Friday, June 17, 2011

Oh Dave, You So Funny!

I never do this.  I never snag web material for my readers, but this is too good to pass up.  Dave Grohl and The Foo Fighters are notorious for their concert riders.  A rider is an attachment to their contract for their shows, and it details their needs for the back stage areas and meals, and snacks and things of that sort.

Once again, they have out done themselves.  Please read this, and recognize the humor intended.  If you don't like The Foo Fighters, you will after realizing how incredibly hilarious they are.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your Band Sucks

Lemme drop some knowledge on you kids.  Your Band Sucks.  Also, Your Favorite Band Sucks.  In fact, ALL BANDS SUCK.

Let me explain to you numbskulls why I’m right.

You see, back in the dark ages of rawk, there we people who played INSTRUMENTS.  They are things like guitars, pianos, violins, saxophones, trumpets, and basses.  Drums?  Well, I think most musicians argue over whether or not drummers are musicians, but I’ll throw them a bone for arguement sake.  Yes, drums are an instrument.

If you don't know who this is, punch yourself in the face right now.

So anyways, (pay attention gomer) these musicians played their respective musical instruments and then recorded them to tape.  Sometimes they would get together in one big room, or maybe they would all be in different isolated rooms.  They would try over and over again until they got the part right.  Sometimes it could take days or weeks or months to record these “tracks”, and then they could be mixed down and edited by very talented men and women who would take the reels of tape, and actually cut and splice them together, then re-record the final product, after it was all said and done.  It was an art form, not only performed by the musicians, but also by the studio engineers and the mastering engineers.  Early in the days of recording you needed to all play together to record everything on two total tracks.  These days, you can record as many tracks as your hard drive on your computer servers will allow.

Fast forward to the modern era of rawk. (fast forward is what us old people would use on our cassette tape players)  I can plug a guitar into a converter box and record a track on my laptop.  I can then pitch correct the track, since I suck at playing guitar.  I can also adjust the tempo in certain spots because I speed up and slow down as I play, because I’m just not that good.  Drummer?  I don’t need no stinking drummer!?!  I’ve got all the drum patches of every super awesome rawk drummer that I downloaded from a torrent file sharing site. (FREEBIE!)  My younger sister is doing vocals for me, because she loves Lady GAGA, and sounds just like her. (she’s 13)  She sucks at singing, but if I put the mic in the bathroom, (better acoustics) she sounds a lot better. (she’s clothed, dude, don’t get all gross)  Of course I’m gonna T-Pain up her vocal tracks with the Auto Tune, because it’s easier than learning the song and actually singing it correctly. (Cher, I blame you for this abomination)  I can do all this in my free (stolen off a torrent site) copy of Final Cut Pro.  Studio?  Sheyah, right.  Bedroom? Definitely.  My sister is Rebecca Black, by the way, in case you were wondering.

^Anti Christ

Still confused?  Okay, listen up cheese dick, here’s the dealio:  ALL BANDS SUCK:  Music is an art form.  Art is subjective.  Therefore, not everyone will like your band.  Someone out there thinks your band sucks.  Therefore, ALL BANDS SUCK, it just depends on who you ask.  

Now go take your Hot Topic skinny jeans and your manliner and your whiny Morrissey wannabe vocals and shove them up your Glee Fan ass.  Me and Jimi Hendrix will be over here slaying beasts and dragons with our rawkness.  See blog name for further instruction.  \m/ o . o \m/

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day Of Reflection

I made it. A whole year has passed since my unfortunate interaction with a Toyota Corolla.  

The accident still plays in my head, often, in full color; a vivid memory.   The jingling of shattered headlamp glass, the screeching of rubber, the sound of wind leaving my lungs as I tumble, the scrape of plastic sounds off in my ears as my helmet skids and pops and slams along the road. The smell of your own blood, mixed with earth and grass and hot asphalt. A memory that will fade in time, but will be permanently locked into my brain in between fuzzy old memories and all the little voices that raise up from time to time.

I’m lucky.  No, I’m not lucky, I’m downright INSANELY lucky to be here today.  Nobody walks away from an accident like that.  The nurses and the doctors all said so.  But somehow..... I did.  So I get to live some more, and I best better enjoy it, and be grateful for the opportunity.

Here I am 12 months later.  Thankful that I can walk.  There were a few moments where I felt sure that I would walk with a permanent limp, or constant physical pain. (the knee ‘reminds me’ it’s there every once and a while) I still have issues with the flexibility of my knee, but I can in fact, walk.  Thankful for that.  I could have lost a leg, an arm, a foot, a hand, or suffered brain damage. (I think my doctor might argue that last point :-)  ) Thankful that I didn’t, and damned lucky that I’m using both hands to type, and that both my feet are propped up on the ottoman right now.  Kneeling to pray for thanks is only an issue if I choose to kneel on my right knee.  Fortunately I have two.  Luckily, I still have two.

My stamina is coming back to me, slowly but surely.  Walking more than a block was a chore for so many months.  I can stand up to watch a band play it’s entire show, without needing to sit and rest.  (now if I could just find a band that doesn’t suck major ass) I can carry a ladder from the garage to replace a couple of light bulbs at my folks’ house.  I can wash my car in the driveway.  I can mow the lawn. (and stay the hell off of it, will ya?)  I can exercise without being in severe pain 15 minutes later.  Slow and steady wins the race.

There are so many things to be grateful for today.  Life, health, friends both real and on the interwebs, and humor and clear thought.  I am humble and grateful today, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be here to share. I look in the mirror and smile because I'm happy, AND because, I'M STILL HERE.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Living The Dream..... Or Something.

I just spoke with an dear old friend.  She said she was proud of me for following my career dreams and taking the risks to do so.  Funny thing was, I hadn’t realized that I had been taking risks.  That got me thinking.....

Grandmaster Flash.  The.Best.Ever.
Music and entertainment have always played a major role in my life.  I started playing instruments way back in 4th grade, beginning with the Cello.  Beautiful sounding instrument if played properly.  I continued on through high school and also during my short stint in the college world. I met a neighborhood friend one night during college.  He was a DeeJay.  He showed me a few things about how that all worked, and I began to play records at the bar where he worked 1 night a week.  My tenure as a nightclub DeeJay spanned nearly a decade.  I made a very decent living, and had the opportunity to work at some of the best nightclubs in town.  During the crazy, self indulgent decade that was the 80’s, it was quite a memorable ride. I wish I could describe it well....  I grew tired of carrying around my milk crates full of records(when I finally sold them years later, there were 18 of them!) and set out to find the next logical step.  For me, it was becoming an audio engineer.

Did you know there are schools dedicated to becoming an audio engineer?  Wait a minute, you kids don’t even know what that is..... An audio engineer is the guy who makes the band sound good.  He’s the guy in the studio twisting all those knobs on the recording console, and placing mics on the drums and in front of all the amplifiers.  He’s often the guy who runs sound at your favorite live venue every time they have a band.  We travel in vans and buses all over the world with any band that will pay us.  We’re a mix between soldiers of fortune and audio whores.  We don’t really care if your band is good, we just want to work and make money.  It HELPS if your band is good, because then we will talk with you and hang out with you after the show, and not call you morons, and tell you that your band sucks major ass, and that my 6 year old daughter could play that solo better than you, ya douche.

Yes, I know what all the knobs do.
But risks?  I hadn’t thought about that.... In fact there are quite a few risks that we take while chasing after the elusive brass ring.  I spent time wondering if I would ever be able to really make a serious living at it.  In the beginning, you often are working for next to nothing, and are juggling two and sometimes three jobs to pay the bills.  Living with roommates, because you couldn’t possibly afford a place of your own.  Working all day, then running to the club to run sound for a local band that needs your expertise, loading out the band gear by yourself because the band needs to be hitting on the last few bar flies that remain, grab your cash, go home, throw down some Kraft Mac and Cheese, sleep, and do it all over again, ad nauseum.  Sometimes, you might not have many gigs at all.  I recall one December that I worked 5 shows.  5 days of work before Christmas.  It was a lean holiday for me and my family.  But you can’t give up because you’re so close to getting another tour.

I’ve got a pal that works for a very popular band.  He tours internationally with them.  When they are not on the road doing performances, they fly him home from where ever they finish their tour.  He gets half his regular salary per week while at home.  I was not so fortunate, as I worked for much smaller groups.  When the tour is over, you’re unemployed, unless you’ve got something lined up.  If you were able to save any money you made on the tour, you’ve got a little buffer until you can find temporary work, or a part time job.  It was a roller coaster ride, both emotionally and financially. Many still hold out hope that another tour will come.  For me, I had to walk away.  I toured regularly for ten years.  I’ve had the great fortune to do shows in 42 states, Canada and Mexico. Seeing this great country through the window of a van was tremendous.  I did what I set out to do, and gained a pretty good reputation as being a hard working guy who would go the extra mile for your band.  I still hear from old band members to this day, and love staying in touch with them.

The risks were high. Your friends at home, their lives keep moving forward while your gone.  Friends fade away, as their lives go on. Family knows they cannot count on you to be home for every holiday, as who knows where in North America I might be at the time.  Will I have enough money to pay rent for two months before the next leg of the tour starts?

I chose to find a regular job, hang up my guns and spurs, and leave the touring to the younger set.  It’s fun to reminisce about all those fun and crazy and screwed up moments the world of rock and roll brings.  And for fun, I get to run sound for some old local musician friends of mine. They will play at a dive bar every now and again.  These days, it’s just for fun, and I enjoy visiting an old part of my career path.  Sometimes I’ll even smash a glass.  To be a rock star. Or something like that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paging Mr. Smith....

Well, my future ex-girlfriend Random Girl has sweetly asked for me to begin a series.  I think she would rather have me IN a hotel, rather than write about them.  But I digress......

Not all touring is wonderful and full of awesomeness.  There are long, long drives through the middle of the night to get to the next show, or ‘gig’ as us professionals refer to the events where we make our pittance. Once, we drove from Boston, Mass to New Orleans.  That’s 32 hours of driving in a van full of gear.  We did it with 3 people, each of us switching off, so the others could get a cat nap before their next shift behind the wheel.  32 hours. In a van.  Smoking Marlboros, guzzling Mountain Dew, and choking down a handful of Sour Cream and Chive Pringles.  Pringles, by the way, are the perfect road snack.  They come in a resealable tube.  Your snack stays fresh and unsmashed.  You can also pour them into your mouth.  I kept them in the front cupholders, next to the Dew.
I'd use a fake name if I dressed like that, too

I’m way off track here.  Back on topic, which is how your mind wanders while driving. That's when the devious little games unfold..... 

We were midway through our New England run, which was about 2 weeks of college and small theater dates.  We were pulling into town to do a show at a little college.  If you’ve traveled to New England, you may have noticed that many people, are, how should I say, ‘uptight’?  They are conservative, and many (outside of Boston) seem to be lacking a great personality.  We piled out of the van, and headed for the lobby of our hotel.  We had been joking around (as usual) on our 5 hour drive, and when we got to the lobby, everyone just drops their bags on the floor and fills the burgundy floral easy chairs and Early American couches.  It’s actually a tactic taught to me by a very wise tour manager.  The front desk will do ANYTHING to get you out of their lobby as fast as they can when you’ve just set up an duffel obstacle course.  I put my metal briefcase up on the counter and wait for the young girl behind the desk to hang up the phone.  It seems she’s setting up her evening plans with her friends.  She smiles, gives me the “just a sec” one finger in the air thing, and I open my briefcase and unload a pile of paperwork onto the counter, looking for my reservation notes. (no, this was before we ALL had fully loaded smart phones.  Back in the stone ages, I guess.)  She hangs up, and asks, “Hello, sir, do you have reservations?”  
“No....Yes, of course we have reservations....”  
She looks confused, like she’s not sure if I meant Yes or No.  “The name?”  
“Smith. The reservation is under Smith.” 
She shuffles through the reservation cards that she’s pulled out on her counter. “Um, Sir, I’m not seeing a reservation here for Smith.” 
 I look over the counter and look over the strewn cards as she shifts them around on the counter.  “Oh, silly, there it is, right there.” 
“Which one?!?”  
“Yes, that’s the one.” 
“Sir, the name on that reservation is White, not Smith.”
“Well yes, it’s spelled White, but it’s pronounced Smith.  It’s a family pronunciation.”  I said completely deadpan. 
She’s stunned. Her mouth agape, but nary a word can be heard.  She blankly stares at me. I stare, with great conviction, right back at her.  “Um, okay, Mr. …. Smith.... 5 rooms, yes?”  
Yes, we have 5 rooms.” 
 I then proceed to sign the reservation card as Mr. Smith, and hand her the corporate credit card that belongs to the band.  It has the lead singer’s name on it, and now she’s completely lost.  Mr. White signs in as Mr. Smith, and hands her what appears to be a bogus credit card.  The band is getting fidgety.  After all, we’ve been in the lobby a whole 8 minutes. The bass player and the drummer are doing human beat box and rapping Straight Outta Compton over by the snack machines. 
 “Okay, whutever, here’s your room keys.”  
“Thank you very kindly, Miss.” 

And off to our rooms we went.  It’s not uncommon for musicians and people of a certain level of popularity to use a fake name when checking in to hotels and for dinner reservations.  We of course, didn’t have to worry about anyone finding us.  In fact, just the opposite!  We wanted people to find our hotel and bring us beer and pizza after the shows!!  Now of course my last name is White.  We just wanted to mess with her conservative little mind just a wee bit.  The corporate card was perfectly legal, and it’s commonplace for a band member to have one.  We paid, we rocked, we slept til noon, and as we checked out, our Little Miss was back at the counter.  I winked at her. “Goodbye, Mr. Smith, uh, White, um Smith.”  We laughed all the way to the next town.  The sun was shining as we left that little slice of New England behind us.  On to the next spot on the map and a new adventure. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Switch Is On

The Glamorous Life
Oh, this writing prompt is too good to pass on.  I could do a SERIES on Hotel stories, trust me.  I’ll throw this little gem out there for you and the rest of the minions over at Studio 30+.  Read it and weep (laughing) peons!

The freaks come out on Halloween, and so do the merry pranksters.

I traveled the country in a van full of musicians and tour members hauling a small trailer full of band gear, t-shirts and duffel bags of partially washed clothes.  We were a band, and we rocked North America nightly together for over 4 years.

We finished a particularly raucous Halloween show.  We have said our parting words, and “Thank You Good Night!”, has been yelled as we walk out the backstage door. With the band loaded(literally) and the gear in the trailer, we head back to one of our regular hotels.  We’ve been to this city numerous times, and we’ve always found this hotel to be a little nicer than some of our regular stops.  It’s a lovely Victorian building with only a few rooms and 4 post beds.  Wonderful menu in the dining room, too.  We treated ourselves to this hotel every tour.

The guitar player informs me that he’s expecting a “special friend”.  A Special Friend is someone a band member actually is looking forward to seeing again.  Typically he knows both her first AND last name, and probably has her phone number. She’s driving 6 hours to meet us, and to ‘travel’ with us for the next couple of dates over the weekend.  It just so happens that I’m acquainted with the girl in question. She’s from my hometown, and I actually introduced the two. For the record, if a girl travels with us, it’s the responsibility of the particular band member to foot the bill, and share HIS personal space, without inconveniencing the others on board.  You may imagine hearing, “Stop it you’re touching me stop touching me you’re on my seat stop touching me.”  You would be right.  We are childish, sophomoric boys gone wild.  Fart jokes hourly. Fireworks were lit off INSIDE the van once.  Okay, more than once.

This little hotel is charmingly behind the times. Real brass keys with the little plastic key fobs.  Folded down linens upon your arrival.  The desk clerk knew all of our names as we would depart for sound check, and as we returned later to change into our shiny show shirts.

I called the front desk, posing as the guitar player. I informed the front desk that I, the guitar player, was switching rooms with my sound engineer, (really me) so he could be next door to the singer, because they were working on new material together. The kind desk clerk made a note of the room change, altered the ledger to reflect who was in which room, and would change the wake up calls accordingly.  I just successfully made it SEEM that the guitar player was residing in MY room, and I in his!  The switch is on.

Now, like I said before, we had a pretty rocking good time at the big show.  Halloween, vodka, beer, cute girls adoring each of us, and dudes telling the band how much they totally were blown away.  We staggered in around 1AM and flopped in our respective rooms.

About 4AM, my room phone rings.  It’s Lily.  Remember, it’s the guitar player’s room, right?  She asks for him, and I tell her that I don’t know what room he’s in, as he switched with someone and it’s really really late.  She’s exhausted from her drive, and ready to collapse.  I tell her to come upstairs, take half the bed, and just crash, and we’ll find your guitar slinging hero in the morning. I had no intention of taking advantage of the situation. Lily agrees that I should let her in, and she’s asleep in ten minutes. All curled up under the covers like a little spikey-haired rock kitten.

Some hours later, my phone rings.  It’s 930AM, and there’s a groggy guitar player on the phone.  He asks if I had heard from Lily, because she was supposed to hook up with him last night, and she never called.  He didn’t even sound worried, he sounded bummed because he didn’t get a happy ending.  I said, “Lily?  Oh yeah, she’s right here.  Wanna talk to her?”  He gulped and yelled, “WHAAAATT!!?!?!”  “Yeah, she’s right here, slept here last night, said she couldn’t find your room.” (I’m howling with laughter inside right now, I just totally hosed this guy! Fist pumping my supreme practical joke skills)  “You can’t be serious...”  “Yeah, she’s right here.  I’ll send her down.  Hey...  Happy Halloween, dude.”  He pauses, realizing he had just been owned. “Fuck you, man.”

I sent my friend Lily down the hall, about 4 doors.  I heard the door slam.  I think he started speaking to me about 5 days later.  Trick or treat?  I’ll take trick.

Bow to the master, little guitar playing man.  Bow. To. The. Master.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's Okay, I'm Methodist

Eternal HELLFIRE!!

I was baptised, confirmed and raised Methodist.  I went to church and bible camp, and youth group.  Because I had to.  It was required by my parents that we be rudely awakened at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to go to youth group at church.  8AM service.  As a teenager, it was nearly impossible to actually be awake at 8AM, let alone be an active participant in anything.  One particular Sunday, I recall a conversation that occurred in youth group about forgiveness.

First of all, being Methodist was easy peazey lemon squeezy.  Lent? Yeah, you should probably give up something.  There’s no kneeling during service, so you can sleep sitting up during the entire droning service.  Shoot, sometimes we didn’t even SING.  And, best of all, we will be forgiven and absolved of ALL sins at the gates of heaven by Almighty God.

We were speaking about forgiveness in youth group.  Todd and I were snapping each other on the arms with rubber bands.  Mike looked completely stoned from a hard night.  Ann Marie was playing with her hair.  We half listened to our youth pastor as he explained to us that God would forgive us of all our sins, and we must try our best to live by the word of the good book.  Of course I had questions....

“So if I poke my sister in the eye, I’ll be forgiven?”

“No, you shouldn’t poke your sister in the eye, that’s just bad!”

“But if I do, I’ll be forgiven, right?”

“I don’t think you understand how this works...”

“Pastor, you JUST SAID I will be forgiven of ALL my sins by God upon entering the gates of Heaven.  Is God gonna get all picky about which things I’ve done?”

“No, I don’t think so. But when you stand in judgement before God...”

“So he’s gonna get all judgemental on me?!?  What about ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged.’  Kinda hypocritical, isn’t it?”

“Son, only God can pass judgement on any of his children.  He will judge you more harshly if you do bad things.”

“But I’m STILL gonna be forgiven, so I’m feeling pretty good about my choices right about now.”

I wink across the room at Ann Marie- she smiles that little crooked grin right back at me.  Todd is cringing while poking me in the ribs because he thinks Pastor is gonna hit me with a candlestick at this point.  Which, according to him, he’ll be forgiven for.

(heavy sigh) “Son, I don’t know where you came up with this idea, but you’re just flat wrong.”

“Yeah, but I’ll be having fun.  Which apparently isn’t wrong, because I’ll be forgiven for it.”

Ann Marie laughs out loud, followed by a little snort.  She’s been holding it in too long.  Todd leans backward on the rear legs of his chair and falls right on his ass.  Now everyone is laughing.  I stand up and give Todd a hand up.  “Todd, I forgive you for disrupting youth group.”

The Pastor sighs, storms out of the room and right out the side hallway door and lights up a cigarette.

Later that spring I got to second base with Ann Marie at a youth group sleep over.  Ann Marie?  she was the pastor’s daughter.

I’ll see you all soon. In the mean time, I’ll be surfing a wave of fire, listening to the Rolling Stones.  I also have a seat saved at my table for you.  In Hell.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So, the big thing that happens to you when you spend the good portion of a year either laid up or recovering is, you become a huge gelatinous mass.  Yep, muscle atrophy, unsightly weight gain, and absolutely no stamina.  It doesn’t help that my current job requires much less physical labor than my last.  I used to climb ladders, carry heavy stuff, load heavy stuff into big trucks, and hang off of ladders and scissor lifts while installing the big heavy stuff we loaded into the trucks.

I used to be very active by day.  Now.... Not so much.  Is it a big surprise that I’ve put on weight?  No.  But I did have some help from my Year Of Unfortunate Events.

Let’s throw osteoarthritis into the mix.  I was diagnosed nearly a decade ago.  It’s so much fun, too!  Lemme see if I can describe how that makes you feel..... If you’ve had that all over body ache associated with a really nasty case of the flu, then you’re right on par with what many people suffer through EVERY DAY.  ALL DAY.  It’s like your joints are in slow motion, like they’re very stiff ALL THE TIME.  Sitting, lying down, standing, the pain is always there to varying degrees.  Now if you listen to what your body is telling you, you have a hard time justifying exercising your poor joints, as you KNOW it will be even MORE painful when your through.  (this is not always the case, but it is a very REAL thought that passes through your mind.)  I played soccer all through my youth.  Running is something I truly miss.  Try hitting your knee with a mallet every time your foot comes down on the pavement as you run.  That’s kinda what my knees feel like in a full on sprint.  There is definitely evidence of bone on bone in my knee.  The x-rays showed it.

Now I’ve had every blood test known to man done over the last year.  My last battery of tests showed my doctor some very unusual stuff, in my opinion.....  My sodium level is low.  My heart is very strong, and I run an athlete’s heartbeat. (slightly lower than normal, but not dangerously so)  Yes, my cholesterol needs some work, but I’m not going to die in ten seconds.  My kidney and liver functions are perfectly normal.  Figure that one out.  I worked in the music industry for 20 years, and my liver and kidneys are fine?  Wha??  Okay, I’ll take it.  See?  Kind of a bizarre life I’ve lived, I don’t know how I made it through those years and am still ALIVE, let alone fairly healthy.  Weird.

I got back into a work out regimen on Monday.  A very short exercise session of stretches and some squats.  Walking was a problem after the leg injury, so if I can get back to walking well, then I can do much more activities.  Standing up for an hour at a club watching a live band?  Forget about it.  Tuesday I woke up feeling like I just finished a marathon.  Aches and pains everywhere.  But now, the message is, “Dude, don’t be a wuss, get back after it.  YOU CAN DO IT!”  Since I’ve been cleared by my doctors to do whatever I want, I’m gonna get after this fatigue issue pronto.  It’s just gotta go away.

Oh, and thank you Holy Mama.  I appreciate your kind words.  Many people I know could benefit from having people in their corner like you.  Thank you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Flashback 3

*This post was lost in the Blogger server crash... Along with any comments... Meh.

I’m having surgery.  Again.  Had my knee worked on after the accident to remove asphalt and road debris, now a hernia operation.  I think I’d like a do-over for the last 12 months, if I can get one... ANYONE??  Come on, throw me a bone here.

When you have umbillical hernia surgery, they open you up at your belly button, and also do a couple of other incisions to stick hoses in your abdomen under the muscle tissue.  One is to actually INFLATE you with CO2, so they can get the little nylon mesh between your organs and your muscle structure.  It prevents the hernia from pushing back through the muscle structure.  (That’s what was preventing my vertical muscles from engaging properly.)  They inflate you to the size of a mini cooper, then stick in a cover from a McDonalds breakfast meal, or something.  I begged them to use helium, because I thought it would be awesome to float out of the recovery room to the car.  The nurse could just hold my hand and guide me through the automatic doors.  No need for a wheel chair!

You are on your back for a solid week.  Yes, after a few days you can get up and move around, albeit gently, but the first couple of days I just slept.  This surgery disrupts your entire abdominal area.  This was a much different kind of pain than my knee injury.  It was an all over pain.  It seemed that my entire torso ached.

Went back to work ten days after surgery.  That’s the longest consecutive period I’ve missed work in my life, I think, including vacations.  At about the two week mark, my belly button started to get a little enflamed.  It got worse for a couple of days, so I called the Doc to schedule an appointment.  We played phone tag for 3 days.  By now, my belly has a pie pan sized red area, and is so sensitive to the touch that when my shirt rubs against it, it’s painful.

My doctor sends me for a CAT scan, and asks me to stay until the results are in.  He admits me immediately.  I’ve got an infection that requires IV antibiotics.  Apparently, if I had delayed another day or two, they would have been admitting me into ICU.  Thanks for the phone tag, Doctor’s office!  I remain in the hospital over the weekend.  My first full weekend off in over 3 months, and the first sunshiney weekend we’ve had so far this year.  SUPER.  Yeah, I’ll just make my motorcycle a museum piece, I don’t really want to ride it or anything.  My Doctor releases me and hands off some antibiotics pills for one more week of meds.  I will finish them off today.

Next will be the fallout that occurred while I spent a good portion of the last year recovering from various incidents.

Funny thing..... I’m not complaining about this crap.  Sure, it’s been a tough year, but I’m still here.  That little phrase has become somewhat significant to me over the last few years.  


Flashback 2.5 (server crash special edition!)

*Since the Blogger servers went south for a couple of days, I thought I'd stick this one in, as it's now in order of occurrence.*

(self)Hey dumbass, you forgot a huge portion of your story, shit for brains.

What are you talking about, self?

(self)The STAIRS.  How did you forget about the stair incident?!?

Ohhhh, shit, I DID forget a huge chunk, didn’t I?

(self)You are such a dumbass.  You’re brain is fried, isn’t it?

Um, that means YOU’RE fried, genius.

(self)No way, dude, I’m on top of my game, I REMEMBERED the story.  You didn’t.

Whatever, dude...

Yeah, so in October, I was leaving a friend’s place.  She lives on the second floor of this house, and her steps are like fire escape steps.  Metal everything, all outside the building.  I always thought they seemed a little steeper than a normal set of steps.

We had been out on a weekend evening, and I was leaving her place to head home for the night.  I turned to say goodbye about 6 steps down the stairs.  As I turned back, I reached for the handrail.  I’m still nursing a small limp with my right leg from the bike accident, and my right boot heel caught on the tread of the step.  It’s dark, and I just plain missed the rail with my left hand.  If you miss a handrail in the dark, as your dropping down to the next step, you just might lose your balance.  I certainly did, and caught the metal handrail under my left arm on my ribs.  Down I went, and HARD.   Little bit of a scrape on my left knee, knocked the back of my head pretty good, too.  But my ribs were KILLING ME.  It was a biting pain as I breathed.  Yep, you guessed it, broke a couple of ribs.  Limp, sore knee, lump on the head, broken ribs.  What the hell.

If you’ve had a broken rib before, you know that there is no way to cast them.  You can wrap them with ACE bandage, and try to bind them, and keep them from moving around.  Reaching the top shelf in the kitchen?  Don’t even try it.  Pushing yourself up from your desk chair?  One arm only for a couple of months. Ribs heal very slowly, as they are constantly moving.  That whole breathing thing keeps them flexible.  Second time in my life I’ve broken ribs.  Never a fun time.

So more time spent trying to just sit still and not be in pain.  Note: Do NOT try and sleep on your side.  Bad idea.

Motorcycle accident, falling down the fire escape, hernia surgery.  I would like a do over for last year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flashback 2

The harsh reality of the motorcycle accident set in a few days after the fact.  I remembered that I saw the driver do a ‘fake’ left turn, and that I had slowed down because he looked like he was turning. I was first in a line of traffic on this two lane road.  He balked, stopped, and I twisted downward on the throttle, because he clearly saw me.  Just as I pulled down, he pulled out!  I hit him with throttle wide open, barely attacking my brake handle, clutch handle, and right foot crushing the rear brake pedal. Hit him behind the rear wheel, just before the bumper, and the bike went sideways, my left side facing oncoming traffic, and my right side taking full impact with the pavement.

I’m laying in bed at home as this all appears in my  mind.  Full leg immobilzing brace.  My knee literally the size of a cantalope.  Pain meds help some, but not enough.  My right arm lost skin down to the dermal level near my elbow.  It’s wrapped up fully from wrist to shoulder.  Not exactly how I had envisioned my Summer Of Freedom.

Doc says I will be in physical therapy after my wounds heal for 9 weeks.  Three times a week for 3 full months.  Super awesome!!  No physical activity for about 4 total months.  I’ll let that sink in for a minute.... Think of all the things you can’t do when you can’t stand, kneel, or drive. For 4 months. (Barreness, for some reason YOU came to mind when I wrote that.  ;-)  ) Yeah, so not a lot you can do during those warm summer nights.... Maybe sit at the local cantina and enjoy a cold drink, but hobbling back to the car just seems so... Humiliating in a way.

During my physical therapy, my wonderfully cool therapist observes that my stomach muscles aren’t working in their proper manner.  It doesn’t appear to be from my accident, as I didn’t suffer any abdominal injuries.  She suspects that I may have suffered a hernia, and I should see my regular doctor about it.  Annnnnnd, she was right.  Umbilical hernia it is!  What the eff??

I wasn’t able to get to my Doctor for two months.  His work schedule (he’s a sports med doctor, and works for a team) and mine prevented me from being seen right away.  Doc says it’s an old injury, and he’s surprised that I didn’t notice it earlier.  Well, I’m a guy, we don’t all stand in front of the mirror admiring ourselves and showin’ off the gun show and loving the washboard every morning. So no heavy lifting until we can get you in for surgery.

Two months after THAT, I get my surgery.  So that gets all you little freaks just about up to date.... The next post will take you through the wonderful world of internal medicine, and what I’ve learned about surgery over the last 3 months.  Stay tuned.

Hey, YOU wondered where I’ve been, you’re finding out, so lay off.  At least I wrote something....