3/25/12

It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

I know it's been a few months since I went to Florida, and I also know that I've been slacking off horribly when it comes to my blog, but I've had a bit of writer's block lately. I've also had my fair share of doctor's appointments to try to figure out what's going on with my neck/spine/arm/etc.

I am pretty sure that my body is rejecting my bones. I fully expect to wake up one morning lying next to my skeleton because it decided it couldn't take it anymore. I am still trying to get to the bottom of it, but the arm weakness and finger tingling appears to be some combination of a cervical disk bulge pressing on a nerve and the fact that I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both my wrists. This I found out by being connected up to electrodes and having needles stuck into my muscles while they jabbed me with a taser. At least that's what it felt like.

On the plus side, I now have to wear these black neoprene bowling glove-type things to bed every night so I don't bend my wrists under me while I sleep. They make my hands sweat like a bitch, but I do look a little like a super hero. As anyone who has ever worn a wetsuit will attest, neoprene is a hell of an insulator. I can't even imagine the gallons of sweat that must be sloshing around in Scarlett Johansenn's boots when she's been running around in that Black Widow costume.

The Florida trip this year was pretty good. My wife came down with me for the full week, which was boring for her during the day, but we did manage to have some fun at night. No, not that kind of fun (and there are reasons for that I will get into later) but we went out to a great dinner, and hit Epcot for the fireworks, did some shopping in downtown Disney -- that sort of thing.

The opening session speaker was Michael J. Fox, and he spoke about optimism and overcoming adversity. He was very inspiring. (If you're curious, here's his closer.) As usual, after the third day, I felt like my brain was going to explode. I was also down there with our team's resident genius, which meant that I was basically an understudy. Unless his plane went down, the chances of me actually learning something that he didn't already know were slim to none. I did notice one thing that was different this year. I haven't gone in a few years now, and it seemed that people stunk less. The last time I went to the show was in 2009, and this year was a distinct improvement. The only other explanation is that my nose is becoming less sensitive, but I don't think that's it. I still managed to see my fair share of grossness and I even snagged a picture or two for you because that's the kind of guy I am. In one of my early sessions, I sat behind this guy:


He looked pretty clean, and he didn't have B.O, but he kept scratching himself like he had ear mites or something. The fact that he wouldn't sit still was pretty distracting, but I didn't actually get up and move my seat until I saw this:


I know it's hard to make out, but about half of his scalp skin was resting ever-so-delicately on the back of his chair, just waiting for something to take it airborne. I wasn't waiting around for that, so I relocated.

There was another guy who wore snow camouflage every day. Here's a picture of him hiding in plain sight:


Now I like to consider myself a bit of a woodsman, and I know some of my readers may not be well- versed in the finer aspects of camouflage, but snow camo is one of the harder patterns to spot, because your eyes lose all the benefits gained by being a human who is able to see in color. With that in mind, I figured I'd help you all out a bit:


This next guy sort of scared me. He had a lot of holes and stuff in his face that he poked metal bits through, and he wore more mascara than most women I know. His fingernails were painted black, and his shirt said this:


I didn't know what it meant, exactly, but I was pretty sure it wasn't something I'd enjoy having upon me. I mean, are scourges ever good? I don't think that they are. And to wish one upon someone you never met is just plain rude. When I got home, I looked that phrase up. The most hits I found were related to this song by a band called Nile. Here's a bit of the lyrics:

The scourge of Amalek is upon you, The seed of Amu hath oppressed you
They hath urinated upon you and made you eat feces
They know not Ra
They are the enemies of Asar, they hath defiled your tombs
Violated your women and made victims of your little ones
They hath befouled the writings of Thoth
They hath burned sacred papyri, they hath cracked open your heads
Smashed your teeth and gouged out your eyes
They hacked off your limbs and thrown your mutilated bodies
Towards the heavens mocking Ra

There's a lot of defiling and befouling going on there. And no small amount of smashing and gouging and hacking. They also seem to be pretty pissed at the Egyptian gods for some reason. Every time I hear music like that, I can't help but think that maybe the cookie monster started a band.

I have no idea where this next picture came from, but it haunts my nightmares:


In retrospect, she probably has the ideal physical shortcoming for attending a tech conference. The next picture is one of me sitting outside the fake Rose & Crown and drinking a real $15 Guinness:


That's how you know you're in Disney. You pay $15 for a freakin' beer. Even the vending machines outside the parks have prices that are beyond belief:


For that much money it should be the size of a hardcover book.

Disney is always so clean, and I (as a full-time consumer and part-time germophobe) appreciate that. The streets, the bathrooms, the buses, you name it. So spotless you could make someone else eat off of it and they wouldn't die. Probably.

I was especially fond of these hand-washing tips provided by the kind folks at Brawny:


I was surprised there wasn't another paragraph that said something like, "Lots and lots of paper towels. On second thought, just go ahead and use the whole roll."

One of my favorite places to visit in Epcot is Japan, because it is wonderful and horrible at the same time. They have taken consumerism to the pinnacle and turned it into fine art. On the one hand, they are responsible for things like this:


But on the other hand, they are also responsible for things like this:


If I could draw like that, I would never leave the house.

Now, let me get back to the issue of not having any 'fun' at night. My wife will probably kill me for even telling you this story, so if I don't get laid for six months, it's your fault. The week before we left for Florida, she had a sinus infection and was on antibiotics to get rid of it. That's all well and good, except you know what can happen to women when they go on antibiotics for any length of time, right? That's not normally a problem, because there are drugs readily available if the worst comes to pass. So here's a fun fact: Do you know what there is absolutely NONE OF inside Disney proper?

Monistat.®

That stuff is like gold down there in Mickey Town. Not a tube to be found anywhere. We didn't have a car, so we were stuck with wherever the Disney transportation could take us. Needless to say, the highly-tuned apparatus was out of service the whole week. On day three, we finally tracked down a tube of the single-dose miracle cure, but the next day there were still problems below deck so we resigned ourselves to the fact that we'd have to settle for simply enjoying some alcohol and the warm weather. Our last night there, we were sitting outside in a gazebo at dusk, drinking a twenty-dollar bottle of six-dollar wine. She was talking about how beautiful the weather was, and our garden at home -- how it was almost time to order new flowers and how she wanted to add some new flower beds, and the massive amount of clean-up we have to do every year.

There had been an ice storm the previous week, and the large juniper bush just outside the garden entrance had snapped off about half-way down due to the weight of the ice. We had planted it when we had moved in to our house, over 15 years ago, and she was really sad about losing it, because it hid the screened-in porch from the road. The conversation lagged, so we sat there in silence for a bit, enjoying the warm summer breeze and sipping our last glass of wine on our last night visiting the happiest place on earth.

She looked up at the darkening sky and sighed. Then she said, "I still can't believe my bush broke."


20 comments:

  1. OMGEEEEEEEEEEEE....i am rolling ...i was on your wife's side of you not getting any for 6 months...until the very end...HILARIOUS...and true story!

    even she has to appreciate that the entire story had to be told!

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  2. HA!

    Also, in response to your health problems, I would be more worried be the fact that you had a cervix...

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  3. *worried by oops...

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  4. OMFG - If I was your wife, you would not be getting any *ever again*. However, at least she had a sense of humor about it, and maybe you can convince her that you did this as a PSA. I, for one, would never imagine that Disney would be lacking in that..area.

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  5. i was laughing -- but i have been there, and feel your wife's pain. the kind of pain you want to take a hairbrus to...

    2 week camping trip in canada. no prescription. before you could buy Monistat over the counter in canada. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! We spent a night in Maine on the way back. JUST so i could go to CVS....

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  6. One of the advantages to being a female dentist is that it's less embarrassing for me to ask my female patients if they'd like me to prescribe Diflucan as well as whatever antibiotic I'm prescribing. The fact that I get as many, "OMFG yes!!!" responses tells me that not many prescribers think to do that. Sucks for your wife.

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  7. This totally is a PSA and I hope your wife forgives you readily. It never once occurred to me that a location in "civilized society" would not have the appropriate treatments for such a miserable malady.

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  8. I'd like to visit one of the Disney parks one of these days. It doesn't look like I'll be eating, but that's probably good for weight loss anyway. Also, on a related note, I would absolutely drink the sweat that dripped off Scarlett Johansson. Real talk.

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  9. ScarlettO9:55 AM

    Funny story - but you're right, you'll probably be celibate for the next six months (or if she's spiteful like I am, the rest of your damn life.) Does she know you wrote that yet??!!

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  10. Anonymous1:34 PM

    So, on the carpal tunnel syndrome - get the surgery. It works. I, too, had to wear the neoprene braces. I managed to take them off every night in my sleep. But surgery is the way to go. As I was reading about your conference, I'm thinking, "what in the hell kind of conferences does he go to?" I'm a teacher, and our conferences are kinda tame by comparison. When I read it was a tech conference, it all made sense.

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  11. Valgal4:11 PM

    OK, in your wife's defense. I have never thought to go ahead and buy that kind of medication to keep on hand while on antibiotics. Unless you are the kind of woman that gets lady problems every single time, then why bother? I certainly wouldn't have thought about that while my mind was already full of planning and packing for the trip! Sooo tell me... how do you know that this is something that "most women" would think of. I'm sure you went around interviewing your family members and co-workers to determine this :)

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  12. A note for the ladies (especially anybody like me who is utterly immune to Diflucan): use the 7-day Monistat *at the same time as the antibiotics*!!! If it's a 10-day course of tablets, start the cream on the 3rd day. Oh, and sitting on an ice pack can also provide a lot of relief!

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  13. And here I thought blogs were mostly bullshit. Turns out, they can be very educational. Or is that "vagi-cational"?

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  14. It boggles the mind that 'adults' would need instructions for handwashing. I was expecting a 'Burma Shave' at the bottom of the sign.

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  15. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Hilarious!

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  16. And this is why I continue to be grateful that my husband's Internet ramblings are limited to political action posts on FB. As for you, my friend, I agree: you are destined to conjugal exile for an extended length of time, up to/including six months. I think the price you'll have to pay is worth the sheer entertainment value of this post. Priceless!

    P.S. I travel with half a Walgreens stocked in my bag, for this exact reason. Nothing worse than being trapped somewhere without a critical medication. I guess mice, dogs, ducks and princesses never suffer from common human ailments! :-(

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  17. What the hell is up with that first guy's shirt? I thought that was the point of your rant with him.. until you pointed out the "snow", at which point I almost vomited. (yeah.. it just happened again)
    And is that creepy shirt guy chatting up snow camo guy?

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  18. I was in Disney last week, and I also took a picture of one of the hand-washing-instruction signs. Several different paper towel brands sponsored them throughout the parks, for variety.

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  19. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Wow. So much to comment upon in this incredibly rich post! It’s like finding water in the desert! Very funny, in spite of the fact that you are obviously in pain and worry about tingles where it shouldn’t be tingling. I guess MJ Fox would be a good person to give you some perspective on that. Thanks!

    So, to pick out just a few things,

    1) Have you considered a cape to go with your wrist braces? You might get back into the action with your wife a little sooner.

    2) I’m upping the ante on Travis’ earlier post: I would crawl a mile over broken glass just for the opportunity to drink the sweat out of Scarlett Johansson’s neoprene boots.

    3) The snow camo dude would have blended in just fine with the back of dandruff dude’s chair.

    4) Aside from the fact that it’s complete gibberish, I’m annoyed by the fact that “they know not Ra,” but they still bother to “mock him” with amputated body parts later. Which is it do they know him and mock him, or do they know him not and …. not know him from a hole in the ground (filled with dead puppies and lost balloons)?

    PS. I can’t seem to comment with the name/url function lately. I have posted previously under the handle “Mackerel”

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  20. Anonymous8:04 PM

    I have to admit that I haven't thrown too many mutilated bodies toward the heavens, but it seems to me you wouldn't want to stand around mocking Ra for too long because, see, those mutilated bodies will probably come back down fairly soon.
    -w

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