Monday, 28 January 2013

30 Days of What?

You know, I think I've lost it. And I don't even know where to begin to find it. I've just spent the last couple of month's recovering from Ziva's latest 30 Days of Photos challenge. After that little effort I was totally bereft (big word!) of ideas for the blog. I was empty, wasted, tapped out. Get the idea?

What did I do about it? I just agreed to participate in Nicky and Mike's 30 Day Writing challenge. Well it's actually a 30 day minus 2 because it takes place during February. That must be what attracted me to it. Two days fewer...what a deal! Or maybe because these guys are Canadian and us Canucks gotta stick together. Or maybe because they like cheese. I dunno.

And look at these prompts...

  • Cheesy
  • Hold on
  • And the next thing I knew
  • Friendship
  • You better put out
  • Haven
  • Texting
  • French
  • 15 minutes
  • The mayor
  • Road trip
  • The day I met Abraham Lincoln
  • Unintended
  • Where can I get a good blintz?
  • Or else
  • Music
  • Whatever, dude
  • Home at last
  • Little things
  • The other shoe
  • Last train
  • Compulsively
  • Absurd
  • Confucius
  • Fact or Fiction
  • Deal with it
  • And that’s why I got drunk
  • Is that all

  • Yeah, pretty damn wacky. Who the hell thought those up? But I'm a man of my word. I said I'd participate and I will...for 28 frackin' days in a row. So come back February 1. See what I've come up with. And be sure and visit Nicky and Mike every day and check out the linky dinky thingy to see what the rest of my nut-job friends have written. 
  • Saturday, 26 January 2013

    Ill Advice

    You may have noticed I haven't been around much. Sporadic status updates on Facebook and nothing here on the blog since the beginning of the month.

    Well, I've been sick. It started out as the flu, you know that dreaded man-flu thingy? Scratchy throat, cough, runny nose? Feels like death. Well, it quickly developed into something far more serious. I spent close to three weeks in bed barely able to lift my head from the pillow.

    And I lost my hearing. Drove Mrs D nuts because she had to yell at me to be heard, sometimes two or three times before I understood what she was saying. This wasn't always a bad thing but don't let Mrs D know that.

    As things got worse Mrs D too me to a clinic who advised taking me to the hospital, all against my wishes, of course. I just wanted to roll over and die. There they did some blood work, confirmed I had the flu, kept me for about five hours and sent me home.

    But then the fun began. The blood work showed some sort of bug in my blood so I should come back to emergency and be admitted. As they examined me they diagnosed me with pneumonia. Oh, great. I had to wait overnight in emergency until they could find me a room and then I spent the next week in the hospital. IVs, blood tests, vitals...lots of fun. And when they weighed me? I'd lost close 20 pounds.

    Of course everyone at the hospital had to shout at me because I could hardly hear them. I felt like I was about 80 and had forgotten to turn on my hearing-aid. If I was a lesser man I might develop a complex: "Why is everyone yelling at me?" Indeed on occasion I found myself yelling back and then catching myself, thinking: "hey, why am I yelling at them?"

    One other thing about the hospital. If I hear the questions "do you have any pain?" and "when was your last bowel movement?" I'm gonna punch someone in the face.

    But kudos to the doctors and nurses at the hospital who took great care of me, pumped me with drugs and antibiotics and got me better.

    While it's not gone, I've seen the worst of the pneumonia now and I still need antibiotics for the blood disorder but that's as an outpatient...twice-a-day trips to the hospital.

    I think I'm on the mend. I'm home. And no one asks me when my last bowel movement was.

    Wow, wish I'd known about this!

    Friday, 4 January 2013

    They Don't Get Snow in Panama

    Mrs. D and I made our annual winter trek to Panama for our Christmas and New Year's holidays this year. Her brother owns a condo in Bijao about 2 hours out of Panama City, on the Pacific Ocean. The place is simply amazing with a golf course, 5 swimming pools, a gorgeous beach and 95F weather. His balcony looks out right over the ocean.

    Last year my doctor wouldn't let me go because I was too sick. I made it this year but my health limited my activities. My chemo medication makes me a little dizzy so I'm limited in terms of mobility. But I made the 30 yard trip to the ocean several times. Got into a swimming pool once or twice. And I was able to accompany everyone each time the gang went out for dinner - Mrs D, her mother, brother. nephew and Tante Pouine. (I started calling her that close to a decade ago because she was from Warwick - a tiny Quebec town that prides itself on creating poutine - and it stuck... the name, not the curds in the poutine, although that often sticks too.) While I brought my golf clubs, though, I wash't able to get up enough strength to play.

    But I still had a great time. The weather was fabulous, the company fun, the food delicious. I got several books read while I was there and watched the NFL game of the week two weekends in a Spanish. (Speaking of books, I've read 15 since November. Feel free to check out my book "page" to see what I've been perusing.) Unfortunately for me Montezuma put in an appearance and had his revenge. You might say I was beset by the Panama Poops. However I was prepared. My doctor had prescribed me an antibiotic before we left and it seemed to keep the trots in check.

    As ever, we took plenty of pictures.

    Our trip down was fairly uneventful. We made all of our connections from Ottawa to Toronto to Miami to Panama. And our baggage managed to keep up with us. We got up around 5am and finally arrived at the condo about 1am. Long day.

    The return trip was far more interesting. It was another early morning, getting up at 3:30am because we were 2 hours away from the airport. But I don't know what it is with my American friends but my God they are preoccupied with airport security. We went through security twice in Panama, once through the country's security system and then at the gate through American Airlines security. Then it was on to Miami and, yep, through security before we could proceed to Washington. Once in Washington we made a considerable trek from the AA terminal to Air Canada's terminal but before we got there - uh, oh - security.

    You know I had my belt and shoes off almost more times than I undress in an entire week. Next time suspenders and slip-ons.

    But, hey, it wasn't all bad. We saw celebrities! We spotted Newt Gingrich and his wife in our waiting area in Miami. And mother Theresa (oh wait, I think she's dead) or someone from her order was on our plane.

    One of Mrs D's best lines of our vacation came on the trip home. As the plane backed away from the gate in Miami it seemed to reverse a considerable distance. Mrs D looked out the window and casually commented "Wow, this pilot must be really good to back up so far. He must have huge rear-view mirrors." And then she lost it, giggling at herself for the next half hour.

    What a shock when we arrived home. We'd gone from 95F/35C and sand for two weeks to -4F/-20C and over 2 feet of snow!

    Canadian winters suck!

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