evening will be hosted by Channel 4’s Jennifer Herron.  So, please consider joining us at 7700 George E Horn Road in Bellevue this Saturday at 6:30 pm!
  • I will be very,very glad when the presidential election is over.  Some of you are making fools of yourselves.  I refuse to say anything specific about the election, but I will say this: your neighbor is neither stupid nor evil.  He just disagrees with you.  Some of you are just too entirely dug in, and you are making yourselves look like jackasses.  Can you bring yourself to criticize something about your side, or praise the other side?  If not, you need to take a step back.
  • Did I mention how overbooked I am?

Brain Dump #42

I think it’s a blogger statute that says that after so many days of not posting, one must post a brain dump before more coherent posts can be written.  And, I’m all about the law, so here goes.

  • Lintilla saw the doctor yesterday, and got another CT scan.  The tumor has not grown.  But, they did find something very interesting that they didn’t see in the last scan: the tumor is very, very close to a couple of blood vessels.  This would make traditional surgery very difficult.  However, because of the location, Lintilla is a perfect candidate for Percutaneous Cryotherapy (Rachel, you might find the link interesting;me? I hardly understand even the pictures).  Basically, guided by cameras, the surgeon freezes off the tumor.  This procedure is probably the least invasive of all of our options, and will have a much quicker recovery time.  The doc has talked us into waiting until January.  Since the thing hasn’t grown, and since Lintilla is at peace with it, I’m at peace with it.
  • Speaking of Lintilla, she got a speeding ticket today.  Her first since like 1978. 
  • The kids are at church camp, and it just feels weird.  When they were at their grandparents, it was different because we could call them at any time.  Out at this camp, we cannot contact them at all.  I know they are in good hands, but I still feel weird about it.
  • The previous four weeks, the kids had gone to Camp Renaissance.  For any of you with kids, I couldn’t give a higher recommendation to this camp.  They packed the kids’ days with so many fun activities, there was no time for rolled eyes, whining, or snarkiness.  They did the usual zip lines, fishing, archery, swimming, tubing – and they shot guns.  My daughter even won an award for her sharpshooting skills.  She was so good at the rifle, they moved her up to clay shooting with the big kids during the last week.  The kids begged us to let them go back next year.  If you know my kids, you know that they consider it the height of uncool-ness to show that they like anything, so this is truly high praise.
  • The kids asked us about church camp (it’s Cedar Crest, in case you’re curious).  We told them, “It’s just like Camp Renaissance, except you talk about God and stuff.”  It remains to be seen how well they do with the last part, being worried about looking cool and all.  I’ve threatened them with electronics confiscation if I hear they had a mocking attitude.  The good news is, the preacher’s kid couldn’t go, so at least there won’t be any bad influences there. 🙂
  • I might just have to go to Blogher next year.  I mean, at my other place, 90% of my readers are young females now, and let’s just say UBN has, er, a few readers.  Now, they say men are welcome at Blogher – but I have a feeling I’d be about as welcome as a stay at home dad in a mom’s play group.  We’ll see.  If I go, it would be reminiscent of that 1985 Rick Springfield concert I went to. It was wonderful being surrounded by so many women, but they weren’t really paying attention to me, were they?
  • It’s funny when you are the child of teen parents – their experience isn’t ancient history, it happens right before your eyes.  I find myself more and more running from the ghosts of my parents’ mistakes and triumphs.  I find that many times I define myself, for good or ill, by how I stack up against decisions they made 15 or so years ago.  My second child is 10.  When my mom was my age, I (her second child) was 25.  I’ve been thinking about my folks a lot lately.  Sometimes, they drive me so crazy I could scream.  Sometimes, I love them so much it almost hurts.  Seeing them turn gray is tough – especially knowing that I’m right on their heels.
  • I’m feeling really ecclesiastical lately.  Actually, I should have capitalized that – I mean that I can really relate to “Nothing new under the sun” and “dust to dust” – really the whole darned, depressing book.  So, if I post something that seems out of character for me, just know it’s a phase (I hope). 
  • I still heart Plumgood Food.
  • Hey, Kat – you were missed.  FYI, I’ll bet you’ll think I’m insane.  I’m planning a Disney “grand gathering” for somewhere between 9-13 family members for next year.  One is in a wheelchair, and one will be reluctantly in a ECV (if I can talk her into it).  I have managed 20 million dollar mainframe systems before, but this will be by far the biggest, most complex undertaking I have ever embarked upon.  Between the cost, the special needs, the different “vacation styles”, and navigating the more conservative elderly members of our party around Gay Days (don’t be mad, dolphin – I just don’t need the aggravation), I may have to hire a project manager.
  • I realize this will get me kicked off of many blogrolls, but I really like Miley Cyrus’ new song.
Posted in Random. 2 Comments »

What’s Been Going On

Here’s a nice, long-winded catch up post.  Let me tell you what’s been going on lately:

  • Lintilla had a procedure this morning called an EGD.  She has been having trouble swallowing for quite a while now, so we’ve finally gotten around to getting a doctor to figure out what was wrong.  They basically put a camera down her throat and looked around.  There was a “stricture” (the doctor, who looked a lot like a 30-something Kumar from the “Harold and Kumar” movies, said this is quite a common thing), so he used something to, in effect, “stretch” her throat – kind of like a shoe stretcher.  They also found a spot that may be an infection on her stomach – now she’s on Pepcid.  All went well (Versed makes everything OK) and she is now at home taking it easy.
  • We got more pictures of Lintilla’s insides.  Because she is camera shy, we probably have more photos of her innards than we do of Lintilla on the outside.  I think I’m turning Japanese…
  • We go to the doctor about “that damned spot” on June 12, which happens to be her birthday!
  • The kids are having a great time in Florida, and as expected, Zaphod doesn’t miss us very much and isn’t looking forward to coming home.  He’s become big friends with my brother Scott (all that video game bonding).  Trillian is starting to show signs of homesickness, but is still having a wonderful time.  She really loves my mother. 
  • Trillian did have to go to the emergency room last week.  She was having extremely painful stomach problems, and we were afraid she had the same problem that sent her to the Vanderbilt Emergency room in December.  However, it turned out to be a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic she was on for an ear infection.  I am SOOOOO glad my dad asked us to print and sign a consent to seek treatment form before we left;  without it, there would have been a huge hassle getting treatment for her.  You who are parents, if your kids go out of town without you to visit grandparents, PRINT AND SIGN ONE OF THESE FORMS!
  • We’ve gotten a lot done on the house.  Zaphod is a hoarder, and we’ve cleared out so much stuff, we just don’t know what to do with all of the room.  We didn’t clear out anything “important”, but he’ll probably complain, anyway.  The house is almost clean enough that I wouldn’t mind inviting one or two of you over sometime.

***Mature Euphemism Alert***
I had been  looking forward to these two weeks for a long time.  Lintilla has been slowly,steadily healing from the hysterectomy.  We were going to be ALL alone for two weeks.  I planned romantic dinners, dates, and, well…

Good Lord.  We could even make NOISE.

After 6 months of anticipation, I was sooo excited. 

So what do I do?  Two weeks before the trip, I break my tailbone.

Now, you young men might think I’m being a wimp – I know when I was a young man I wouldn’t let broken bones get in the way of a little lovin’.  And it’s not like I’m OLD and need Viagra; I can still salute if an officer walks by.  But, let me give you some idea what I’m dealing with.  Try this:

1) Give your wife a rubber mallet.
2) Put a bullseye on your back where your tailbone is.  Bend over a little so she can get the right angle (you might want to wear a cup if she’s a bad aim).
3) Tell her to swing away.
4) If your coccyx isn’t broken, tell her that those jeans make her look fat, and ask her to swing again.
5) Wait a couple of days to let the adrenaline calm down.
6) Go ahead and make love, not war.

Report back to me and tell me how pleasant it is.

***End Euphemism alert***

  • In other news, those of you who live in Bellevue/West Meade might wonder what all that construction is on Hwy 70 going over 9-Mile Hill.  It might be the only construction site in Nashville that doesn’t involve condos.  They are constructing the athletic facilities for Harding Academy (first reported HERE at STM).  By the way, this is all happening right in front of my house.  (That’s right, you stalkers).  I love the sound of earth movers in the morning.
  • I think Don West may be my favorite sports talk show host in Nashville.  He reminds me of the first chef I ever worked under, with that gruff voice and slightly sexist demeanor.  Plaster is just boring to me now.
  • Feeding two people is exponentially cheaper than feeding four.  Don’t ask my why, but it costs well less than half.
  • Now that our kids are approaching teendom, we’re considering getting rid of the “whimsical” color schemes in our house.  Are any of you interior decorators?  We need some advice.
  • I don’t believe in “luck” as some sort of magical, mystical force, but I am one very fortunate SOB.  Things just come easy to me.  I don’t know why.  I know that I’ve done nothing to be favored by God.  But I do know that bad things seem to slide right off of me, and good things seem to stick.  Maybe it’s attitude; I really don’t know.
  • I got to thinking about that because my other blogging gig is going very, very well.  The numbers of people who visit UBN would make me one of the “big guys” if I had a political blog.  I had more page views there last month than this blog (and most of those I read) will have in 4 or 5 YEARS.  And I haven’t done anything special; I just implemented the SEO tips my editor taught me, learned who my readers were, and stayed true to myself.  It’s really amazing what a success it has been so far.  And the numbers just keep getting better and better.  Just like with programming, entertainment writing just seems to come naturally to me.  I’m much better at writing about TV shows and celebrities than I am writing about myself.  On that (personal and family) front, I can never approach the writing of The Master.
  • BTW, throw out everything you think you know about those who read entertainment blogs.  My readers at UBN are more thoughtful and intelligent than many I’ve seen on far more “serious” blogs.  I count myself as extremely fortunate to have attracted such a large following of intelligent readers.

Well, that ought to be enough info for you to swallow; besides, my butt hurts; it’s time to walk around for a bit.

Posted in Random. 3 Comments »