Friday, January 13, 2012


My Dad had bypass surgery today. He came through with flying colors. The surgeon was pleased with the relative ease of the procedure, which finished without too many surprises and without major complications. My Dad will fight another day.

Scary, stressful day. I'd been told over and over just what to expect when we finally did see him after surgery. Nothing prepares you for having to see your Dad intubated, with all manner of drip drains and wires coming out of him.

Nothing prepares you to see him in that discomfort.

I won't get up too much on the soapbox, except to say: lay off all the shit you eat, exercise a bit more, and if you smoke, please stop. And I say that as Offender #1.

Nothing prepares you.

Time to get my own house in order there, too.

Still. He is alive. And I am thankful beyond my capacity for words to express it.

Stressful, but not a bad day. I remember why I like do my family. I remember that I do work with good people who do care a lot. And I remember that, by little more than dumb luck, I have surrounded myself with a tremendous group of friends.

And I get to keep my Dad around for a while longer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stories that hit close to home

This. I have friends in Chattanooga and friends in Knoxville that are in my thoughts today.

Tough day. Good people, all.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Twenty Twelve: the Resolution Edition.

Hello, and welcome to 2012.

I think this is the year that I finally feel comfortable calling it "Twenty-____." I've tried hard for the past couple of years, but I think I've finally gotten this century broken in, where I can just slip January first, Twenty-Twelve in without feeling like it's a pair of pants that's a bit binding around the family jewels.

And I hate pants like that.

Resolutions? Giving it some thought.

Dunno how many people are popping by here that don't already follow on The Twitter or The Facebook, but my Dad's had some tests run this week, and the results have led to his being scheduled for bypass surgery this Wednesday.

His condition being a result of heredity combined with life choices, it's kinda made me open my fat little eyes a little bit. That's the genesis of the first resolution:

1.) Cut back on the fatty foods and eat better. I can't say I'll stop eating shit, being that I work all the goddamn time, and being trapped at a grocery store sometimes 11 hours at a time, you have to go with what's quick and ready (I know that's a conundrum...but I work at a store that doesn't go with a great deal of prepared food, as opposed to your Publix of the world...). But, I can eat more vegetables, and stop less at Hardee's for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. I can make smarter choices than I have been. It's a resolution most of us make, at some point or another. I know I've made it before. But truth be told, this week scared me a little.

2.) Get out and walk/bike/exercise some more. Another casualty of the work week, in 2011. Just gotta make the time, even if I'm pulling a 65-70 hour work week. Once upon a time, about 5 years ago, I'd managed to lose a lot of weight. I don't know a number exactly, but it was a degree of nearly 2 shirt sizes. Just eating right, and walking daily. So, back to that.

3.) Write more. Work bullshit again. Setting a personal quota. Even if it's nonsense that I'm posting on the blog.

4.) Work less. I joked with somebody last night about it. Truth is, January through May, and then again from October to December, it was a lot of 65-70 hour work weeks, and a lot of 6- and 7-day work weeks. And truth be told, I'm not sure how much credit it's bought me. I'm ready to promote. And there were changes in-company. Final tally is I made less in 2011 than I've made any of the previous 6 years. Which is discouraging. So, I'm not intending this as a declaration that at the end of 45 hours (which is the mandated work week), I drop it. I take more pride in my work than that. So, what I'm talking about here is working more efficiently, and having less tunnel vision. Realizing that my life outside of the store is more important than the one in it. I work to live, not live to work.

If the above words come back to haunt me, so be it. Call me naive, if you will. Any time I start up, some jackass starts up with the "be happy you have a job" speech. What ever. I am grateful for a job. But it's a two-way street. I'm tired of working this hard and having so little to show for it, and having to rob Peter of his time to pay the Paul of my job.

5. Stop using shaky metaphors like the one mentioned one sentence prior.

6. Read more. I read more in 2011 than in the previous few years, which was gratifying. Again, October through December was just 4 books. Again. Time.

7. Show everybody, once again, why I am the True Human Suplex Machine

8. Start putting the Whoopass in the can again, using my own special secret ingredients (hint: Cardamom, and Jujitsu).

9. No More Oboes.