Saturday, September 30, 2006
When people have kids, I am convinced that the neurotransmitter that controls fun, as well as the ones that give people perspective are severely alterred. If I have another friend with kids who tells me I don't understand what it's like to have kids, I am going to run for Nebraska State Legislature on a forced steralization platform. They're right, I don't know what it's like to have kids. You know why I don't know, because I made a decision a long time ago that if I was going to have kids, it wasn't going to be for a long time.
I don't know what it's like to have kids, yet. But my friends with kids already will never know what it's like to be in their late 20s without having kids. Here's are some other things they don't seem to understand.
People without kids don't care about what percentile rank your child happens to be in height and weight. Unless your kid is 45 pounds at 18 months-old, does it really matter? And then I'll probably just pinch those incredibly chubby cheeks. You're not a mad scientist, you didn't control how your kid's genes were expressed. Get over your fat little bastard.
Having kids doesn't mean you have to abandon fun. If I had a dollar for everytime a friend with kids used their kids as an excuse not to do something social, I wouldn't need to second job to pay for my drinking problem. It's not like I'm asking them to road trip to Guadalajara and inject heroin directly into their necks. We're talking going to the bar and having a beer. Those of you with kids who still do this stuff are models for the rest of society.
Don't treat people without kids like there's no possible way they can understand what kids are like. When people have kids, they act like suddenly as the afterbirth was leaving the vagina, knowledge of children that only parents can have was suddenly imparted. I work with kids and the best parents I know are the ones who don't act like people without kids can't possibly know anything about kids.
We've all had sex. Some of us were just smart enough to take the proper precautions.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Okay folks, like a rock band that just got done playing 3 slammers in a row, now it's time to take it down a notch. Because I am going to hijack this Blog to say goodbye to a beloved family pet: GPA and my cat, Sasha, who joined the great carpeted jungle-gym in the sky today. So, snuggle up with a pet of your own, or a glass of whiskey, and join my on this meloncholy trip down pet lane.
GPA and I adopted Sasha in September of 1998. We had just moved to Minneapolis, I had just entered law school, and GPA had just passed her NASD series 7 and series 63. We had promised each other that, after she passed her tests, we would get a cat as a reward (even though the apartment building we were living in didn't allow cats). And so, on a crisp Friday night, we ventured to the local Humane Society. After test-petting several cats, we picked up a small, fluffy cat named Sadie. She started audibly purring the minute we picked her up, and loved being petted. We were sold. We took her home, liberated her from her old-lady-esque name, and began a long process of getting to know her. The first three days, Sasha hid under the bed and wouldn't come out. Finally, I dragged her out (by her tail) and we made her interact with us. After that day, we were officially a family.
Almost anyone who has ever visted us has met Sasha, since she would jump up in the lap of visitors and make them pet her, allergies notwithstanding. Sasha had no use for fake mice (even those stuffed with catnip) or cat toys of almost any type, but did have 2 weaknesses: wadded-up receipts and bows (like from presents). The double-bungalo we moved to after living in the tiny apartment where Sasha first joined us had a carpeted set of stairs. Sasha would flop on one of those stairs, I would throw a wadded-up receipt to her, and she would bat it back down to me. Repeat ad infinitum.
For her entire life with us, Sasha would throw up her food about once every four days. We took her to a vet after about a year of this and the vet diagnosed her with a mild pancrease condition. Every month or so, we gave her a pill, and otherwised got accustomed to cleaning up cat barf (which was an officially-designated GPA job). Last Sunday, we noticed that Sasha hadn't eaten for several days, so we took her to a local vet. The final diagnosis was that essentially every organ in her body was shutting down. GPA and I paid a final visit to her this morning, held her, and cried like 6-year-old girls who had been told that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny had gotten into a head-on, no-survivors car accident with Barbie, Cinderella and Big Bird. I figure we must have appeared geniunely sad because we made the vet cry, and they have to deal with dying pets every day.
I have wondered, in the last several days, whether it would have been easier to take had we just woken up one morning and found her dead. I think this may be one of those pull the bandaid slowly vs. quickly kind of arguments. In general, I'm glad I had a chance to say goodbye to her, as hard as it was.
There are any number of Hallmark-ready lessons one can learn when a pet dies. The only one interesting enough to bear repeating, in my opinion, is this: in life, we have a choice to either open ourselves up to love and life and new experiences, or to close ourselves off and develop a hard shell (Red Foreman-style) of "don't give a shit." If you pick the former route, you open yourself up to all kinds of pain and sadness because that goes hand-in-hand with happiness and joy and love. If you pick the latter route, you will seldom be horribly depressed, but you will seldom be all that happy, either. As usual, Shakespeare summed all of that up very concisely: it IS better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
This is, ultimately, every pet lover's dilema, because the simple fact is, unless you have a toucan or a Galapagos turtle as a pet, we live much longer than our pets do. So, whether you want to think about it or not, every pet you love is a pet you will eventually have to say goodbye to. Thanks, Captain Bring-Down!
At the end of the day, what I will remember about Sasha is the unique slice of my life that I shared with her. She joined our family as I was entering law school, GPA was starting her career, and we were both living in a tiny, crappy one-bedroom apartment. In the 8 years she spent with us, we moved 3 times, including one major move; I changed jobs 4 times; GPA changed employers twice and got promoted 7 times. Our household income increased by 1000%. We owned 4 different cars. I earned my JD and GPA earned her MBA. I went from essentially college student (age 22) to adult-whether-I-want-to-be-or-not (30). Throughout all of it, the only two constants in my life were GPA and Sasha.
So, this blog entry is my tribute to the tiny grey cat who changed me from a dog person to a cat person. I hope your life with us was as great as our life with you. If there is a heaven, we'll see you there, because it wouldn't be heaven without you.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The office is typical of most doctors, in that it smells too nice (whoever invented aromatherapy needs to fall in a well and die), and has the worst music playing over the PA that you could possibly imagine. Worse than 'smooth jazz,' even. This office has the radio set to a 'romance' station. That's bad enough by itself, but all the songs on this station are about 'Baby come back' and 'Baby please don't go.' You know, the kind of stuff that makes even the biggest American Idol fan want to put a gun in their mouth.
Well, the doctor's office called me on Monday morning to schedule another appointment to go over my blood work, and since he told me last Friday that 'no news was good news,' I immediately started making myself sick with worry. Not only was I about to get bad news, but I had to step foot back in that waiting room. But what could it be? Low thyroid? My mom and dad both take medication for it. Cholesterol? Could be, but I work out and don't eat fast food as often as I could. HIV? I can count on two hands the number of women I've been with, and that's only using one finger on the other hand. But of course, that was what my mind started racing about, and the last thing I wanted was to star in a Family Guy skit. In fact, that guy has dark brown hair and a goatee too! Maybe I have the AIDS?!?
So I suffered through another 30 minutes of Hall and Oates and Chicago to hear that I have high cholesterol. My total number is 251, and my LDL is 151. Apparently, that's pretty high. What sucks most of all is, I'm only 31, I'm not overweight, and I'm pretty active physically. But apparently, I'm not active enough (I haven't been doing much cardio, just weight lifting and kung-fu), and I still eat too much food that's bad for me. So the doctor gave me three months to tighten down the diet, and work 30 minutes of cardio into my routine, three times a week at least, and if my cholesterol numbers get to a more manageable level, I won't have to be put on Lipitor or something similar. Still, if I test high again in three months, I think I'm gonna get a second opinion, but god DAMN. I hate trying to find a new doctor.
Speaking of a second opinion, I just found this link. Maybe my cholesterol isn't as bad as my new doctor thinks. My family has a history of heart disease, but that's the only risk factor I have. It's still higher than I want it to be, but are drugs the answer? He gave me a choice of getting on a cholesterol-reducing drug now, or trying diet and exercise. I'm going to give the diet and cardio an honest try for three months to see what happens, but there's a small chance that I found a shitty doctor again. Come to think of it, his exam room has a picture of his daughter with some fascist Texas senator. Yeah, maybe I DO need a second opinion.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
There's probably not a better day of the year as far as I'm concerned than Opening Day of the NFL season. I mean it. Christmas usually involves a lot more travel and a lot less relaxation than any one of us would probably opt for. College football season almost always starts out with weak match-ups and blow-outs, although I'm looking forward to a great game between Ohio State at Texas this weekend. Predicting the outcome of an NFL season is always difficult. Teams that are supposed to be quality, self-destruct (anyone remember how many people picked the Viqueens to win the NFC North last year, before the boat/sex/party?). Knees and Achilles tendons explode. Teams that are supposed to finish last in their division, can make it to the AFC Championship game (The DENVER BRONCOS). It's literally anybody's guess what might happen.
Until now. I am going to offer my predictions on the season. We'll revisit them at the end of the season and see how I did (something that more reputable sports analysts would never do).
5) The Pittsburgh Steelers will beat the Miami Dolphins tonight in the season opening game, but will not return to the Super Bowl. Hear me now and listen to me later, everyone and their donkey thinks that Miami is going to be hot like the cars in the Baltimore Ravens' player parking lot. Miami will have a good season, but people are giving Dante Culpepper way too many reacharounds already. Let's see what he can do BEFORE felating him in every season preview. The Steelers' defense is going to be dominating tonight. And I hate the Steelers.
4) Ring Ring Ring...Kansas City Chiefs are in for a wake-up call - Not only will Larry "I stole my name from a basketball player" Johnson NOT rush for 2000 yards this season, but the Cheats will finish last in the AFC West, which is a bold statement considering they'll have to pry that out the the San Diego Chargers and Toakland Raiders cold, dead hands. Herm Edwards runs to most boring offense in the league, and he doesn't have the brass balls that cry-baby Dick Vermeil did (remember the Raiders' game at Arrowhead last year?)
3) Shaun Alexander breaks the Madden curse We've all heard it. Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and others are among its victims. However, Shaun Alexander is a badass, and while the Seahawks won't be back in the Super Bowl either, expect another stellar year from Alexander.
2) Chicago Bears come up short I think the Bears will win the NFC North Division easily. However, the playoffs are never a good place for a team with Brian Greise as their best option at Quarterback. Sorry, Super Fans, there's always your favorite saying, which is "There's always next year."
1) Carolina vs. Indy in the Super Bowl - Carolina is everybody's NFC favorite for the Super Bowl, and I will jump on that bandwagon until someone gives me a reason to think otherwise. Indy was a shoestring tackle by Ben "I don't need no stinking helmet" Rotlessburgers and a missed field goal by Mike Vanderjackoff from being in the Super Bowl last year, and I don't care who the running back is, the Colts are going to the big show this year.
Check back with me in January to see how I did.