Friday, May 26, 2023

Day 40

A lot has happened fast. Kidneys finally back to normal. Infections on the cusp of defeat if not defeated. Feeling in lower body much returned. I'm able to do a tiny bit of walking using a walker and plenty of arm strength.

Perhaps I'll remain in acute care another couple weeks and then perhaps a step down to the therapy-oriented complex care ward. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Day 38

Was woken at 5 AM for a bum swab. They do bum swabs once every 10 days or so; a frequency that doesn't seem so tight it must be done at exactly 5 AM. Are bum swabs only reliable if the patient is groggy and irritable? That must be it.


Monday, May 22, 2023

Day 36

Today I called nurse Jasmine "Pinky" instead of Jasmine. Both Pinky and Jasmine are nurses I rarely see.

"I'm Jasmine!" said Jasmine (who is East Asian). "Pinky is Indian!" She thinks I've confused their ethnicities. I haven't. I confused their names because Pinky and Jasmine have the same flavour to me; the same vibrancy.

Monday, May 08, 2023

Loose ends

After a three-week run if antibiotics we're waiting and watching to see if it continues clearing up on its own. Either way the skin is a long way from healing and I'm a long way from losing the uncomfortable daily dressings.

The kidneys remain close to fully recovered. My blood sugar is tame. They've ceased my daily bloodwork for now, thank goodness, because without the dialysis line in my neck anymore, the nurses have to jab me looking for my super secret veins and often fail, even repeatedly and my anxiety leaps about ten levels every time they fail and have to stab again.

The shooting neuropathic pains in my left leg have calmed down thanks to meds and the strategic use of pillows. Sitting up straight is painful though, on my sore ass, so I type this lying back which is a figurative pain in the ass. It makes me resistant to doing serious work on my laptop which leads to too much movie watching and restlessness. Having visitors was the only uncomplicated sanity-making activity and I was very lucky for a time. Dog Whisperer, Earth Writer, The Healer, LaxMastermind, JV, Grandpa Munster... the Earnest Chef and his partner came and brought me a nice brand new pen. Chess Champ has been twice as has the Illicit Sweetheart whom I hadn't seen in years and Aqualad who got my laptop charged for me! Professor Plonk and Captain Vino came for a long stay filled with laughs.

Mom has been many times but has settled into a once-a-week slot. I won't lie. I'm getting lonely now. A couple of young volunteers have dropped in and were happy to stay and chat for a while but company is drying out. I'm restless.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Heroes and villains

So they're calling the Dallas Stars vet-rookie pairing Joe Pavelski and Wyatt Johnston the Batman and Robin of the NHL.

I'm okay with that as long as we agree that teammate Max Domi is the Penguin.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Don't cry for Cry Macho...

... Just avoid it.

Cry Macho (2021)

More Clint Eastwood-directed weirdness concerning a thousand year-old zombie cowboy (Eastwood) and his road trip with a supposedly street-hardened abused youth with a dazzlingly incongruent gee-whiz demeanor played by some kid whose acting career Eastwood has destroyed with this 104-minute senior moment. 

Natalia Traven plays the charming necrophile love-interest. 

I watched it til the end in case there was a prize. Nope.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Clown therapy

So the Respiratory Therapists installed a machine to monitor my CPAP and I for oxygen levels while I sleep. Problem is, how the hell do I sleep when the damn thing keeps going into alarm mode constantly and I have to silence it?

In the morning they pick it up and ask how it went. I told them next time just hire a clown to march into my room every twenty minutes, jab me in the ribs and say, "HOW YA SLEEPING?!?!?!"

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Part 3 Return of the king

Well.. if you wanted a story: you got one.

I returned for the next try-out on Thursday; two nights later. Interviewed some players, made an official commitment to shoot and edit a mountain of video. Got them shopping for a proper video camera.

Got home and looked at my legs. Swollen and red and puss oozing in places. I desperately need to be elevating my feet more. I go ahead and commit to the Reservation trip Saturday morning for a pre-season tourney. Three short games. Golden opportunity for interviews. I'll find a place to put my feet up and summon players to me.

Coach offers me a ride. I agree to meet him at the edge-of-town Tim Hortons for 6:45. But that's a bit early for the first buses of the day on a Saturday. Instead I take the last buses Friday night and plan to spend the night at Tims with my feet up, getting work done, snacking, drinking coffee. Perfect.

I get there and they're closed. Now only the the drive-through is open 24 hours. Their website is wrong. I make the hard journey to nearby MacDonalds and then Taco Bell. Again, drive-thru only. I am diabetic and my blood sugar is failing. I need food. I'm cold, hungry and dehydrated.

I spend hours painfully wandering. I have no phone and I've lost my bank card. I have a little cash. Not enough for a cab ride home.

I'm sad that I have been passed by hundreds of people while struggling along with a walker so late at night and no one has asked if I need help. What's up with you Tiger Town? You disappoint me.

Finally I flag down a Taco Bell customer and beg him to take my cash and buy me a meal. But Taco Bell has just closed. He persists, gets their attention and tells them I need help.

They give me water and fucking cinnamon puffs, which basically melt on your tongue.

I enter an ATM vestibule for warmth and sit on the floor in order to elevate my legs. At 4AM security responds and he's friendly and tells me that Tims has opened at 4 (a lie). He doesn't want to help me up because its extra paper work if he touches someone. What a fucking world...

I can't get up, end up lying flat on the floor in failed attempts to raise myself. I drag out my computer and send a facebook distress call.

Paramedics eventually rescue me, take me back to Tims, sit with me until 5:30 and leave me sitting in my walker with a big warm blanket.

6AM I get in, get a coffee and sandwich, meet coach at 6:45 and we're off.

Now things get weird. I'm not taking stock of how much physical and emotional trauma I've experienced. I do some interviews. I get very light headed. Time stops functioning. This day would take weeks to pass. After the second game the prez drives me home. The drive takes us a week it seems. I lose consciousness constantly and feel like I'm waking up the nxt day yet we've only gone a block.

At home the roommates look at me funny and propose calling an ambulance. I ward them off.

In my room I am utterly fixated on fluids. I want Mountain Dew and energy drinks and Gatorade by the gallons. All I want is to place a rush grocery order for as much of this as I have money for.

Somehow I never even got my computer turned on.

The fire department tore my door off and tore the door frames off the walls in order to carry me out of my room, naked in my comfy chair, covered in feces. They think I had a stroke.

I acquired a nasty infection. My kidneys shut down. I had no feeling from the waste down. I had trouble breathing and needed oxygen. I had dialysis lines installed in my neck three times because things kept going wrong.

I spent a week in Intensive Care; a week of torment, anxiety, extreme discomfort, depression. The world became meaningless. I wanted out.

The last week I have been in ICU-Lite. My kidneys are functioning again. I'm breathing on my own. I'm just barely able to stand but only by using my arms to hold me up. They're still fighting the infection.

My interest in living has returned. I'm looking at life in the simplest terms. The goal of standing upright The joy in a glass of milk. Friends have poured in to visit. I may land in a rehab facility. I try to sleep, try not to be anxious or depressed. Baby steps.

Friday, April 14, 2023

A potential story part 2: the two towers

There is a new fellowship running the Affiliation. LaxMastermind has officially stepped back into an advisory role and a humble, selfless one-time Enforcer has stepped up, taking co-coaching reigns with a host of supporting characters including a 20-something junior record-breaking sniper with whom I'm also very familiar and a quiet fuzzy old-timer who I'm meeting for the first time.

More introductions: Our new full time GM and the same from our Junior A affiliate. They are both young and seem free of ego and give off the greatest vibes. And there are new-to-me brass from the Junior C's here, of the same bent. How different an environment from those of other regimes I have once known. I love the widespread selflessness of this organization. Everyone seems to be doing it for the kids and not for ego. I love it.

There has to be at least sixty youths at this late-stage tryout. Perhaps a couple will be relegated to an Intermediate rep team. A few will be disappointed, signed to the C's rather then B's or to B instead of A. But this way they'll get the valuable development they need, get promoted a couple games to cover injury absences and get a good shot at a full promotion next year.

Talent galore. I struggle to take notes and start learning who's who. A couple lads stand out but of course I learn that they are A players who showed up for some floor time. Floor time, we say. For love of the community are not the words spoken but the smiles on their faces give something away.

I'm constantly aware of my physical discomfort while internally I feel a deep comfort. I feel home again. And needed. No one has been shooting promotional video. No highlight reels, no player bios, no pump-up videos. This has to be corrected. Too many tiger town players are up for US scholarships and pro careers They need film! It's the norm in scouting and recruiting. And its video of course which grabs social media attention which leads to game spectator attendance. I hope.

My video-editing skills and instincts have been really coming together. But to actually do the physical shooting is frankly a terrifying prospect. I'll have to find a way to do it from my walker and make it work. Maybe low angles will be our... look. A brand even?

At the end of the night I tell my fellows, "No promises. I have to go home and see how I feel. I have to see if I can even get out of bed tomorrow. I'll be in touch." They know that this was just my first tentative peek at things. The lacrosse season is one heavy grind. A jam packed summer. And a long one given the constant playoff presences of these teams.

Our new GM is nodding and smiling. He's been taking note of my comments this night. "Hey is this a younger brother of so and so? How's he doing? Did he graduate from that prep school yet?" Every return to lacrosse welcomes you with familiar names; brothers and sons of former charges and teammates.

I like this new GM and I learn that like me, he once got burnt out and fled lacrosse but was drawn back in. It probably began with LMM as it did with me. Nodding and smiling when I say, "no promises."

"You'll be back," he says. "You're gonna do this." I'm surprised at his sudden boldness. He's still smiling. "I can tell. You love this."

*no actual two towers were harmed in the making of this sequel

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

A great potential story ruined by an invading rant

Toddled to the bus stop, survived a transfer and discovered a long walk was to be had to get from the local stop up a long long parking lot to the arena. Put on my big boy pants and began the journey.

Plenty of time to kill. I'd arrived two hours early. One can never be too safe when you're the Slowest Man On Earth. Plus I may have been confused about the time.

Found a good spot for my first intermission rest, settled in to my rollator walker seat and lo and behold here comes an SUV and a familiar driver. It's Coach; the Guru, previously known here as LaxMastermind. I see him squinting at me. Is it me, he wonders. I was not expected. I wave. He pulls over. There is much to talk about. It's been a few years. Immediately I must warn him that I been off my meds for a few days. Because I feel the emotions welling already.

We do some catching up. Some real shit has gone down. One could say that LMM and the new world organizations he works with, are not held dear by the ruling class of the Provincial Lacrosse Regime who, some might say, are loyal to their old friends, the pale-faced traditional lacrosse hotbed communities whose names share the record halls with those such as Powless, Bomberry or Montour for instance, who kept white lacrosse barely alive in its meagerest decades, who kept the Western Nemesis Province from winning too many national titles and threatening the Big Baby egos of these old boys who do what they do for themselves, for old boy adolescent pride, for the reptilian joy in making other's kids suffer because they have the POWER! One might say that power is the default end-goal of every brain-stunted greying psychopath who can't think of any other pursuit with which to disguise himself as an actual adult. One might blame this exact phenomenon for the completely deranged state of lunacy that is North American politics and the corporate maceration of society and humanity.

Aw shit, have I digressed into a rant already? I need to take a break and come back to this story from a concise and personal angle. And by the way, dear diary, no one is actually saying any of those things: Certainly not LMM, and not me either; not officially. And to be fair, I am not as intimate with the Provincial Lacrosse Regime as I used to be or as I should be before making any kind of accusations. But I'd have to be pretty blind not to notice how innocent kids, who the PLR has been charged with nurturing, keep getting their lives fucked over by old men who explain their punitive sledge hammering habits by saying "That's my decision! My MY MINE! I DECIDED! How dare you QUESTION my RULING...! now go away; you are ruining my beer-guzzling pursuits! Glub-glub-glub-glub-glub-glub-glub... " rather than with any coherent interpretation of actual rules and how "MY RULING" somehow benefits kids in the long run.

Cause they don't.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Necessity is the mother...

 ... of invention. Right?

I've long thought of it as the mother of creativity. Sometimes, at least.

I'm all about creativity. To me there's no other point to life or to being human. But being creative doesn't mean that your imagination produces things out of nowhere. A mind does not just come up with random material. It thinks up things for reasons whether you can follow the causality or not.

Many times I know I need to add elements to a story but my mind is blank. What to add? Nothing occurs to me. But there's a very useful engine for creative imagining and its when there is a problem to solve.

I needed to work on a novel a decade or so ago and did not have a concept in the bag. I did have many short story ideas clamouring for attention though. So I picked three compelling ones; three simple premises I had previously come up with and listed them on the page. Three ideas. And then I said "How to bring these together into one novel?" I logically worked at the problem and what was born was probably my most excellent novel outline I have ever managed: The Transneptunians was the working title. That word, by the way, refers to any astronomical member of this star system which exists beyond the orbit of Neptune. 

I have never finished the first draft because it is still lacking a thing or two. It was about the lives and relationships of a father and daughter who never knew each other beyond the girl's toddlerhood. Every other chapter revealed the father's life from his own childhood until the defining life-changing event in his prime adulthood. And every other chapter revealed his life in reverse, from death, backwards in time, as learned by the daughter who researched his life by seeking those who knew him, as she was compelled to understand what appeared to be a tragic life after learning her biological father had died. At the end of the book the two timelines meet and the truth is revealed. The title comes from a cosmic idea concerning the process of his death, but also concerns the relationship; father and daughter whose lives revolve around each other without them meeting, like Pluto and Charon, once considered planet and moon, which revolve around each other without ever touching.

The first youth writing club I facilitated in my school volunteer days; they wanted to co-write a novel; the most ambitious option I presented to them. I had them each create their own character and their own simple story about their own character, so they could each be writing separately at home on their own early chapters of the book. My promise to them was that once we had each character on the move; their problems and pursuits rolling along, we would then figure out how to bring them all together; how to get every character into the same space in a situation; an event; that would bring about their defining moments; the climax of the novel.

Two problems: 1. They were not working fast enough as the school year swiftly ran dry. And 2. They didn't trust my promise that their seemingly unrelated stories could possible come together. And this eroded their enthusiasm without my knowledge. By the time I realized what was going on it was getting too late. I knew with certainty that we would have been able to bring it all together. And the seemingly unbridgeable distance we'd have needed to close; the apparent stretch of it, was exactly the reason I knew it could be done and be excellent. The great necessity would have been the mother of great creativity. It's too bad perhaps, that I was not more determined and didn't push harder, and didn't find a way to show them and convince them.

As I work daily on getting my new business to the launch state, I will be leaning heavily on the concept. Have I mentioned I'm going into the Dungeons & Dragons hosting business? There is a boom in D&D playing and a shortage of dungeon masters which has spawned a nascent industry: DMing for cash. I'm working on a whole new set of rulebooks; a best-practices formula which considers all previous versions of D&D resources and my own innovations; a very considerable collection of improvements. My goals are big and doable: the ultimate D&D experiences for my clients. Fun, challenging, compelling. Campaigns that are fully immersive; not glorified obstacle courses. Not a formula for player characters to fit into my story, but a fully prepared 360-degree world with possible adventures, resources, allies, opportunities and clues in every direction, where players determine their own objectives and are the prime movers in an evolving story which I discover at the same time they do. It demands a ton of preparation but I am very well-positioned for that. I've been collecting ideas and story concepts and creative elements for a long time. I have over 4000 names in my personal fantasy-themed name collection for instance.

Now, anyone could make the same claim by simply subscribing to an online resource. But it's not the same. Mine are all gold. Mine were all created or acquired within the context of my worlds. They all work. They all will resonate and not seem random. This is one example of a great many that are going to make my product fucking kick-ass.

And whatever gaps in my resources come to apparency through this evolving process: they will be created marvelously... out of necessity.

Back to work... 

Monday, April 03, 2023

Viewer discretion advised!

 Here's my pranks compilation from the Jackass movies. It's definitely not for everybody!