Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trip To Vicodin Land, Redux

The week before the Christmas holidays is generally packed with rushing to and fro, frantically scouring the stores for that final perfect gift and a plethora of social events. This year, I spent that week alternating between abject misery and blissed out apathy. I have previously chronicled my beloved's adventures in the land of the heavily drugged, I can now speak from personal experience...Vicodin land is a lovely, happy place.
The week began with a slightly sore throat, nothing major until I awoke in the middle of the night with a throat so swollen I couldn't move air properly and the feeling of swallowing through broken glass. The trip to the emergency room began with a slightly overenthusiastic nurse and a tongue depressor the size of Delaware that resulted in my hyperactive gag reflex scaring the hell out of her along with the added bonus of testing her reflexes. She passed well. The next act included a shot of steroids with a Percocet chaser, this did not have the anticipated result. Far from taking the pain away and giving me the illusion that all was right with the world, I decided this was a good time to attempt to play Angry Birds on my phone. As I completely suck at this stupid, pointless, time sucking THING when undrugged, let's just say I was less than adept and knocking over the stupid pig forts. Who wants to knock over those freakish, bodyless, grinning minions of Satan anyway? Not me, I don't care if I EVER kill another green pig head, EVER! The other revelation of the Percocet dose was that it makes me terribly, terribly mad. As the nurses kept leaving the room, there was only one other person there to face my irrational, weirdly prompted extreme annoyance. My beloved, a patient and tolerant man, informed the nurse that if they gave me another one of those particular pills, he would have to insist they keep me overnight.
After the shot and the pill, I was given an antibiotic, a prescription for Vicodin and a Lidocaine gel for gargling with water. I do not recommend the gargle, imagine that horrible spray that numbs your throat times twenty million. The numbness is instantaneous, but so is the feeling that you are no longer breathing, your body has completely forgotten how to move air in and out. Opted out of further use of the gargle.
The next day, my trip to the land of Vicodin began, it's a lovely place, I must say. One pill and it didn't stop the pain as much as allowing me to simply not care all that much. I would like to say that I was completely myself, just mellow, but that is not the case. We'll go with "happily oblivious" for the better part of the day. I am fairly certain that I could have out-mellowed Jeff Spicoli that afternoon. Once I managed to escape the very comfy chair that was threatening to swallow me whole, I decided it was time for oatmeal. This began as a solid plan to get something of substance into my tummy, it did not work out quite as planned. I ended up with Jello. I don't know precisely when my culinary plan changed midstream, but I never managed to make oatmeal. The Jello was lovely, I just don't really know where it came from, I will have to figure it out one of these days.
My children were delighted with this new mommy, their day consisted of asking me random questions of ascending complexity and watching me try and formulate a semi-coherent answer out of the fluff that was floating on the vague breeze that usually is a working brain. Andrew attempted to take me shopping but was quickly shut down by his father, I shudder to think of what we would have brought home. Charlie simply giggled as he watched me try to understand the remote and my cell phone. Both cats competed for space on and around me as I was stationary for much longer than normal and had a fuzzy blanket on my lap at all times. I swear I saw them flipping a coin at one point.
A day and a half of this marginally functional state and something in my rainbow/unicorn/bunniesandpuppies/fairyland brain decided enough was enough and I switched back to Advil. I sat on the couch and smiled vaguely while the rest of the family carried on around me. All in all, not the worst way to get through that last week before Christmas. Not going to try it again next year, though.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Long Goodbye

I have touched on this topic before, but I think an in-depth discussion is long overdue. I fear for the written word. The sad decline of proper grammar, punctuation and word use is like watching a loved one slowly succumbing to a disease. I admit to being a bit of a Facebook junkie and having my fair share of debates online, some completely silly and others quite thoughtful and intelligent. I see a constant stream of unpunctuated rants belched all over my screen like some sort of alphabetical vomit. How does one expect to be taken seriously if they don't have even the slightest grasp of their mother tongue? We have become a society of shortcuts and quick fixes and have sacrificed precision, elegance and clarity. I miss the beauty of a well turned phrase, I tell my kids when they have put a word to good use, I love exchanging thoughts with someone who knows how to put their words to good use. I like reading books, magazine articles or even instruction manuals of they are well written. I have nothing but the deepest respect and even some sympathy for English teachers because in this age of "textspeak" and bizarre shorthand, their jobs have gotten ten times harder.
I see horribly written books become bestsellers ('Twilight' lady Stephenie Meyer, I speak to you) and wonder what happened to proofreaders and editors? There is an entire industry dedicated to polishing and cleaning up the language before it goes out to the masses and I think they might have outsourced that as well. My children can attest to the red pen in my purse for quick corrections when we're out and about. The local grocery store manager gets a little twitchy when he sees me rummaging in my purse because he knows a new sign is in the works after I leave. We see poor language use on newscasts, in books, magazines and newspapers, those who should be the guardians of the language. We see words like"their, there and they're" used interchangeably and without regard to context. We are flooded with images of oddly spelled protest signs and while some may mock and point out, many don't even notice the error. I reflexively correct spoken grammatical errors (and my beloved has not smothered me in my sleep), I love the language.
I believe you can make people see things from your side far more easily if they can derive some pleasure from listening (or reading) to what you have to say. Proper use of the language is not reserved for college graduates or rich people, it is reserved for us, the people who speak, read and write it. Language is a living thing, it has the ability to move you, to touch you, to make you feel things. It can take you somewhere else, it can educate, enrage or enlighten. It can make you seems like the smartest person in the room or dumber than a box of dirt. Love it, cherish it, protect it and take it out and use it so it doesn't get sad and lonely. Language is the one thing a culture has that is exclusively its own, no one speaks it like we do. English in England and English here are different, completely identifiable to their source. Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Mexico are very different because each culture has made it their own. There are few things left that can be immediately identified as American, French, German,'s our language and how we use it. We can keep it beautiful and elegant and make it grow or we can abuse it and allow it to wither and die.
I'm here with chicken soup, Vick's Vaporub and a box of tissues for my ailing, sniffling but still hanging in there friend. Stay strong, language, you can make it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Call It A Refresher Course.

There has been a awful lot of ill-advised behavior in the press lately, so much so that I feel the need to offer some advice. There seem to be an alarming number of misconceptions out there about what women find sexy. Let me help clear some of that confusion right up for you.

  • Pictures of your package sent over the internet or cell phones bring you more thrills than us. Women aren’t nearly as preoccupied with your junk as you think we are…really. Sorry to burst the bubble, but penises aren’t pretty. Most women go by the “seen one seen them all” school of thought on that part of your anatomy. We don’t care what they look like because what‘s important is not how it looks, but what it does. Got it?

This is about the only kind of wiener picture that WON’T get you in trouble.

  • We don’t have any objection to a guy in good shape, but when you obviously spend more time on your body than on ours…there’s a problem. We do appreciate a guy who stays fit but dedicating more of your energies to your rock hard abs than you do to your job doesn’t make us feel real sure about your future prospects. You can have the mightiest guns on the planet, but it’s the average guy who talks to us that keeps us interested. Like this.

  • Douchebags are not our dream guys. We don’t really consider the guy who sleeps with everything that doesn’t run away as the best measure of good taste. If you’ll screw anything that moves, we don’t feel all that special, we like feeling special. Please don’t offer to buy us drinks with the sole purpose of getting one of us drunk enough to sleep with you as the goal. Frankly, what does that say about your appeal? Don’t grope, grind or proposition us five minutes after meeting us, all it does is make us want to go home and shower, without you. Go ahead and act like an ass with your buddies, but act like that to us, and you’ll have all the time in the world to go to the gym…alone.

Seriously, stop it.

Okay! Now that we have that unpleasantness behind us, here’s a few things to remember that are going to give you more than a fighting chance.

  • We like smart and funny. I shit you not. If you can make us laugh and have a conversation about something other than cars, sports and the weather, you actually have a shot. Here’s a secret, your brain is going to last a lot longer than your abs, trust me. When your abs get soft, you can hide it with a well cut shirt, we notice immediately if you’re stupid.
That’s what I’M talking about.

  • We love nice guys, really, I’m not kidding. This mistaken notion that you have to be a tough asshole is so wrong, so stupid and ill-advised. The idea that “nice guys finish last” may be true in Gordon Gekko’s world, but out here where the rest of us live, nice guys get a lot more nookie that the jerks do.

We really do.

  • Women are thinking of the long haul, something that lasts longer than it takes for all parties involved to sober up and find their clothes in the morning. We’re not all that interested in dating forever, for the most part, we don’t find it all that much fun. We’d like to hang out and watch movies with someone who totally gets us, seriously, if you get us, you win.
Yep, there it is.

  • We don’t need you to cry with us at every Nicholas Sparks movie, but we do like to see a softer side from time to time. Let us catch you being sweet, or silly, or cute…we love it!

Dear GOD! Let us catch you doing this!

This is the guy we’re looking for.

He will never, ever have to LOOK for a girlfriend again.

I know my post is incomplete, I am sure there are things I have missed. Let's call this a start, a jumping off point, if you will. I fully anticipate some hell to be given to me and one of the wonderful men in my life to offer a counter point...please do!