Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Blog (in progress)

Here's a fun equation for you: Jon & Kate + 8 - Jon = Kate + 8 - 8 - Kate = More time for shows about cake.

However, if you're a fan of reality shows about people with too many children, I read that Octomom is getting her own reality show. It will be called "Octomom + 14 – Personal Responsibility + California Tax Payer's Money.

I also want to make a shout out to my college buddy Jon Gosselin who, by coincidence, has the same name as Jon of "Jon + Kate", and has received hate mail from a confused Florida resident. While I sympathize, I gotta say, if Floridians are writing hate mail, at least they're not driving, and that's good for everyone!

Digital Cameras at a Steal!

Rental car company contracts come with the disclaimer that they are not responsible for items that are lost or stolen while the car is in your possession. What I failed to realize is that this apparently gives them a right to steal from you and hide behind their words. This happened to me a few months back when I rented a car. I left my digital camera in the back seat. The camera case was black, the interior was black and I was in a hurry. I admit error. However, about 30 minutes after dropping the car off, I realized my camera was gone.

I immediately called the rental company and was told that they found a camera matching my description and would be sending it to Boston where their Lost and Found is based. I was given the name of a woman who I was to contact and she would send my camera back to me once it arrived in Boston. The problem is that it never arrived. Upon follow up, I learned that she got some rinky dink disposable, but not my camera. I was told there was nothing they could do and they were not responsible for my lost camera. I am positive they found it and just kept it because they could. Unfortunately, I had to catch my flight and did not have the time go back and retrieve my camera. Even more unfortunately, my flight ended up being delayed for a couple hours and I could have easily gotten my camera had I known this ahead of time.

Next time you’re renting a car, please be careful. There is no guarantee you will get your item returned to you, even if they do have a lost and found department…especially if it is with Dollar Car Rental. Goddamn thieves.

The House

I own a house. My pups have a yard. I am building equity. I bought an 8' foot ladder. I have a lawnmower. I installed stainless steel hardware on my cabinets. I have a mortgage. I have to pay for water! I have been to Home Depot about 100 times in the last 3 weeks. I have primer on my hands right now. There are about 900 shades of beige exterior paints. A bedroom must have a closet in it to be considered a bedroom. I own hurricane shutters. I know what a backsplash is. I care about tiles. I watch HGTV. To be continued....

Rabies, baby!

I watched the movie Quarantine a couple months back and I was telling my buddy about it. He remarks, “Yeah, I saw it. It makes you really think twice about rabies.” So I wondered, twice? What was your first thought about rabies?

Before: Yeah, rabies are ok.
After: Oh wait. No.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Letter to my Donor Family

I wrote this letter a few days ago and it is being sent to the donor family via the agency that procured the liver that was transplanted. I do not know my donor family or the donor, other than it was a 19 year old local male. Perhaps the family will respond to my letter and I can learn more about my donor, or perhaps not. I just felt it was important to finally reach out and thank the family.

Dear Donor Family,

My name is Ryan. I am a 28 year old man and the recipient of your son’s liver. I am writing to thank you for making an impossible choice during what has to be one of the hardest moments of your life. I want to thank you so much for making that decision. While I was struggling with my own pain, my own fight to live, you selflessly chose to donate your son’s organs, and it’s hard to express how much good you brought to the world by that decision, not only for me, but for the others who benefited.

I was born with a rare liver disorder called Biliary Atresia. I was treated as an infant and went on to have almost 27 years of great health. In 2007, I began showing symptoms of secondary biliary cirrhosis, including jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes) itching, fatigue, recurrent infections with fevers, inability to digest many foods, and more. By December, I was on the waiting list for a transplant. I waited for six months and consider myself very fortunate. Many people do not get the transplants they need and die waiting.

Your gift allowed me to not only have my health back, but get my life back. Since the transplant, I have married and bought a house. (My wife is also a transplant recipient.) I realize none of those things would have been possible if not for you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. Believe me when I say that I never, ever lost sight of how difficult this must have been for you. I have never lost someone so close to me and cannot imagine the grief you felt. Now, over a year later, I am sure that the pain is still fresh. Through your gift, something positive came out of all the sadness.

My promise to you is that I will not take this second chance for granted. I do not drink alcohol or do drugs. I feel a responsibility to you, your son and all those who were devastated with the loss, to not squander the opportunity that I have been given. You are certainly not obligated to write me back, but I think of your family often, even though I do not know you. Please know that even if I never hear from you, I will never forget what you have done for me.