Search Lobsterland

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow Day

Well, first off, I was late for work. It couldn't be helped, I had to go to the doctor. Nothing serious, just a total nuisance. I was treating it with over-the-counter stuff and it was only getting worse. I decided to walk in while I could still walk.

Really, I almost always walk in when I do go to the doctor. This is because the doctor at this office who takes appointments is a talking version of Harpo Marx (if Harpo could be made both ignorant and mean). My ex was more charitable in her assessment of him: she called him the Clown Doctor. If I go on a walk-in basis, I'm fairly safe from Dr. Harpo because he's trying to get the HMO-required 30 appointments per hour in, so he's much too busy telling other people they are turning their ADHD kids into tweakers and/or dope dealers if they buy that whole Ritalin thing.*

Anyway, I get to work and I'm not there long when I realize it's about time for Em's Dare graduation. I'm not real pro on the whole brainwashing drug war aspects of the Dare program, but I'm not going to make her feel bad for having to sit through the Hitler Youth class.** She didn't create this stupid program.

But I get to the venue and duh, the school is closed for the weather. We had a bit of an ice storm and it was already starting to snow a bit by now.

I worked into the evening to make up the time I spent reading Thomas Pynchon while I waited on my walk-in doctor's visit. It snowed so hard you couldn't see the Stuff-Mart a quarter mile off. It blew sideways. They had us move our cars while they did snow removal and we brushed off our cars and yet, when I left, my car was heavily covered again.

I got home and got that workout I keep meaning to get back into, shoveling and sweeping snow. Even a pathetic attempt at snow removal was an hour of pretty hard work.

Still, I love it when it really snows. Usually, we just get enough to make a nasty mess. I wish I could stay out of work tomorrow like my kiddos. Remember when instead of more hassle, a snow like this meant Play Time?

*I am not making this up. He looked me in the face and called me a speed addict when he found out I was taking Ritalin (under the supervision of a psychiatrist). When I pointed out that my kids' diagnosis and treatment was what got me looking into it, he told me that the street value of the stuff was about $5 to $10 a pill and he never met the kid who could resist the temptation to live with ADHD and sell their medicine for that kind of profit. Then he slipped on a glove, lubed it up and wondered why I couldn't relax for a rectal exam.

**No kidding. The war on drugs is Jim Crow, The Sequel. Dare leads to such nonsense as the daughter of a friend of mine breaking down in tears at a police roadside check because her Mommy was about to be busted for having drugs in the car. The drugs in question were Marlboro Lights. You cannot legislate sobriety, but you can give children a chance to wonder if you're lying about EVERYTHING. If you wildly exaggerate the dangers of beer, why will they believe what you said about huffing spray paint?


This chick I dated in high school found this photo in a stack of old love letters and sent it to me. It's the cast photo from The Foreigner, the fall play my junior year of high school.

I only read for it because a Drama teacher said it would be good practice. To my shock, I got a part, Owen Musser. Learning experience, big-time.

The scowl (I'm the one in the back) was a matter of being in character.

What strikes me about this picture now (besides how ridiculously young everyone looks, considering at the time I would have described the lot of us as basically adults) is that three of the five guys in the picture are gay.

I'm not outing anyone here. One of them came out in 8th grade. It was a brilliant move in terms of getting girls excited about him; the pitiful thing was he was the only guy in sight who didn't care if the girls were excited. I was so jealous, I tried to pass myself off as bisexual in hopes of drawing some of these girls off. One in particular. But then I got semi-put up to kissing guy by way of proving my status, and I chickened out. She was adorable, but I couldn't quite get myself to kiss a boy in hopes of kissing her.

It's one of those 'wish I was queer so I could get chicks' things.

Another of this cast came out in high school. What shocked everyone about it wasn't that he liked guys, it's that he was also a Republican. I saw a bit about him in the paper awhile back during an election cycle, talking about the Log Cabin Republican thing. His boyfriend in high school was even more of a square, the kind of kid who wore ties to school and got excited about gubernatorial politics.

I think the third came out in college. And way out, cover of the newspaper marching with his parents in the Gay Pride parade. I think they still called it Gay Pride back then; these days they just say 'Pride,' I guess because if you don't know what they're proud of, you can't come to the party.

Come to think of it, the fourth guy (aside from me) in the picture, I'm trying to remember if I ever saw him with a girl...

Thing is, I hate stereotypes. I totally don't believe in them. And yet here we have the cast of a play in a school with a massive Drama program, and I might be the only male cast member who doesn't putt from the rough.

I wish I did go for guys, though. It would make me a babe magnet.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Indian Summer

I don't, on the whole, mind cold weather as much as hot. I would be more likely to adapt successfully to Alaska or Newfoundland than to Houston or Phoenix. Still, this is a very relative thing. I survived a heart attack, it's no endorsement.

I think, climate-wise, Seattle might be my ideal. I've never been there, and I know they've had a hell of a snow up there this week, but it makes national news because it's a freak of nature (or another warning sign that our failure to control pollution in the face of a new Ice Age*). If Buffalo gets a snow like that, they don't even cancel school.

Here in the midwest, we get it all. I've seen 112º (and remember a heat wave where it didn't go below 100º even at night for days and days), and I've seen -25º (in back to back nights). I'm familiar with droughts so bad you're supposed to water your foundation to keep it from distorting and breaking up, and the time I put in a big garden it rained for 40 days and 40 nights (remember in 1993, when you could boat across the state of Missouri?) etc.

San Francisco, there's a climate you can tip your hat to.

I'm just pissed. Today when I left work, I went to get my ice scraper out of the trunk and my trunk was frozen shut. I borrowed a scraper from a coworker, but damn. About got frostbite just knocking the worst of it off.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I hate it when the school calls. Because they don't call to tell me my kid is cussing at the teacher or picking fights. They call because Mo is having a seizure.

Yes, she's on medication. We switched to Trileptal when the Tegretol quit being the silver bullet. On the whole, it's been much better.

But today, I got a call at work, Mo was seizing. I'm on my way.

I could see the emergency vehicles when I turned the corner to the school, so I knew it was a bad one. You know, when you're thinking about getting your freak on, you might know that leads to babies, that might even be the reason you're going at it, but this is not in the literature. Turning the corner to your daughter's elementary school, seeing cop cars and fire trucks and whatnot with their lights going, and knowing they are there for your child? This is a lot to take in.

When I got through the school and out to the playground where she had seized, she was just starting to open her eyes, register the world in a vaguely regular way. My first impression was she'd been postictal for a while. My work is close by, and I don't waste time getting out the door when this call comes, but it still takes a good ten minutes to cover the ground.

The ambulance wasn't there yet, but sometimes she doesn't need transported to the ER, so I wondered if maybe the fire trucks and cop cars were it.

Then I saw the Diastat, and started hearing the story of this seizure, and I knew the ambulance was coming. Any time the Diastat is administered, for one, they want to check her out.

For the uninitiated, it's a rectal syringe of valium, and I guarantee you 10mg of valium up your butt is more party than Axl Rose could maintain through. Mo, however, seems to take it in stride. Sometimes sleeps less after the seizure when it's been administered.

But this time, the Diastat either didn't do the trick (arrest the seizure), or else it would have been even worse without it. And that's hard to picture. The Diastat isn't administered unless the seizure continues past five minutes. Usually it acts almost instantly, but this time, the seizure only got worse. With contortions and body convulsions that shocked even the staffers who have been unfortunate enough to witness Mo in a grand mall fit. By one account, her color changed and she appeared to stop breathing a couple of times.

The seizure had just ended about the time I got to the school, in other words. Maybe the Diastat didn't work or maybe the seizure would have been even bigger and longer without it. I've heard of 45 minute seizures, but I sure as hell hope I never see one.

I rode in the ambulance with her, and she came around a bit in the ride to the hospital. Enough to make it hard to give her oxygen (but Dad, you always tell me not to put things in my nose! I hear her think). She got a stuffed animal from a paramedic, one of several such souvenirs she's collected in her unfortunate career.

At the hospital, she was still zonked enough to let them put a pulse meter on her finger and a blood pressure cuff on. But by the time the slow-ass process in the ER (one hopes that gunshot wounds and heart attacks don't sit for hours waiting to hear what's up), she was relatively full of beans. Not quite up to her usual, but who would expect her to be?

She asked me for the camera, she wanted me to take pictures. Go figure, I forgot the camera. The artist formerly known as Frau Lobster took me by the office on the way to my car, so I grabbed the camera off my desk and got this picture of Mo. She's been fond of this 'two' thing. I'd say it was a Victory sign, but she says 'TWO!' when she does it.

On a side note, the Trileptal isn't a drug they measure blood levels on. If you can tolerate the does and you don't seize, that's the gauge. Which means no blood tests were needed today in the ER. And this is good, I really hate needles, and Mo does too, and I hate to see her have to endure it.

But there's this really gorgeous phlebotomist who works there. Seen her a couple of times, alabaster complexion, Amazonian height, basically one fine looking medical worker.

I know, dear reader, you can tell I haven't been on nearly enough dates lately.

But it never seems like the time to try and chat a girl up, when I'm there for my daughter, not to mention in front of my ex-wife. So I register that the needle ghoul is good enough to eat, but I do nothing about it.

But as if the ER fates didn't want me to want for goddesses, we get an ER nurse to make me want to turn hypochondriac.

Où ta vache?

The headline phrase here, is French for 'Where is your cow?' This is one of the only French phrases I've ever learned (I also know how to proposition a woman in bad Disco-speak French, but it's never worked).

Actually, I can sort of have the exchange with Em: 'Where is your cow?' 'In the swimming pool?' 'No, in the field.'


We had this rocking horse. It was cute, it looked like this:

Then Mo stripped off its cover a couple of years ago, and it was just this naked yellow plastic rocking thing.

Then she got the handlebars worked off of it, and she started putting shit in it. Parts from dolls, the nose pillows from my CPAP, pencils, food, etc.

It was nasty. Really nasty.

Still, she liked to rock on it, standing on it, leaning on it, etc. It was fun to fonch around on, even if she did outgrow it years ago.

But it started to smell. Too many chicken nugget bits. Plus, the nose pillows thing pissed me off. They're expensive, even if they shouldn't be (it's a tiny bit of rubber they charge like $58 for), and hard to get in a hurry.

I finally quit meaning to throw it out and did so. I'm so relieved.

Où ta vache?
Dans la décharge, où il condamne bien appartient.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Okay, I realize this is an excessive number of pictures to post. It's not entirely indiscriminate: I've omitted several dozen that didn't turn out so good, also several that were basically repeats of shots I blogged last time we did the Nelson.

We got there an hour before they opened, so we had plenty of time to scope out the oustide. And roll down hills.

The new addition isn't open yet, but it's built, and it is massive. Most of it's underground, as far as I can tell, yet what sticks up is still massive. Something like 165,000 square feet more museum.

Em said she was hungry by the time we got in, so I decided we could get a snack in the Roselle Court restaurant. This is not, really, a cheap place to eat, but I wasn't hungry, Mo claimed not to be, and Em doesn't eat much even when she is.

Then I saw the menu and was convinced there wasn't a thing on it Em would east except maybe the mixed fruit.

Then Em decided she wanted to try the Atlantic Salmon BLT.

This is an $8.50 sandwich, so I'm thinking, okay, we'll split it three ways. Also thinking the honyocks will consider it such an obvious attempt to poison them that I'll end up eating the whole thing, hungry or not.

And I got a bowl of mixed fruit, but then Mo spotted the chocolate pie.

'Chocolate pie,' she sang.

When I didn't answer her, she sang louder, 'Chocolate pie! Chocolate Pie!'

She was singing it sweetly, not a demand, more a plaintive wish. How could I say no?

It wasn't so bad, cost-wise. I mean, if we each grabbeda sandwich, a side and a dessert, it would have been like $60, but this was doable.

And to my astonishment, Em ate quite a bit of the sandwich. Mo had a bit, but she was there for the pie.

Mill Creek Park Redux

We went back to Mill Creek Park on the way back from the Nelson. It's a whole different thing in daylight (and minus hordes coming for the Plaza Lighting ceremony).

I'm not familiar with Mackenzie Thorpe, though the sculptures in the park make me want to know more.

And of course we had to play with the horses in the empty fountain.