Wednesday, July 22, 2009

sawing travel logs

in a world where business travel is the new waterboarding, something unexpectedly good just happened.

i got upgraded to first class.

it's not quite like winning the lottery, but then again, it doesn't suck.

i just sat down, frowning at my boarding pass the entire time, sure that someone would appear momentarily to escort me to the baggage compartment.

instead, the flight attendant is offering me food and beverages without asking to see an ID and major credit card.

what do i do?

my first inclination is to order several rounds of beer and wine...but it's 8 o'clock in the morning. around me i see several people to whom this makes no difference whatsoever.

they're doing some drinking, by god.

much as i'd like to take advantage of the opportunity, i just don't roll like that. i'd be a mess for at least the next 24 hours.

what's she asking me now? hang on, let me take off the bose-quality headset...would i like the spinach and artichoke omelet, or the fresh fruit plate? why yes, yes i would.

kidding. just the omelet, please.

the day didn't start nearly this promising. i woke up at 4:30 a.m., well before the alarm, and couldn't get back to sleep. it was still dark, which made it difficult to move around stealthily, so as not to wake mrs. spaceneedl and the little needls.

eventually i got myself together, collected my scattered travel gear, and took a reminder look at my itinerary. it said my flight was leaving 20 minutes earlier than i thought.

whoops. that meant i was running late. usually i don't care much about such things, but arriving late to seatac airport on a monday morning is a bad idea if you want to actually arrive at your destination sometime before friday.

(hang on, she's here with the omelet. and would you look at that--it comes with fresh fruit anyway. lovely.)

i hauled my butt and my gear out to the car and sped off toward the airport. i half-expected an historic traffic delay along the way, even at oh-dark-thirty. thankfully, it never materialized.

good lord, flying first class rocks. unfortunately, i can count the number of times i've done so on about three fingers. i don't know who these people are, and how they can afford this. all i know is, i'm not one of them.

hang on, she's back again. would i like a croissant or a banana nut muffin with my breakfast? some fresh-brewed coffee? tea? mimosa?

(let the record show i had the coffee and the muffin. the omelet was very tasty.)

wide leather seats. full-stretch legroom. conforming headrest. let's fly this buggy to fiji, whatta ya say, captain?

(hang on, she's back. we're what? in chicago? that can't be right, we just took off...three and a half hours ago.)

and so, in a world where first-class travel is an unheard-of aberration, and a ridiculous luxury...somewhere over the rocky mountains, i fell asleep.

i never even got to use one of the little heated finger towels.

but for a half- hour--right up to the point where the caffeine utterly failed me--it was glorious.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

it's not about the weather

thunderstorms rolled through magnolia last night and this morning.

the weather is completely unblog-worthy, i realize, but in this case i'm making an exception because thunder is exceptional in our little part of the universe.

the little spaceneedls were all set up for some saturday night camping in the front yard. dome tent, sleeping bags, lanterns, nintendo DS's. lightning flashed in the distance, and thunder rumbled several seconds later. the little needls were in the door before the first rumble ended.

thus endeth the camp-out.

related note: sometime during the evening the boy broke the zipper on his sleeping bag. nice, semi-expensive sleeping bag, too. i just finished repairing said zipper. i'm not sure how. i'm still taking credit, however.

* * * * *

the republicans across the alley made a big show recently of installing a flag pole and hoisting an american flag. very patriotic, they are. i notice, however, that they fly the flag when it rains. and at night, without a spotlight.

ostentatious flag flying without flag etiquette. so very republican.

* * * * *

i recently stumbled across a web site dedicated to our neighborhood. magnolia voice, it's called, quite cleverly.

it offers up some garden variety news about goings-on in the neighborhood, which is all well and good. we do live in the neighborhood, after all. it would be unseemly to cast aspersions at the good intentions of the magnolia voicers.

the best thing about the site is the restaurants compendium. the reviews by gladys and abner are schmaltzy nice, but the commentary that follows is a feeding frenzy of snarling vitriol.

"szmania’s is great!"
"szmania’s is horrible!"
"you're an idiot."
"how dare you question my opinions?!"
"stop stalking me."
"the corned beef and cabbage is AMAZING."
"the corned beef and cabbage tasted like warmed up spam."
"i'm the owner of szmania’s, and all these negative comments are totally uncalled-for."
"well, you're obviously an unbiased source."

and so on.

we've eaten at most of these places, so reading the reviews ex post facto is very entertaining.

related note: we've eaten at szmania’s, as well, and it was the height of average. the food was okay, the service was indifferent, and we would've liked to have paid less for the well-practiced averageness.

we haven't been back, despite the fact that the place is incredibly convenient.

* * * * *

i took a hamster to the vet today. i kid you not.

the little rat has some kind of fur-ravaging dermatitis, and the vet gave it a shot of antibiotics.

later, i quietly put the receipt on the kitchen table and asked mrs. spaceneedl, "how much did you spend on this creature at the store?" it was not a rhetorical question.

later she noticed the bill: office visit, $68.00

"are you effing kidding me?" she asked. "sixty-eight dollars for a hamster appointment? that's effing ridiculous!"

later still: "we're not spending any more money on that effing thing. you're on your own, hamster."

we swear a lot at our house lately.

related note: it was not my idea to acquire rodents in the first place, nor to take this one to the vet. that was done on behalf of the girl, who is quite attached to her hamsters. except when it comes to giving them food and water, or cleaning their cages.

* * * * *

thunder is rolling through magnolia again this evening.

most unusual.

Monday, July 06, 2009

the game will go on without me

pursuant to my previous post, and all that talk about medial collateral damage, yada yada...

never mind.

i just got the results of an MRI done last thursday, and i'm pleased to report only an MCL contusion, which is really just a bruise.

the downside is, that's in combination with a torn ACL, a lateral tibial microfracture, and a baker's cyst.

this combination is not so good.

at this point we'll take a short break to drop a couple f-bombs:


fucking hell.

we now return you to your regularly scheduled post.

this afternoon i'll get a referral to a sports medicine specialist, which no doubt will lead to a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon.

i don't like the idea of surgery. i like the thought of an unstable knee even less. so if surgery is prescribed, i'll get it done.

in the meantime, i'll continue to do what i can. ride the bike, lift the weights, walk to the farmer's market.

why does it suddenly feel like i'm 70 years old?

* * * * *

update: as it turns out, according to the diagnostic report from the MRI, there's a microfracture in the fibula, as well. to sum up, that's one acl tear, two microfractures, one baker's cyst, and a [f-bomb] partridge in a [f-bomb variation] pear tree.