Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stepping Back For A Bit.

Things have been quiet from me here the past few days. Truth is, things are going to be quiet here for a few more days. A lot of stuff has been going on lately and after the events of yesterday, it feels inappropriate to try to be funny. Yesterday afternoon, Evie, Mrs. C's grandmother, passed away. And both I and her son, the Evangelist, were there to see it.

I'll start from the beginning.

EVIE

Evie had been living with us for the past few years. We knew she had a bad heart when she came, but she managed it with medication. What we didn't know about was the kidney stone. We knew she tired easily and we thought the fact that she was in her 80's and had heart problems was the reason. None of her regular doctor visits ever turned up anything.

When we moved here two years back, her health took a turn for the worse. At first, I assumed the stress of moving took its toll on her. She improved after some time but it didn't last. Mrs. C and her uncle, the Evangelist - Evie's son - took her to the doctors to find the cause. Time and time again, they found nothing and her health continued on a slow decline. When things got bad enough to rush her to the emergency room, they finally found it. It had grown to approximately the size of an egg. Surgery was the hospital's recommendation. Evie was scared and chose not to have it. This left the only option being trying to reduce its size with medication.

That did not go well.

Months went by and Evie had more downs than ups. To make matters worse, one of the medications she was taking caused a third complication. Now, Evie had blood clots to add to the list. It was a rare side effect, but she was one of the unlucky few. It also appeared that surgery soon became no longer an option and the blood clot situation had to be brought under control before the stone could be dealt with.

Evie had her good days, but like I said, the bad days were more frequent. Those times I mentioned not getting enough sleep, was usually due to Evie keeping us up because she didn't want to be alone when the pain hit during the night. It didn't help that she was stubborn and often refused to take her medication and even eat.

This continued for the next few months...

MRS. C

If you've been following my Facebook and Twitter postings, you probably already know that Mrs. C is in the hospital. Remember when I posted here a few weeks ago about her being a big crybaby because she was sick? Well, that went away soon after and life went back to normal. Then, last weekend, she started to feel not-so-hot again and, by Tuesday, she had a terrible fever, aches and chills that kept her up shivering most of the night.

The day after that was a holiday here so she decided to visit the hospital to get herself checked out. Mostly because she Googled herself into believing she had malaria. We spent the entire day and she had a bunch of tests done, but they couldn't determine what was wrong with her, other than she showed some sign of bacterial infection. After about seven hours, all they ended up doing was prescribing some cold meds and antibiotics and sending us on our way.

During that hospital visit, her fever eased up and, while her skin was still warm, it was a marked improvement. The night chills, however, did not go away and she woke up feeling terrible. Still, she had Evie to take care of, so she willed herself out of bed and got to the business of preparing her breakfast and her medication.

I was with her in the kitchen, getting ready for work myself. We were talking, I was at the counter making breakfast while Mrs. C sat on a chair behind me, rocking back and forth trying to deal with her body aches. That's when I suddenly heard the crash. I turned around to see the chair falling forward. Mrs. C was already on the floor. The sound was her head hitting the lower part of our stove. I turned her over and saw her pupils were dilated and she wasn't responding when I called her. I carried her to Evie's room, which was the closest one to the kitchen and put her on the bed.

I called an ambulance.

While it's never really officially been diagnosed, Mrs. C has been told she has low blood pressure and, sometimes, when she's severely stressed, it drops low enough for her to get light-headed. She passed out once before, years ago, after her brother's death, but this was the first time I had seen it happen. There was no detachment here for me. I was scared.

She came to less than an hour later at the hospital. For some reason, they did not take her to the same hospital we went to just the day before, though. I didn't get a reason why. The doctors there said she was anemic and it was assumed her illness had caused the blackout. That was not the main concern. Also, there was no damage from her falling and hitting her head, thankfully. The cause of her fever, however, was still undetermined and they wanted to keep her for tests. It was already Thursday, so this meant she was going to be there for the weekend, at least.

******

While all this was going on. Evie still needed attending to. The plan was for one of Mrs. C's cousins to pitch in during the day while I was at work, while I took care of making sure she had her breakfast, dinner and medication. Evie was being more stubborn than usual during that time, but I was accustomed to her and I knew what I had to do.

On Saturday, I went to visit Mrs. C during afternoon visiting hours. The Evangelist visited too and gave me a lift back home after visiting hours ended. We got home to find Evie in the toilet. That was where she was when I left two hours before. We asked her if she was okay and she said she didn't have the strength to get up. I was on the phone with Mrs. C and we all thought she was being stubborn again and tried to get her to come out.

Her voice was weak.

The door wasn't locked so her son went in and tried to help her out. That's when she collapsed. I helped him lift her and carry her to the bed. She lay on the bed and gave us a blank stare. For the second time in three days, I was calling for an ambulance. The operator told me to check her breathing. That's when I realized she no longer was.

The operator told us to apply CPR, which we did, but we both knew she was gone. We continued the CPR for almost twenty minutes until the ambulance arrived and the EMTs took over and took her to the hospital. As far as we know, she never regained consciousness.

Ironically, they took her to the same hospital I just came from. Where her granddaughter was warded. Mrs. C took the news hard. I could hear her crying over the phone, but I knew they would not let me up to see my wife, especially at that time of night.

I've already gone on a lot longer than I should just to say that I'm taking a short break. I'm fine, strangely enough. Mrs. C discharged herself today and is dealing with it as best as she can. The doctors think they know the cause of her fever and they say it's nothing antibiotics can't fix. They just wanted to run one more test next week to be sure.

Meanwhile I don't think I can do witty, or snarky, of funny right now. I have to focus on my wife and helping her get through this. I'll be back when things settle.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Brain Can't Ever Be Left Unsupervised.

Sunday morning I was lying in bed, trying to force myself to go back to sleep, I hate getting up too early on a weekend and since I had no intention of getting up before at least Monday I decided I’d just lie there until sleep came back.

That has to work sometimes right?

Anyway, I was lying there and I decided to let my brain go on ahead and do whatever it wanted without me in the hope that it would be too distracted to notice when sleep crept back in. I tried not to focus on any kind of actual thought so it would get all excited and start thinking. Brains are like that. They always want to think at inappropriate times like when you’re trying to go to sleep. But it was during this time of letting my brain get distracted with all kinds of random thoughts, that this thought in particular suddenly happened.

“I bet I could totally kill a chicken!”

Yeah...

With that, my brain had something to latch on to and all hopes of sleep were gone.

Before you start wondering, there was an actal train of thought that led me to this statement. It’s not like I lie awake, thinking of who or what I’d be able to kill.

Beat up, maybe, but not kill.

Of course, even I had to retrace my brain’s steps to figure out where this thought in particular came from, since I wasn’t really paying attention to what it was doing. When I was able to get to the original thought that set this train in motion, it all made perfect sense.

“It’s all the internet’s fault I don’t get enough sleep.”

See? That makes things a whole lot clearer now, doesn’t it? If you’re not following (and I don’t see how you couldn’t be) I’ll break it down for you. It’s like this:

To date, the internet as we all know, is one of the greatest advances in technology known to man. I dare say it ranks right up there with double-sided tape and the Japanese Butter Stick.
The internet is also the greatest distraction known to man. One of my lecturers even said that the internet is also guilty of diminishing the attention span of today’s society. At least, I think that’s what he said. The dude was going on and on and I was starting to get bored. He really needs to learn how to take his rants down to 140 characters or less.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah. Chickens!

See, with the internet being the distraction it is, I more often than not, find myself choosing stay awake just a little bit longer so I can keep up with all the fun distractions the worldwide web has to offer. When I end up exhausted as a result, I sometimes wonder what the world would be like, not just without it, but without all the other newfangled doodads we have and the entire way of life to which we’ve grown accustomed.

I'd imagine there was some kind of apocalyptic event which would basically send us all back to the stone-age, technology wise. There’d be no more smartphones, or television, or any other of the modern conveniences and we didn’t have a choice but to actually “go outside” and “do things”. Of course, there’d be no fast food restaurants or convenience stores either, so finding food would require actually finding your own food... and possibly killing it and cooking it all on your own too.

This is where the chickens would come in. I figured at least a few of them would probably survive the apocalypse and unless there was some kind of radioactive mutation issue and chickens became vicious, man-eating beasts, I think  those would be easy enough to take on.

Or not...

Of course, I went on to formulating the proper technique for getting the job done with minimal blood spatter and creepy headless panicked bird running around. Then I thought about what the best way would be to get all the feathers off. I wasn’t sure, but figure I’d better look that up before the apocalypse took Google away.

That's how I came to the conclusion that I totally could do if I had to. I just need the circumstances to be just right for me to rise to the occassion.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Different World Than Where You Come From.

Earlier this week my boss, the Big Man put two of a three-man work crew on a two-day suspension. They're all fairly new to the company and have had problems getting along and focusing on their job. This led to a lot of infighting and dirty laundry being aired. It didn't help that there was also a teeny problem with the misuse of company equipment.

It wasn't pretty.

As a result, the third guy, who I'll call Footinmouth, was left with nothing to do but sit in the office for those two days and await further instructions. None came. Needless to say, Footinmouth got bored. REALLY BORED. Why I call him Footinmouth is because he often speaks his mind, but unfortunately, it often appears that his mouth is running on empty when he does.
Added to this, the guy has zero impulse control. Recently, he was waiting at the office for his other crew members to get in so they could head off and do thing. Since I’m normally at work by myself most of the time it was just the two of us. While he was waiting, a female staff member (one he’d never met before) came in to the office to drop off her crew’s timecards. This staff member in particular is a young, attractive Jamaican girl who... let’s just say is very amply proportioned. When not in uniform, her dress code is normally too tight and too short. This was her off day, so she wasn’t in uniform...

Have you ever seen a train wreck situation about to happen, but knew you couldn’t stop it, so all you could do was watch the horror take place. Not only did she have to drop cards off, but she said she needed to collect more timecards for her crew. I didn’t have enough for everyone at her worksite, so I had to print a few more up. That meant she had to sit and wait... in her jeans that were about two sizes too small and a vest that barely covered anything... next to Footinmouth.

Yeah...

Dispite my telling him (repeatedly) to behave, he didn't waste any time in making his move. He started off by telling her (repeatedly) how “damn fine” he thought she was, which she ignored as politely as she could. And, for some reason, which I’ll never understand, he thought he could get away with asking what model smart phone she had so he’d have an excuse to "casually" reach for it to get a closer look. Conveniently, it was resting on her lap, in the vicinity of her crotch. She wasn’t naïve, though and spotted his play. That’s when she let her phone “accidentally” slide off her lap and onto the floor. By the time she picked it up I'd finished printing more cards, which she collected and she left.

I told my supervisor to be ready for when she lodges her sexual harassment claim.

Anyway, as I was saying earlier, Footinmouth was stuck with me for those two days with nothing to do. The Big Man didn’t really have anything for him so he spent most of his time sleeping in the training room. I didn’t really care as long as he kept out of my way. I even felt sorry for him and let him use my computer while I was on lunch (and hoped, he stayed off porn sites). Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and on the second day he decided he’d pass the time talking to me.

I blame it on my act of kindness. It won't happen again.

For fun, I’ll leave the conversation in Trini dialect. Don’t worry, I’ll translate (in red) where necessary.

FIM: So how long yuh (you) married?
Me: Almost ten years.
FIM: WAAAAYYY !!! (WOW!!!) Yuh ever horn she? (Have you ever cheated on her?)

This always seems to be one of the first questions I get asked when I talk with some people about my being married.

Me: Nope. Not in the seventeen years we’ve been together.
FIM: NAH!!! (NO WAY!!!) Not even once?
Me: Not even once.
FIM: But I sure real gyals does be tracking yuh! (I’m sure a lot of girls flirt with/express their interest in you.)

Why thank you. I'm flattered. That’s very kind of you to say.

Me: Not that I know of. At least, not in a long time (It's hard to get flirted with when you never go anywhere or do anything).
FIM: What about all them gyals who does be tracking yuh on Facebook?
Me: Nice try, but you’ve never seen me on Facebook (I’m nothing if not discreet with my web habits at work when people are around).
FIM: Yeah? When I was on de computer, I saw ah Facebook message from a gyal.
Me: Well, 1 - That’s email spam and, 2 - that’s the company email, not mine. It’s the Big Man’s Facebook account that’s linked to it.
FIM: Alright, "Mr. Innocent". Allyuh so (Your kind) could never do anything wrong.

I think I detected a hint of sarcasm there.

Me: I never said I never did anything wrong, just never cheated on my wife.

I don't think he ever really believed me. I should mention that Footinmouth has a child and a girlfriend (who he complained to me about during our conversation). Of course, his earlier exchange with that female coworker should not come as a shock, given our conversation. His opinion of women are similar to a commenter a blogging buddy of mine, Jules of According to Jules, had to deal with recently.

There’s an old Trinidad & Tobago Carnival classic from 1982 called “Deputy Essential” that declares that having an “other woman” on the side is a must for every male. A lot of men ascribe to that belief and Footinmouth is one of them.  He can’t fathom the idea of being with only one person.
Source
I, on the other hand, don’t share that sentiment. While I didn't grow up in some upper class, well-to-do family, my parents raised me and my two younger sisters to a certain standard (which mostly took). I’m not a prude and I don’t look down on them, even if I don’t agree with their point of view when it comes to relationships.

However, that doesn’t work the other way around. Guys like Footinmouth think other guys are lying when they say they stick to that one woman and never play the field. Even Footinmouth’s supervisor, a guy about 10 years older than I am, told me he could never see himself getting married, even though he’s been in a long-term, common-law relationship for years. He said he feels like he needs to have an escape route if things went south with the mother of his children.

I... don’t get it.

All-in-all, though, I guess it’s just a matter of guys like them and guys like me being from two different worlds.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I Made You A Gif.

This is my first ever attempt at a moving cartoon. Just a simple gif, but I thought I'd start with that.
The inspiration came from my job at TinyCo (as you can probably guess). It's basically how I spend most of my day there after my the boss's daily chewing out session.

By the way, did you know GIF is really supposed to be pronounced JIF? The creator of the format said so the other day.

The more you know...

Oh and if you're in the mood for something more, feel free to go to my post from yesterday on Sprocket Ink. It's about how far one guy in Japan went to protect his porno habit. It's funny (if I do say so myself) and there's a picture Japanese bikini model in it. What more could you ask for?