Friends In Alignment
Monday August 01st 2011, 2:00 am
Filed under: Denver, Friends, Me, Myself, and Reid, RestauRants, Sodapopcornculture

Saturday was a 6. Yeah, that’s right. 6/5.

I don’t know about this number day ranking system. I feel like people reading my blog like it better than I do. Don’t worry, I’ll think of something to mend the rift between me and numbers. Oh, and the 6 is not due to me thinking the number system is inadequate–if the numbers went up to 10, this day would be an 11.

Two of my oldest best friends in the entire world (“world” is used here as it’s used in the “World Series,” in that it’s not really the entire world, just the parts I care about), Jason and Reiman, who now live in some other states someplace else somewhere, were both in town on the same day. Neither had any foreknowledge that the other was coming into town, nor that both were staying for a week, one right after the other. By chance, they had one overlapping free day–this was the day I’d been waiting for to celebrate my 28th birthday (again) in a big way.

The coincidence that they were both here on the same day was a lot like an alignment of planets. Planets, which cannot think or change the speed at which they orbit the Sun, cannot speak to one another before aligning, nor can they align for very long. Perhaps this makes such an alignment even more special; a rare moment that is something to be appreciated and remembered. Or, alternately, maybe my buddies just need to coordinate with each other better when they’re coming home. I don’t know, it could really be either of those.

Anyway, it was a great day/night/early morning. Honestly, I can best describe what we did as “palling around.” Where we were and what we didn’t wasn’t nearly as important as who we were with.

Oh, and I’m not just saying that to cover up some sort of illicit activities in which we may or may not have been involved. Because we definitely did not rob any banks. So just let it go, okay? Just let it go already. Jeez.

Eventually, we met up with another of our close friends, Matt Sullivan of the Matt & Coreycondo Sullivans. The Sullivans live to the southwest, far beyond the Great Temple of Ikea (I think it’s Aztec). Together, the four of us saw a double feature of two movies we found very entertaining.

First, we saw “Captain America,” which exceeded my expectations. Not only was I entertained and impressed, but I’d say “Cap” could be in contention for the title of best Marvel Comics movie ever (hey Chris Evans, congrats on getting another chance at being in a good Marvel movie!) except that the end of the movie felt like a lead-in to another movie rather than the end of this movie. While someone might argue that this is okay because it is the lead-in for another movie, someone would be wrong. I give “Cap” 45/50 stars. I give the musical number 13/13 stripes.

Second, we saw “Cowboys & Aliens,” which all four of us enjoyed thoroughly. It delivered on its name, it was fun, and it was a great fit as the B movie of our double feature. I give “Cowboys & Aliens” 3/4 Indys for entertainment value, 22/22 Bonds for being the best movie about cowboys and aliens that will probably ever be made, and ∞/∞ motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin’ plane for being a movie that, before I die, I need to meet the person that greenlit it.

After the movies, Matt went home for no good reason other than it was midnight; he was tired; he had stuff to do in the morning; the theater was right by his house, and we were going far away in the other direction; and he wanted to take care of his wife Coreycondo, who wasn’t feeling good that night. Pfft, what a spoilsport.

Mattless, we proceeded to iHop. Oh, also Matt didn’t want to go to iHop because he eats people food. It was neat being back in our old high school late night truckstop hang out. We extended our day until 1:30 AM, at which point Reiman’s drooping eyelids frightened me since he had been our getaway driver for our series of bank heists the whole day.

The 6/5 isn’t about any one thing we did. It’s about the feeling I get when I’m around my best friends: total and complete happiness.

* * *

Sunday was a 4. A pleasant, no to-do list, rest and recovery day.

Notable events:

-Although it sounded fun, I turned down an invitation from the Brothers Reiman to attend the Colorado Renaissance Festival. I had done a lot on Saturday, and even though I felt okay, I decided it would be better not to spend the entire day and evening walking around in 97° heat.

-I took a long nap.

-We watched a lot of TV. A few “Daily Shows,” a “White Collar,” and a “Warehouse 13.”

-I worked on this blog entry for a few hours. Writing these entries at the end of the day, which I see as necessary if I’m going to write about the whole day, keeps me up way too late. Eh, well… I don’t know if that’s true. I’d probably still be up now anyway. But these things do take me a very long time to write. Maybe I should write less? Start writing earlier? Write faster? No, I don’t think I can make myself write faster; I type fast and think… slower. I need to figure this out.

-But not tonight.

–Reid.



Turning 28 on the 28th: My First Chemoless Birthday In Four Years

Thursday was a 5. My golden birthday: my 28th birthday on July 28th. The first birthday I’ve celebrated while not on chemotherapy in four years. It was a long day, but it was a really good one.

I continued my strength training with my trainer at the gym. Although I’ve only been working out at the gym for two weeks, I’m already starting to feel the benefits. I walk out of there feeling really good, mentally and physically. I’ve got a lot of muscle to rebuild, and then it’ll be on to Beyond Rebuilding: Building Beyond Rebuilding! I also verified last week’s hunch as to why I was limping around the day after working out: working out at the gym is way harder than working out at home. Ow. I feel good. Ow. Really good. Argh.

I met my mom and my sister Rachel for lunch. Rachel flew in from DC just for my birthday! What a special thing to do; it meant a lot to me. She and Rebecca then left Friday morning for Las Vegas to celebrate Rachel’s 25th birthday with 13 friends. Rebecca set the whole thing up for Rachel. 3Rs: we’re very lucky to have each other. Also, we need official 3R power rings.

J and I went to Mile High Comics (my dad referred to this as “our own little Comic-Con”), which neither of us had been to in a whole bunch of years… many, many years. We both agreed, being the wise geeky continental travelers we are, that the old favorite store just doesn’t stack up against our favorite comic book stores in New York and Atlanta, respectively. Honestly, I don’t even really read comics anymore, except for Fables. And even then, I don’t read the individual issues, I buy the graphic novels that reprint 10 issue story arcs. Even then, I… no wait, that’s it. But I still felt like the old place was somehow less than I remember it being.

There was something really cool, though. This month, Marvel Comics made variant covers of Spider-man for comic book stores all over the country. Each cover has Spidey holding a copy of the Daily Bugle with the headline: Spider-man Saves [Comic Book Store Name] and that store’s logo. So now, thanks to J, I have an issue of Spider-man in which Spider-man apparently saves Mile High Comics! Which doesn’t actually happen inside the comic. But the cover is cool, because Mile High is the big Colorado comic chain, and we have hometown pride. Also, I forgot how dumb the Mile High Comics logo was. Captain Woodchuck? Why? Oh well, whatever. It’s still cool!

We had dinner at Piccolo’s, a local Italian & Mexican food restaurant. It’s delicious, and I’ve been eating it all my life. Mom, Dad, Rachel and I met Rebecca there. She brought me balloons, to officially certify that it was a real birthday celebration. Grandma, Gigi, Papa, Uncle Neal, Aunt Stacie, and my cousin Jeff were all there too, to help celebrate. Lots of pizza and spaghetti were consumed. We all talked and laughed and our goblets ranneth over with root beer and Shirley Temples and some sort of alcohol. As expected, Gigi yelled about the debt ceiling. An adorable proto-child stared at my balloons so longingly, and grabbed for them from twenty feet away with such might, that I had to go give him one. He immediately began ungratefully, yet so adorably, grabbing for the other balloons–he knew I was powerless against his adorableness. My sisters gave me some books I’ve been wanting. They (the books, not the sisters) have an added benefit beyond being full of information. Because they are so massive and so solid, after I’ve read them, I can use them as the cornerstones of a large building, or perhaps as anchors for an aircraft carrier. A good time was had by all.

I barely made it home without falling asleep. My parents insisted that before I would be allowed to go to sleep, I had to open my gifts from them. Tyrants! It turned out not to be so bad; I got more books I’ve been wanted and a cool electric shaver. For shaving! Some time ago, I tired of shaving my face with razor blades. To avoid this, I tried several things: I grew a beard, I brought scruffy back, and recently, I’ve been shaving my face with my electric beard trimmer. This new shaver is perfect, in that it will let me shave quickly, easily, and without the pain of being used on my skin when intended for trimming beards. Also, my parents helped pay for part of the cost of the graphic tablet I recently won in victorious battle against various local electronics stores.

I finally went to bed, expecting to collapse into a long, restorative sleep.

* * *

Friday was a 2.5. There’s not much to tell. Also, I might need more numbers to rate these days.

It turns out I forgot to take my pills before bed last night, and then I had a really terrible night. I don’t know if that was entirely due to not taking my pills, although I’m sure it played a role. I also overdid it yesterday. I felt cruddy and tired all day and couldn’t seem to fall asleep during the day, despite trying several times. I got a few things done here and there. I’ve been feeling noticeably better for awhile, so a day like this, while not a bad day, was certainly a frustrating one.

* * *

Saturday, there will be more partying. Of a different sort. I don’t quite know what sort yet, but it’ll be excellent. Hooray for several day long birthday celebrations! Did I mention that Matt and Coreycondo Sullivan put a candle on a cookie for me and got everyone to sing me happy birthday at poker the night before my birthday? Well, they did, and it was great. ¡Viva las celebraciones!

–Reid.



Good day, Goodnight!
Thursday July 28th 2011, 1:46 am
Filed under: Friends, Me, Myself, and Reid

Today was a 5. I’m super tired from doing fun things with friends. Aaaaand not sleeping great last night.

Real brief:

-Went to lunch with my friend Krista, which was a lot of fun. We’re this close [ ] to figuring out all the details of our top secret creative project. Oh, at lunch, we overheard two women who work in the field of “faith based cancer treatment.” Oy gevalt.

-Played poker at Matt and Coreycondo Sullivans’ house with a bunch of other friends I’ve met through them over the years. We played way, way, way too late. I think this is going to become a weekly or bi-weekly affair, so we might need to set some rules about how late into the night it can go. I was one of the final four players, but I was getting so tired, I wasn’t realizing when I was supposed to be dealing or which cards I was supposed to hold (this seems like more than two cards… oh, this is the deck?). I was put out of my misery by Matt, and J and Rob mercifully agreed to split the third and second place winnings so that we could be done and go home. Despite any complaints, it was a lot of fun; I was simply too tired to win the game of attrition.

-I knew when it was ten o’clock Mountain Time because of all the birthday wishes coming in from the East Coast dinging on my phone, which I didn’t want to answer during the game. Thanks everyone! I’ll read them all tomorrow (later today)! I’m going to spend the next several hours of my birthday in a deep sleep.

Goodnight!

–Reid.



Being Remembered For All The Right Reasons: An Interesting Encounter
Tuesday July 26th 2011, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Family, Friends, Me, Myself, and Reid

Today was a 4. I’m very tired from doing things I wanted to be doing!

-Dropped by Gigi and Papa’s house and spent a couple hours just sitting, talking to Papa. It was great. I had to leave in the middle (or maybe just the beginning?) of a very long, interesting discussion. I’ll be back!

-I had to leave Papa’s so that I could get home in time for physical therapy. I did not make it home in time for physical therapy. My physical therapist was already at (in) the house. Oops, sorry! Of course, since she’s officially the sweetest person in the world, she said it wasn’t a problem. I still felt bad. We’ve started doing “advanced” exercises, which are really hard. I find I’m constantly frustrated with myself for not being able to do any new physical challenges faster. Which, after years of chemo, is fairly stupid. Oh well. I need to try to cut myself some slack. It was a really great, tiring session.

-I took a leave of absence from playing trivia with my regular team at my regular The Tavern tonight. Jason’s in town and was drafted by his sister and cousins (who I also grew up with) to play trivia at a different The Tavern (on Old South Gaylord), where they’ve been playing for awhile. They were kind enough to invite me along tonight. They’re a great, fun group that I like being around, and, of course, we had a lot of fun.

The highlight of the night, though, was running into Jason and my math teacher from sophomore year of high school, who was playing trivia on an opposing team. We named our team after him, because we thought it was funny (and it was). While he seemed to think the team name was funny, he didn’t really seem to take note of who we were, which is understandable after 12 years. However, as he was leaving, he stopped and talked to us briefly. Not only did he know both of our names, he knew what year we were in his class (1998–Jason and I had to add this up), and, most importantly of all, he remembered that we ditched his class to go see Star Wars. I’m not quite sure what that says about the kind of mark J and I left on the man, but I can tell you that he was still jealous that he couldn’t ditch teaching to go see Star Wars after all these years.

To sleep!

–Reid.



Geeking Out and Ranting! Just Breathe, Reid!
Monday July 25th 2011, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Liberty!, Me, Myself, and Reid, Technobabble, Who Knows?

Today was a 4. Despite some migraines, I got a lot done today.

I never figured out what I wanted to add to my to-do list yesterday. I can only imagine that whatever it was is now floating about, directionless, like so many other there-and-gones. Someday it will bump into someone, and for reasons they cannot explain, that person will have the uncontrollable urge to write “give away more socks” on whatever is right in front of them. It will probably be their boss’s shiny bald head or some kind of small dog, like a Yorkie.

I did manage to knock off several things that had made it to my to-do list from my to-do list. I’ve been using Gmail’s built in to-do list app, which is very straightforwardly named “Tasks,” since it was added to Gmail in December 2008. I had to look that date up, by the way, it wasn’t like I knew it off the top of my head. I’m not some kind of Google date memorizing guy or anything. Uh, the thing about Tasks that always bothered me was that I had to be in Gmail to access it, and even then, it was easy to lose it and forget about it. Recently, though, I discovered an official extension for Google Chrome (my web browser of choice) that lets you view and edit your Tasks any time. I’ve found it to be very useful.

Some really cool people pimp their cars, and some really pale people pimp their web browsers. *Ahem*

Right. Anyway, I got a lot of stuff done, which felt really good. It’s nice to get more than one thing on my list done in a day.

What else? My weekly standing Tuesday appointment of the last three years officially became my weekly standing Monday appointment today. That went well. After that, I got two separate migraines. Not due to the appointment switching days. Unrelated to the appointment in any way. I’m not sure why I got them at all. I really, really cannot wait to be off all my chemo-era pain meds so that [Reason #436]: I can take migraine relief medication that’s stronger than Excedrin, but isn’t a narcotic. Those are my two current options.

I also watched way too much of the manufactured political drama Debt Ceiling: Battleground 2011 that everyone’s been talking about. It seemed good at first. There were great characters, high stakes, and killer dialogue. Then there was some awesome compromise, and it seemed like everything would be resolved–but that fell apart. Man, it made for great TV! But then they just repeated that same formula over and over in every episode. It was like, “it worked once, why not keep doing the same thing?” Now there’s zero reason to follow it anymore–you’ve seen one of these story arcs, you’ve seen ’em all.

Ugh. What a really, really, pathetic state of affairs. I’m not happy with anybody right now. Not the President, not the Congress, not the media. And while I’m not happy with any of those institutions, I’m actually mad at the Tea Party, who I think are largely responsible for holding the country’s future hostage right now. I hate the divisiveness. I hate that compromise now means, “do it my way.” I hate that reelection takes priority over common sense, working together, and standing up for one’s principles. Not to mention making real, significant, lasting change for the good of the country.

Oh, what I would give for a politician like Teddy Roosevelt, who announced in 1904, after trouncing his opponent in the presidential election, that he would not seek another term. He was wildly popular and could have easily won another term, but instead, he pursued many policies and programs that he believed in, even though they were not politically popular. And guess what? Due to the success of those policies and programs, he left the Oval Office more popular than ever. There’s no one in Washington today that I’d compare.

Okay, I’m fairly sure I know what caused my migraines. Hoo. Wow. Breathe, Reid. The debt ceiling can’t hurt you tonight. Just breathe.

And, of course, we finished up the day by watching television on demand. We watched the second episode of a new Syfy show called Alphas. It’s kind of like Heroes, except stuff actually happens.

Wow, all that ranting and geeking out drained me good. I’m out.

–Reid.



To-Do List #1: Remember What To Put On To-Do List
Sunday July 24th 2011, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Family, Me, Myself, and Reid, RestauRants, Sodapopcornculture, Technobabble

Argh! Something came into my head, I said to myself, “oh yeah,” I was just about to add it to my to-do list, but instead of simply typing in whatever it was, I first read over the list of things already on the list. And then I accidentally clicked “You have 5 friends with birthdays this week,” which brought up my email and Facebook’s notice that 5 of my friends-on-the-Internet have birthdays this week. And I forgot what I was going to add to my to-do list. It might not have been that important (I don’t know, maybe it was), but it’s hovering around the outside of my head, like a balloon with a static charge. And just like a balloon floating around and sending little tiny sparks shooting into my skull, this missing task is floating on the boundary between my awareness and my critical irritation threshold.

I’ll just try to move on for now. Sigh. I’ll try…

I’ve had over a full, good week with no down or bad days. That’s awesome! I can’t tell you when the last time I could say that was. Well, I mean, I could tell you. I could’ve said it anytime, really. It wouldn’t have necessarily been true, and in fact, it probably wouldn’t have been true, but I could’ve said it. Even during chemo! But, as I am out to tell the truth, I suppose what I meant was that I can’t remember the last time I actually had so many good days in a row.

Today was a 4. I felt good and happy despite the weekend being a wash for my to-do list. Speaking of my to-do list, I think maybe the thing I was going to add to my to-do list had to do with my to-do list. Though… that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense… hmn, anyway…

-I was able to drive again today! My chemo-era-medication-induced blindness-at-ten-paces did not make an appearance today. There’s an editor’s ransom in dashes back in that previous sentence. I love driving. It gives me a feeling of independence after being sick and unable to go very many places for several years. I also just enjoy going places, and being the one to take myself to them.

-I had lunch with Rebecca and Grandma at Zaidy’s Deli. It was good to spend some time with Grandma, just we grandkids. We caught her up on our various goings-on. And Rebecca turned into a pickle. They only had sour dills, though, so Grandma and I, who like half sours, were okay.

-Rebecca and I went over to Grandma’s new apartment because Becca had not yet seen it and I like the jelly beans there. It’s a beautiful, huge apartment and it’s just fantastic for Grandma. We looked through some old photographs and discussed what to hang on the walls. It was very nice to spend an afternoon with Grandma. Oh, and the jelly beans are a brilliant marketing strategy to encourage repeat visits.

-I took a nap at the expense of my to-do list. I don’t think I got a single thing on it done this weekend, which I suppose is okay. Especially since I haven’t just been lollygagging around, and there’s always tomoDAMNIT! What was that thing I was going to put on the list?! It’s driving me crazy! Wait! Waitaminute. CRAZY! That’s it! Let’s see… crazy… nuts… peanut butter… no, never mind, it was nothing.

-The Folks and I went to a new Mexican restaurant with Aunt Stacie’s family. Together, we are a group that likes our Mexican food, but often with quite different discriminating tastes. Between us, we’ve tried every Mexican restaurant this side of the Rio Grande. Well, I dunno, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but we’re pretty darn close to having tried every Mexican restaurant this side of the Rio Grande. Okay, no, not really, but we have tried lots. Maybe a dozen. Maybe even a baker’s dozen. Lots.

The service at this place wasn’t the best. My mom ordered something unsmothered, which arrived at the table smothered in pork green chili. My mom doesn’t eat pork, so she asked the waiter if there was pork in the chili in which her food had been smothered. He said no. But then she found a chunk of meat that definitely could only be pork, and she showed it to the waiter. At first, he stood by his original position, that there was no pork. Then, that tactic having failed, he insisted that what she had found was cheese. Finally, he identified it as “only a little pork.” She got a new plate with her original smother-free order.

This wasn’t representative of the service as a whole. Or of the food, which I thought was very okay. Or of the place’s name, which I can’t remember. So, in closing, I guess I’ll ask someone the name tomorrow and give this place a rating or probably just forget.

-We went to the grocery store to trade all our coinage to a Coinstar machine. Apparently, my mom noticed recently that one of the options on Coinstar machines is to get gift certificates for things like iTunes and Amazon.com for the value of all your coins (with no fee). This could be something that’s been going on for years, but we just noticed it. When I lived in Brooklyn (2003), I hiked to the only Coinstar machine that showed up on Coinstar’s map of Coinstar machines on the East Coast. I swear I left Brooklyn, and back in those days, you could only get money. And there was a huge fee. I remember getting back $17.85. I trekked outside New York State altogether I tells ya…

Anywho, I have no idea how this all came up tonight, but before dinner, my dad told me to grab any spare change I had lying around. In fact, I had a ceramic blue piggy bank with my name on it and a silver Snoopy bank absolutely filled to the brim. Both banks were probably given to me when I was born, although the coins inside were added by me over the past 10-12 years. In the end, I wound up with a $58.19 Amazon.com Gift Card and a 2 eurocent, which had apparently been amongst my change.

-We took a walk tonight, but this time a little earlier so we were not walking around in total darkness. Another beautiful night.

-We ended the night with the season premiere of TNT’s The Closer on demand. In the future, will there be any reason for non-news networks to broadcast pre-recorded programming? Its seems like they could simply release their shows (with commercials) on a schedule through a video on demand system, rather than having people “tune in.”

OH! HOLY CRAP! I KNOW WHAT I WANTED TO ADD TO THE TO-DO LI

…nope, lost it again. Damnit.

–Reid.



The Tablet Quest Comes To An End! ALSO: Succulent Burgers, The Cable Box, and Indy Meets the X-Files
Saturday July 23rd 2011, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Family, Me, Myself, and Reid, RestauRants, Sodapopcornculture, Technobabble

Today was a 4. I felt good and despite not getting most of what I wanted to get done done, it was an all around good day.

-I slept in very late.

-Went to lunch with the Folks. Dad was in the mood for burgers, and listed off a bunch of burger joints from which we could procure burgers. This put me in the mood for burgers. Dad ushered us into the car and drove towards The Counter at Park Meadows Mall. Oh man, I love their burgers. You can put anything from a list four pages long on your burgers, on myriad kinds of bread or notbread, you can even choose from a variety of meats and non-meats. These burgers are so succulent, we only have them once in a very long while, for risk of over-succulating. Mmmm… The Counter.

-It turns out The Counter went out of business several months ago. That’s a shame.

-We wandered around the outside part of Park Meadows and found a fish place called the Fish City Grill. It’s in a place that I can’t imagine gets much foot traffic. In fact, I would say, of all the places in the entire mall, including the outdoor part, it’s probably in the worst spot for foot traffic. Nonetheless, they’ve been open for three years (and we did stumble upon them, despite their odd location). Pushing our cravings for succulent burgers aside, we all had various fishy lunches. I had fish and chips, which was really good. The chips, or fries as we call them in America, were waffle cut fries and they were delicious. They were very fresh (some even had a bit of potato skin still on them) and not only complimented my fish well, but also the meals of some vultures. It was a great restaurant, to which I will probably return. Out of a possible 19 cod with capes, I give Fish City Grill a solid 15 caped cods.

-We went to Best Buy and picked up my Wacom Intuos4 Medium Graphics Tablet. The same Best Buy we’d gone to yesterday, where we’d been told they had no Wacom Intuos4 Medium Graphics Tablets in stock, despite their website clearly stating they had several Wacom Intuos4 Medium Graphics Tablets in stock. My mom, whose brand of never-give-up spirit is the stuff of legend, was able to reserve a Wacom Intuos4 Medium Graphics Tablet online this morning somehow, and was told we could pick it up today. Honestly, I’m overjoyed to finally have my Wacom Intuos4 Medium Graphics Tablet, but, seriously, what a stupid quest to obtain the thing!

-We went over to Grandma’s new apartment and helped her with some things, like putting stuff away, taking things down to her storage lockers, and breaking her cable. That last one was a bit of unintentional bonus help that we did not even realize we had rendered for awhile. At some point, we realized that the TV connected to the cable box we’d been moving around had been displaying a message to the effect of “Your cable will return momentarily” for several hours. This message, clearly a lie, left us with only two options: 1) call the cable company, or 2) bash the TV screen in with a rock. Despite some dissent, we ended up going with the smarter of the two options. The hardest part turned out to be finding a big enough rock.

-We had dinner with Aunt Cindy’s family at a place of their choosing: The Tavern. Hah! They did not know that we try to play trivia there almost every week. I don’t know that I’ve ever been there when not playing trivia before, but luckily, their food is very good, so that worked out well. Also, the hostess, who is not a hostess I recognized from trivia nights, just happened to seat us at our regular trivia table. WoooOOoOoOooO… cosmic trivia alignment… It was neat to hear my cousin Gabe recount some of his favorite adventures in Israel. He’s been there all summer and just returned (and got his driver’s license, to boot). He went on the Israel Study Tour, the same trip that I went on before my senior year of high school, and the same one Aunt Cindy went on before her senior year of high school. It’s really an amazing program for Jewish youth in Denver and Boulder. And of course it was good to see the others as well! Good times.

-We took a very nice walk with Ferris. The sun below the horizon, it was getting dark and cooling off from the 98° heat of the day. There was a cool breeze, which was almost as refreshing as the sprinklers that hit us. It was really nice to be outside.

-We returned home and watched one episode of a TV show. I’ve said it before: I didn’t watch more than two TV shows before I moved back in with my parents. For a few years, that annoyed me. Now I can either see the value of these great shows to which they introduced me or, alternately, I’ve grown addicted the squawk box. We took a break from the USA Network tonight and worked our way over to Syfy to watch the second episode of Warehouse 13’s new season. I love that show. It’s got very good characters and very cool toys; together they make the show. It’s a solid mix of Indiana Jones, the X-Files, and a little bit of Ghostbusters.

You know, like Indiana Jones 4: George Lucas Used To Be A Great Storyteller.

–Reid.



Grandparents, Dragons and Knights and Wizards or Something, also… THWARTED!
Friday July 22nd 2011, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Family, Me, Myself, and Reid, RestauRants, Sodapopcornculture, Technobabble

Today was a 4. I felt good, got some stuff done and was thwarted at getting some other stuff done.

The day in brief:

-Mom and I had lunch with Gigi and Papa. Normally lunch with them is a nice, short, efficient affair (they, like all of my mom’s side of the family, are escape artists), but today we took our time and spent two hours eating and talking. It was wonderful to sit and talk with them for that long. Gigi recently obtained some pictures and documents of her father’s family, which she showed us. She told us about each picture–I love family history. We dined at a new restaurant nearby called Purple Ginger Asian Fusion. It wasn’t bad, but it was quite underwhelming. I give it 4 pieces of a bland 8 piece sushi roll.

-We went to Borders because it’s going out of business and I had two gift cards there. I bought the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet (which I might already own in NYC, but oh well, I want to read them again), and I still have some gift money left. Which is fine, because it turns out Borders.com still works. I’d like read some high fantasy books, but I don’t really know where to start. I like Arthurian legend, Harry Potter, Fables (the fantasy comic, not the genre… although I do like the genre, too), and I really liked The Chronicles of Prydain when I was young. I’ve tried to read The Lord of the Rings, but I’ve never been able to get into it (although I enjoyed the movies). I don’t think I’ve read much other high fantasy than that, which surprises me. I’d appreciate any suggestions!

-We went to Best Buy to best buy my graphics tablet for $120 cheaper than I bought it for at Micro Center. However, despite their website stating that they had them in stock at that location, they did not have them in stock at that location. THWARTED!

-We went home. I best bought the tablet online for in-store pickup at a different Best Buy that had several in stock. However, less than five minutes later I received an email stating, “Haha just kidding that Best Buy locations doesn’t have the tablet you want either! Fooled you! Haha!” THWARTED AGAIN!

-By this time I was very tired and hot, so I decided I would put off thwarting those thwarters and their thwartenings that had thwarted me. Revenge can always wait. Nap time is hard to put off.

-Due to the time spent at Borders and dealing with Best Buy (which all took much longer than expected or reasonable), I didn’t get some other things done today I wanted to get done today. It’s all small on-the-computer stuff, so I think I’ll be able to get it done tomorrow.

-My folks and I watched three episodes of Burn Notice. So much USA Network. It sustains us through the summer. Or part of it at least. And a brief period during the winter. We can quit any time we want to.

–Reid.



Training, Taking It To The Micro Man, Rolls With Rebecca

Today was a 5. I felt really good, got stuff done, and enjoyed the things I wanted to do.

-I started strength training again with my trainer Diana. We haven’t worked together for a long time because I haven’t been up to it for a long time. She used to come to the house and bring barbells and weights, but since I’m no longer burdened by chemo, I was able to go to her gym. I’m confident this will help me on my road to recovery. I’m very excited to be training again! I even remember some of the tricks she taught me, like sitting, shaking, and rolling over. Unfortunately, even after all this time, we’re still confronting my barking problem.

-I ran some errands (I drove! I could see today!), including marching into Micro Center and returning the overpriced graphics tablet I’d purchased there. When the woman asked what was wrong with it, I told her they were selling it for $120 more than another business in the area. She asked if I wanted her to see if she could price match it. I told her I had no problem with her, but that I didn’t want to give the store the satisfaction. By “the satisfaction,” I meant “any money whatsoever,” and whether she knew that or not, she let me return the tablet and wished me a nice day. Hah hah! Take that, you corporate barons, what with your high prices, lying sales associates, and very friendly and helpful customer service representatives!

-Rebecca and I started what we hope to make a new tradition of getting dinner one night a week. Since she moved out of the house, we figure this is a good way to make sure we stay in the habit of spending sibling time together and keeping one another up-to-date on our various goings-on. Tonight we ate at Sushi Sa Sa (try saying that a million times fast) in the Highlands neighborhood near downtown. The Highlands is hip and cool, so naturally, we fit right in. We ordered some original Sa Sa sushi rolls and some traditional sushi rolls; it was all delicious and surprisingly filling. I have to agree with Rebecca’s assessment that it was some of the freshest fish we’ve ever had in sushi. Highly recommended!

-As a bonus to our sibling night, we ran into popular radio personalities Slacker and Steve, who, much their credit (and my surprise), recognized me from that time I was on their radio show to support The Children’s Hospital (I thought there were pictures in that post… there are pictures somewhere). This was not only impressive because they surely meet thousands of people every week, but because I was totally and completely bald when we first met. And now I have hair. Very cool.

-I drove home, and no day would be complete without watching at least one episode of some television show with my parents. Tonight, Royal Pains featuring The Fonz and Lou Grant.

I’m as worn out as person who did a lot of stuff all day, and as happy as a clown that won the lottery.

Goodnight,

–Reid.



Sleep and What You Need To Know About Doctor’s Entourages
Wednesday July 20th 2011, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Health (Not Cancer), Leukemia, Me, Myself, and Reid, Sodapopcornculture

Today was a 3. I felt pretty good, though sleepy. And I slept all day.

I did not sleep well last night. After some improved sleep for a few months, I’m slipping back into difficult sleep. My lucid dreams have returned after being virtually non-existant for while. And on top of that, I’m having to get up a lot during the night. Some nights, I can get enough sleep like this, but the lucid dreams are so incredibly exhausting. And last night I had at least three. While I’m annoyed by this semisleep, there are two things keeping my spirits up:

1. During chemo, I had it much worse. Excruciating pain all night! Several night long stretches of insomnia! Being woken up really early in the morning at the hospital! That last one might not sound so bad. You might even think, “I have to get up early, so what?” I’ll tell you what, Mister. Or Lady. (I can’t see you.)

If it’s a doctor that wakes you up, chances are there’s a whole crew of people with them that you’ve never met, comprised of people called things like “residents,” “fellows,” “interns,” “med students,” “voyeurs,” “stone masons,” “harpsichordists,” “lion tamers,” and “Phyllis.” You wake up, because the doctor says, “Good morning,” and you look out your window at the Moon and the starry sky, before you realize there’s this huge posy staring at you. They all have clipboards, and they’re writing things down, and what could the possibly be writing down?! The only thing that happened was that the doctor woke you up! And while we’re at it, you’d only been sleeping for an hour and a half, because people came in all through the night to take your blood and roll you over and x-ray you, and the whole time, you were in agonizing pain! Never forget the agonizing pain! And annoyance! And then, inevitably the question: “Do you mind if all these people with clipboards stare at you while I ask you questions and poke you?” Only having been awake a few seconds, you look around at the doctor’s entourage, at their expectant faces, at their puppy dog eyes pleading with you, and you realize, “Hey wait a minute, they are already surrounding my bed.” And that happens a lot! Maybe every day! I can’t remember.

2. Many of the medications I’ve been on for three years have negative side effects that affect sleep. Or, put positively, many of the medications I’ve been on for three years really, really help with staying wide awake through the night, spark crazy dreams and hallucinations and possibly vision quests, and cause frequent trips to the bathroom. Like ten times a night. Fortunately, I am getting off of these meds. Hooray!

Things I did today that were not sleeping: I ate, I walked Ferris The Dog with Mom, and I watched more delightful on demand programming from the USA Network with my parents. We watched an episode of Royal Pains and two episodes of White Collar. Thoroughly enjoyable all around.

I don’t like sleeping all day, or most of the day, or even much of the day. I prefer to be up and doing things. But if my body needs sleep during this recovery period, I do my best to sleep. I need to listen to what it wants.

I have things scheduled tomorrow. With that in mind, I’d better try to get some sleep so I’m ready to not sleep all day.

–Reid.