“I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.” (Prufrock)
Fuck that. I don’t wear trousers. And if I roll the bottom of my fustanella any higher you’ll see the boys even when it’s cold out.
But yeah, another year under the ever expanding belt. I took today and tomorrow off from work, because if past birthdays are any indication NewWifey(tm) will see to it that I need at least 24 hours to recover from whatever she’s planning. Wish me luck.
I’m starting to become nostalgic for the old days, back when the most pressing health concern for NewWifey(tm) was an exploding ovary or two. Anyone remember that? When her lady plumbing burst while we were on holiday in Nashville? Ah, the good ol’ days….
Since our last exciting episode, NewWifey(tm) has been to:
A neck doctor.
A brain doctor.
A leg doctor.
A heart doctor.
Another heart doctor.
An ear, nose, and throat doctor.
The liquor store.
“Wait, Danger, are you saying this is all because she was wearing wool socks?”
Well, yes and no. When she hit the deck she wrenched her knee and hit her head. But when we went to the Knee Wrench Doctor and the Head Hit Doctor, upon examination they each found additional things for NewWifey(tm) to lose sleep over. So they sent us to other doctors. Who sent us to other doctors.
I’ll spare you a recitation of all the medical jargon we’ve been subjected to the last couple of weeks. But basically, open your copy of Grey’s Anatomy to a random page, jab your finger blindly at it, and wherever it lands they found something wrong with it.
There was one bright spot. The neck doctor told NewWifey(tm) that her bulging discs, loss of cervical curve, and impressive levels of arthritis, will all be easy to address. Turns out bulging discs are fairly normal in people over 30 and not much concern if they’re not herniated. And the other two should respond well to a few rounds of physical therapy. “Just don’t give any head for a couple of weeks” the doctor said. (Wellllll…that’s what I heard she was saying, in my mind. But then, I always do fret about the worst case scenario.)
At the other end of the malady spectrum is our new “Adventures in Cardiology!” adventure. One of the more alarming side effects of NewWifey(tm)’s fall has been her inability to stand up without falling over again. If she gets up quickly from the recliner – say, because I accidentally lit the curtains on fire again – I better be there to catch her on the way down when she blacks out or she’ll put another dent in her skull. And our floor.
The initial diagnosis was an imbalance of pressure in the blood vessels on the sides of NewWifey(tm)’s neck, and the slight rise in pressure when she stands up amplifies that difference, causing her brain to get confused and just shut down in frustration. Kinda like when a Meek Mill song pops up in your “WHITE POWER DEATH METAL!!” Pandora mix.
So off we went to the cardiologist to see if we could get NewWifey(tm)’s inner playlist fixed. The cardiologist did some tests and took some readings, gave her a carotid artery massage (which was not as restful as it sounds), and…told her to come back for more tests and readings, but this time at a medical center where they had some specialized equipment.
The “specialized equipment” turned out to be a table with all sorts of strappy restraints sprouting out of it like a leather kelp forest. The restraints were there to keep you from sliding off, because once you were on, the table was gonna be tilted into all sorts of positions rather suddenly. “Look honey, it’s just like our wedding night!” I said. The cardiologist laughed. NewWifey(tm) grimaced. That’s a painful memory.
The cardiologist called in another cardiologist to observe and advise, and once the team was assembled the festivities began. The nurse strapped NewWifey(tm) in and applied a bunch of wires (ignoring my advice to add a ball gag) and said, “We’re going to see how the blood pressure going to your brain changes as we move the table around. You may get a little lightheaded at times, but it’s nothing to worry about. Just relax and enjoy the ride.” She smiled and hit the button.
With that the table began to tilt, sending NewWifey(tm)’s feet towards the floor and her head to the ceiling.
“See, it’s not so bad!” the nurse chirped. “Now, if you feel at all uncomfor…hey, are you ok? Miss? Miss?”
NewWifey(tm) had passed out. As I knew she would. Not even 5 seconds had elapsed – a new record, I found out later.
The cardiologists poured over the results.
I kid you not, this happened next:
Cardiologist #1: “Oh no. The pressure drop differential indicates a future of pain and bland foods for her. Frankly she’d be better off dead.” *
Cardiologist #2: “Eh, she’s just dehydrated. Give her a Coke and tell her to pick up a case of Poland Spring on the way home. Later, losers.” **
So…what do we do? Is it GoFundMe time, or do I just have to stick a garden hose in NewWifey(tm) til she moistens up? Both doctors shrugged when I asked. They did agree on one thing though: more test$ are needed. Stay tuned….
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks instead of blogging. But as today is my birthday and I’ve already had a breakfast Pousse Café (or 3) and a Prunella Mandorlata, I’m gonna do what I want, dammit.
Speaking of which…
“The doctor said I shouldn’t give head until after my physical therapy. Sorry.”
“Does she know we still have that immobilizing table from our wedding night?”
“Hey, that’s right! Well then, Happy Birthday baby!”
So if you’ll excuse me….
(BTW, I got The Card again. But this time I remembered. Eventually.)
I mentioned I’ve been cranking my photography game up to 11 lately, right? Ok, my results might not be at 11 yet, but my enthusiasm is. As part of this mania, I joined an only Nikon owners forum when my main purpose (according to them) seems to be to annoy the other members with pointless and nonsensical comments. Big surprise.
The group hosts a weekly challenge in addition to all the typical forum chatter. Every Wednesday the moderators announce a subject or theme, and we all then have a week to submit a photo which complies with it. The photo has to be taken that week, no archived stuff from your “Better Than Ansel Adams!” folder. Fellow photogs give likes, and the top three like getters at the end of the week then move to the finals, and everyone votes for their favorite. Top vote getter is proclaimed the winner, and he/she gets to determine the next subject or theme. It’s just for fun, there’s no money or glory in it, and I’d kill my mother to win some weeks.
Last week’s theme was “Still Life with Fruit”, and I took what I would have bet a kidney (although not my own) it would be the winning entry:
I love Old Masters chiaroscuro stuff, so this was my little homage. It took a bit of doing too, aside from the obvious composition you see in the finished shot. There was plenty of tweaking of camera settings, and I had to get the right light. I wanted natural sunlight, but we were cursed with an unnatural stretch of bright, cloudless days which is death to the chiaroscuro artist (cloudy skies give softer, more even light). Finally we got a cloudy afternoon near the end of the deadline and I was able to get ‘er done.
Here’s the setup. An open window for key light, with a white reflector on the opposite side to fill in some shadows, and a black bed sheet for backdrop. The hardest part was getting the reflector angle and distance right:
Yes, we still have our Christmas wreath up. And our tree. Shut up, McScrooges.
I honestly thought this was gonna be a winning combo and I’d get to pick next week’s challenge: “Tapirs! Tapirs! Tapirs!” (Since they don’t hate me enough already)
But no. I ended up in a 3-way tie for second (there were 4 finalists this week). Getting as many votes as me was some guy who did a satirical take on the theme (which I grudgingly respect), and a picture of an apple with a ragged spiral cut – also not a still life. The winning shot was at least a still life, but NOT AS GENIUS A STILL LIFE AS MINE! IT ISN’T, IT REALLY ISN’T I SAY! WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!
Here, look for yourself.
Poop. Nobody appreciates the Old Masters anymore. And I want that kidney back.