6/21/12

Taint no big thang.

I was going to tell you the story of my first fight, but instead I'm going to tell you the story of why I can't sit down today. It's not nearly as entertaining, but it's all I can think about right now, so it's what you get. I hope you don't mind. (I'll be right back, I have to get some Advil. )

Last week, I foolishly decided to take Monday off and get the sailboat on the water since we missed last year completely due to me chopping off part of my finger right before summer really started. My father was coming up for Father's Day anyway, so he brought the boat up and we got it ready to go for the morning.

The next morning things weren't looking so great weather-wise. Overcast and cold, it felt more like September than June. We kept checking the weather report, which swore that it was going to get sunnier and warmer. It had been a while since we had everything set up, so we went through a dry run. Mast up, standing rigging set, sails up; everything went flawlessly -- in the driveway, on the trailer, with no wind. So we were set, obviously.

When we got to the lake I noticed two things almost simultaneously -- there were no sailboats on the lake and the flag at the marina was blowing in one direction and the trees were blowing in another. I'm not sure how that was happening, but it was probably a sign of some sort. One we chose to ignore. There were no whitecaps, so we figured "how bad could it be?" and got everything ready to go.

This marina really needs to redo their docks. Unfortunately, they aren't floating docks, and the water level was so low that the dock is about three feet above your boat. It doesn't make things easy since you have to practically jump down into it, which is not easy for anyone, especially my 73-year-old dad. He managed though. We eased the boat out onto the lake using the trolling motor.

When we figured we were out far enough, I climbed up on the foredeck to raise the sails. It was pretty windy, so I knew as soon as I raised the jib we were going to start moving, and we did. I raised the mainsail and then raised the gaff, and that's the exact moment when a gust hit the boat and tipped us sideways. Looking back on it now, I don't think we were in any danger of capsizing, but when I turned around and saw the mainsheet wrapped around one of the damned cleats, I rushed to get back to the cockpit because things were going sideways.

Unfortunately, another gust hit us and I went one way and the boat went the other, and I came down hard on the corner of the hatchway door with the inside of my ass. That wasn't enough for me, however, and I continued on my journey of self-discovery and slid along the sharp edge of the casing and slammed my tailbone on the front lip of the seat. In retrospect, I would have rather fallen overboard, because the pain was blinding. Remember that feeling when you were a kid and pedaling your bike as fast as you could, and your foot slipped off the pedal and you came down hard on the bar? It was like that, only about ten times worse. Right now all the guys reading this are crossing their legs and holding their asses, and all the girls reading this are thinking 'you should have worn more sensible shoes.'

I immediately grabbed my ass and started rolling around, and I think I came pretty close to blacking out for a second. I also treated dear old dad to a very emphatic F-bomb. To be honest, it was more of an F-clusterbomb, in that it started with a really big one and then a series of smaller follow-up bombs. Then I realized who I was with, and also realized that I needed to either finish putting the sails up or take them down. They were creeping back down the mast since I never tied them off. So I crawled back to the front of the boat and finished what I had started. Once we got everything set up, we went where the wind took us, mostly, but also managed to sail to a few spots we were actually trying to sail to.

The wind stayed gusty all day but even so, we had some good runs. We made a few mistakes -- Some we knew were mistakes and some we just sat there scratching our heads and thinking, "Why'd that happen?" We really need to get some lessons and make some improvements to the boat. We are planning to redo some of the rigging so nothing gets caught where it shouldn't when we tack, and we're going to move some of the cleats. And maybe figure out how to raise and lower the sails from the cockpit of the boat. I like that particular idea.

All in all we had a fun day, even though I still can't sit. Well, that's not entirely true. I can sit, but getting back up still hurts like hell. But it seems to be getting a little better every day, so I've opted out of seeing a doctor.

Let me tell you something. I never even considered the possibility that you could bruise your actual asshole, but you can.

Also, doing this is a lot harder than you'd think.


6/6/12

Balls. Of the eye variety.

Back in December, my wife had eye surgery on both her eyes because she had extreme dry eye and some kind of conjunctival lesion that needed to be removed. They pull tissue from another place on your eye under your lid and graft it to the area they cut away. Here's what they did to her. Try not to puke:



When it was done, she couldn't open her eyes. Two days later, she looked like an emo vampire -- her eyes were blood red and she was involuntarily crying all the time.

It's been a long recovery, and while her eyes still bug her a bit, they are looking much better these days. I thought the worst was over -- until I got the bill.

It cost over 10 grand, and luckily a good chunk of it was covered by my insurance. But since we have a fairly high minimum yearly deductible, I'm going to be paying it off until the end of the year at least.

I understand some of the itemized charges, but some of the other line items made me laugh. Apparently eye surgery requires some weird things. For instance, they could be charging us $110 bucks for a pregnancy test and I wouldn't even know it -- oh wait, yes I would because it's itemized right on the bill. Yes, they actually required a pregnancy test before eye surgery. Good thing she wasn't having a pelvic exam -- they probably would have required an eye test. Ridiculous.

Let me share a few of the other items with you. The first one I understand:

Operating Room, 90 minutes -- $3422.00

That's 38 bucks a minute, just to lay there in a room while a light mist of virulent staphylococcus germs settles gently upon you. And this was just to rent the hall - before any surgery actually happens. After the surgery is just more of the same:

Outpatient recovery, 125 minutes -- $545.50

Again, that seems like an assload of money to just lie somewhere watching a 4:3 picture stretched onto a 16:9 TV for two hours. I mean, if your eyes weren't all cut to shit and you could actually see the short fat people on the screen. Why hospitals and doctor's offices can't get the aspect ratio correct on a flat screen, I will never know. Drives me insane.

Eraser Wetfield -- I don't know what this is, but it sounds like the nickname of a hit man you'd hire if you never, ever wanted the body to be found.

Beaver Blades -- No idea on this one. They might have gotten her chart mixed up with someone else. I may have to dispute this charge because as far as I could tell, there were absolutely zero changes to the bikini line.

Esteem -- I never knew you could get this so cheap. $12.88. I should totally load up the next time I'm in the doctor's office. I figure for less than two hundred bucks I could have the ego of Kanye West and Bono combined. I'd be a super-hero in my own mind. I wonder if I'd let myself finish.

Cannula Nasal -- This might be nose oil; I'm not sure. It was only about five bucks, so I guess if it kept her nose from squeaking during the operation, it was worth it.

Drapehead Bar -- I think I got drunk there once in college. I'm not sure what a drape head is, but it sounds like some kind of insult. I think I got billed for it because the doctor had a scotch/rocks right before the operation to calm his nerves and I told him to put it on my tab.

Ondansetron -- On Cupid, on Donder, on Blitzen! I'm pretty sure Dansetron was the gay transformer reindeer who didn't make the final cut to be on the team. Apparently, he now makes hospital visits to cheer up the post-op patients. Too bad he didn't get the Christmas gig and has been reduced to this. You gotta know when not to dance is all I'm saying, Dansetron. It's really your own fault.

Micro spears -- I saw no evidence of a line item for the micro warriors who would presumably be wielding the micro spears, so I'm thinking I got them as a freebie. Kind of like that bag of sour patch kids the cashier missed in my cart last week. I won't tell them if you don't.

Stopcock -- This one was very reasonably priced at $3.63. That's amazingly affordable when you consider that it was completely effective for almost two weeks.

So my advice to you is to double check all your medical bills and make sure you got what you paid for. And if you get charged for Beaver blades, make sure that shit is high and tight. In fact, I recommend checking it before you leave the hospital. Maybe take some before and after pictures just for evidence in case it shows up on your bill later.

Also, don't ever get eye surgery if you can help it. That shit is expensive. And really, really gross.