Monday, September 29, 2008

there's no place like home...where are my ruby slippers?

What do you get when you mix Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with finding a toilet in your bedroom?

Oh, I dunno, shit for brains?

Behold the master bath:

The perils of remodeling.

Toto, I don't think all the Xanax in Kansas will get us through this...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

mothers without borders

My previous post, about my declining health, while rich in detail and ripe with candor, barely elicited a nickel's worth of sympathy (read: comments) from you unfeeling bastards, so I hesitate to post again. However, having just survived an apocalypse of sorts, I couldn't suppress my primal need to scrawl my story along the cave walls for everyone to see.

Last week my mom forwarded an email from Borders advertising a kid party this Saturday (today), apparently to celebrate the new children's area. Immediately my stomach began churning, for joining inane revelry in large groups of strangers is pretty much a little slice of hell as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately I have unwittingly passed this discomfort along to my kids, whom you will never find sitting Indian-style on a carpet with thirty other kids singing "If You're Happy and You Know It." Thus, I was quite surprised when Reilly asked if we could go. My initial response was to try and appeal to her judgmental side and tell her that it was going to be totally lame. She would have believed me. Alas, I have recently embarked upon a mission to reclaim some of the innocence my kids have lost due to my loud, cynical, and incessant views on life in general. Compounding the pressure in this particular case was the fact that I knew my mom would ask later if we had gone. While she is a truly amazing mother, grandmother, human being, and Democrat, she harbors a bit of doubt about my kids' education. Like many of us, she constantly applies a public school standard to what we're doing, and always calculates that my kids are coming up just a tad short, which she puts as nicely as possible. All in all, I knew I was destined for the "exciting games and prizes" today.

The celebration only ran from 2-4pm, so of course I was reminded of this at 2:13 while checking my email, dripping wet from a shower. All I wanted in the world today was to stretch out in comfy pants and finish my book, but my internal moral compass (mine's a miniature, which I'm sure surprises no one) led me to ask Reilly if she still wanted to go. I clung to the hope that just the magnanimous act of asking would be rewarded karmically, and that she would say no. So, I flinched a little when she said she did. Quinn was with Todd, and opted out, so I was left to slap on a little makeup and the aforementioned comfy pants, and make my daughter's day.

(By the way, one of the ways in which Murphy's Law applies to my particular life is that if I go to Borders in yoga pants, flip flops, unpainted toenails, and my hair half wet, the laws of nature guarantee that I will see one, if not all, of my mortal enemies. And I have more than you may think. So today's outfit redemption was my custom-made Obama shirt. My enemies are all Republicans, and they are all a great deal less intelligent than I, so I decided to flaunt my Democratic pride, and hope no one saw my toenails.)

Okay okay so Reilly and I made our way through Borders, anticipating a gleeful swarm of kids, moving from one age-appropriate activity to another (as promised in the email). What we saw, however, were twenty very young children seated on the floor singing a song about a lima bean. There was some sort of pun, like, "Where oh where has that lima been." I literally had to use my hand to wipe the scowl off my face, and then I looked down at Rei, hoping I'd succeeded in conjuring up an excited look. But, I could see instantly that Reilly was doing the exact same thing. So we stood, like wallflowers at a school dance (which my kids will never attend, take THAT Mom!), trying to figure out what to do. She would sooner have stripped naked than squeeze in amongst the gaggle of five year olds on the floor, to sing a song she doesn't know. (What can I say? Raffi didn't do the lima bean song.) Telepathically I knew that the whole scene was embarrassing for Reilly, and that we were both noting the disparity between the vibrant email, and what we saw before us. Just when we were beginning to slink away, the adult leading the singing announced that it was time for the scavenger hunt. Okay now this was promising. We took one of the sheets, gave it a quick glance, and scurried towards our first challenge. The paper asked who the Democratic Presidential candidate is, and instructed us to find a book about him, and to write the title and author's name. Easy enough. Reilly said, rather audibly, "That's easy, Barack Obama!" Oh the pride. The second question was about the Republican candidate, which Reilly also knows, so we were really cooking. It was a little troubling that the space in between each instruction was a little over a millimeter, so we started getting frustrated. My way of expressing frustration is to criticize my daughter's handwriting, and to shrink in pain, certain that everyone in Borders can see that she still begins a few of her letters from the bottom. The bottom! (Gasp! Maybe Mom is RIGHT!) Shortly thereafter we realized that our problems had only just begun, for squeezing letters into a space like this = for a child who is accustomed to regular lined paper, is nothing compared to the mind-numbing obscurity of the rest of the questions. Now, we love love love Borders, and we go there all the time. When we entered the other day, to pick out Todd's birthday presents, Quinn and Reilly knew exactly where to go. But today, after our initial rush of confidence, Rei and I were struck by the subsequent challenges. I mean, perhaps we haven't acquainted ourselves thoroughly enough with Borders' vast sea of titles, but how the hell am I supposed to find the sixth book written by the half brother of Lithuania's most popular author, let alone Reilly? When asked to find a "HISTORY" book "ALL ABOUT" your favorite state, Rei and I were nearly driven into comas scouring shelf after sodding shelf looking for anything about California. (Little traitor, ain't she?) Finally I blurted out, "What about the fucking gold rush?" Just when I was about to enlist in Al Qaida out of desperation, we saw a book about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Reilly's hands literally shook as she wrote, some from the top, some from the bottom. The best I could not to harass her was to sigh a lot and bite my lip until it bled. Next up we had to find a book about our favorite sport. Conveniently, the 3'x10' sign that said "Sports & Leisure" actually leads you to the health and wellness aisle. My sweet determined girl and I sifted through approximately 615 books on everything from cancer to diabetes to macrobiotic diets, before we realized their error. Then, once we found the sports aisle, we were dismayed that there was nothing about track. So Rei said how about cheerleading? Nada. Swimming? Zilch. In fact the only sports recognized by Borders at all are football, baseball, basketball, and golf. Luckily, we found a stowaway about bowling, which Rei has done. Must have been some errant Waldenbooks return...

We were sweating profusely, and swearing like sailors (well, one of us was). These questions were so confounding as to almost make my pituitary gland explode. Were all the other kids using this same list? Where were their parents? Did we accidentally get the MENSA scavenger hunt sheet? Find a book "ALL ABOUT" the ninth deepest fault line in Japan. So immersed were we in our quest for an excerpt from page 455 of the book written by the scientist who split the quark the second to the last time, that we actually began hyperventilating when we read the next question: Find a CD featuring three brothers. OMG. Could it be? We looked at each other. "The Jonas Brothers, right?" We said it aloud. We reread the sheet to make sure they weren't asking for their producer's blood type. Nope, just the Jonas Brothers. Reilly nearly collapsed from the lack of complexity of this question. Finally, we hunted down a Disney DVD about some sort of camp, and we were done. Ragged, limping, husks of ourselves, we returned to the children's area, which had become a ghost town. We found one of the employees who had sung the lima bean song, and we flung ourselves at her feet, as though we had just crossed the desert and she had the canteen. Her face lit up, she grabbed our sheet with gusto, and as marched over to what was, presumably, the prize shelf. She readily stuffed something into Reilly's hand, and as we walked away, blinking our eyes back into focus, we saw that in this demented, mind-altering game, Borders had bested us. For all our hard work, for all our valor and determination, we received a leaflet with a cupcake recipe on it. Seeing that Reilly was also dialing the recruiting officer for Al Qaida, I remembered the "free beverage and free cookie," and steered my shell-shocked daughter to the cafe. After watching a stream of about nine kids walk away with drinks, I asked confidently, "Hi, is this where they're handing out the refreshments for the kids' party?" Not even looking up, the employee said, "Oh, um, actually, the deal was that if you bought a large drink, you got a small one free." It was as though we had survived a war and then missed our ride home. I clutched her tiny, cramped-from-all-the-writing hand, and we left in silence. Everything we had been through (like kneeling in spilled chai to write down an answer), more tedium than a year at Harvard Law School, my baby's blistered fingers. For what? A recipe? I am so pissed. Never again will I stifle my lack of enthusiasm for these lima-bean-sing-a-long festivities, attended by children who look like they're auditioning to appear on an episode of Barney. I will wear my scorn proudly, along with my Obama shirt, and I will forevermore drill it into my kids that it is imperative to see the prize before you accept the challenge. And we'll try not to bake any dynamite into those motherfucking cupcakes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the truth behind WMD--the novella

I have been reticent about putting my mystery plague into words, but the past eleven weeks have been so utterly surreal I suddenly feel I must do just that, lest there be any doubt as to the accuracy of my memories.

It's safe to say most of you know something, if not everything, about this affliction of no know origin, and its sensitive nature, and why I might hesitate to post it for all the world (read: my seven readers) to see. But whatever. I have suffered so many indignities I scarcely care if you all know that for nearly three months, I have been running a significant fever, and diarrhea that would liken me to a rocket ship. Being the busy mom I am, it took a few weeks to even notice anything was wrong, until I found myself in the bathroom one morning, crying for my mom at 4am. Literally people. She rushed over with some Immodium, and we called the doctor. Ultimately, I crashed and never made it to my appointment that day, and I assumed the worst was over. Um, can we say n-a-i-v-e?

Cut to weeks later, when I couldn't travel five feet from my bathroom, and narrowly averted several disasters trying to do simple things like shop for groceries. One particularly memorable episode involved Fred Meyer remodeling their bathrooms and providing customers with a handy portable restroom in the parking lot. Just when I had grown accustomed to this interim arrangement, I had the misfortune of having a truly dreadful emergency wherein the doors to the portable building were suddenly locked. Squirming and sweating, I sent Quinn in to ask, basically, "what the hell?" He ran back and explained that the new bathrooms were finished, and the grim reality of having to trek what felt like eight hundred miles back into the store began to dawn on me. Wasting no time, I grabbed my kids and sprinted like FloJo to the new facilities, praying that my compromised bowel would spare me what could have been the worst nightmare imaginable. After this, those close to me insisted I see my doctor, and I dutifully, though sheepishly, went in, and was greeted rather loudly by the receptionist with, "Hi Cheyenne. You're here for the diarrhea right?" Can you see how my pride has slowly eroded? The nurse, who also seemed to put quite an emphasis on the word 'diarrhea' when she called me back, discovered I had a fever too, and indicated that this combination might be pretty serious. The doctor concurred, and suddenly diagnoses like Celiac's and Crohn's disease were being bandied about. Before I let the gravity of those words sink in, my fragile and embarrassed mind was assaulted by the words 'blood test' and, sorry to say, 'stool samples.' Tempted as I am, being a wanna-be writer, to paint you a picture of this most unconscionable um, assignment, I shall spare us all, so that I don't have to unfriend every single one of you. Suffice it to say, contrary to what one may assume, it is exceedingly, achingly, possible to be completely humiliated all by one's lonesome, and with no witnesses. And let me just add that it was of little consolation to complete the task, for what follows is a skulking, pride-swallowing trek into the clinic to deposit...well, you know. Not surprisingly, the staff was rather blunt, and loud, about my purpose there, and it was all I could do not to grab one of the germ-riddled ballpoint pens provided in a cup on the counter, and rip out my jugular with it. I left. And washed my hands until they bled.

As news grew of my charming ailment, friends and family sweetly offered all forms of help and kindness. It became increasingly difficult for me to attend social functions, which naturally raised serious alarm amongst people who know that my need to be out and about is, in essence, a bottomless pit. One gathering I was determined to make was Gabrielle's art show debut. She is a brilliant craftswoman and artist, and I really needed to show my support, even if she is somewhat delinquent when it comes to promised collages (wink! love you!). Seated on the, or should I say, sunken into, the ratty couch at CHC, clutching one of the bathroom keys secretly, I was pleased when Pam took a seat next to me. She smiled, gave me a once-over, and, realizing I was still combating the illness, said, "You are a walking medical disaster." I nodded and looked down, like a dog who knows he has done wrong. I admit that despite being said with no malice whatsoever, it stung. I am known throughout the land for being the busiest person alive, manic even, and capable of accomplishing more than is humanly possible, most days. But in this moment I was reduced to what felt like a sloth. I couldn't, and still can't, get the words "walking medical disaster" out of my mind. It connotates weakness, dependency, and worst of all, burden, which I confess I have become. So the real WMD, it turns out, is me.

This wouldn't be a saga without all my gruesome samples testing negative. I didn't have a parasite, E. coli, various other toxins, or L-5128, whatever the hell that is. As relieved as I was not to have been stricken with L-5128, I was disappointed that my illness had evaded diagnosis. My doctor was equally stymied, and referred me to a gastroenterologist, which is just not good news, any way you slice it (no pun intended--you'll find out later). There are only two ways in for a gastroenterologist, and I'd sooner chew off my own feet than consent to either one. As unluck would have it, this very nice tiny little doctor informed me that he'd be exploring both, BOTH, er, entrances? Being that Chinese is his primary language, and he clearly hasn't been speaking English long, it was virtually impossible to employ my masterful repertoire of body language and wit to express my dismay and/or change his mind. He was very business-like, which was at once comforting and disturbing. "Who endeavors to practice a kind of medicine that requires becoming very acquainted with people's rectums?" I asked myself. Mind you, I was only 3 degrees less troubled by the thought of a hose being rammed down my throat. I decided to skip town, and find some quiet cave where I could suffer my fever and diarrhea in peace, with a modicum of dignity. Of course I'd just keep switching caves, to keep things sanitary. The fantasy of my new life burst when the doctor asked me which prep fluid I preferred. Now, I knew from my surgery last year (walking medical disaster) that this was NOT good news. I stammered for about three hours, which elicited absolutely no sympathy from anyone, and finally said whichever one tasted less salty. I was handed a bottle the size of a gas can, and an encouraging tip that the lemon-lime flavor packet was quite popular. Already my gut was in knots, and my appointment wasn't until November.

"November?!?!?!?" Shouted everyone in the universe. No one could believe I was being made to wait three months for my colonoscopy/upper endoscopy. I'm telling you, several people were going to storm the office, and demand that the little Chinaman insert his scope right then and there. Me, I was ambivalent. Sure I was eager to get some news, but the other part of me wanted to cement my rectum shut and hang a sign that said, "Closed for business." Turns out several events conspired to hasten this appointment. For one thing, my doctor noticed in my chart that I had lost 23 pounds in two and a half weeks. And my psychiatrist, also an MD, was growing very concerned about the delicate balance of managing my medications while I was so sick. So a few weeks ago, while I waited for three hours in Dr. D's office, she made phone calls to my psych doc and the Chinaman, and I was ordered to the hospital immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just go. Boy, Pam had no idea how true her words were. Dr. B (psych) was absolutely adamant that I not go through the ER. You see, as my body became less and less able to absorb anything, he had to reduce several of my meds, and I was starting to experience mood instability and ocd. He felt it would send me over the edge to spend five hours in the cesspool that is the Salem Hospital ER. So I ran home to grab whatever it is one grabs for an indefinite hospital sentence, and my unwavering advocate, B, drove me to my doom. Almost instantly this became a scenario I knew I had to live long enough to blog about. Sadly, many of the details escape me. One thing that was paramount was my CONSTANT consumption of water. On a particularly bad night earlier that week, when B had called Dr. B to report that I had been crying for four hours over not having a toothbrush, his on-call colleague took down all of our information and insisted that I had neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and that water was the only thing keeping me alive. (walking medical disaster)

I was shown to my bed and put on the sheerest gown known to man, before a nice-enough nurse came in. Can I just say, her black roots, juxtaposed against her yellow hair, rendered me somewhat uneasy. Yeah, I'm judgemental like that. Straight away B asked for some water and we were absolutely floored to learn that I was not to have any until the elusive Dr. Walker was finished rounding and worked up a diet plan. "Um," B started, and I could see her trying desperately to suppress the flames that were trying to erupt from her throat. "Water is what's keeping her alive, so she really needs some right now." Unmoved by her insistence, Yellow Hair with Roots simply repeated that I was not to have water. Or food. Or my psych meds. Or an IV. Or blood draws. So what the fuck was I doing there? Yeah, that's what we wanted to know. I was supposed to be tested for neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and to make sure my Lithium wasn't making me toxic, so Dr. B could stop worrying that he was killing me, and the nurses acted as though I was merely there to partake of their top-of-the-line nightwear and 13" television, and nothing more. Each of the five nurses was less helpful than the last, and finally, after many hours, B could not contain her rage. She ORDERED them to get me some water, and by the way, when B orders you to do something, you'd better either do it, or be Carl fucking Lewis. One of the underling nurses was intimidated enough to bring me ice chips. So it could be said that for a fleeting five hour moment, I subsisted on twenty ice chips from a styrofoam cup. Not the proudest way to die, I thought, and hoped someone would have the sense and courtesy to dress up my demise for the obituary. Meanwhile, we were trying to call Dr. B, to let him know I was being denied my psych drugs, but the operator claimed that once I was admitted to the hospital, I was out of his jurisdiction, so to speak. Um, this did not bode well for B's growing ire. We asked the nurses to ask Dr. Walker, whose existence we began to doubt, to please call Dr. B, and were told, verbatim, "Dr. Walker said he's not going to make a physician consult or a diet plan for you because he doesn't want anymore on his plate." Have you ever seen a normal, beautiful, 30-yr old woman literally morph into a 18-ft long lioness? Well that's what happened. Though she managed not to kill anyone, or threaten anyone's actual life (though she did threaten their jobs, and the hospital), B was so enraged I swear to God I could see her blood boiling beneath her skin. She demanded that I be released, and let me tell you, they were practically skipping-to-my-loo to get me the hell out of there, but then one nurse mentioned that if I signed out AMA, my insurance wouldn't cover the $9,000 admittance.


Walking medical disaster.

So I was stuck. Around midnight, Dr. Fucker, I mean, Walker, sauntered in and proceeded to yell at me for circumventing the ER, and didn't even hear me when I explained that my doctors insisted I do it that way. He asked me about my parents, and wanted to know why my father died at 51. I knew I was in trouble. There's really no good answer for that. I mean, to say suicide, for instance, strips me of any credibility I may have had, but to tell the truth, which is cirrhosis, was the nail in the coffin of our doctor/patient relationship. "Yep, that's right, my father was an alcoholic." Though I didn't actually say that, the words hung in the air for a while, and I stared at him, daring him to provoke my own inner lioness. So he ordered water, what a hero, and some blood work, which they did after I finally fell asleep at 3am. They managed to blow the vein and get blood all over me. Whatever. Then more draws at 5am. I knew that 7am would bring with it a new doctor, and I didn't know whether to be glad or terrified. First I was told I may not see her at all because I was the lowest priority patient in the hospital. As morning broke, friends were texting offers to come see me, which, and I know this sounds ungrateful and irrational, really worried me because I had morning hospital face/hair. This is never good. When I had my appendectomy in '06 (walking medical disaster), and people came to visit me, I put a blanket over my head. Anyway, B and I were texting and decided I needed to get the hell out of there. They weren't actually doing anything for me, and I was at risk of Pam showing up to see my limp brassy hair and black crescents under my eyes. But part of me did want her to come, to take me home with her and give me fluids at her house, like she had done a month before, the first time Dr. D had ordered me to the hospital for dehydration. At long last, something positive happened in this whole epic, fraying yarn. Dr. Norton, the one who may never see me at all because I was just an amoeba on the underbelly of the hospital, marched in. First she complimented me for watching Frasier on tv, which I took to mean that it was clear we were intellectual equals. Then she took some history and said, "Why are you even still here? We're not doing a damned thing for you!" I could have cried, but alas, being deprived of water for gazillion hours, I had no tears. I told her how I wasn't given my meds, and how no one would call Dr. B, to which she replied that he was a very good friend of hers and she'd be calling him right away. And then she apologized, told me that I did not have neuroleptic malignant syndrome, nor Lithium toxicity, and was free to go!

Oh did I mention that all my doctors conspired to move my colonoscopy/upper endoscopy to that next Thursday? Pardon me for not putting up balloons, I just knew that procedure was going to be a debacle at best.

In the spirit of adding credence to Pam's theory, I should mention that the day before I was hospitalized, I stepped on a 3" rusty-ass nail dropped by the roofers replacing our roof. B and I spent four hours at urgent care, where I'm sure we picked up untold infections. The doctor, who I'm pretty sure had done a stint as Krusty the Clown, dug waaaay up inside the puncture wound and pulled out an inch-long piece of the flip flop I was wearing when I stepped on the damned thing. Then he tore away all the flesh and commented on how big my feet are, and ordered a tetanus shot. I am severely needle-phobic, so I began to tremble, cry, beg, and generally embarrass the hell out of B. The nurse came in, I wasted no time telling her we would forever have to be enemies, and she wasted no time responding by plunging the needle in my arm. What could I do? I fainted. (walking medical disaster)

The day after I was in the hospital, Reilly got bit by a dog twice. She's okay, but it was really scary, and there was a moment in which I actually had to weigh running so far from the bathroom to tend to her. Of course, I chanced it, and I reiterate, she's fine.

I know this is getting long but I can't help myself. Next up was prepping for my rendezvous with the Chinaman. I spent the two preceding days at B's, as well as the day after, because my kids have a hard time seeing me very sick. The first day of my stay I was to begin my fast. Naturally, they were all eating Safeway bagels, which wafted into my face tauntingly. B tried to make foods that I wouldn't enjoy, but at that point I would have eaten a rhinoceros. Alas, I made it through the starvation, but then it was time to drink THE STUFF. B, bless her heart, added the lemon-lime flavor packet, iced it down, gave me a straw, everything she could to make it better, and it still tasted like the sweat from a pig's balls. I was supposed to drink the entire gallon over two days, and after proudly, surprisingly, finishing my nighttime portion, I began to believe that I wouldn't die from it. Ha! If any of you have made it this far, you know that I was in fact going to die from it. First I was in the bathroom, which B had scrubbed to a shine and turned into a veritable colonoscopy prep haven, and threw up seven hundred gallons of saline poison into the garbage can. I then crawled to my chair and passed out. Later I awoke with a fierce need to check the locks on my car (remember I said my ocd tendencies were emerging?). Despite B's protests, I staggered down the steps, and then, five feet from my car, puked my guts right onto her roses. It was light out, and true to form, every goddamned neighbor B has was on a walk right in front of her house. I could not stop heaving, which I can only imagine delighted B to no end, and made her infinitely glad she took me in. Afterward, what remained of me did in fact check my car locks. And then I went to bed.

Thursday morning: I refused to drink anymore Nulytely. Refused. I was weak, scared, and still trying to fend off a haunting feeling that something was going to go wrong. My appointment was at 3:30 and I couldn't have any water after 12:00. That was really tough. My tongue turned to stone, and I couldn't shut up about it. "Drink your spit!" Rosie encouraged. Of course, that is what I did. Finally it was time to go, and I knew there was no way out. B and I arrived at the clinic and were told that the doctor was running an hour and a half late, and could we please just sit by the shiny new drinking fountains and not use them until he was ready. I fell asleep in my chair until the nurse came in to usher me back to the point of no return. She forced a very large needle into my arm, and I asked her all kinds of questions about being put under and staying under, etc. She assured me I'd be out cold. In the operating room, I lay on the bed, suddenly concerned that someone would see my ass, lol. I stared at the pulse/ox monitor, paying no mind to the screen next to it, which would soon be featuring my colon. The nurse asked if I could feel the shot yet. I said no. A few minutes later she asked again, and again I showed her that I was wide awake. Tears were flowing by this point. I knew there would be no la-la land for me. After the next attempt, the doctor couldn't wait, and he um, began. I could feel every inch, or should I say, foot? I knew he was cutting pieces out for biopsy and I tried to escape to someplace more pleasant in my mind. Like maybe prison. Eventually he was done jostling the hose up my ass, and found a new hose to go down my throat. It was so surreal, I can scarcely describe it. I can't believe I remained still. Finally they were finished, and I was wheeled to a recovery area, where most patients sleep it off, but I just started getting dressed, trying not to feel completely humiliated. I wasn't some slumbering anonymous rectum, I was a walking/talking real-life person with an actual face to associate with the rectum. The doc told B my intestine, from my esophagus to my colon, was inflamed and they had biopsied several spots. He said it wasn't likely to be cancer, but it could be Celiac's or Crohn's. All I cared about was getting some Safeway bagels and going back to B's.

You've all been so thoughtful and faithful to call, text, and visit during this time, and part of the reason I wrote this was to share the outcome of the Chinaman's expedition.


Nothing. All tests were negative. No Celiac's. No Crohn's. No cancer. No answer.

And so it goes. I'd love to expound upon my feelings regarding this wild goose chase for a diagnosis, but wouldn't you know, I have to go to the bathroom.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the best spent $20 ever...

I know the hazards of feeding an addiction, but Lord Almighty, I deserve these.

Details will be forthcoming as soon as I can muster the concentration to describe the cataclysm that has been my life. Hurricane Ike's got nothin' on me.

Stay tuned...

Friday, September 5, 2008

ladies and gentlemen...

...your patience is appreciated. The show is about to begin.