Monday, February 25, 2008

Pass this cheerful message along or you'll fry in hell

I received a "friends quiz" recently in my inbox. The ones were you read your friend's answers to a bunch of inane questions and then erase those and put in your answers and pass it along to more friends. Actually, I was in a pretty good mood and I cared for the person who sent it so I played along. Sorry.

I'm not a big joiner in chain-type emails. I somehow doubt the Almighty is up there in front of the PC pounding out sweet little emails that threaten eternal damnation if you don't send it on in the next 5 minutes to closest 8 friends you could annoy and not totally alienate with this heaven-sent missive. God as blackmailer - via Internet no less.

Let's make up our own "friend's quiz" shall we!

Ques. #1: How many times in the past year have you wished Kelly Rippa would fall into a deep pit never to be seen again?

Ques. #2: Name the last 5 places your cat/dog barfed in your home.

Ques. #3: If you could sleep with anyone in the world, why aren't you?

Ques. #4: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Ques. #5: When the hell are you going to grow up?

Ques. #6: Have you ever been on America's Most Wanted?

Ques. #7: What is your favorite Income Tax form?

Ques. #8: How many moles do you have? What color are they?

Ques. #9: Chocolate or maggots?

Ques. #10: What friend do you think will send this back without telling you how pissed off they are that you wasted their time with it?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sleeping with one eye open

Boy! I could use a break - how about you? I've been doing a little self-reflection lately. Yes. I do know it is well past the new year but a few things came up so I am doing it now. I've thought a lot about that old saying, "You're never given more than you can handle."


Sure, it sounds good on the bumper stickers but it's a load-o-crap. The saying should be, "If you want to survive you'd better handle what you're given".

Take this last Wednesday for example. I am sitting quietly at my desk. Doing my job. Minding my own business when the cell rings and it's the school nurse.

"You're son has had a seizure and the paramedics are here with him. He's not conscious and they are going to bring him to the hospital."

Al Unser , Jr. wouldn't have kept up with me on the way to that hospital. And even if he could have, I dare him to try it with a rosary in one hand and his stomach up in his throat.

As I waited for the paramedics to get there (I beat them there even though they were in the same city and I was in the suburbs). I realized I need to stop waiting for things to calm down. They are not going to. That's life. So instead of sleepless in Seattle I am sleeping with one eye open and my car keys under my pillow.

By the way, my son is okay and we WILL handle whatever comes next. I wish the same for all of you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What a surprise, spam

I am confused about something. Let's be honest, I am confused about many things but this is a blog so I should be brief. To hone it down to one topic let's try figure out spam, shall we? Not the square meat product made south of me in Austin, Minnesota (by the way, the SPAM Museum there is an absolute hoot!). I am referring to the ever annoying, ever present, ever morphing and multiplying glut of messages sent to inboxes, junk email folders and the appropriately-named spam folder.

Due to spending every moment at my son's hospital bedside in December I was away from my email for a very long time. When I was able to return to a computer again I found a lot of welcome emails along with a junk folder full of hundreds of spam messages. When I examined my haul I discovered about seven distinct themes:
  • penis enlargement/duration

  • designer-like purses

  • perscirption pills

  • designer-like watches

  • computer software

  • strangers saying hi to me

  • notifications of a vast fortune awaiting me

With all the sex and drugs it's no wonder they reproduce so quickly. At first glance the list looks like the script notes for the first season of Sex in the City. However, what the spammers are offering is redundant at best and no where near as entertaining.

Here's what really puzzles me. If I keep blocking them, deleting them or just plain ignoring them; what is the point of continuing to send them to me ad-nauseum? Is being annoying really going to change my mind about crappy products? It reminds me of a great Spongebob Squarepants episode where Spongebob tries to get Squidward to eat his first crabby patty by bugging the shit out of him. Squidward thinks crabby patties are absolute garbage and wants nothing to do with them. When Spongebob follows him into the bathroom to entice him to try one Squidward replies,

"If I didn't want one out there - what makes you think I would find them more appealing in HERE?!"

That's exactly how I feel about spam messages on my computer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The SB meets the SW

It's a new year and time for another SB lesson. We were in the third day of my son being in critical condition in Pediatric ICU. He was lying in a bed with tubes and wires coming out of every possible place in him and there was a shunt draining fluid from his brain. He was unconscious under heavy medication and could not speak. This is the stuff of nighmares folks.

My ex-husband had flown in and was watching over Al that morning while I caught my first bits of sleep. When I rejoined him at Alex's bedside there was the neurosurgeon standing with a woman I did not recognize. She introduced herself as the social worker - the SW, if you will.

I will pause here to say that I have had many helpful and extremely caring moments with SW's - they helped me find work, clothing and food for the kids during my divorce. I have great respect for SW's - well, for all but this one.

The neurosurgeon looked at us with one of those "Oh My God" serious faces that only doctors can give you and said, " I strongly recommend you take your son to Dr. XX and XX Hospital immediately. He went on to say that he was the best doctor to handle my son's upcoming surgeries. I said, "Well let's get him moved right away then..." Before I could finish my sentence the little SW says in a scolding voice, "Oh, no, no, no, no, no!" I replied, "What did you say?" She said, "Oh no, no, no, no. You better check your insurance first to see if it will pay for the ambulance to take him."

I was speechles for one moment - then the SB in me looked at my motionless 11-year old son and turned back and said, "Oh no, no, no, no no. We are moving him now. Look, I will be paying hospital bills for the rest of my life. Do you think one ambulance ride to bring him to the doctor that can save his life makes a bit of difference in all this. This is about my son, not about insurance."

Time was crucial. I rode with Alex in the first ambulance that had taken him from the ER and the first hospital to this hospital and I saw how complicated the move was for those EMTs. Did this woman want me to throw him in a taxi and hope for the best! Maybe we could hitchhike and save a few bucks. Who would say this to a mother?

Well, this story has a happy... no miraculous ending, because a couple weeks later my sons final surgery was a triumph and he is recovering beautifully today. Oh yes, and if that particular SW should ever see this - the bill for the ambulance that took him from their hospital to the third one is the only bill, in all of this, that was paid in full. My insurance paid the bulk and the ambulance company discounted the remainder.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stir crazy and Valentine's Day too!

Winter always brings out the SB in me. It's been snowing and very cold for about the millionth day here in Minnesota and I could swear I heard wolves howling outside the apartment building last night. I know the cat looks nervous.

Being stuck in has me a little stir crazy. Since Alex is still in recovery we can't even do something as simple as bowling (the preferred sport of Wisconsinites present and past). I certainly haven't read a good book in ages so anyone reading this needs to send me some good authors and titles to look up. Quick!

Amazingly enough it was my son Nick's Cub Scout meeting that brought the most excitement this week. The magician that was performing a fire eating act set the fire alarm off at their school. Good times. If things don't pick up around here I'm thinking of setting one off in my aprtment building. A least we'd get some fresh air. I'm supposed to be building a pinewood derby car with Nick but I'm still trying to get over the raingutter regatta debacle of last fall. Anyway, we just made it through signing a hundred valentines and I need to give the kid a rest.

Oh yea, Valentine's Day.

I've only been a single for a couple years now so I can't say I am dreading the day. I have two small gentlemen to give a hug to. I will say that I have flashed back on certain valentine's of my youth when I found myself single and wishing I owned my own radio station. Remember how all you hear are these sappy love songs and drippy ballads. They really don't help when you are running solo. So, some friends and I started a playlist for Anti-Valentine's Day - you know, Linda Rostadt's "You're No Good", Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" and who could leave out the Dixie Chicks' " Goodbye Earl". I think the call letters for the station could be SPEW (Single People Everywhere Whine) .

Now, let's hear your choices for the "Anti-Valentine's Day Top 20". Send me a comment with your picks and I'll post them in an upcoming blog. Until then, to all those with a loved one to share the day - be happy; and to those without one, I'm thinking of you.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Let's recap SB style, shall we?

(NOTE: I got a great email from an AVM survivor and I took a look at her website. My best to you and kudos on your courage. You are in our prayers and I'll be writing to you soon.)

Now, let's see what has happened since I've been away...

The Giants won the Superbowl yea! (but I would much rather have seen the Packers in it).

It's been a million below zero here in Minnesota for much of the season which confirms one of my earlier blogs on how winter sucks.

I caugh up on my email including my junk mail which obviously is trying very hard to tell me I need three things in life to be happy: a new watch, a bigger penis and better computer software. Who knew?

I'm actually feeling pretty good about the next election because nobody running in my party of choice is an ass (can't say the same for the other guys).

Britney and Lindsay went into rehab...wait that's not new news.

I'm so bored I started watching American Gladiators.

My laundry still isn't done.

An old boyfriend and an old friend found me on the internet which was a nice surprise.

And best of all, my son, Alex is still recovering beautifully from surgery. Life is good.

Friday, February 1, 2008

How have you been?

I think it is time to join the blogging world once again. I have had enough of real life for a while. Thankfully, my son has come through the operations and is recovering beautifully from his very frightening AVM bleed in his brain in December. Talk about life as we know it halting. I have always had the utmost respect for those who work in hospitals. I couldn't do it for long. Too much stress and heartache. Thank you to those who do and a million thanks to the huge (and I mean huge) community that has supported the boys and I through this. We are humbled and blessed.

I promise to get back to my old, sassy self next time I write. For now I just want to say I appreciate anyone who still logs in to check this blog after my long absence. I'll try to make it worth your while. Peace.