Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gone Postal

One of my son's wrestling coaches works the lunch shift at my local post office. Today I went on a bit of a rant (I know--really hard to believe) about stamps. When I got to the counter, I told him that I wanted "FUN" stamps. He rolled his eyes saying, "Oh, you are one of THOSE". 

He patiently asked me why the type of stamp mattered. That's all it took to set me off. To his credit, he refused to engage in my nonsense. "Hey, I just sell the stamps, I don't have an opinion on them".

The LOVE stamps have the most marketing presence. I wonder if there's a LOVE CORPORATION somewhere that gets a percentage for using the name. 

I don't know about you, but I don't particularly LIKE love stamps. I certainly don't LOVE them. In fact, I think it's hypocritical to send a LOVE stamp to someone that you might dislike immensely. Let's say you put a love stamp on a letter to your mother-in-law who doesn't like you. She will immediately assume that you are KISSING UP, trying to garner her favor. 

At best the LOVE stamp is cliche and not even in a kitschy kind of way. I definitely don't want to send the love stamp to Mastercard, who is raping me monthly at a 21% interest rate. 

Absolutely I DON'T want to send  a love stamp to PECO (see previous blog post on my broken love affair with the PECO princess). PECO who never seems to credit my account for all of those hours of power outage, whenever there is a storm. 

Nor do I want to sent a love stamp to Verizon or Comcast. I'm sure no explanation is needed there. 

I'll save the love for things other than stamps. I settled for the garfield and archie comic strip stamps. Do you think the bill collectors will have a sense of humor?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anesthesia Delirium or Truth Serum

My 12 year-old son had general anesthesia for the first time this week. He seemed rather excited by the prospect of medically-induced sleep. This does not bode well for his future proclivity towards recreational drug use.

I was a teensy-bit worried, since every time I have any form of narcotics, BAD things happen. Like the time I ate a magic mushroom with my boyfriend. Instead of blissful, psychodelic-colored dreams, I saw giant SPIDERS, SNAKES and MEN in black trenchcoats proffering butcher knives.

Or the many times I've been to the dentist and received 10 shots of NOVOCAINE, enough to numb a small whale for a week, yet I still FEEL the drill.

Or when I had an epidural and it only worked on 1/2 of my body (not the half that I really needed).

Or the multiple times under general anesthesia when the doctors could not wake me up...for HOURS. It's always a bit disconcerting to see panicked hospital personnel, who think they inadvertently put me in a drug-induced COMA.

So you can understand my apprehension that something might go awry in the case of my son. When they wheeled him out of the OR, he looked kind of dead--mouth slightly open, no discernible movement. The nurse assured me that he would wake up in a few moments.

About an hour later, he began to regain consciousness. His first words to me were...

I start giggling and the nurse looks at me horrified. I'm having DEJA-VU. I remember uttering the SAME EXACT words to my husband during labor, while waiting for my son to be born.

Is it possible that he remembers the words from his inutereo birthing experience? OR is anesthesia like truth serum? Lacking all social filters, he's telling me how he REALLY feels.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chainstore Heaven or Strip Mall Hell

Google maps LIE. Sometimes they LIE a lot. The google preferred route to York, PA a.k.a. vacation spot to the stars is along Route 30. If you enjoy driving next to large trucks who travel at 35 mph, blowing black diesel smoke in your windshield, thus obscuring your ability to see the road and who speed up and cross the dividing line when you try to pass them, then you might LIKE this route. Or if you are a STRIP MALL JUNKIE, this route will be utter bliss. 

I admit to having some reservations about my 'vacation' in York. My daughter is playing field hockey in the Keystone Games. Who would guess that this would be such a popular event? Two months in advance and ALL the hotels are booked. I find a room at the Wingate-Windham. What will I DO in York, besides sit on a metal bleacher all day watching field hockey? In actuality, my rear-end frenchfried in 103 degree heat sitting on the metal bleachers. Given my distracted state, I forgot the basics--managed to leave my MAKE-UP, bathing suit, sunscreen, comfortable chair and umbrella at home. I actually scared myself when I looked in the mirror. Sweating profusely with no make-up is not an attractive look. 

Trip day started out a bit bumpy. My son refused to go to wrestling camp, because his stomach hurt. I told him he should suck it up and to quit being a wuss. I know you are impressed with my patient parenting skills. Ordinarily it wouldn't be a big deal. However, if he didn't go to camp, he wouldn't go home with his friend whose mom agreed to keep him while I was gone. Not a great idea to leave a 12 yr-old BOY home alone for 2 days. 

The husband a.k.a. the head of the household thought he would be FINE alone. So I gave in and left. 45 minutes into the drive, my husband texts my daughter saying that the boy projectile-vomited all over his entire room. Now I feel a tinge of guilt for thinking he was playing the sick drama queen. I am REALLY glad he didn't projectile vomit at wrestling camp over the 400 boys who are already ingesting their share of gross matt germs. I am REALLY REALLY glad that he wasn't in the car projectile vomiting on me. 

Texts and calls continue. I beseech my neighbor to come to the rescue, since my husband has to work until 9pm. She is definitely SAINT material. In fact, I am sending an official saint nomination to the Pope. Not only does she bring him gingerale and saltines, she actually makes him JELLO. I'm not sure he has ever eaten jello, but he's digging the attention. She gives him tylenol and puts a cold rag on his head. I owe her many bottles of wine for this one. 

Back to York, PA--home of ?? Not sure what it's known for, but for being a small town, the traffic is insane. Trucks and more trucks EVERYWHERE. 

For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting a trip to York, I thought I'd give you the highlights. If you are lucky enough to stay near route 30, you will be rewarded with miles and miles of strip malls, featuring all of your favorite chain retail stores and restaurants. I thought I'd list everything I saw within a one-mile stretch on route 30 near the 83 exchange. Since I was blessed to be sitting in parking lot style traffic, I was able to jot down everything I witnessed. 

Looking for an Inn? York route 30 has Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Red Roof Inn, Quality Inn, Budget Inn, Best Western, Wingate by Windham and for those who want to live large--4 Points at Sheraton--Super 8 for the slummers. 

Wendy'sMickeyD'sB.K.KFCTacoBellHardee'sArby'sLong JohnSilversSubwayQuiznosPizzaHutChiploteMexicanGrillPaneraBreadBobEvansDunkinDonuts
want a step up?Eatn'ParkDenny'sFriendly'sTGIFRubyTuesdaysChili'sApplebeesOliveGardenFuddruckersOldCountryBuffetCrackerBarrel Hooters(not sure if that is a step-up)

Retail haven--KmartWalmartTargetLowesHomeDepotToysRUsBabiesRUsStaplesOfficeMaxCVSWalgreensRiteaid


AND you can find all of these gems in strip malls such as Westgate Plaza, York Plaza, East York Plaza, West York Plaza, York Center, Historic York Center, Maple Village 1, Maple Village II, Crossroads Plaza, Eastern Blvd Plaza, Loucks Plaza

True highlights--Fernanda's hatha yoga class at 8 Stones Yoga was blissful. What a gifted teacher. AND since it was my first visit, the class was FREE!  Also everyone is nice in York. I was a bit confused, since this is so different from Philly. :)

(the photo is a google hit--title LOVE IS A CHAIN STORE) look at the bliss on her face

Cat Bites As a Torture Device?

Our 15 year-old cat Dusty recently began exhibiting VERY annoying behavior--much akin to a pestering child who asks WHY?? 5 million times in one day. He has always been vocal. When we first 'rescued' him, he howled all night long. We  immediately knew WHY he had been abandoned and were quite sympathetic with the abandoners. 

Back to the present. Dusty ramped up his meow volume, multiplying its frequency and intensity  until we thought our heads would explode. Perhaps the military should consider hiring Dusty for their musical torture interrogations. I understand why the MEOW mix commercial made it to #9 on the top 10 hits for torturing prisoners.  

He also started acting like a rapid crazed animal--knocking over garbage cans to scavenge food. I caught him ripping apart a chicken carcass. He managed to knock open a tupperware that I had left in a cooler and devoured the Greek spanakopita. Who knew cats liked Greek food? Most disconcerting was when we were attempting a rare family dinner and he leaped up in the air, grabbing the food out of my husband's hand, scarfing it down before he landed on the floor. 

Despite his advanced age, and physical deterioration--the swayback, ribs poking out, he seemed to have LOTS of energy when it came to asking for or stealing food. My vast veterinary training told me that he was just old and about to die. My husband was in agreement. Thus we suffered his antics for a couple of months before taking him to the vet. 

Like most cats, Dusty does not like the vet. He bites the vet at every opportunity. He even showed off his loud howl when the vet gave him a shot in his rump. Good news!! My animal is not rapid and does not need to have a vocalectomy to render him soundless. He has HYPOTHYROID, which is causing his erratic behavior. 

Solution? We only have to give him a pill twice a day. For those of you who have given cats pills, you know this is not an easy feat. Google has 2 million sites dedicated to this phenomenon. My favorite is How to Give Your Cat a Pill in 20 Easy Steps The last step suggests calling the SPCA to take the cat and going to pet store to buy a hamster. The vet gives Dusty his first pill and it looks VERY easy. I can do this. 

That night Ian and I are practicing civility towards each other. Honey, will you please help me give the cat the pill? He responds--Of course my sweetness. Let me change my clothes. I ask him whether he wants to HOLD the cat or do the pill part. Since I am giving him a choice, I of course think that he will do the chivalrous thing and do the pill part. Since you gave me a choice, I want to hold the cat. This is when civility breaks down. I would rather hold the cat. Why don't you jam the pill down his throat? He responds with a little LESS civility, YOU GAVE ME A CHOICE AND I'MNOTJAMMINGTHEPILLDOWNTHECAT'STHROAT! I don't give up easily. I badger. Why don't you want to jam the pill down the cat's throat? Why is it always MY responsibility to take care of the pets? In a slightly more rational tone, he says that he doesn't want to get bitten. 

FINE! I'll do the pill part. As you probably guessed, it did not go smoothly. As I pried Dusty's jaws open and tried to push the pill in, he chomped down on my thumb. Instead of showing concern, my husband insists that he KNEW this would happen and he didn't want to have a catbite on HIS thumb. He then proceeds to tell me about how DANGEROUS cat bites are and how I can DIE from infection. 

I went to the ultimate expert to read about cat bite treatments--GOOGLE. in particular provided excellent insight. 
Cats have teeth. Cats have sharp teeth. A cat will bite when it's upset. A cat will bite hard when it's very upset. Cat bites hurt. Cat bites in your finger joints hurt a lot.

The author should win a genius research grant. She did say that she spent 4 days in the hospital from a cat bite, which resulted in having both her hands amputated. (ok--i lied about the last part) Apparently 80% of all bites result in infection.

I watch my thumb for signs of infection. Then I go to the beach to visit a friend. A few days go by and Ian calls to inquire about the status of my catbite. When I look at my hand, there is a blister and large swelling in the bite area. It kind of looks like leprosy. Now, I'm unsure if this means that I'm onmyway towards DEATH or if it is a result from burning my thumb on the stove and/or touching the water that comprises the jellyfish soup a.k.a. the Long Island Sound. I SLATHER antibiotic cream on my hand 10x/day and pray for a miracle. 

Thankfully I avoid amputation and Dusty is allowed to remain alive for a while longer, as is my husband. I determine that the military is wasting their time using the Meow Mix commerical as a torture device. Dusty and his friends can be the new secret weapon. Cat bites as a means to break down those prisoners.