Tuesday, July 27, 2010

RTT: Juggling monkey wrenches and curve balls

Read.  Click Button.  Repeat as necessary.


Life was getting too simple, so I arranged for a bunch of weirdness to keep me on my toes.

I started teaching my Intro to Literature class last night.  I have five students.  In academic terms, that is known as a either a "seminar," or a "freakin' joke."  Not much to report on that front, except that they immediately started asking if we had homework, and telling me that they usually don't.  These are "college" students.  I think I successfully telegraphed my expectations for them by popping on a DVD of "Dead Poets Society."  My message:  "Although I plan on phoning this class in, I want you to be inspired by Robin Williams to have great passion about literature, and I want you to love and idolize me the way his students love and idolize him."

My mother-in-law is staying with us for a couple of weeks.  There's always a bit of an adjustment period when she comes here.  At first, I resist her taking over some of my usual workload, just because I have become set in my ways and don't like it when other people stack the dishes differently, or stash unidentifiable bits of food, containers of liquid, and slightly used paper towels in unlikely nooks around the house.  Then there is the language barrier.  I don't mind it when it's just MIL, the babies, and me at home, because we all speak different languages and don't really try to have in-depth conversations.  But when my wife and/or other in-laws are around, there is constant Vietnamese chatter in the air.  This can be jarring.  But after a while, it just turns into a melodic background noise.

While my MIL is here, I am going to try to paint the outside of the house.  And teach a class.  And get surgery.  I have to have belly-button surgery on Friday.  I contemplated posting footage of my umbilical hernia, but decided it would be way too weird.  Then I was going to link to someone else's youtubeage of their umbilical hernia, but that was equally disturbing.  Look it up if you must.  Anyway, I should be all jacked up on sedatives and opiates on Friday afternoon, so I'll try to post some William S. Burroughs-esque rants when I get home.

I also still have elbow problems.  After the boat tried to rip my arm out of its socket, I slowly recovered for the next week, and my arm was not completely useless.  Then I was holding one baby in my right arm and going in for the swoop-n-snatch with the other baby, when there was a click in a different part of my elbow,  graceless release of both babies onto the floor, and much howling and cursing by everyone.  As soon as I began recovering from that incident, I had a replay as I steadied myself by hanging from an overhead bar with my bad arm as I prepared to go down the slide with Cobra on my lap.  Advanced paternal age is not something to be taken lightly.  


  1. You have to post right after surgery, so we can all experience some vicarious hallucinations. I expect awesomeness.

  2. so tell us - what's on the syllabus?

  3. Dude. Show your bellybutton: a before and after. I'm sure the photos will accompany an excellent summation of the experience so it's worth it. Either way, good luck with your surgery.

  4. Ah yes Billy...he makes me happy and terrified all at the same time. Not unlike Twizzlers.

  5. Good luck with your surgery, Andy!! (Maybe they can also check out the elbow while they're tinkering with you...)

  6. I want to see the belly button, too!

  7. Sedatives AND opiates? Suh-weet!

  8. You should have them install a jewel in your belly button, like one of those troll dolls.

  9. I've had the umbilical hernia repair. One minute I was counting backwards, and the next I woke up with major cotton mouth. Otherwise, no biggie. Shitting the next couple of days was a little scary. AND, the area they shave itches like a motherfucker until it grows back.

  10. @DiPi and Nub,
    The best poem I ever wrote was while I was in the throes of a high fever and giardia. It was like a Tom Waits sea shanty, with pirates and everything. I hope whatever the drugs inspire will be somewhere in that neighborhood.

    I will take the photos and then decide whether to publish them later. I really have to do a cost of humiliation vs. benefit of making people laugh/squirm analysis.

    I wish he could have been my great uncle. He was so great in Drugstore Cowboy.

    I don't know if I would trust them with an elbow, but I'll see if they can hook me up with a lap band.

    @Mme P,
    All right, all right. I'll think about it. It's just a little obscene. (I'm kind of a prude.)

    I know, right? They have to do something to make surgery palatable.

    @Sarah P,
    I'm going to ask them to install a glass eye! (And a lap band)

    I just got waxed over the weekend, so they shouldn't really need to shave anything.

  11. What is it with the over 60 female set that "stash unidentifiable bits of food, containers of liquid, and slightly used paper towels in unlikely nooks around the house"??? Especially the used paper towels!!! My mom does the same and I know it weirds out my husband, although I'm sure his mom stashes strange reused things around her house as well.


  12. I meant, over 60 Asian female set...

  13. "I just got waxed over the weekend, so they shouldn't really need to shave anything. "

    yeah, but what about your belly? BOOM-TISH!

  14. I'll show you my umbilical hernia if you show me yours. ;P Good luck with the surgery! I'm 8 mos. pregnant, so I won't know if I need it until after the baby comes.

  15. @Pam,
    I think it's a conservationist instinct born of living through hard times. My MIL puts most tree-huggers to shame, saving the water she uses to wash produce and watering the garden with it, hanging used paper towels on the dish drying rack, taking bucket showers, etc.


  16. I cannot wait till your post belly-button surgery, drugged-up rampage.

    I clearly have no life.

  17. Oh, jeez. My MIL doesn't speak english either, but she speaks spanish and so do I. Even thought that takes some adjustment, I'd can't imagine the frustration of listening to Vietnamese all the time. Not that there's anything wrong with the language, it's just that I can't speak a single word of it. My brain would hurt. Do you speak it or understand it?

  18. I find the chattering of other languages rather pleasant. When people speak in a language I understand, I feel obliged to LISTEN.

    Other than my own MIL, that is. Not listening to her chatter is a survival instinct.


Don't hold back.


Related Posts with Thumbnails