Following on from my introductory post yesterday (which we can rename Courage When Danger Is Unknown), I’ve decided to — gulp — share more of the events of That Day.

I was unmanned.

Not in the sense that there was a rogue snip with shears in the operating room. But in the sense that they decided to shave me completely!

And my procedure wasn’t on my genitals! The cheek!

Ohh, it was all fun and quips when they were getting me ready before they put me under. They followed a very strict script: laying me down, setting up this and that, and telling me everything that would happen. EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE THEY WOULD SHAVE ME BACK TO MY PALE WHITE SKIN. Somehow, in their “procedure”, they missed the part where they broke out blades and hacked away (very neatly, admittedly) at my nether regions.

Shouldn’t there be some warning? “Don’t josh with the operating room staff as they will soon be touching your dick” is an example of a warning that I missed.


And it’s *super* scratchy already. Humph, humph!

Is this where I just wax the whole area so I never have to deal with it growing back?

Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

I almost died?

It’s been an interesting week. As part of it, I almost died. Well, maybe I did. It’s actually not clear as I was unconscious at the time…

As I didn’t know at the time that I “almost died” or “could have died”, does it count?

I had this conversation once. We were talking about a fear of dying and I mentioned that I had “almost died” a half-dozen times and it didn’t worry me. I didn’t like the idea of being in pain, but wasn’t scared of dying.

Which led onto: Does “almost died” count if you don’t get hurt?

Example #1, from when I was about 12. My brother and I were riding our bicycles to the shopping center. It required us to go across both sides of a big and busy intersection. I was ahead of my younger brother. The light turned green for cars going the same direction as me, as did the pedestrian light. I stopped for a moment to let my brother catch up. A big truck ran the red light and ran across the path I would have been on if I hadn’t stopped, wiping out a car that started with the green. If I hadn’t waited, it would have wiped me out too. But nothing happened to me. Does it count?

Example #2, from when I was about 20. My best friend (let’s call him Sam for today) chose to undertake, not overtake a truck that was turning. A crazy move from the start. There were 3 of us in the car with him. We all yelled “No!” but he was sure he could make it because the truck was turning wide. Duh, it was a truck and needed the space to make the rear wheels get around too. So the truck cut across and smashed the back of the car as Sam tried to zoom by. The car spun around and slammed into a power pole. The rear was ripped open by the truck and a crate in the trunk (boot, if you’re not in the USA) flew out and broke the leg of a pedestrian. The power pole embedded itself into the car between the front passenger side (me) and the rear passenger side (I don’t remember who…someone who is no longer a good friend of Sam, that’s for sure). A foot further to the front and I’d have been dead for sure. Two feet back and the other guy would’ve died for sure. But nothing happened to me (bumps and bruising, but no hospital injuries). Does it count?

I have a half-dozen other examples. Interestingly, a few of them involve cars (and not me driving them).

Example #3, from when I was about 40. I was driving my dad to the airport in the Washington DC region. It was night and there was this guy going too slow in the fast lane (for my USA friends, don’t worry, the whole “fast lane” concept will just confuse you!). I didn’t want to sit behind him all the way to the airport, so undertook him (slowly because the Airport police love to ticket anyone on this road). I had no need to go back into the fast lane and tootled along. A moment later, I realized there was a car coming straight at me. A second after that, I realized it was in the fast lane not my lane, and it zipped by me, slamming head-on into the car that had refused to move out of the fast lane for any of the other drivers. I called 911 right away. But nothing happened to me. Does it count? In this case, I vote NO because although the wrong-way driver was a (quickly proven) danger to others, I wasn’t necessarily at risk of more than damp underwear..

My example from this past weekend is simpler. I had some minor surgery and near the end of the procedure I threw up. (I had followed the rules about when to stop eating but it happened anyway.) I was under and knew nothing of it. I only knew that my throat hurt a lot when I woke up, and got the first bit of the story from a nurse in the recovery room. Later in the day, I found out that it was apparently quite serious at the time, they had to clear out my lungs, that it carried significant risks , etc. I didn’t feel any different because my only knowledge of it is a very sore throat, plus a conviction that there is a ‘loose flap’ back there somewhere beyond just being scraped up. I don’t know if there was a way to quantify what risk there was to me though. I certainly wasn’t able to prevent it or fear it or respond to it. Does it count? Maybe NO on this one too?

I’ll throw in one last example (#4) where, again, nothing at all happened to me, although the risk was high. Here is a YouTube video of a rock formation known as “The Nerve Test” in the Grampians in north Victoria, Australia:

Unlike the guy in the video, when I was about 19, I looked around at the nice views, then decided to leap from the end of the Nerve Test to the rocks on the right-hand side. I was a fit guy and made it. My friends were horrified. I was young and immortal so it didn’t bother me. Had I not made it, there were no cell phones then, and it was miles from anywhere. People would have hiked back to cars, driven to a phone box (yes, little ones, they existed then), then waited for a crew to arrive who would then have to had to figure out how to get down the cliff face to the dummy saying some variation of “Ouch!” at the bottom. Good times…

I know a dear friend who has me beat for scary injuries (she is still on the road to recovery):

I wonder how many of us have these stories.

Stay well!

Posted in Health | Tagged | 7 Comments

Time to write, time to catch up

I miss writing. I miss blogging. I resent that other kinds of social media detract from a style that gives you time to think before putting fingers to (virtual or physical) keyboard, or even a frustrated voice to my Apple devices (no Siri, “as soon as”, not “asses at noon-ish”).

Obviously, there’s no good reason for that in the sense that I can theoretically sit down and blog anytime. I could even blog standing up. Maybe not while walking, on account of the whole getting-hit-by-a-car thing. Or the walking-into-a-cactus thing.

It’s three years since I wrote a post, and that one was hardly clear on where Life was taking me. Correction, it’s three years since I *published* a post. I write lots of things, but don’t publish.

So many of us have moved on, moved into a different phase of life, or moved on and back again. I’m not sure how many followers from the past will receive this. New email addresses, automated software dumping me in the Spam folder (how dare they!), new lives and people in those lives.

I sometimes blogged in ‘real time’ in the past. Occasionally it would be right up there and current. Often, though, if it was something interesting or amusing, I took the time to craft my story a little. More for me than an obligation to present a particular standard. But that doesn’t really justify a multi-year gap that maybe I feel obliged to present in some kind of sequence. Let the exposition roll!

For a sneak preview of what I plan to post about in the near future, see the Tags on this post. Separation and Moving On — always big topics in our lives. The reference to Vacation and the locales — Australia, Europe, Canada — hint at trips I’ve taken. Extra hint: one trip was more than two months long. A game-changer in so many ways. Government refers to my new job. Pets refers to transitions, appearances, and losses. Acceptance and Joy are in different positions of the continuum that represent the upper and lower limits of our relationship happiness. Theft is a tag that refers to an event that is written up here a few years ago but moved into very unexpected territory.

OK, so any more of this foreshadowing and I’ll switch from vague but intriguing to one of those U.S. reality shows (like Master Chef) where before each ad break they say what happened, what will happen, and then come back with wasting-time previews, only to discover that, no, the thing that you thought might be interesting isn’t in this part of the show, it’s right at the end. Where was I? Oh yes, note to me, shut up now and start preparing better posts.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Taking Out The Trash

For my non-American friends, I could refer to taking out the rubbish. But, let’s be honest. In the war of the English language, somehow or other, “Americans” stole the world-wide rights. Even while many Americans deploy slightly annoying English (the difference between “less” and “fewer” is not complicated, folks), and use a self-referencing term that refers to two continents for just one country. Worse for actual English people, there is no actual name for the American variation of “English”, just to color (hee-hee) the context and add to the general confusion.

I shall retire my inner wordsmith and teasing for now. In a month or so, I might explain why I referenced all this.

Ever get told to “move on”? (I tried to find out if this is an American or English expression, but it’s harder to find the etymology or derivation of a phrase versus a single word). It applies in both the physical and mental/emotional sense.

I’m doing both.

Since the middle of 2013, I have had this apartment as a base. As the owner of a house for years, I swore I would never live in an apartment again, but getting divorced tends to make one’s wallet lighter.

In my case, I decided to settle for an all-in-one settlement rather than pay varying amounts of spousal support for a long period of time. This meant that I emptied my wallet, piggy bank, stash, safe deposit box, funds, and everything else with money in. I might look like a beggar on the street when you wander by, but that’s only temporary. I have a good income and fewer financial demands now, so I will recover. But feel free to buy me a coffee until then…

As I was saying, my apartment. I’ve had it for almost two years. It’s time to move on. My lease is up in a week and I am surrounded by empty space and boxes, and my nearby storage unit is bulging. This is no longer the bustling “SD” space that it was. (Have you noticed that I am no longer Separated Dad?) This room even has an echo now.

To use what I am sure is an American term, down-sizing was a difficult thing to do when I moved out of a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house into a two-bedroom apartment. Just my garden tools would’ve been a challenge to store. As part of moving into the apartment, I left behind a lot of possessions. As well as treasured memories. I worked hard on that house. I lived and loved in there, and had to let it go. An income only stretches so far. In the real sense of it, I grieved the loss of the house and my life in it. In that respect, I had my “family life” there and I had “my life” there, and as I moved on from the first one, I still had to let go of the second one. Stress is such a strange thing — it can hit in odd ways and for unexpected reasons.

Now I have down-sized again. Maybe half of the things I brought to this apartment have been thrown out, given away, given to charity, or sold off (Side note: Craigslist might be an easy place to offer something for sale, but getting buyers to minimize the haggling is difficult).

In other words, for the second time, I have taken out the trash.

Again, it’s been both a draining and liberating experience. My girls had the chance to take what they wanted before they moved out. They left behind, for disposal, things that mean nothing to them anymore. But to me, they often represented memories of the little girl that was passionate about giraffes, or being a fireman, or music. Letting go of those things doesn’t destroy the memories, but it does remind of how they’ve grown up and moved on. We expect to teach our kids how to live and plan to herd them out the door when they’re ready, but forget that doesn’t mean we’re always ready at the same time.

Equally, I found that my visits to the County Dump (or Waste Transfer Station, as they prefer to call it, so that no one can find it in the County directory) were liberating. As I came back, brushing dirt of me and out of the minivan (yes, I still have that, as well as my normal car), I felt an odd sense of release. I’d not just dumped boxes or an old bed, but also cleared my mind a little.

I can’t speak for you, but by the time I was 20, my parents had somehow managed to throw out most of the things from my childhood. I wasn’t looking for them at the time, so I didn’t realize it then. It was only years later that I thought about the drawing that won an Art prize in first grade, or the poster of some rock star, or the certificate for doing something that deserved…a certificate. For my kids, they will one day have much the same experience. They will get to 40 and wonder if maybe they should’ve held on to more. Or, they will be glad to turn a page (is that an American or an English expression?) on a chapter in their life that has as many bad memories as good.

Speaking for me, I can’t hold on to everything. I have to move forward. I have to let go and forge my own path now. The girls will never be gone from my life, regardless of geography. They will no doubt still need Dad. Maybe they will be able to afford to buy me a coffee? 🙂

Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , | 9 Comments