Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blood, Soccer and a Real Date

This week was my fifth instance of hemarthrosis. I had my knee drained on Thursday. This time it was the woman DO that took care of me. She and the RN did a great job—much better than any of the men. The RN would smoosh the blood pockets around so the doctor could suck it up with needle. They got a world record 72cc’s out of there. This is the best I’ve felt after one of these incidents all year. I will meet with the surgeon next week to set a date for arthroscopic surgery in June. I was thinking I would wait until later in the summer, but I don’t want to go through this again. My own doctor is afraid of infection, and the more often they stick me, the more likely it is that I’ll get an infection. So, I hope the surgery clears all this up.

Today I had the honor of attending our grandson’s first soccer game. We got sprinkled on a little bit, but soccer goes on regardless of the weather. Max’s approach to the game was much like his attitude toward t-ball last summer. He always seemed to be facing in the wrong direction, was not interested in “hustling” anywhere, and would converse with the opposing team at odd moments. If they kept score, his team won 9-0. Max made contact with the ball at least twice. One time their leading scorer got close to the goal and then let Max have a go, though to no avail. Max played alternating quarters, today it was the first and third. He spent his sideline time curled up on his mom’s lap under her umbrella.

At work, I’ve been training a new person who we thought had some experience in the sort of thing we do, but she just looks so puzzled every time I explain things. Finally a little light went on this past week, so maybe I managed to break through. This Social Work professor sent me 45 resumes to review before I speak to two of his classes next week, so I gave the new person a healthy stack and showed her what I wanted her to do. We’ll see how she did next week.

It looks like we will be able to hire two more people finally, though they are not the ones we originally wanted. One is the wife of a political science professor that I see in the locker room all the time. The other is a woman who did an internship in our office working for the director, and I never did interview her—for some reason I was out of the office the day she came in. I still have to train these two, but they may be arriving when we are gone in Ireland. We should have been able to fill these vacancies back in January, so I thought we would be well on our way by now.

Kathy and I went out on a date today to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary that happened on April 24th. We went to Ruby Tuesday since we liked the takeout we had had from there, but going inside the restaurant did not work out. I had some chicken and crab meat, but there was something “fishy” about the crab meat and I wound up sending it back, thanks to Kathy who agreed that something was wrong. Guess I’ll stick to hamburgers. After we left the restaurant we stopped in a new park/reservation area that we had not seen before. A few years ago some people stopped the area from being developed and got the city to keep the wetlands and build hiking trails in the woods. It’s really a great refuge for people and animals—a little bit of country in the middle of the city. We sat for a while and listened to the birds and watched them swoop around a pond—better than HD TV.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Things on My Computer Desk

A half used sheet of labels for our church envelopes with the wrong amount typed on them.

The TV remote, so I may multitask.

A pen, a pencil, a black Flair pen, a yellow highlighter.

The remote to my Bose iPod sounddock that sits in the next room, but which I can still control from here.

A card for a free Blockbuster movie that I received for complaining about something or other. It came with a beautifully composed letter of apology that I still have somewhere around the house.

A birthday card for my sister’s big day later this week.

The September 2007 issue of DISCOVER magazine open to a page that says “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Hygiene”. My favorite item from the list: “There is no ‘five second rule’ when it comes to dropping food on the ground. Bacteria need no time at all to contaminate food.” Darn.

The Lonely Planet guide to Ireland. We leave in one month—woo-hoo!

A paperback copy of “The Original Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases”, printed in 1966. That’s when I bought it—42 years ago. Never found another as good.

Loose photographs of my family, Max at the baseball stadium.

A 12’ Stanley tape measure I’ve owned for 37 years. Still retracts, too.

A business card from the Phe’be Foundation (, a nifty organization that educates teens and college students about credit and finances.

A used Barnes and Noble gift card. (Thanks, kids!)

A rough budget for the Ireland trip.

A wonderful draft itinerary for the Ireland trip, drawn up by our wonderful daughter.

A new thank you card ready to go in case I have to, you know, thank someone.

A picture of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in a plastic sleeve that we bought for grandson Max but haven’t given him yet. Of course it’s been on my desk for probably two years. Better take care of that.
I wouldn’t presume to tag you, but—would you like to play?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nice work if you can get it

Last week I was only in the office on Monday and Friday. I spend a couple of days in Des Moines at an executive board meeting for my professional group. I am the treasurer, which is kind of funny because I don’t know a balance sheet from a bed sheet.

Since I didn’t get home until very late on Wednesday night, I stayed home of Thursday. I did do a little work, but I slept in until 9am. It was a good rest day, since I was exhausted the whole time I sat in meetings, having been up at 4am to catch my flight on Tuesday, going long hours the whole time.

We have an interesting group of people on the board, exemplifying diversity. If you just look around the room you would see the following:
- an old white guy (me)
- a mature white woman
- two African American women
- one African American man
- one Vietnamese American man
- one gay white woman
- two straight white women

It’s a pretty good group of people who care about the organization and serve on the board for it’s sake rather than any personal glory one might garner in such a position. Actually, I think most members don’t even know who’s on the board, so there’s no point in joining if you are looking solely for personal gain.

I’m not sure why I do it, myself. Maybe it’s for the neat plaque you get at the end of the year.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Moment of Truth

I had never watched this show until its finale tonight. Apparently spouses go on TV, sit in a lie detector chair and answer devastating questions about very private matters in an effort to win money.

As the contestant gradually erodes the bedrock of his or her marriage, the host of the show idiotically keeps “congratulating” them on progressing toward the goal of wining more money. Why people would subject themselves to such a brutal display of their inner lives before a nationwide audience just for the sake of a few thousand dollars?

Contestants’ answers bring their families to tears, dredge up old hurts, , shred relationships , and reveal things that should never see the light of day.
Why would anyone in their right mind answer questions like:
- Have you ever regretted marrying your husband?
- Have you ever had sexual relations with one of your best friend’s old boyfriends?
- Were you in love with someone else on your wedding day?
- Have you ever had a sexual fantasy involving your best friend?
- Have you ever stolen money from the family business?
- Have you ever had sexual relations with someone other than your husband during your marriage?
- Have you ever considered hiring a private investigator to follow your husband around?
- Do you blame your father for ruining your childhood?
- Do you consider yourself to be a better mother than your own mother was?

Now come on. Sometimes people think terrible things, do terrible things, but they wouldn’t dream of making these blunders public. Are we really so shallow that we’d willingly bare our soiled souls for a few bucks? Apparently some of us are.

The thing is, while an unexamined life may not be worth living, a thoroughly scrutinized life may be the death of you. Everybody mutters under their breath, wishes plagues on pests, fantasizes about the people in their lives, but how serious are we in these momentary lapses? Following through on crazy thoughts is one thing, and even if you do something foolish, no amount of money is worth revealing a secret that has the potential to wreck your life and ruin relationships with your closest friends and family.

How much are your secrets worth?