My Family’s Theme Song This Christmas

You’re getting nothing for Christmas
Mommy and Brother are glad
You’re getting nothing for Christmas
Cause you finally got a job and your own money and you can buy it yourself if you want it so bad my God do you have expensive tastes not every needs that kind of crap what were you thinking you already have two copies of Cathy’s Curse you don’t need the blu ray edition jeez louise you used to have some sense not a lot but some oh no you didn’t just pick up that come on now what are the neighbors going to think if they see that honestly it’s like that whole thing with that Chicken Attack song all over again and if you think we’re going to put up with that again well you’ve got another thing coming Buster Brown, indeed and don’t roll your eyes like that when we’re talking to you land sakes thought you were raised better than that your brothers don’t do that and furthermore…

Advertisements

A Year With Pricks (II) – I Feel Better?

Until last year I didn’t have a medical doctor to call my own. Today I have a general practitioner, an eye doctor, and foot specialist.

Thanks, diabetes!

Entering this potion of my life came with a litany of woes. Don’t manage your diabetes, you might lose your feet. Don’t manage your diabetes, you might have to have shots right to the eyes.  By the time my dentist started talking the dangers of the disease, I was ready to scream.

Dafy Duck 000The second best part was hearing about how it was a progressive disease. I could be A #1 with my diet and still have it get worse. You can not imagine the joy with which this news what met.

But the best part, the absolute greatest part, was going on Metformin.  Not only was there a chance of diarrhea until my body acclimatized to the medicine, but I also had to take a second drug to protect my kidneys from the Metformin.

I don’t know about you, but taking a drug so I can take a drug isn’t optimal. At all.

(Small digression: Around the second time Mom was in the hospital, a doctor (not the same one who had problems with the charts) decided it was a good idea to put Mom on Metformin. He wasn’t her regular doc, he didn’t talk with her about it.  He just decided it was pill time.

(Mom worked in the pharmacy for years (specifically the pharmacy of the hospital she was staying) so she knew about Metformin. She also knew she wasn’t a diabetic and was in the process of fighting that particular claim.  Thus she didn’t end up ever taking the pills.

Donald Duck 000(Me, for my part, didn’t have a shoe drop until the next day, when I remembered the chance of diarrhea portion of the Metformin fun.  Mom had problems getting out of the hospital bed, and for regular bathroom trips it sometimes took a while before the staff could get to her (what with the hospital being a busy place and all).  This painted a very nasty picture in my head.

(I don’t want to say that putting my mother in that sort of position, even if just in theory, ticked me off. Because that doesn’t give you the proper measure of how mad I was. I don’t care how many degrees you have, you don’t drop that little bit of fun on people without talking to them first.  Especially when your diagnosis consists of “Oh, she’s overweight so she has to have diabetes.”)

One of the bright points in all of this was the suggestion that if I could get my sugars in order, I might, might I say, get off Metformin.

Now as a Waters I am already by nature against taking pills.  Seriously.  We shun aspirin.  So you know I was going to do my best to hit that goal.

So I started modifying my diet.  I also began taking long walks.  The first person who suggested them said thirty minutes, my doc said an hour, I hit between the two, with the occasional adventurous more than an hour.  If there’s are bright sides to my catching diabetes, the walks are among them.  While some are dull time killers, others have been mini adventures filled with absolutely no danger whatsoever, but a lot of interest.

To me at any rate.

As I went about this, I started visiting my new doc once every three months. during this time I’ve had more blood drawn from me than I ever had in my entire life. I’ve also said the words “Sure, why not?” more often than I ever had in my life.

“You had your tetanus shot?” “Not for fifteen years.” “Want one?” “Sure, why not?”Reanimator 000

“You get your pneumonia shot?”  “They give pneumonia shots?”  “Yes.  You want one?”  “Sure, why not?”

“The hospital’s doing a vivisection workshop tomorrow.  You mind being the subject?”  “Sure, why not?”

Boy was that a weird day.

One of the shots I took was, for the very first time in my life, a flu shot.  That night I woke myself up I was shaking so hard.  No matter how many covers I had on, I couldn’t get warm.  But when the morning came, I was fine.

Now that’s the way to have the flu!

Between the new diet and the walking, there has been a great deal of changes. For starters, I was pushing into size 42 for pants.  I’m now down to 38 with the possibility of 36s in the near future.  I practically swim in my old t-shirts.

There also has been a general change in temperament.  I don’t seem to get as mad as quick as I used to.  Furious Cullen (FC) is still there, ready to throw poop and bananas whenever displeased.  But there’s a buffer there that hadn’t been there.  I spent a good afternoon laughing at myself, as FC tried very hard to get mad over the dumbest things.

It’s kind of nice to have FC as a different part of me.  Not that I really knew he was there, before.

Best of all, I did it.  Doc said I could stop with the Metformin, and I haven’t had a pill for a couple of months now.  Sugars are steady.  There may come a time when that’s not true, that I’ll have to start-up again or even take insulin.  I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.

Overall, though I feel… better?  As I’d have said I never felt bad before hand, I can’t honestly say that.  And yet that’s how I feel.

Better.

On this day, one year ago, I started by first year with pricks, and in the process became a little less like a prick myself.

Not a lot less.

Just a little.

A Year With Pricks (I) – I Feel Fine

Scream Van 000Saying last year was “interesting” is probably overstating and understating at the same time.  I can no longer kid myself that I’m a young man; from here on out I can expect “interesting” times.  That those time will sometimes be worse is a give as I’ve already gone through worse.  But calling it a good year even by those standards is pushing things.

It started early.  Either in January or February, I disremember which, Brother Todd began having problems with urinating again.  While discussing this with a doctor, he learned that his urine was “like syrup”.  Seems he has diabetes.

Okay, fine.  Dad had diabetes.  It’s a known thing.  We can handle it.  Todd started a diabetic diet.  I, being a Good Big Brother (relatively speaking) joined him.  At least as far as I was willing to join him.  I needed to lose weight anyways, this that and the other, so I cutted my pop intake to once a day and called it good.

Meantime he went off script a couple of times, found his blood sugar doesn’t go crazy, and decided that he’s not diabetic.  He may later regret that particular decision; that’s not exactly relevant quite yet.Blog Master Jake 000

Jake died naturally during this period, a shock I’m not sure any of my immediates have really recovered from.  In true Jake fashion, the little creep picked February 29 to do it in, meaning there will never be a time when I won’t be thinking of it.  I loved that little dog to death, but I could just kill him for that.

About July Mom went into the hospital for the first of three visits.  Infection of some kind.  Not.  Fun.  Ultimately some good came out of it, as for years she’s thought she was allergic to penicillin.  Turned out this is no longer the case, and she’s keeping herself health with two pills a day.  So there’s that.

During her stay they informed her she’s diabetic.  “No,” she replied, “I’m just overweight.”  Which began a six or seven month battle to get that off her charts.  Ultimately they settle for “On the Road to Diabetes”, a diagnosis she takes great pride in.

(Digression #1: Before we continue, let me put in a word about doctors and hospital stays.  During her third trip in she had a doctor walk into her room, open up her file on the computer and talk about changes in her diabetes medicine.  “I don’t take diabetes medicine,” she told him, but this doctor assured her that she did, every day, it said so right there on the computer.

(Which it did.

(It might have helped if the doctor was actually talking to Mrs Walters as the file said, and not Mrs. Waters.  But you can’t have everything, now can you?

(I’d like to tell you that was what sent my opinion down to it’s current low, but that particular nadir happened earlier in the year.  We’ll talk about it tomorrow.)

The first stay encompassed my birthday, so you know how much fun I had on that particular anniversary.  Also during that period our cat Lady passed away.  This one we’d been expecting for some time; she’d been having seizures.  I keep seeing her around the place even now, which considering some of the adventures we had together, is only fitting.

Speaking of pets, we’d been expecting Elwood to go since November 2015.  At one point he stopped eating for a time and he hadn’t been walking much due to a problem with his rear legs pointed to a short time left with us.  That he made it to March of this year proved quite well how much we underestimated him and his Dachshund will.  In how many different ways we will probably never know.

cropped-elwood-and-cullen-000.png(Digression #2:  This is not the best example of underestimating Elwood, but it is my favorite.

(While Mom was in the hospital that first time, Todd and I would take turns sitting with her so that at no point was she alone.  The other would stay at home and tend to Lady and Elwood.  As Elwood wasn’t walking at all, this meant being not only bringing him over food and water, but also periodically carrying over to a doggy mat so he could take care of business.

(I can’t speak for Todd’s portion of this duty, but with me, I had him laying in a little doggy bed near my computer.  That way I could get to him the moment he needed to go.

(Now on the night Lady died, I was concerned that I hadn’t seen her eat that day.  Concerned she wasn’t handling solids, I set up a bowl of chicken broth for her.  She passed that particular treat right up, which was about the time I knew she wasn’t long for this world.

(In any case, I left the bowl down beside me, hoping she’d come for it.  Elwood, knowing damn good and well it’s there, decided he couldn’t let an opportunity like this go by.  He got himself up and hobbled over to the bowl.

(Seeing him do this (a memory that still brings tears about the eyes) I became convinced that whatever caused his leg problems was rectifying itself.  I was, of course, wrong.  A few weeks later even this mobility would be gone and Elwood would content himself to being carried for the remainder of his life.

(This wasn’t the worse diagnosis I’d make that year.  That particular boner I’ll be talking about presently.)

With all the deaths and hospital stays going on, Todd and I decided that as we didn’t know just how much longer we were going to have Elwood, we might as well make what time we had with him as memorable as possible.  Thus the whole family went out on rides.  Sometimes quite long ones.

One of our trips involved hitting a state park that had buffalo in an enclosed place.  Figured we’d show Elwood the true big guys (Elwood wasn’t impressed).

During this trip I made a lot of stops.  I’d pull over to hit a rest room, then in maybe ten minutes I’d pull over and hit one again.  Seemed like I did that a lot lately.

“You know,” Todd said after one such stop, “frequent urination is a sign of diabetes.”

I, of course, scoffed at that.  Scoffed I say.  I couldn’t possibly have diabetes.

How did I know?This is Fine 000

I felt fine.

But, being me, I let Todd’s words prey on me and prey on  me.  Until finally I said to myself, “I know this is just some urinary track infection or something and it’ll just go away, but why don’t I check the sugars just once.  That way I know and I don’t have to think about this crap any more.”

So I borrowed Mom’s meter, pricked my left pointer finger, and tested my sugars.  And the number it said was 498.

Um.

That couldn’t be right.  I checked it again.

500.

Um.

Okay, maybe there’s something wrong with the meter.  Those numbers are horribly high, even I know that, and I feel fine.

Todd still had his meter, even though he wasn’t using it, so for a third time I checked the sugars.

497.

Um.

I think I might have a problem here.

Thus on this day one year ago, I went in to see a doctor for myself for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Wait, What Are You Calling It Again?

Pennywise 000

He looks nice.

It’s not 24/7 GoblinStomper! with me these days, though the posts might make it seem otherwise.  I do other things.  Like scream about the Blu Ray Cathy’s Curse (that is a thing I am not joking)  Or reading.  or, hey, writing.

Today I started a short story.  It was initially called The Clown and on the onset it dealt with a guy who runs into a spooky clown in the middle of a night walk.  Promising.  Unfortunately it started feeling a little too much like a Creeptypasta called The Smiling Man.

The link takes you to the story, but someone made a movie based on it that’s up on YouTube.  I’ll post it at the end; it’s really worth your time.

Anyways, It started feeling too much like the other story, so I fiddled with it, fiddled with, until I got something new.

One night this guy spies a clown standing at a street corner.  From then on, at least once an night, he sees the clown, which for some reason he doesn’t understand makes him uncomfortable.  He’d not scare of clowns; he’s scared of this clown.

Last scene I wrote, the guy has gone into a grocery store to buy himself a couple pork chops.  He finds the clown at the meat counter and decides to confront the clown, only to be distracted before he can.  Clown vanishes.

But before the clown vanishes, the clown buys the guy two pork chops.

I know.

It’s not terrifying at all.

And yet the guy’s completely unnerved by this.

That’s what’s drawing me to this story.  The clown’s not doing anything bad, yet the clown’s being scary.

I’m not sure where it’s going, or if I can take it any further.  I don’t even know if it’s a horror story.  I’m writing it like it is, but it almost feels like it should be a comedy.

It’s probably just a weird fantasy.

Not helping is the idea I have for the title: Clownthulu.

What the hell does that mean?

Can’t wait to find out.

Anyways, here’s 2AM: The Smiling Man.  Check it out.

Cullen’s Super Wonderful Indent Cheat Sheet!

I seriously, seriously don’t understand WordPress.

I’m sitting here, minding my business, trying to write a lighthearted little post, right?  I finish my first paragraph, hit enter to start the next, and notice something: The next paragraph isn’t indenting.

No matter what I do, I can’t get it to indent.

Of course you notice now that we are properly shifted left at the start of these paragraphs.  But for a good five minutes I was righteously ticked off with the Powers That Be at WordPress.  How ticked?  Oh, heading back over to Blogger ticked.  Swearing in the opening sentence ticked.  And not the cutesy fecking type swearing, either.

Hell, I was going to send an irate e-mail.  I researched the matter thoroughly.  Or at least as thorough as I do these things.

Again, I’ve found a workaround to the problem.  I have this little cheat sheet I copy over every time I want to do a post.  It save time and headaches messing in the Text ed.  So long as I hit enter before I reach the end of the paragraph, I keep my indent.  Otherwise it’s gone.

Like I said, I don’t understand this.  Things were working great before and now not so much.  It’s a bad case of fixing what isn’t broken, and hopefully things will go back to normal with the next update or something.

It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s better than running over to the Text editor and cutting and pasting the proper code.

Still, lighthearted post put on hold until tomorrow.  Ish.

Hopefully WordPress can keep it together that long….

Checking In Post #1784

I’m still here, still working on various projects.  For the record.

Today has proved Interesting.  Brother Todd had a minor operation done on him.  He has been having problems in a… delicate region of his person for years now and that region decided to act up on him again.  Thus he’s back using a catheter until Thursday, when it will be removed.  By him.  All by himself.

Me personally I’m healthier now than I was last year around this time.  And counting them blessings, as you might imagine.

Anyways, that’s the monthly post.  I’ll try to make a repeat appearance sooner rather than later, but I’ve been doing a whole lot more “thinking about posting” than actually posting.

As I’ve been writing (or creating) rather than just staring into space in contemplation, this isn’t that bad a thing.

This Crap Has GOTTA Stop

I never have nightmares about Horror movies after watching them.

Before watching them, sure.  I had three bad dreams about Freddy Kruger before watching Nightmare on Elm Street.  Afterwards?  Not so much.

Closest I’ve come is a month or so ago.  I dreamed I was swimming in a lake when I noticed Jason Voorhees standing on the shore near by.  At that very moment I thought to myself to myself thought I “This is going to be a nightmare,” and immediately changed dreams.  The next one still had Voorhees in it, but there he was my big buddy.  Who I had to keep distracted before he started killing people.  But still.  Big buddy.  No nightmare.

Outside of that, nothing.  Not a single bad dream fashioned from phantasmal cloth other than my own.

Except for Attack on Titan.

My brain seems determined to “treat” me to Attack on Titan nightmares.

For those not in the know, Attack on Titan is a Fantasy anime series set in a world where Humanity is on its last legs.  Monstrous, almost indestructible titans roam the world eating people, and only massive walls keep the things at bay.  Or, at least they did, until a new titan, bigger than the walls, comes and wrecks things.

This sounds plenty grim, doesn’t it? Well let me tell you, it’s positively cheerful compared to the series itself.  My God, do they go to dark places.  And just when you think things couldn’t be any worse, they spring something nasty on you that you never even considered.

Great show.

I don’t want to dream about it.

Ever.

Last night marked the third time it’s happened since watching the series.

First dream wasn’t that bad, in retrospect.  The Titans (all of my own creations, by the way) were in the distance and closing, which was bad yet manageable.  Each time since, though, they’ve gotten a little closer.  A little closer.  No matter how fast I run in the dream, their smiling faces with teeth to big for their mouths are always a little closer.

It’s really rather unsettling.

It would be okay if I could switch it off like I did with the Voorhees dream.  Only I don’t know how I did that.

The thing that worries me the most, though, isn’t the Titans.  Bad as they are.

What worries me is Harv.  My own personal Boogeyman.  The Big Cheese of nightmares, the guy Kruger could only wish he could be.

It’s pushing a decade since he last came a’calling, which means I’m due for a visit any time now.  My fear is that he’s going to take the Titan dreams as a challenge and try to up his game.

As a rule, Harv dreams consist of him coming out from beneath whatever bed I’m sleeping on and killing me in delightful ways.  One time he came out and slit my throat.  Another time he flipped the whole mattress over on top of me and tried to smother me with it.

You’d think this wasn’t so bad compared to running through city streets from Titans.  Thing is, these dreams do more than see real.  They seem more real than reality.  And always in a familiar setting, always in the room I just laid down in.

While that might seem rather limited in a creative sense, Harv can and will make up for it in other ways.  One nightmare had me waking from the previous one only for Harv to come out from the bed and kill me again.  It happened so often that at one point I went out to my living room to beg whoever was there to wake me up.  This didn’t help at all, as Harv then came out from under my bed and killed me again.

Not helping matters is that, maybe six month ago I dreamed I was laying in my bed trying to fall asleep.  Suddenly I felt Something Bad coming and, like the Voorhees dream, I said “No thanks” and changed dreams.

Now I don’t know if that Something Bad was Harv or not.  Personally, I’m hoping it’s just coincidence that it was the same sort of dream as when Harv comes.  Cause if it wasn’t then take all my earlier concerns and multiply them by ten.  I don’t irritate Harv often, and those rare occasions have not been happy one.  Thwarting him might make him a little… displeased.

Man, between the Titans and Harv I am not looking forward to sleep tonight…

The Eagle Has Landed. In Trees Near the Lake. Repeatedly

I’m not going to tell you I’ve never seen an eagle before.  I’ve been to zoos, and there might have been one spotted at one point or another.

I’m not going to tell you I haven’t seen one before in a more natural setting.  That I don’t remember it ever happening doesn’t mean it didn’t.

However, I’ve never taken a picture of one before.  Nor have I had the… I dunno… pleasure?  of one soaring over my head.

Not exactly over my head, mind.  Over to the left a little.  Okay, maybe a couple of yards.

But still.

Eagle.  Soaring by.

A couple of them have nested in one of my frequent walking haunts, and it isn’t uncommon to see one of them in the air doing whatever it is that eagles do.  Hunting, maybe.  Guarding the nest.  Being majestic.  That sort of thing.

They have a nest across the river.  Today I think I heard their eaglet (eaglets?) calling for food.  One of the parents soared about, perhaps on the hunt.  It was very nice.

A couple of days back I saw a herd of deer in some poor farmer’s field.  A dozen, maybe more.  Never saw so many in all my life.

Didn’t get a picture of that.  Was driving at the time.  Local law enforcement frowns on drive by camera phone photos being taken by a driver from a moving vehicle.  Can’t understand why, really.

The deer, while neat, do not compare with one eagle in the air.

I hope they enjoy their stay in my city.  I’m glad I got a chance to see them.