Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cell phone or Vibrator?

Hey all,

Is it just me or are cell phone names sounding a little dirtier these days. Perhaps it is just my mind being half in the gutter at any given time, but I can't help chuckle when I see cell phone commercials days. I mean, it is no secret that cell phone companies fuck you...So, please play my little game below.


Blue Dolpin
Sea Horse
Anal Slider (ok, this one's a free bee)

Happy chatting!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Liver Transplant 2008: Part 2: Rejection Blues!

Rejection Blues! (May 29, 2008 to July 13, 2008)

To provide a little perspective, in 1984, my fiancee Trine was transplanted and was released from the hospital in Pittsburgh three months later. I was transplanted in May of 2008 and was released in three days. That was not a record, but close to it. Also, I was released with the least amount of medication that the nurse had ever seen. I thought that maybe I would pull through this liver transplant as easily as the doctors had predicted. Wrong.

My first night at home was incredibly rough. It was near impossible to find a comfortable position to sit or lay in. The closest I got to acceptable comfort was reclining back on our sofa. Because the muscles in my abdomen were shredded due to the surgery, my back had to pick up a lot of slack. Because of that, the pain in my back was pretty intense during those first few weeks following my transplant. The first night home, I slept four hours, had horrible nightmares, awoke frequently covered in sweat and kept Trine up a good portion of the night with my moans of pain and discomfort. Admittedly, I do not deal with pain very well and can be, for lack of a better word, whiny.

Upon taking my temperature, I confirmed that I had a fever. I was prescribed an antibiotic and told to contact my transplant coordinator if things did not improve. The next night was better, but that was not saying much. Just a day and a half later, on Thursday, I was rushed to the ER with a temperature of 104 degrees. Jackson Hospital is a fine facility and their transplant program is amazing; however, if you have ever had to go to their ER….I am sorry. It is awful. There I was, on a gurney, in a three feet (maybe) wide space, breathing 104 degree air back onto my face because I still had to wear a protective mask at that point. Finally, they drew blood, had me piss into a cup and rushed me off to get an ultrasound.

I was rushed to my ultrasound by one of the most obnoxious nurses I have encountered yet. First off, she bossed Trine around. Secondly, she tapped my stomach and incision fairly hard before even asking what I was in the hospital for. Lastly, she preached at me. It is no secret that I am not keen on having people talk religion at me, but if ever there was a worse time. She told me that some guy was hosting a healing retreat somewhere in central Florida and "there was a whole lot of healing going on" and I should go. My first thought was that if having money in my wallet was considered an illness, I am sure he would heal me very quickly. Then I thought about how my transplant surgeons would feel about me opting for some quack healing ceremony versus life saving surgery. I am not trying to shit on anyone’s beliefs, but I could not think of a more inappropriate time to be pushing her views on me. Plus, the hospital had not even let me take my anti-rejection meds and I was due over an hour ago. Needless to say, I was in a foul mood.

Later that night, things began to improve. The fever broke and I was given a bolus of steroids that made me feel a lot better. However, it was also made everything I ate or drank that night taste like metal. Nasty. I was treated for a mild case of rejection. When Dr. Tzakis came in, he spoke of the possibility of another surgery if it turned out o be my bile ducts that were the issue. Thankfully, no such surgery was necessary. I was released on Saturday after daily doses of anti rejection medication. Certainly this would be the last hurdle on my road to recovery, or perhaps my last hurdle on my track to recovery. Best not to mix metaphors, even when they suck. You get the idea, though.

Saturday night, I noticed a lighter reddish-orange stain on my shirt. My incision was leaking a little bit. I did not think much of it and changed my shirt. The leaking worsened. I piled gauze and/or small towels over my incision to absorb the fluid, but it was of little help. Thankfully the fluid remained reddish-orange, not green, which would indicate an infection. I called my transplant coordinator and she advised me to go to the transplant floor and see the doctor. By the time I got over there, the leaking was so bad that it was soaking through my shirts in minutes. The doctor (with Trine’s assistance) applied an external ostomy bag to catch the drainage.

I had labs Monday morning and was feeling pretty good. I was sore, but began packing up my clothes for our big move to our new apartment which was set for the next week. I got a call mid afternoon from my transplant coordinator. As good as I felt, my labs showed a different picture and I was advised to check into the Transplant floor ASAP where a bed would be waiting. This is when things got bad.

When I was readmitted, I had a liver biopsy. While they were waiting for the results, I turned bright yellow. My bili went from 5 to 19 in one day due to my second bout of organ rejection. They eventually got me on thymoglobulin, an anti-rejection medication normally used for kidney patients but recently approved for trial on liver patients. This was a day and a half later. I began being treated for severe, no longer mild, rejection. I was given many doses of anti-rejection medication. I was pre-medicated with tylenol and benadryl to counteract the rough side effects of the anti-rejection medication, namely Thymoglobulin.

I was hospitalized a total of two weeks and during that time received many doses of pain medication, including one called Dilaudid. One thing you should know about Dilaudid: it is awesome. Another thing you should know is that it has some ugly side effects. During one hospitalization prior to my transplant, immediately upon receiving Dilaudid, I threw up. This would happen a number of times in the future. One time, as soon as I was dosed, I began itching uncontrollably. Another time, I ended up in the ICU, but to be fair it was mostly due to internal bleeding from the doctors accidentally nicking something during a procedure that day. Yet another fun side effect of Dilaudid is that your intestines back up due to your system slowing down from the medication. What particularly sucked about that is that not only was I denied medication, but I was also made NPO, which means no food or drink. Fuckin’A!! I received a lesson in Pain Medication 101 from a doctor one night during my hospitalization. They were trying to wean me off of pain meds, specifically of the IV variety, so naturally I was in a lot of pain. I did not like this, but did my best to understand. She told me that sometimes the body gets so dependent on the pain medication that it creates pain and the best thing to do is tough it out, or at least try a medication of lesser impact. Now, I will not go so far as to my call myself addicted to pain medication, but I will admit there have been moments where I have requested pain meds when I probably could have gone without them. The problem with Dilaudid as that while the calm washes over you and any pain (and lucidity) you have seems to slip away, it does not last very long. In the meantime, it has harmful effects on your body, as described above. It is best not to use over an extended period of time.

I wish I could remember every procedure that I had done over the two weeks. I got three liver biopsies and almost daily ultrasounds to monitor the blood flow in my liver and status of my rejection. I also had a few special procedures, such as chest x-rays and MRIs. The most upsetting occurrence would be when I was given pain meds, started to fall asleep and then would be yanked awake to go to a procedure. Being relaxed in a hospital is relatively rare thing and I tried to take advantage of those moments so it was especially upsetting to have those little moments of peace taken away.

Aside from pain medication and various procedures, another major part of my recovery was (and is) exercise. I began walking laps around the floor, mostly with the help of Trine or my mother. I was not always a wiling participant. I still had the staples in my incision and I tended to list forward, which caused more undue stress on my back. I had to remember to walk with with my head and back straight. By the end of my stay, I was making the rounds alone and with much better speed. I was a walkin' machine.

A little over a week into my stay, I got hold of my mother’s laptop computer. This was a turning point for me mentally. I finally was able to reach out to my friends and let them know I was doing Ok, as well as receive communications. I was able to check my email, listen to new music as well as watch DVDs. Law and Order: SVU kept me sane for those weeks inpatient. It was also during this stay that I received many cards from friends, which also helped to make my recovery more enjoyable. Thank you again to everyone who sent me cards during these months of recovery. They have meant so much. Do not take lack of thank you cards (my hands were, and still are, a bit swollen) as a lack of appreciation.

Now as if going through life-threatening organ rejection is not bad enough, I also had a bad roommate experience. The guy was nice enough (a kidney transplant patient) but he was on the phone all the time. No exaggeration. From dawn to dusk. I could hear his phone conversations more clearly than someone sitting on my side of the room talking to me. He was loud and his voice projected. He was a preacher and apparently called each member of his congregation as well has held prayer meetings via phone. Plus, on his TV, he tuned into all those preaching shows with guys yelling to audiences about the fiery consequences of pre-marital sex and listening to the hip hop. Not to mention, “Wearing Satan’s underpants.” I swear to you, that is an actual quote. I am not sure what he was talking about, but that got my attention.

Anyhow, I was happy when he left and Pedro, another kidney recipient, became my roommate. He was a really nice guy, around my age, and we talked and got to know each other over the few days leading to my discharge on Friday, June 13. I left the hospital weighing 140 lbs, 45 lbs lighter than a year ago at the time I became ill. I was optimistic, looking forward to recovery, thinking that this would surely be my last hospital stay. Wrong again.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Liver Transplant 2008: Part 1 (Intro, Pre Transplant and The Call)


I am writing this blog for a few reasons. The first is simply as a release for me. Trine was concerned that I do not have an outlet for my feelings and it has affected my moods, especially over the past weeks, which included a one-month stay in the hospital. She is right. My fingers are still numb from the swelling that happened because of all the IVs and blood draws in the hospital, so guitar playing is tough right now. I only have a couple people down this way that I consider friends and I haven’t been very social lately. Until yesterday, I had not done any exercise or anything to make myself physically stronger. I am certainly glad to now have that outlet. Last but not least, I haven’t done any writing since my transplant. I need this. While I had a relatively easy pre-transplant road, things have not gone as smoothly as hoped since my surgery. I will get into that a little later.

The second reason I chose to write this blog is to let my friends and family know what I’ve been going through on a deeper level. Some of this will be redundant, while other bits will probably come as a surprise.

Lastly, to all the people on Liver Families, especially the parents whose children are going through similar situations but are too young to adequately voice their feelings: I want you to know some of the thoughts and feelings that your child may be feeling. I want to get my thoughts down on paper while they are all still relatively fresh. It won’t all be pretty, but I am being honest.


I won’t spend too much time on pre-transplant life because I have already written about it. I got sick last July. I thought that my liver just gave up on me after 26.5 good years, though looking back I could see that I had slowly been getting sick since 2000, my only visible symptom a small dash of yellow in the corner of my eyes. If you weren’t looking for it, you likely would not see it.

I was at the gym on a Saturday morning working out heavy when I began to feel…off. By the next day, I am laid up in my bedroom, vomiting, sweating profusely, my skin and eyes highlighter yellow and my head pounding with a ferocious pain unlike any I had ever experienced. Finally, Trine convinced my stubborn ass to get to the Emergency Room. I did and they basically dismissed my symptoms and gave me a pill that they give chemo patients to help reduce the vomiting. The next morning, I took the pill, threw it up immediately, and had my dad drive me back to the Emergency Room. This time, they had the foresight enough to call my GI doc and I was admitted to another hospital. I spent eight days in the hospital, felt much better, but it turned out my doctor did not know what had gone wrong and they had put a band aid on my symptoms, but by no means did they heal me.

Over the next few months, which included a move to Florida, things progressively got worse. My bilirubin (the amount of bile in my blood) continued to fluctuate, as did my shade of yellow. At times, my liver refused to break down protein and I got very sick. My symptoms included stomach pains, fevers, sweating, vomiting and generally feeling like shit. This happened probably every couple weeks. I also had a lot of itching, which is a result of the bile salts building up in the blood. By December 2007, I had no hair on my legs below the knees and I had blood stains on my work pants from scratching so hard. Thankfully, the itching calmed down in the new year, though it did not stop totally until I was transplanted. I wound up in the hospital a few times with cholangitis, an infection in my bile ducts. The bile would not flow right and I would end up sick with fevers again. However, for the most part I was able to work full time, feel pretty good and still be high up on the transplant list. When Dr. Tzakis would eventually take out my liver, he remarked that my vessels were “a rats nest” and had I not been called when I was, things would have gone downhill for me very fast. Any doubts to the severity of my condition, if I would get better on my own or if this transplant was really necessary, were put to rest then.

The Call

I got the call on May 23, 2008. I woke up at 7 a.m. and jumped in the shower, planning to wash up, dress and take our dog Niles out for his morning walk/pee/poop. Niles would have to wait that morning. Before I could even begin washing my hair, Trine burst in. “They’re going to call you!” I think I stopped moving for a second. I could barely stop the flow of emotions and thoughts. It didn’t feel real (and wouldn’t for weeks to come). I didn’t know what to do first. I finished up in the shower as fast as I could. When I got out of the shower, the Donor Desk had already called and Trine informed me that I had to be at the hospital for noon. She then began calling her family and friends. I did the same, all while trying to figure out what else I needed to prepare. Trine and I had been over this before, but now that it was real, it seemed to slip my mind and I felt like I was in a fog.

I signed onto my work computer and sent emails to my boss, forwarding various emails she and the team would need to finish up my cases. A part of me felt bad for dumping so much work on them, and would be unable to contribute during busy season, but I had to put those thoughts aside fast; I was getting life saving surgery and that trumped my 9 to 5 for the time being.

Next, I had to prepare myself physically. Trine informed me that I would be shaved from “neck to knees” in order to perform the transplant and suggested I save the time. She ran to Winn Dixie and grabbed 2 tubes of hair removal cream. Yes, this is a little bit embarrassing to admit, but I’m over it. I jumped back in the shower and applied the cream. Basically how it works is that you apply the cream to the areas where you want hair removed and wait until it starts to BURN! Then use the little plastic thingy they give you and scrape the hair off. If you’ve done it right, the hair will come off in clumps and make a huge mess of your shower. Keep in mind, I am still making and taking phone calls at this point, even while in the shower.

After shearing myself, Trine and I checked our “hospital box” to make sure it was complete. This box included maps of the Jackson Hospital area, as well as drinks and snacks. It was more for Trine and my family than me. I couldn’t see myself eating crackers in the too near future. But we had that covered, too. There were a couple containers of Gerber baby food, too. They went uneaten.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hollywood bound; Open Letter to...

Hey everyone,

How's life? Things have been pretty busy on my end. I've been feeling OK. There have been no more trips to hospital as of late, no more fevers and my energy level has been better than usual. It's busy season at work and I've been putting in a lot of hours.

In addition, Trine and I are preparing to move to a new apartment in Hollywood, Florida, about 20 min. from our current residence in Miami. We're really excited, but I'll admit I'm gonna miss some things about our current neighborhood. I'll miss being afraid to walk my dog after dark. I'll miss the crowing of the rooster each morning...and afternoon, for some reason. Certainly, I will miss the man who lives under the bridge. And, yes, I'll even miss calling up Pizza Hut or Papa Johns and being yelled at because I don't speak Spanish and then being delivered the wrong order. Sure, Miami has it's charm. But the new building we're moving into is awesome. It's located the world's largest roundabout in the United States (so wouldn't that make it the world's largest roundabout period?) Either way, it's just a fancy way of saying traffic circle. But in the middle is a great park where Trine and I can walk Niles. The building has some great amenities and is closer to my work and where Trine will be going to graduate school.

So, before I rant and rave like a crazy person again, let me tell you a cool story about my fiancé Trine. As some of you may know, she had a liver transplant at the age of 2. She was Florida's first liver recipient and because transplantation was so new, she recieved a lot of media attention. She's a bit of celeb in the world of transplantation.

Well, it's been over 24 years since her surgery and Trine has never gotten a chance to meet the family of the little girl whose liver she received. She tried over the years to contact them but Tennessee and Pittsburgh Organ Procurement Organizations put up walls and gave Trine the impression that the family had no interest in being in contact.

Just over a month ago after 24 years, Trine gets a message on MySpace from the sister of Amanda, the little girls whose liver Trine received! It turns out the family had tried on numerous occasions to contact Trine. The two have exchanged emails and have become great friends. They hope to meet in the near future.

Trine's experience got me thinking about my future donor family. I know, I know, one step at a time. First get the liver, then recovery and then worry about whether the family will want to know me.

There has been a lot of negative press about organ donation/transplantation lately and I think it's important for people to know about a very positive story. The media rarely has interest in the positive outcomes of transplantation or the many successes. It's also great to see a story of two people connecting via MySpace that doesn't end with rape.

Anyhow, I never knew how much meeting Trine's donor family meant to her until a month ago.

I find it interesting when people get together in a group to protest conformity.

All extremists should be killed.

With things being so busy lately, I've hardly found time to scour the news for stuff to rant about, so instead I've decided to write a few open letters to some people that have pissed me off.

Open Letter to the Guy in the Elevator the Other Day

Hello guy from the elevator. What was that fragrance you were wearing yesterday? It was absolutely breathtaking. And by that, I mean that I could not fucking breathe! Seriously, bro, let's try not to smell like the stink water desk at Macy's. It's pretty arrogant of you to impose your scent upon everyone else just because you forgot to shower or think that chicks dig gagging on CK-One. But I guess choking a girl with your grotesque cologne is a bit more economical than date rape drugs. Good luck at the singles bar, fucko.

Open Letter to Lori Drew

Hi Lori, how are you today? Not so good, I imagine. Going to prison probably isn't what you had in mind when you opened a My Space account in order to find out what Megan was saying about your daughter. And I'm sure you didn't think that you'd eventually be indicted for perpetrating an online hoax and harassing your neighbor's daughter to the point where she hung herself? I'm sorry, hanged herself. That always gets me. From what I understand, this Megan chick was talking smack about your daughter so you pretended to be a boy named "Josh" to gain Megan's trust and find out what she was saying about your daughter. Wow. Then you began harrasing Megan and saying stuff like the 'world would be better off wihtout her.' Then she killed herself. Oops. Kind of ironic because, in actuality, the world will be better off without you. Have fun in prison, fucko.

Open Letter to the Guy Who Got Pulled Over by a Cop in Miami

Hi, there. Wow, how bad of a driver to you have to be to actually get pulled over in Miami? Did you actually have a pedestrian's body still clinging to the hood of your car? I think even that is only a small fine down here. Seriously. What exactly do you have to do to get the attention of a cop in Miami? Let me guess: you were on the cell phone, snorting coke off of a Miami Beach prostitute's stomach, speeding and didn't signal while turning and shooting off a handgun. Have fun at traffic school, fucko.

Ok, folks, gotta get back to packing. I hope this weekend finds you all doing well.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Idol Thoughts, Crime shows and George Lopez

Hey all!

This may be the last blog I write before my liver transplant. Ok, so I wrote that last time too, but I figure one of these days it will be a true statement. Keepin' my fingers crossedJ Anyhow, this is kind of lengthy, but I have a lot to say this week.

American Idol
Ok, most of you know that I've never cared for American Idol. However, I've actually enjoyed watching some of this season with Trine. There's some legitimate talent and I can appreciate that; however, mostly it's just fun to make fun of the atrocious performances. On a positive note, I'm glad that they've let some of the contestants play instruments. It adds some dimension to their performances and allows for creativity and, dare I say it, originality, which is something that I feel this show has always lacked.

My tips to American Idol hopefuls, present and future:
First off, do not smile while you sing. This goes double if you're a guy. It's the creepiest thing I've seen in the performances thus far. It gives off this "I'm going to crawl through your TV and molest you" vibe that gives me the willies. It also makes you look like a cheesy cruise ship or lounge singer that no one enjoys when not actually on a cruise ship or in Vegas.

Secondly, leave Simon Cowell alone. I don't understand why you blame Simon for being brutally honest. He's saying what everyone else is thinking. Paula Abdul is too medicated to give a coherent opinion and Randy Jackson is too busy figuring out what variation of "dogg" or "dude" he is going to overuse for the evening's episode. If you can't handle Simon, you will never handle fame; therefore you're in no shape to be an American Idol. This is the seventh fucking season of the show. If you don't know that Simon is going to rip you apart if you're bad, then you're a moron. Stop pretending Simon is the bad guy and focus your energy on becoming a better performer.

On a related note, do not argue with the judges. If they say you're performance was bad, accept it. Arguing makes you look desperate, pathetic and weak; three characteristics that will not win you favor with the judges or the people voting at home.

Crime Dramas
Let me preface this with the fact that I love crime drama shows on TV. I love Law and Order (SVU is my favorite), CSI (the original and Miami), NCIS and Criminal Minds. But after watching so many of these shows, there are some things that have struck me as rather odd, funny, interesting, etc.

For instance, whenever the lead detective calls the "lab rat/techie" character and asks them to find information on a suspect in the computer, the techie character always knows how to spell the suspect's name, regardless of how complicated it is. Whether it's John Jones or Vlad Kryscyzhkp, they never have to ask for clarification. I find that interesting. Likewise, the techie can also pull up any bit of information possible on a suspect within seconds. The most ridiculous example of this can be found on Criminal Minds.

Then there are these insanely specific databases that, in all likelihood, do not exist. Forensic pathologist: "Well, I analyzed the trace on the victim's hand and it turned out to be chocolate. I ran the sample through the Confectionary Database. It's a chocolate primarily manufactured in the making of Snickers bars. I then analyzed the chemical composition in mass spectrometer. Turns out, it came from a batch of Snickers bars that was shipped to a bodega on 44th St just last week." Come to find out, our prime suspect, Vlad, works at a bodega on 44th. Holy shit! Case closed.

Well, not quite. See, the first suspect is rarely the killer in any crime show, regardless of how probable it seems. Says the lead detective on the case, "We have fingerprint and blood evidence, plus we have six witnesses who saw Vlad shoot our victim, all while shouting, 'I'm Vlad Kryscyzhkp and I'm shooting this man'. However, seeing that it's only 24 minutes into an hour long episode, we must dig further." Turns out, Vlad's twin brother was framing him. You'll find this out in the dramatic twist at about 55 minutes into the episode.

OR maybe not. Perhaps our friend Vlad is the killer. But his lawyer is going to claim not-guilty-by-reason-of-mental -defect. So you get to spend the rest of the episode watching the trial.

Or, there's a bigger picture. Vlad is the killer and he is NOT mentally ill. But the gun had a faulty trigger mechanism. He was waving the gun around, but never pulled the trigger. So they prosecute the gun's manufacturer. There are really countless scenarios, which is why these shows are so popular and how one franchise can have 2 or more spinoffs. These shows are extremely formulaic, but the formulas work well. I'm hooked. I have been for years. I'll admit to watching the same episodes over and over, though I give myself time to forget the outcome.

No Dumping
Hey, speaking of crime, I'm not sure why this needs to be said, but if you accidentally kill someone, or if they die in your company, do not dispose of the body yourself. Call the police. Getting rid of th ebody yourself is stupid and will make you look 100% guilty. The moron in the Natalie Halloway case claims that he was making out with her and she "just died." So he and his friend dumped her corpse in the ocean. Even if you believe this asshole, you have to admit his story has all the cleverness of Scott Peterson's "I was fishing on Christmas Eve in the bay my wife's body would eventually be found" defense. If this putz had nothing to do with her murder, why not just report it to the police? I know, I know. He was scared. I would be, too. But you know what else is scary? Anal rape. That's why I don't want to go to prison. So rest assured, if someone carcs it in my company, I'm picking up the phone and calling 911.

Why Do I watch Awards shows?
Did anyone catch George Lopez at the Grammys? You may have missed it, like me, you were too busy being vomiting up your dinner upon seeing that coked-up junkie Amy Winehouse win big. Apparently, while she scares away erections, she attracts Grammy Awards. What a disgrace. Apparently the enjoyment of "doo wop style music sung by a British crackhound" was greater than I realized. Long story short, Amy Winehouse sucks and her three awards have only gone to further damage the value of "music" awards. Anyways, I'm sure those awards were sold for drug money within hours of the broadcast.

Anyhow, in Lopez's pathetic attempt to be edgy, he said something to the effect that the United States is the only country in which a black man and white woman can run for president of the United States. Is it just me, or is that statement one of the stupidest things ever to be uttered by anyone?

First off, it's a poor attempt to be edgy. Carlos Mencia sucks at it and so does George Lopez. Just cuz you're Hispanic, doesn't mean you can talk race issues and automatically be funny. Just because you're a minority and can actually get away with being racist, it doesn't mean you don't have to be clever. Look at Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock or George Carlin (yes, I realize Carlin is white). Those comedians have funny, insightful and clever takes on race relations. Carlos Mencia thinks saying "wetback", "beaner," and doing an impression of a retarded person make him hilarious. Yeah, he's funny. Like colon cancer. Lopez isn't much better.

In addition, considering there is only ONE United States of America, it goes without saying that the UNITED STATES is the only country in which ANYONE can run for president of the UNITED STATES. Get what I'm saying? Whatever. Lopez has nothing to do with music so what he was doing at the Grammy's is anyone's guess. Then again, the Grammy's don't have all that much to do with music either. (See above rant).

Ok, I'm done. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Am I The Only One? Part 6: Vol. 2 (or maybe just Part 7)

Hello, sports fans!

Get it? Cuz the SuperBowl was just the other day and...oh, fuck it. I can't hide my disappointment that the Patriots couldn't pull off a perfect season. Nor could I suppress my laughter as Eli Manning tried to sound coherent in his post game interview. I guess we know which Manning brother has the on-camera skills and which one just sounds like a goofy Mississippi mud moose. Miami Dolphins fans are soothing their disappointment over what a horrific season they had this year by the fact that their 1972 team's perfect season record is still in tact. And that's your sports wrap-up.

So basically, I came up with a list of a few more items that leaving me wondering if I'm the only one, hence the title of my blog.

Am I the only one annoyed by these television ads that make is seem like having gray hair is the end of the world? Ok, first off, I do not have gray hair, but I'm pretty sure that gray hair does not make one a social outcast. Secondly, these idiots in these ads look like 25 year olds who've had their heads shoved in the ashes of someone's fireplace. No gray hair on anyone I've ever seen looks that unnatural and stupid. And what about the commercial with the two kids who want their father to be "marketable" again so they give him some hair dye to rid himself of grays. How insane is that? I'm sure those kids are the reason the father has gray hair in the first place. Anyone who's raising such meddlesome brats has got to be at his wits end.

Am I the only one who wonders why homeless people always hang out in the same place? There's a lot of homeless folk down here in Miami and they're always on the same benches day after day. I mean, if you have nowhere to be, why not travel a little bit; try out some new benches or take some walks and meet people.

Am I the only one who thinks that professional athletes should not be allowed to talk on television after a game? I don't think I've ever gleaned anything useful from a post game interview. Then again, interviewers rarely ask an intelligent question in the first place so you can't really expect the athletes' comments to have much value. For example, "So tell me, how did you guys win that game?" Athlete says, "Well, you know what I'm saying, we just went out there and played the best we could, you know? We made passing plays, we made some running plays, and we scored some points, you know? Basically, we just scored more points than the other team, you know?"

Then the interview cuts to the core of the athlete by asking, "How do you feel?" The athlete then pours out his soul: "Good, you know? I feel good. It's a good feeling, ya know, to feel good. It was a good game and we came out feeling good. Good." Ah, well done.

Am I the only one who realizes that regardless of a woman's weight and body type, wearing jeans without back pockets makes her butt look enormous?

Am I the only one who thinks Barack Obama sounds like WWE wrestler turned actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson? I want to see him get elected president just so he can end his inauguration speech with, "If ya smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell what Ba-ROCK is cookin'!"

Am I the only one who thinks that men who solicit prostitutes should NOT be categorized as sex offenders? There's a huge difference between a guy who diddles a bunch of kids and one who pays some chick in hot pants for a blow job. Soliciting a hooker is essentially a victimless crime. Infidelity is immoral, but it's not illegal and it's certainly no one else's business, aside from the man and his significant other. All the risks associated with paying a woman for sex fall right back on the man, i.e. destroying his marriage (if applicable) or getting a disease.

Ok, back to work.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Am I The Only One? Part 6

Hey all!

This could very well be the last blog I write before my transplant. I just spent six days in the hospital and hope to get my new liver soon. So, I'm gonna try and get a few things off my chest before the doctors begin routing around inside it. Note: Trine points out that the doctors will be operating on my belly, not my chest. However, no one ever says they have something to get off their belly. Please, folks, humor me.

Am I the only one annoyed by the term 'popping corn'? Seriously, Orville Redenbacher, it's pop corn. No one calls it popping corn anymore except you. And that should tell you something. And I'm ranting to a dead guy. That should tell me something.

Am I the only one psyched about the Super Bowl? Go Patriots!

Am I the only one who cracks up at those Diabetes commercials with Wilford Brimley? Come on! I know I'm not. Diabetes is NOT funny; however, "diabeetus" is just fucking hilarious. You'd think that if you're gonna be the spokesperson for an ailment, you could pronounce it correctly. But I can't complain because I'm thoroughly amused.

Am I the only one annoyed by the Cadillac commercial that asks, "When you turn your car on, does it turn you on?" Are they referring to vibrating heated seats? I need clarification. Regardless, I do not have a Cadillac. In fact, I have a 1996 Toyota Carolla w/ 188K miles on it. There's certainly nothing sexy about that.

Am I the only one annoyed by shows that claim to ask the "tough questions?" No show asks the tough questions. "What was it like kissing Justin Timberlake" is NOT a tough question. Celebrities do not want to answer tough questions. And even when an interviewer does get up the gusto to ask "the questions the world wants to know," it's inevitable that the celebrity in question will have a genius Public Relations team that's crafted 10 different ways to evade the question that will, of course, leave the interviewer with a pounding headache. Then again, when you make your living obsessing over the private lives of celebrities, perhaps you get what you deserve.

On a related note: Am I the only one elated when a member of the paparazzi gets punched in the face or has their camera smashed? Frankly, it doesn't happen nearly enough.

Am I the only one annoyed by blood donation advocates? Ok, lemme explain. I have nothing against blood donation, per se. However, with the blood mobiles come these people who stand outside the blood banks and harass the ever-loving shit out of you. For example, being on the transplant list, I cannot give blood. This is none of their business, yet I feel the need to make excuses because I would donate blood if I could. I do not owe these assholes any explanation, but I can't help feel a bit guilty. Then I just get pissed.

Here's how a typical conversation with one of these leeches goes:

"Don't forget to donate blood today!"
"Maybe some other time."
"How about today?!"
"Another time."
"What? Do you hate helping people?"
"You don't want my blood." (I've actually said this.)
"What? Do you have AIDS or something?"
"Do you share dirty needles with street folk?"
"No, I just don't want to donate blood today."
"I hope you and your AIDS have fun worshipping Satan and feeding off of the flesh of infants."
"Ok then."

You realize that's a bit of a dramatization, but not by much.

Well, it's Friday morning, I'm working from home, Niles, my puppy, is chillin' by my feet and the sun is shining. It's a good day! And I must reiterate: go Patriots!!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tiger Attacks! Tiger Attacked!

Breaking News! Bush to send 10,000 American troops to Washington to force economy to get better.

(Just kidding! He'll most likely leave it for the next president to deal with, right along with the Error on Terror in the middle east and the social security debacle.)

Happy New Year, folks! This is my first blog of 2008. Welcome. We've got a lot to discuss.

One sure sign that you're out of shape: You hurt your shoulder taking off your sock. Seriously.

This guy needs to get healthy and back to the gym full-time. I will admit that since I've been sick and waiting for transplant (and not been able exercise regularly) I've sorta let my nutrition go to hell. I've still lost weight, thought it's due mostly to diminished muscle mass. I still joke, however, that you would have to be sick to eat like I eat and NOT gain weight. But hey, if you're looking to lose weight, and aren't lucky enough to have a liver disorder, there's help out there. You could always try Alli weight loss products! Lose 5-10 pounds in six months! Warning: You may also lose 3-4 friends and 5-6 chairs, depending on just how gassy you are, how oily your anal discharge is and how loose and uncontrollable your stools become. Listen folks, wouldn't it be easier to just exercise a bit and eat better? Losing 5-10 pounds over the course of six months, while commendable, is not a feat of the Gods and doesn't seem worth the disgusting side effects.

Ok, onto the good stuff…

Now, I realize I'm supposed to have compassion when a tragedy occurs, for example, when someone gets eaten by a Tiger...on Christmas. Right? So how wrong is it that I think the tiger got the raw deal in this case? By now, you've all read about the attack at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day. One kid was killed and two were attacked by Tatiania, the lovable, cute, stripey 350 lb Tiger, who was also killed following the attacks. And true, the fence around the enclosure was four feet below requirement. Oops. That should not be overlooked. Yet, evidence has come to light that the boys were taunting and yelling at the Tiger. And they had been drinking. And smoking pot. So why is it that everyone acts so surprised and appalled when the tiger attacked, as it would in the wild when it feels threatened? It's the same way people act shocked when someone is attacked by a shark…in the water..where sharks live. The tiger was acting on instinct. It was agitated by the boys' idiotic and disrespectful actions, so it attacked.

Now, I'm definitely not one of those people who think zoos are cruel and that animals should not be penned up. I love zoos, but I also have respect for nature, specifically large 350 lb cats that could take my head off with a quick snap of its jaws. I realize that killing Tatiania was probably the only way to subdue the animal and protect the public from further attacks, however I hope that a lesson comes from all this. Ok, two lessons. First, build enclosures to code, especially around dangerous wild animals. But most importantly, respect nature. Nature can be beautiful, but it can also be very dangerous. It's too bad some have to learn the hard way.

Ok, sometimes I see something and just ask myself 'Why?' In most cases, it's easy to comprehend why people do the things they do, but at times people's reasoning is lost on me. For example, a bank robbery. It's illegal and dangerous, but the motivation is understandable: money, and maybe the sheer thrill of the heist if it's an elaborate Ocean's 11 type scheme. But when I walk into the men's room and head towards my favorite stall (the one furthest from the door, naturally) and see that I cannot use it because someone has stuffed a pound of toilet paper in it, I can't help but wonder 'why?' What's the motivation there? Perhaps someone has a grudge against the maintenance staff.

Phil 'Er Up
Though we're barely three weeks into the new year, a lot crazy stuff has happened. I assume you've heard about the controversy created by Dr. Phil when he barged into Britney Spears' hospital room in an attempt to conduct an intervention, which he planned to air. He scrapped the idea (for now) when critics said he went too far and succeeded in only exploiting Britney Spears for ratings. Shame on Dr. Phil! The irony here is stifling. How can the media accuse someone of exploiting Britney Spears? They all exploit her. She's America's favorite Swamp Trash sweetheart and we can't get enough. It's laughable for the media to even suggest that she's not exploited for ratings on any news program/tabloid TV show on a daily basis. You can't deny it: America feeds off of celebrities and right now we're getting a healthy helping of batshit-crazy baby-dropping redneck au gratin. Eat up!

Other fun stuff:
An Idaho man who claims he saw the biblical 'mark of the beast' on his hand, took a circular saw and cut said hand off. That's bad, but it gets better. He then called 911…but not before microwaving the hand. He had the presence of mind to apply a tourniquet beforeHAND (haha…a pun!) Anyhow, the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God's fury." In addition, the book of Matthew contains the passage: "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for you whole body to do into hell."

I think it's about time that the Bible gets a preface or a warning label of some sort. People obviously cannot be trusted to read it on their own. Readers Beware: The stories contained herein are not to be taken literally. Do not cut off body parts, sacrifice people/ animals in the name of God, or any other inane shit that will kill you or land you in prison.

Well, that's One Way to Break-Up With Her
In other news involving cooking flesh, a 25 year old man in Texas (go figure) was arrested for killing and cooking his girlfriend. He alerted the authorities of his actions and when asked why he did it he said…drum roll please….God made him do it. Of course. Why not mental retardation? Or post-partum depression? Or the fucking smurfs?! Police say it was unclear if he actually ate any of the cooked flesh, some of which was sitting on a plate on the table when police arrived.

Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden (but not from making stupid comments)
Then there's Kelly Tilghman, some twit on the Golf channel, who made a comment about other how golfers who wanted to challenge Tiger Woods should lynch him. Apparently, it was a joke, Tiger Woods isn't upset and the two are actually friends. Well, Tiger shouldn't be upset. He's not even black!! Ok, he's part black. But, if you wanna offend Tiger Woods you gotta do better than that. I imagine something like: "Yeah, they should lynch him. Then burn his Kenny G. Cds, shove an eggroll up his ass and do a rain dance around him." I think that covers his background quite well. But kudos to Tiger Woods for not making a big deal about this. Any other idiot would be out there on the golf course with that dopey troll Al Sharpton and 50 reporters around him demanding an apology,Tilghman's termination and reparations for all the racist comments her family may have made over the last 100 years. People are stupid. Be above it. You could buy and sell that bitch a million times over.


Ok, and this shit is the brilliant idea of the editor who just got fired from Golfweek for his brilliant idea. What a colossal moron. Though, in his defense, a noose and the game of golf do go together; I know that five seconds of watching golf on TV and I'm ready to slip one of those bad boys around my neck and head for the nearest jumping off point.

Championship Playoffs this weekend!! Go Patriots.
Lots o' Love - Ry