Christmas Vacation

Christmas vacation ends for me in the morning, and as I sit here prepping for work since my mind won’t let me sleep, I’ve decided to bless the world with another blog. I want to be more consistent with this in 2011, maybe even finding time to bend the design a bit more to my own ends, since I enjoy writing so much.

So what better way to wrap up my Christmas vacation than by musing on some of the funnier points of it? Because as usual, there were some damnably funny moments.

X-RAY, WTF, MRI, WTF, STEROIDS

The problem with my knee came to a hilarious hiccup when the MRI turned up nothing “to worry about” with the meniscus. My ortho doc then gave me a shot in the knee with Lidocaine and a “steroid that lingers.” So if I lose out on my Olympic Farting competition because of juicing, you’ll know why. Shots in the knee don’t hurt, but I can tell you this: it ain’t done squat. The knee hurts less, only now my quadriceps is flaring up again. So the pain was keeping me from aggravating either, but now that the pain in the knee subsided and I started doing some real work with it again…yeah. I get to waste more time with the follow-up appointment.

Also, let me drop the veil on what really must cost a lot of heartache in the medical system, which no one ever seems to point out. Incompetence by the staff in the doctor’s offices. When I went in for my second appointment, they initially asked me for my insurance card and ID; when I told them it was my second appointment, they were surprised and asked me to wait. Then they asked me to confirm the information they had. Nope, they had an address I haven’t lived at for more than a decade. When I sat down with the registrar, she started asking questions and, upon showing the photocopy of my driver’s license and insurance card they had in the file attached to the information that was wrong, I was able to confirm that those documents were what they should use for my records. But they still had me fill everything out again.

Can’t wait for the bill!

Spider Tree

I am an arachnophobe. I literally will be paralyzed by the site of a large spider. It has roots in a very specific childhood trauma. The fact that I can kill the SOBs when necessary (read: fear disappears when kids are in the room and I’m trying to kill one of the eight-legged abomonations) is a huge step forward.

So of course, our living Christmas tree was the source of an infestation.

On Christmas Eve, making some final rearrangements of gifts, I picked up a few of the ones that had been sitting longest under the tree. See, I had broken a bulb and thought there might still be glass on some of the packages and instead of taking a chance with the kids, decided to brush off the packages that were in the fall zone.

As I was shaking one off so that the glass, needles and other detritus fell into the toilet to be flushed into oblivion, I noticed there were five tiny spider carcasses. Gross, right? Right. But five and dead.

Then I got another package and there were a few more, one bigger and alive. At this point it dawned on me that very likely, there had been a spider egg sack in the tree, which after weeks sitting in our heated and humidified house, decided it was spring and hatched.

There were tiny spiders everywhere. At least 100 died in my ensuing purge. They crawled to the toy train, begging for mercy. They fled for the carpeting and were destroyed. My wrath was righteous. Christmas spirit is not required to extend to spiders. That’s in the bible, probably. If not, it should be.

Of course, the following morning there were more live spiders, the clever ones, clinging to packages and even making it into one of the kids’ pajamas. Thankfully she never knew. I killed a few more several days later. The scary thing is, there’s inevitably one who got away and likely he’s coming back for revenge sometime soon.

Movies, Movies, Movies

I saw several movies, only one of which was in an actual theatre. But here are the brief reviews.

Predators
Surprisingly clever, well-paced and enjoyable. I liked it very much and in some ways, found it even to be better than the original. I know that’s heresy, but let’s face it, the beginning of the original drags a bit while this one throws you right into the mix. I dig that. The reason the original is still better is because that was when Arnold still knew how to rock it.

The Men Who Stare At Goats
You’ll be able to live with yourself if you don’t see it. But it’s funny at times and is very loosely based on some experiments that the US Military did in the 1980s, and likely some that continue today. Cute, but forgettable.

Shutter Island
Clever and entertaining. Scorsese knows how to put together a film, and when you look over his body of work, you can’t help but be impressed by the fact that he’s never put out a stinker. This is a lot of fun to watch and naturally is full of solid performances.

Tron: Legacy
This movie is what I call a “Star Wars Moment” for effects-heavy films. It’s on the next level now. In fact, the movie itself is a very solid sequel with an enjoyable story that’s well-constructed. But the visuals and soundtrack (the music is incredibly awesome) are so good that they overshadow that. Your brain can hardly process the awesomeness for sight and sound and as a result you lose some of the other story elements until you adjust. Naturally, the ground-breaking stuff isn’t perfect, but has redefined what an “A” game is in terms of visuals.

Family Time

The point of any vacation. We had a lot of it and we did a lot of fun stuff. Museums, puppet shows, zoos…we did everything we could within reason and with as little cost as you could believe. More often than not, it was the transportation that cost more than anything else.

And Now…

If I have one resolution for 2011, it’s to accomplish something I set out to do awhile ago. I’ll keep you posted if that comes to fruition. Until then, back to work in the morning.

Sigh.