Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Fun

We went to the PP at the Dallas Arboretum yesterday and had a blast. Well, all but one of us did.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Duh-Duh-Duh I don't know?

Thanks to Dooce for her post. I agree that this scares the everlivinshit outta me. I overheard a debate at work the other day about putting too much emphasis on the vice presidential candidate and worrying about who "might" take the torch in the event that a 72 year old man develops health issues like...i don't know...maybe DYING!

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And now for a message from one of her contemporaries.

The last eight years have been bad enough.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Little Buddy...

The big kids were at school, Ella was sleeping, and Mommy was out shopping. That left me and my little buddy alone with some toys and a camera t have a little fun. Good times!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moment of Mortality

Sometimes it is not the actual event or tragedy that has happened or been averted that has the most effect on you. It is the period of assessment after when you can put it all in perspective. What if it were you? What if no one was there to help? Would others have the skills or knowledge to help? How would it feel to be that helpless? Would your eyes have the same look if you departed even for a moment?

Last night was as normal as any others. The usual rabble at the bar, the same early shift challenge of trying to look busy or endure the same conversations with the same regulars. I greeted one of our regulars as he came through the door. He was entertaining a couple of out of town clients with his wife and child in tow. I had a couple of things going but still had time to hang out and watch Abbot and Costello run into each other again and break two glasses. Then one of my colleagues came rushing to the front exasperated and sputtering, "Call..oh my god..the phone..911..guy on the call someone." Four people heading away from the table and me heading towards.

Sure enough there was a guy on the floor. Unresponsive, eyes open, a buddy of his next to him. Training and experience takes over and you go through the motions. Clear the area, clear the airway, raise the feet, loosen restrictive clothing,check for breath, nothing, check for pulse, radial, axillary, carotid, nothing, chest stimulation, nada, look at friend and say "lets go", watch him fumble with nose and mouth, help him open jaw, "pinch the nose and hit him as hard as you can with two breaths," measure up to avoid breaking xyphoid process, interlace fingers, get ready to start compression, leaning back to start, and then he shudders back to life. The odd fuh-fuh-fuh sound like an old engine turning over after a long rest. Sounds oddly reminiscent of another situation when a person took their last breath. Start assessment. Name, location, do you know where you are, do you know what happened to you, can you squeeze my fingers, check for dilation, take pulse, cover with table cloths to keep warm and ward off shock, give stats to friend on the phone with 911 to relay to paramedics, for some odd reason tell co-worker to check on table 23 and send the food on 27, ask wife's name, reassure that he is ok now, wait till the pros arrive and step back from the scene, answer a few questions.

Twenty minutes later feel a wave of emotion and fear punch you in the stomach and shake you to the core.

That is not the first time I have been in that situation and oddly I don't feel like it will be the last. But I have never been so...I don't know...affected. I had a personal stake in this. I wanted everything to go right and for this to turn out fine. I remember seeing the ring on his finger and thinking about his wife. I recalled a comment he made to the child of the host as I walked by earlier about his son. Deb and I have been talking about the rash of 40 year old men dying of heart attacks and leaving their family grieve and cope. I did not want that to happen. I did not want to think of his family and say that we tried.

I thought of my own family. I though of the philly cheesesteak sandwich I had last week and wondered where in my arteries it was deposited. I thought about the odd palpitations I was having the other night that I dismissed as unaddressed stress or too much caffeine. I remembered the difference in his eyes from the moment I knelt over him compared to when he was wheeled out. No animation, distant, quiet, clouded, kinda 2 dimensional, flat, gone. I know there is a difference between heart stoppage and death. Where the brain ceases to function on the residual oxygen left in the blood stream. However, when this process starts, it is like turning a light out in a windowless room. Not instant black but a quick fading away. I was scared and moved. This man did not deserve that fate and neither does my family.

It is true that having children change your out look. I have never had more to loose. Or rather, I have never had some much to live for. I have so many people counting on me. I would never want them to have to figure out how to do it on their own. My actions have never been so deliberate. I do what I do every day for others. My needs come 6th in our family. Behind the wife and all 4 kids. The dog's head is my seat on our totem pole. I am sure everyone has had a moment like this. I would hope that if the roles were reversed that other person would be as adamant.

I don't hug my kids any harder or consciously remember to tell them I love the before we part. I have always done that. I'm not upping my life insurance or throwing out all the precessed meats. I'm merely reminded of the things I have and how much I need, love, and cherish them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dads day out. WTF

I bit the bullet and went to my first SAHDs of Dallas group outing. They usually meet at kid friendly restaurants or brown bag it at local parks. Apparently gun ranges and Hooters are not their style. I admit I had some slight reservations after considering the few men that I have either met or seen on those Dateline specials about working moms that are the family bread winners. Ok...I was a victim of my own generalizations and stereotyping. I mean seriously. What normal red blooded, sports watching, car drooling, butt scratching, competition belching, cleavage oggling guy would choose to not only stay at home but make attempts to find other previously said guys to share bottle preferences and loaded diaper stories with? None. Not a single one.

Now I admit that I share a few (all) of the previously listed characteristics but I do so with panache (vain attempts to act refined) and style (superfluous denial). But for the most part I am a perfect gentleman (full of shit). I am accepting of others and very malleable in social situations. But when confronted with denizens of people that speak a different language (Klingon) and think in different ways (Chaos Theory) I tend to be at a loss for words. So who are the members of these groups.

Enter the work from home programmer with four different mobile communications devices attached to his belt and a hands free earpiece clipped to his suspenders. We all know that these two gravity defying clothing accessories are options. Meant to perform their duty alone, without coexistence. Like matter and anti-matter. Not combined to create a bandoleer of technology. I must admit I admired how he deftly utilized a black berry and iphone while discussing the Malthusian experiment going on in the pond at the park.

Next was the mobility impaired (hobbled) dad that was effectively chaperoned by his four year old. The munchkin closed the driver side door for dad, carried the diaper bag, lunch, and folding chair and herded his 2 year old sister without question or protest. I worried about our knock kneed joiner making it across the lawn from the parking lot to the tree we congregated under. I met them half way and offered to help carry some gear but was shunned by the little care taker. "I got it mister...always do" was all he said. I just realized that I had peered into to 4 year old eyes going on 40. I did get the skinny from the dad who explained that his doctors claimed that his bone and joint degeneration was similar to that seen in people suffering from long term malnutrition. He figured it was from his choice of eating and drinking only saltine crackers, canned sausages, and water from the age of 6-13. Medical science was flabbergasted by the demise of his lower joints but he was convinced he did it to himself. He soon initiated a Klingon pronunciation lesson with suspender guy.

There was also the unemployed for the last 7 years dad that was convinced that he had been black listed by the entirety of the technology industry. He has applied, he has interviewed, he has...I would have been interrupted by him by now because no one could finish a sentence without him correcting your grammar, pronunciation, accuracy of information, or disputing yours or anyone’s opinion. I would call this trait a deal breaker for the interview process. He was also the organizer of a board game playing group the meets at Cafe Brazil every Tuesday night for round robin tournaments. I was not invited.

All in all I was the odd one out. I have an evening job, I am in relatively good physical and mental health, I have a great relationship with my wife, and I like to socialize. I tried to initiate and interject in conversation but was viewed with skepticism and distrust. I had not seen all the installments of LOTR or Star Wars (anathema!!!). I followed the group to the play ground and down to the pond to watch the kids feed the ducks and turtles. I toted the twins around one in each arm. Beck's hat fell off in full view of the group and I had to set him down on the ground, put it back on his head, and pick him back up (A LITTLE HELP HERE?) while the dads shook their heads and commented on how hard it must be to handle them both at the same time.

The only person I related to was the one mom that showed up. She quickly snatched up a baby and a sippy cup. We talked about birth weights, sleep habits, school districts. She was pleasant and upbeat. Either way I realized I was out of my element.

I will try again. I will pick a different day and see if the mix is a little more accepting of my alternative lifestyle. But if it doesn’t work out I will start my own little group known as,





C.onsumed by



If it means anything, I was the only one that got the Maltusian reference.