I don’t have any vices. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke cigarettes, I don’t smoke pot, I don’t do any other kind of illegal drug, I don’t take pills, and I’m loathe to take even aspirin unless I really, really need it…like after I had major abdominal surgery. I was given narcotic pain killers in the hospital, but that’s because I was in major fucking excruciating pain, and I’m not an idiot. I don’t gamble, I don’t do one-night stands, I don’t even enjoy watching porn, preferring the written stuff to anything visual. My brain can fill in the blanks better than some two-bit director can.
I know this makes me sound incredibly boring and dull, which I freely admit to being. I’ve never had a desire to drink or smoke or get high or do any of that other stuff, which made me feel really, really weird when I was a teenager/young adult and everyone else was doing it, but now that I’m 34, I’m grateful for it. I don’t think I’ve missed anything.
If you read my blog post yesterday, then you’ll know where I’ve been all week. I had to have my gallbladder taken out because it became inflamed with gallstones. Some people have a genetic predisposition to getting gallstones, and will eventually have to have it removed for that reason, but I wasn’t one of those people. Gallstones are essentially excess cholesterol that has been hardened into little lumps. The more cholesterol you eat, the greater the chance is you’ll develop gallstones. One of those stones got lodged in my common bile duct, and all hell broke loose. So, don’t make the same mistake I made and eat a shitty diet. Take care of yourself. While the pain I’m in right now is nowhere near the pain I was in Monday night/early Tuesday morning, I still had major abdominal surgery on Thursday and for what I think is a stupid reason — my own bad habits. I put myself through a lot of agony for nothing.
Be smarter than me.
In case you were wondering where I went all this week, I was at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem having major abdominal surgery. I didn’t have the world’s best diet, and as a result, I developed gallstones. One of those gallstones, about 7 mm in diameter, got stuck in my common bile duct and caused excruciating pain, the kind that had me doubled up in bed all night Monday and all morning Tuesday. Finally at about 6:00 a.m., I went downstairs and told my parents that they’d have to take me to the hospital, that I couldn’t go on another hour like that. They took me to the local hospital in Kernersville where I live, and they did an ultrasound, confirming the presence of gallstones. From there I was transferred to the major hospital, where I had two procedures done —
- An ECRP, which is an endoscopic procedure that uses a balloon at the end of a catheter to push the gallstone out of the bile duct and into my intestines so I can…well…poop it out. Such fun.
- The gallbladder removal itself, which was yesterday. Its full name is “laparoscopic cholecystectomy.” I have four incisions in my abdomen; one near my bellybutton, which is where the camera went in, and then three others. They hurt, but more like a dull ache kind of hurt, as opposed to a stabbing, shooting pain kind of hurt.
Essentially, this is all my fault. I didn’t take care of myself the way I should, and as a result, learned a very painful and expensive lesson. Don’t let this happen to you. Please be smarter than I was.
No, I’m not talking about me, I’m still 16 years away from 50, but rather, how long my parents have been married. They were married January 22, 1972, so it’s been 44 years so far — I have friends whose parents are on their second or third spouses by now, and my parents are still going strong. I sometimes wonder if they’ll increasingly become archaic in that sense. Some people don’t get married because they don’t want to, others get married several times before it’s all said and done. They’re both Baby Boomers, so maybe that has something to do with it, I don’t know. They love to joke that the only reason they’re still married is because no one else will have them, but I don’t think that’s entirely true. They’ve never been the most outwardly affectionate people, in that I can count on two hands and have fingers left over the number of times I’ve seen them hug or kiss one another, but I know they love each other, and really, that’s all that matters.
I’m only 34 years old, which is hardly ancient, but when I hear teenagers or 20-somethings speak, I feel like I’m 109. I turn on the local Top 40 station, and I don’t recognize any of the artists or songs. You know the expression, “Youth is wasted on the young”? I think there’s some truth to that. It’s not so much that I wish I was young again, because there are aspects of being my age right now that I really love, though I wouldn’t turn down the chance to do the last 18 years over again, it’s more that I don’t want to feel like I’m living on an entirely different planet, speaking an entirely different language.
Also, this comment goes out to everyone 18-34 — VOTE. You are the part of the electorate with the lowest turnout every goddamn time, and it’s infuriating. Giving a fuck about who runs the country, to say nothing of your local area and state, is not something for older people to worry about. You live here too, right? THEN FUCKING VOTE. Don’t stay home and play Pokemon Go or wait for your bae to text you about doing a little Netflix and Chill. VOTE VOTE VOTE. Educate yourselves about what’s going on and why this election, more than any other in recent history, is so vitally important. You always claim politicians don’t give a shit about issues facing young people, but if you don’t vote, if you don’t let your voices be heard, you’re going to keep getting ignored, and your constant need for victimization will continue.
I’ve had to wear glasses since the 3rd grade, or since I was about 8 years old. I hate it. I especially hate it in the summer when my face sweats and they slide down my nose. I don’t hate them because I look bad in them, I actually think I look prettier with them on than with them off, especially when my hair is tied back in a ponytail or bun, but what I hate is that I have to wear them. It’s not like I only need them for reading or something, and I can get away with not wearing them all day. I tried contacts once a long time ago, and I could get them in my eyes alright, but I had a hell of a time getting them out, and I didn’t want to spend an hour every day trying to remove them without pinching my eyeballs, so I gave up. Maybe one day I’ll get Lasik surgery (I think I’ve talked about that before on my blog), and give up the hassle of corrective lenses altogether, but until then, I’m stuck with them.
I’m always amazed at the number of people I’ve had tell me that they think classical music is boring or stupid or it sucks or it’s “old people music” or some other kind of nonsense like that. We’re still listening to Mozart and Beethoven and Debussy and Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky and a whole host of other composers in the year 2016. Will we be listening to Justin Bieber or One Direction in 300 years? I don’t think so. Now, while I freely admit to putting on classical music when I’m really, really sick and can’t fall asleep, when I’m not sick, I can listen to it just fine without falling asleep. I can’t say I know all the composers well enough to immediately spot their works, I know some pieces by specific composers, and when I hear them, I can identify them. Kind of like this one, for example.
I don’t believe in ghosts. I also don’t believe in goblins, ghouls, demons, sprites, fairies, witches/warlocks, poltergeists, or spirits. Maybe it’s because I’m an atheist, but I don’t remember believing any of those things were real when I was a kid, and I didn’t even know what atheism was back then. I think it’s cute when little kids believe in ghosts and goblins and what not, just like it’s cute when they believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Grown adults, on the other hand? I give them some side-eye for that. If you’re old enough to drive a car at the bare minimum, that stuff should be several years behind you. I quit believing in Santa Claus the year I recognized the handwriting on the gift tag as my mother’s. The next year, it was my dad’s. After that, they stopped writing “From Santa” and started writing “From Mom & Dad.” To me, ghosts/goblins/ghouls/etc. are no different. It seems a very childlike thing to be afraid of, and adults with the ability to reason and use logic in a way that kids cannot, should be smart enough not to believe any of that junk.
Do you ever get irritated by people that don’t help carry a conversation? I’m not the best conversationalist in the world, so talking to people in social settings is difficult for me, but I do my best to be a part of what’s happening so that if someone asks me a question, I can respond in a timely fashion. I have unfortunately found myself sometimes talking to someone who is even worse than me, and it’s like pulling teeth to get more than a few words out of them. The first time it happened, I wondered if I’d misjudged the person and English wasn’t their first language, the second time I thought maybe they were autistic and had trouble with language skills. The third time, I finally realized they were even more uncomfortable with talking to strangers than I was, and told them it was fine, I got it. They loosened up a little after that. That one person was the exception, though. The other times I’ve been in that situation, the other person wasn’t active in the conversation because they were rude or an asshole, mostly both. THOSE people I hate. If you don’t want to talk to people, stay in the corner, or politely turn down requests to join in the topic. Don’t turn into a giant black hole, sucking all the fun out of everything until it collapses in on itself.
I intensely dislike it when people try to confuse or befuddle me on purpose because they want to deceive me or trick me. It’s like, I’m not as stupid as you think I am, buddy. I can see what you’re trying to do. I tend to only find people like that when discussing politics, sad to say, as that’s a topic ripe for people wanting to confuse, befuddle, and deceive others. I especially hate it when you’re talking to someone, particularly someone on the opposite side of the fence from you, and they bring up unrelated topics or quotes to try and turn the discussion around to something else.
No, sweetums, it doesn’t work like that. Of course, as the old saying goes, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.