Monday, June 28, 2004

So many hours wasted

Today is the one-year anniversary of Impending Distractions.

Time for a stroll down memory lane...

My Top 10 Favorite Posts:

1. Emily's first days
2. Publishing industry to sue libraries
3. You're missing 45% of the movie, you fools!
4. Woman escapes from mental asylum
5. Coping with colic
6. Help stamp out bathroom banter
7. Scientific testing
8. Why I hate Homewood
9. Actually, a blue whale is bigger than an elephant, but whatever
10. The night I killed myself

Other Significant Posts:

Knocked up
Calvin proposes to a witch
She's here!

This one got me inducted into the Axis of Weevil...
Alabama blogging community

These generated the most traffic from search engines...
Spongmonkeys win Grammy for Best New Artist
Marketing for Elisha

This one caught the attention of all my neighbors...
Homeowner's association meets just to spite me

This one received the most comments (other than posts about Emily)...
You've got a phone on your desk for a reason

And my favorite news story of the year...
Those wacky Gamecocks

Pizza and fish don't mix

I've never seen an anchovy, I've never known anyone to order anchovies on his pizza, and of all the pizza restaurants I've eaten at, I've only seen anchovies offered as a topping once. Yet, in every movie where pizza is mentioned, somebody has to request anchovies.

Well, guess what, Hollywood. It's not funny.

Just like the obligatory crotch-kicking scene, I loose a bit of respect for whatever movie that over-used "joke" appears in.


We got a notice in our mailbox Thursday alerting us that Misty had a certified letter waiting for her at the post office. It was marked from Diocese something-or-other, so it sounded to me like it was from a church.

For a few days, Misty made it into a big mystery in her head. She even told me a story of how a few years ago, she had to pick up a package from the post office and pay the postage due. When she opened the box, it was just a bunch of packing material — until she got to the very bottom and was greeted by a huge dead cockroach. The package turned out to have been sent by a former employer as a joke.

Today Misty finally made it over to the post office to pick up her letter. It was, indeed, from the Catholic church. The fun part is that it's regarding her ex-husband. Apparently, he wants to have their marriage anulled. Our best guess is that he's trying to get re-married, and the church won't allow his would-be bride to marry a divorced man. She's been asked to complete a questionaire regarding their marriage and his character.

For those who don't know, Misty despises her ex-husband far more than I despise my ex-wife. This is a guy who was cheating on her within mere weeks after their marriage. At least my ex-wife waited two years. As such, Misty doesn't want to do anything that would help him out.

On one hand, she could fill out the forms and try to make things more difficult for him. On the other hand, she could do nothing, perhaps making things more difficult that way. Most likely, he'll manage to get re-married either way.

Personally, I'd be inclined to ignore the request. Misty is, of course, not obligated to participate in the questionaire. I don't like the idea of having to put forth any effort regarding either of our ex-spouses — regardless of whether that effort would lead to frustration for them (which is why the Worst Novels Ever site went defunct long before I was asked to remove it from the Internet). I don't want them to intrude in our lives any more.

So what do y'all think? Should Misty fill out the paperwork or just ignore it?

And I wonder whether his first wife is cooperating.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Is freedom important to you?

Ring... Ring...

Me: Hello?

Voice: Hello Mr. Cuthbert, I'm so-and-so with the Fraternal Order of Police. Blah, blah, blah... So, tell me, Mr. Cuthbert: Would you say that police protection in your area is important to you?

Me: Well, that's kind of a loaded question, isn't it?

Voice: Uh... Sir, do you support the police department in your area?

Me: That depends on what you mean by "support." If you mean: Am I enthusiastic about the work they do? Then, yes. If you mean: Do I contribute money to them? Then, no.

To be fair, the woman was calling about Bears on Board, a wonderful charity that provides police with teddy bears to give to children in crisis situations for comfort. But I don't have any money to contribute right now (I wouldn't donate over the phone, anyway) and I wasn't going to be baited by her sneaky tactics. I didn't get a degree in rhetoric for nothin'!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'm still around

The amount of writing I do for Impending Distractions is inversely proportional to the amount of work I have to do for Get it?

The past couple of weeks have been hectic both at home and at work. At work, I've been scrambling to finish several projects at the same time. Some of them have finally begun to fall into place. The City Stages page is finished (though I'll hopefully add a photo gallery this weekend). A big Alabama Travel Guide that I've been working on for the past month finally launched today. It's not quite complete — there's a lot of fine-tuning left to do — but it was good enough to go live. The Junior Miss section is not faring as well, but hopefully it can wait until this weekend.

On top of the projects I've been working on, I've also had to pick up some of the slack on weekend news, as we're currently without any editorial interns. Believe it or not, having this much going on at once actually puts me in a good mood at work. I enjoy the rush.

At home, our houseguests finally departed yesterday. In my last post about Misty's mom, I tried to be positive or at least neutral. Then I realized: She doesn't read this. As such, I can say that the woman really drains me. She is an unabashed pessimist.

Before her surgery, she gave us an article to read about people dying in hospitals. After her surgery, she was convinced that her medicine wasn't working, that the doctors had left something inside of her, that the cancer had probably spread from her uterus to her heart, lungs, or legs, that the pharmacist gave her the wrong prescription, and that she wasn't going to be able to get into our guest bed because it was too high. While waiting to go out one day, she picked up one of Misty's baby books and began to read out loud about SIDS. Another afternoon, Misty and I came home from work, and the first thing Aunt Wanda said was "Emily gets an A+ for the day. She was so good!" The first thing Misty's mom said was, "I thought she was going to choke to death today." It's like that with everything — never a bright side.

Regardless, I am of course glad that she's getting well. I took her to get her staples removed yesterday, and the nurse told her that her biopsies showed no signs that the cancer had spread. She was amazingly upbeat about this news. The worst she could come up with was that she'd probably have to visit the hospital for some "light chemo."

Emily has also kept me occupied a lot over the past couple weeks — and not in the usual way. She's been spending less and less time screaming and more and more time smiling. It's a wonderful new trend. I'm almost ready to concede that the colic has disappeared. The problem now is that she's causing me to spend a lot of time just watching the cuteness transpire. Here are some examples...

Nothing could be more distracting than that.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Surgery update

Misty's mom has made it through surgery without too much trouble. Her blood pressure was way up, and she lost quite a bit of blood, but not enough to need a transfusion or anything like that. According to the doctors who performed the operation, her cancer seems not to have spread. We just have to wait a couple days for lab results to confirm that. In the meantime, she's groggy on morphine as she recovers at the hospital. I brought Emily over to visit, and that certainly brightened her mood. Emily's smile tends to do that.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

My warranty has expired

My knee's been hurting for a couple weeks. I can tell that it's a little swollen, and it's warmer than my other knee. It hasn't been too bad, really — just unpleasant. In the past few days, however, the pain has increased significantly. It's been catching in the sense that when I bend it, I have trouble unbending it. The best I can explain is that it's like having a ball bearing stuck inside a hinge. The hinge will still swing, but not without popping over the ball bearing first.

I've had crepitus in my knees for years, and several years back, I sprained the one that's hurting now. A few months ago, I slammed it into the center console in Misty's car when I was climbing into the back seat. I think that may have caused whatever's bothering me now.

I finally went to the doctor yesterday to get it checked out. He twisted my leg around different ways and poked at my knee, asking "does this hurt?" It was obvious when he found the right spot. He marked on my knee where it was and pulled out a model to show me what was going on. He thinks I've got a meniscul tear (I don't know if I'm spelling that correctly, but he pronounced it like "meniscus," not "miniscule.") in a ligament. The tear is swelling, causing my knee to have to dislocate in order to bend.

The doctor gave me some anti-inflamitory drug called Bextra that's supposedly 10 times the strength of Motrin. It doesn't seem to be doing anything, though.

I've got an MRI scheduled for Friday to see whether my doctor's guess about the problem is correct. Then Wednesday, I meet with an orthropedic specalist to determine whether I'll have to have surgery. My doctor says that surgery is the likely route. What that would entail would be cutting into the knee in two spots, sanding something down, and suctioning out the debris.

Oh, what fun that's going to be.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Tummy time

Just in case you'd forgotten how cute she is...

Day care begins

Today was Misty's first day back to work, and as such, it was also Emily's first day at Kinder Care. Misty has been dreading "abandoning" her baby, so I took her instead. Since I'm off Tuesdays and Wednesdays I could have kept her at home, but we figured it would be easier on Misty if she had a couple days to get used to the idea of leaving the baby with strangers, without having to be the one to actually drop her off at the day care.

Everything went fine, of course. Emily has been taking bottles without much trouble for the past few days, so I was not surprised to hear that the child care professionals were able to get her to take them. They sent her home with a little paper detailing her day. Emily reportedly made friends with Carson, Emmie, and Brittany; she got to enjoy singing, storytime, and floor play; and
she was happiest when being cuddled and in the swing.