Friday, August 31, 2007

Fractured Finger Friday - Return of the Bird

Got the Orange Power cast removed on Friday, much to the dismay of everyone who had turned making sport of the thing their primary source of amusement. There were very few additions to the list of jokes about the cast since my last post, although at least two people did refer to my crab hand, my uncle made a crack about not being able to put a finger on what was different about me, and PigPen made a big production about asking me "Hey, can you give me a hand? Get it? A Hand!?!?! Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Man, I crack myself up." With the removal of the cast and pins, I am now back to a single finger splint, although one which is a bit more obtrusive in design than my previous splint, which means I will now be flipping people off even more than before.

I did have a bit of a scare when I went in for my appointment. The nurse looked at my chart and said "You're early; this says you don't get that taken off until September 29th." I think my sleep-deprived mind might have snapped if that had been the case.

As happy as I was to lose the cast, my first few days without it have taken some readjustment as I've had to deal with stiff and sore joints as well as painful reminders that I no longer have large quantities of bandages cushioning my recovering finger from my own clumsiness. But at least I can type with both hands again, which is a blessing.

I'm to keep the finger pretty much immobilized for a week, at which point I can start doing minor physical therapy on the joint three times a day for a couple of weeks, at which point I'll go to my next appointment and find out just how successful my healing process has been. Personally, I'm just ready for the time for me to lose my bandages to roll around so I can stop showering with a plastic bag over my hand.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Fractured Finger Friday - Poking Fun

Although my unfortunate injury, subsequent surgery, and long-term recovery have caused a slowdown of blogging, thus plunging you long distance blog monkeys into painful Todd-withdrawal, for those who are in more immediate contact with me my pain and misery have provided endless hours of amusement.

  • After my finger was put into a splint to keep the bone from dislocating any more, I was constantly being chastised by Cap’n Peanut, who maintained that as a Sunday School teacher I shouldn’t be flipping people off.

  • Remember how I said that some of the girls had offered to fix me dinner? I should have known there’d be a catch, but I don’t think I would have ever in a million years guessed exactly what that catch would be: my dinner was a meatloaf* in the shape of a finger, complete with crumbled cracker fingernail, aluminum foil stitches, needle and thread, and, the pièce de résistance, red and blue Twizzler veins emerging from a hole at the end. As soon as Cap’n Cluck sends me the pictures she took I’ll be sure to post them.

  • Following my surgery, I had to keep my hand constantly elevated to avoid swelling. That first night as I sat at my computer, arm resting on top of my head, PigPen walked by, stopped, and said “Yes, Todd, you have a question?” He would not be the only one to use this gag; in fact, a week later I would be called on in a meeting at work for the same reason.

  • When it came time to choose a color for my hard cast, I was true to my word to fellow OSU fan PigPen and selected orange. Over the next few days, my friends were glad to inform me of everything my brightly colored burden qualified me for: going hunting without a vest, guiding traffic, guiding airplanes, working in a construction zone, etc. I have also been informed multiple times by co-workers how much it clashes with my work clothes, and every third person to see me asks if it glows in the dark.

  • For reasons I shan’t get into here, last Saturday night I was doing the chicken dance; when it came time to clap my hands, I instead slapped my good hand against my chest which, for some reason, struck PigPen as the funniest thing he’d seen all day, requiring him to then do his impression of me several times at church and lunch the next day.

  • The other day at work one of the student workers walked up, placed his plastic Captain Hook prosthetic on top of the cast, and walked off.

  • Most people are incredulous when they find out that my horribly large and bulky cast is because of a single broken finger, but Zinger’s line is my favorite response so far: “if you’d broken a bone any further down, they probably would have put you in traction.”

  • At the end of church services each week, we are asked to stand and join hands with the person next to us as we sing the closing hymn. This week, Cap’n Shack-Fu was on my right, causing him to exclaim “Great, why do I get the gimp hand?” He then proceeded to grasp me by the thumb.

  • Kookamama’s response to hearing I broke my middle finger: “What, were you flipping too many people off?” Surprisingly, so far she’s the only one to make this particular comment.

  • While my new Orange Power cast leaves my thumb and index finger free, allowing me greater gripping capabilities than the previous arrangement which blocked the index finger off, the bulkiness of the cast still makes certain activities problematic, such as tying my shoes. During my first horribly frustrating attempt to do so, PigPen came to my rescue – of course, as soon as he was done he patted me on the head and started talking to me in the same tone of voice he uses when he talks to his nephews on the phone. “There you go, got your big boy shoes all tied. Who wants a popsicle? Who wants a popsicle?”

    There were, of course, no popsicles.

  • While hanging out at Shack-Fu’s house the other night, I had some difficulty getting his recliner to recline, since the lever was on the right side. After helping me with that, my good pal decided to treat me like an invalid, shoving food in my mouth while I was talking to PigPen on the phone**, maniacal and mischievous grin plastered across his sleep-deprived face the whole time***

Of course, there are numerous examples of times when people ask me if I want to go do something I can’t (“Want to go swimming? Go bowling? Play disc golf”?) or merely laugh heartily at my one handed fumblings (trying to open bottles, trying to sign name, trying to eat, etc.), all of which prompted Cap’n Cluck to thank me heartily on Sunday for breaking my finger and undergoing surgery just to provide them all with ample entertainment.

*When PigPen asked if he could take some with him to work for lunch, I was torn. On the one hand, without him, I wouldn’t have been receiving a home cooked meal from Angel, Cluckity, and others. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure I wanted to support the “if I break one of Todd’s bones I get free food” idea that was sure to result.
**Upon being told that Shack was force feeding me, PigPen began to yell through the phone “Feed him Dr. Pepper! Make him drink Dr. Pepper!” He’s one sick individual, that PigPen.
***The details of why Shack-Fu was back in town and sleep deprived will have to wait until some other time, but suffice it to say that he is beginning to suspect that FEMA is actually just a huge conspiracy calculated to drive him over the edge.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Still Typing One Handed, and It's Still a Pain

Had my post-op check-up on Friday. Good news: everything seems to be healing nicely. Bad news: in order to make sure it keeps healing nicely they put me in a hard cast that reaches almost to my elbow, leaving only my thumb and index finger free. As cumbersome as the cast is, I wouldn't mind it anywhere near as much if it weren't for the metal pins still in my finger which I can often feel getting caught on the gauze under the cast. Kind of hard to concentrate on other things when there's a couple of pieces of metal protruding from your skin, even when you can't see them -- or maybe especially when you can't see them . . . although, actually looking at them while they were changing out casts and removing stitches was more than a bit distracting. Anyone interested in seeing pictures of my mutilated, pin-riddled hand which I quickly took with my camera phone after they took my stitches out can email me; I've opted not to insert them into the blog in deference to the more squeamish blog monkeys out there.

Lots of injury related jokes at my expense to relate, but don't feel like hunt-and-pecking them out right now. With luck I'll be pin-less and cast-less by the middle of next week, and can then resume having to come up with other excuses for not blogging.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Typing One Handed is a Pain

Blogging will still be sparse this week, as my right hand is pretty much useless until at least Friday when I go back in for my post-op check-up, when they will, with luck, put me in a much less obtrusive splint. So, until I can resume my full range of typing motion, try to enjoy the followings survey which I created right before my surgery; feel free to fill it out yourself and post it on your own blog (Diva, consider youself tagged), or in the comments below.

Cap'n Neurotic's Movie Watcher Survey Part 1

Thanks to inspiration from comments by both Cap'n Disaster and PigPen's pal Homeless Bob, I have finally broken down and made my own survey. Naturally, it's about movies; also naturally, I made it too long, and so have split it up into at least three parts, of which this is the first.

1. Where do you like to sit at the theater? Front row, back row, or in between?
With stadium style theaters usually the first row of the second section of seats if for no other reason than to put my feet up on the bar there

2. Foreign language films – subtitles, dubbed, or not at all?
All about the subtitles, most dubbed films drive me crazy

3. Favorite movie watching snack food?
If I’m in the mood for chocolate, Bunch’a’Crunch; if not, Hot Tamales

4. What thing will turn you off of a movie almost immediately?
Humor based on people lying for no logical reason

5. Movie you’re most upset you paid full price for?
Bad Girls

6. Movie you didn’t have to pay full price for, but which was still a complete and total waste of your time?
John Carpenters Vampire$

7. Movie you loathe with the fiery white hot passion of a thousand suns?
Batman and Robin, with the ending of Do the Right Thing ranking a close second

8. What was your first R rated movie?
the first I really recall was Conan the Barbarian; the first one I saw when I was old enough to get in without supervision was Misery

9. What movie did you go to see the most times at the theater?
Toss up between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi

10. Most overrated movie?

11. Most underrated movie?
at the time, The Cable Guy, although it has gathered a following over the years

12. Movie that you always get sucked into when it comes on TV no matter how many times you’ve seen it?
Summer School

13. What special features do you usually watch on DVDs?
almost always watch deleted scenes and gag reels, and will often watch commentaries

14. Widescreen or pan-and-scan?
Ever since Dr. Leff demonstrated how pan-and-scan totally butchered the screen composition and intent of a scene in Rebel Without a Cause, it’s widescreen all the way for me

15. Most disappointing film sequel/prequel?
Star Wars Episodes 1-3, especially 3

16. Biggest pleasant surprise?
Drop Dead Gorgeous which was much funnier and darker than I had anticipated

17. Whose taste in movies is closest to your own?
probably Li’l Random; nobody else I know loves the dark and twisty humor as much as he does

18. Whose taste in movies is furthest from your own?
probably M.J.; anyone who loves SoulPlane as much as she did *has* to be on the opposite end of the movie loving spectrum from me ;)

19. Movie adapted from a book: do you read book or watch movie first?
I will generally read the book first if possible

20. Movie you’re almost ashamed to admit you like?

21. Biggest tearjerker?
having never seen any of the acceptable “guy” answers to this question (Brian’s Song, Old Yeller) going to have to go with Steel Magnolias, since even though I knew it was coming, the death made me tear up

22. Scariest movie?
Don’t really get scared by movies on the whole, although walking through a dark parking lot after watching several Friday the 13th films does add to the paranoia a bit

23. Obscure movie you love but which almost nobody else knows of?
Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

24. What’s the biggest factor in making you decide if you want to pay to see a movie in the theater or wait for the DVD?
A movie has to either (a) have awesome special effects, (b) be an atmospheric horror flick which is enhanced by the darkened theater, or (c) be so filled with twists and surprises that I want to see it before it all gets spoiled.

25. What do most of your favorite movies have in common?
Dark, twisty, dialogue-driven (occasionally absurd) humor


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bye Bye, Birdie?

In approximately 4 hours from when I post this I shall be going under the knife to have my broken and dislocated right middle finger repaired; consequently, this may be the last blog post I do for a bit. Granted, Cap'n Bubbles has graciously offered to transcribe my ramblings into blog form for me, but considering how many drafts some of these go through, I can't imagine making anyone suffer through my indecisive proofing.

As part of the surgery preparations, I was instructed multiple times not to eat or drink anything at all after midnight. Then, last night I got a voicemail from the anesthesiologist telling me that since my surgery was in the afternoon, he would let me eat a very light breakfast before 6 AM, and allow me to drink clear liquids up until 7:30. Which was nice, except I didn't wake up until, oh, 7:40 or so, and thus missed out on the generous extension of my food/drink intake timeframe.

And speaking of food, I just got an email from Angel, saying that she and some of the other girls were thinking about me and are planning to bring me dinner tomorrow night, which is cool. Even cooler was the subject line of her email, which is now the subject line of the blog post.

But, although having dinner tomorrow provided tomorrow will be nice, what would be even nicer is actually having food in the house for every other meal for the next few days, so I shall now post this and make a quick run to the store so I can be back home and ready for Squiggly to chauffeur me to the surgeon in Lewisville.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Anarchy at Applebee's: an Evening With Cap'n Bionic, Li'l Weirdo, and Swamp-Fu

Wednesday night my best bud Cap'n Shack-Fu was actually in town for the first time in weeks so the Singles got together at Applebee's for dinner with him before he had to move on again. My roomies, Cap'n Cluck, and I were the first ones to arrive, and as we were being seated I noticed that one of my co-workers* was just a few tables over so I went over to say hi. She and her dinner companion were regaling me with tales of people they knew who had similar injuries to their finger and who had had horrible recovery experiences due to loss of use and the need for multiple surgeries; it was while having these nice uplifting thoughts put into my head that Shack-Fu and Fluffy showed up. Shack-Fu saw me and came running at me full tilt, arms open, crying out "Toooooooooooooooooooodd!!" before nearly knocking me over with his enthusiastic hug. My co-worker would later comment on how unbelievably energetic Shack-Fu was; I told her she had barely seen anything.

While I was happy that we had a big group show up to dinner, the downside of having a large group like that is that you wind up having two or three separate groups operating in their own conversational worlds. Although, at times it's a blessing in disguise; not sure if the restaurant would have been able to handle it if Li'l Random had been seated right next to the rest of HyperForce 3000 instead of at the opposite end of the table where he spent most of the evening alternately entertaining and horrifying the girls around him with his randomness.

Overall, we were at Applebee's for about 2 1/2 hours; luckily, since it was a Wednesday night it wasn't very busy, so we didn't have to feel guilty about monopolizing several tables. At one point I did notice that they had stopped sitting people near us if they could help it, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence, right?

Some highlights of the evening:

  • After Li'l Random told me he was going to call me "Bionic," he then began to demonstrate what my bionic finger would be like, making the trademark slow-mo bionic sound effects as he picked things up. PigPen and I simultaneously began to mime a different action with the sound effects, an action I'm sure you can guess if you recall exactly which finger it is that's getting the screws put to it.

  • Fluffy told us that Shack-Fu has a new nickname at his work after he had placed a 'Do Not Disturb, I'm Swamped" sign outside of his office: Swamp Thing.

    I see the resemblance . . .

  • After Squiggly got a to-go box for her left-over chicken, some of the others decided to decorate it with drawings. Li'l Random drew a fanged face, spiked tale, clawed lags, and segmented stomach to turn the Styrofoam container into a dragon; then, one of the girls grabbed it, drew a bow and eyelashes on it, making it a very feminine dragon. Li'l Random took one look and declared "I shall name you Drusilla!" He then began to work the container to mimic a mouth, and began to woo himself in a falsetto voice. After a minute of this, he put the container down; I took one look at him and said "You were this close to making out with it, weren't you?" He nodded sheepishly, then grabbed the container again. Squiggly proclaimed that he was not making out with her to-go box. He said "Fast-forward to afterward!" and then had Drusilla speak again: "Oh, Li'l Random, you're such a good kisser!" "Oh, Drusilla," he replied, "you taste like chicken."

  • While standing outside of Applebee's, Li'l Random McEvil suddenly grabbed Drusilla from Squiggly, ran down to the other end of the building, set Drusilla on the ground, and then zipped behind the building, cautiously peeking out from behind a bush. When Squiggly refused to give chase and demanded that he return with her food, the Random One crouched down to the ground and began to make Drusilla speak again; it was at this time that the back door of the restaurant opened up and a lady came out, giving Li'l Random a wary look. He bolted straight up and began to stammer out an explanation for his behavior, but the discerning Applebee's customer merely looked at him askance, muttered something, and kept on walking as our entire group died laughing at Li'l Random's embarrassing encounter. After retrieving Drusilla and rejoining the group, Li'l Random informed us what the lady had muttered at him: "Weirdo." And thus, was another nickname added to the list . . .

*The one who was the victim of my sweating overshare


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

  • When I first brought home my X-rays showing the big ol' break in my finger, PigPen's immediate reaction was "Hey, I do good work*." I told him that yes, yes he did, and I would be sure to recommend him to all of my friends.

  • Upon hearing that I was going to have a screw placed in my finger permanently, people usually do one of three things:

    1. Make a crack about the fun I'm going to have with metal detectors
    2. Make a pun involving the word "screw"
    3. Make a Six Million Dollar Man reference

    Option number three was favored by Zinger ("You going to go for the Six Million Dollar Man thing one body part at a time?"), Li'l Random ("I'm going to start calling you 'Bionic'."), and PigPen ("We can rebuild you; we have the technology. And tell Zinger I'll be preparing the next piece to be replaced soon.")

  • One of the few up-sides to waiting around in doctors' offices for hour s just so that you can spend 5 minutes with the doctor is that you can get a lot of reading done. Almost finished the first book of Gregory Keyes' Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series, which is shaping up to be just as interesting as his excellent Children of the Changeling books. Guess I should go pay my fines at the Public Library so I can check out the next two, although it might be cheaper to just go and buy copies elsewhere . . .

  • Been trying to decide how I'm going to entertain myself at home while recovering from the surgery; really wishing I hadn't reduced my Netflix subscription now.

  • Another contender for favorite comment on my TMI interview comes courtesy of Flunky, who opines that the overshares listed weren't all that bad considering who they came from. That's a positive comment, right? Right?

  • Allow me a brief minute of comic geekery: While I loved portions of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-men and thought Grant Morrison's New X-men had some really cool ideas, Ed Brubaker's Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire is by far my favorite X-men story in ages -- not counting Peter David's X-factor run, which is its own private kind of awesome. We no return you to the non-comic-geek portion of your blog

  • I finally tested out the "Watch Now" video on demand feature of Netflix and was pleasently surprised by just how well it worked, even if the film I watched was an incredibly low-budget horror flick shot on DV. Wish I would have tested it out earlier, since I now feel like I've been missing out on some of the value of my Netflix subscription.

  • Favorite quote from the Lost panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con:
    I would actually argue that were you to go back and look at season one, you would find more acts of violence that our guys committed on each other than violence that the Others committed on them,” Lindelof added. “But our guys are just a lot prettier. So, when Sawyer is like, punching you in the face, you're like ‘More, please. You're just so attractive. Do you want to take your shirt off while the beating continues?' But when Pickett or Friendly is beating you up it's like, ‘Oh this is brutal violence!' So, we promise that as the show moves forward if the violence stays intense it will only be perpetrated by catastrophically good-looking people.
  • Not too long ago I finally bit the bullet and arranged my MySpace Top Friends list into something other than strict alphabetical order; of course, this led to PigPen's righteous indignation at being relegated to the #2 slot under Li'l Random. When I pointed out that I'm #17 on his own Top Friends list, he defended my placement there by informing me that every friend listed above me is either family or like family to him, apparently not realizing that (a) my point wasn't that I was bothered by being so low on his list** but rather that in the grand scheme of things he was relatively high on mine and (b) basically telling me "yeah there are 16 people that I care deeply about, and then there's you" wouldn't be all that effective a tactic in convincing me that he should be my #1 friend.

  • It looks like PigPen has managed to postpone starting his new hours another week so that he can finish out the final week of softball season, which has made him happy; I'm sure once he realizes that this will also minimize the time he has to spend with post-surgery, whacked-out-on-pain-meds Todd he'll be even happier.

  • PigPen's girlfriend's*** review of 300 after we watched it Tuesday night: "too much killing." Obviously, she was not the target audience, a fact that was driven home when some dust of the disc made it skip back and play the same sequence of the Spartans killing off wounded men three or four times in a row, making her exclaim "I don't want to see them kill him again!" Women, huh?

*Yes, PigPen was partially responsible for my injury; no it was not on purpose; yes, he expressed genuine remorse over it; no, that does not stop him from continually mocking me and using it as a reminder of what happens when you "mess with the bull"
**No, really -- everyone above me on his list is either kin, the PigPen equivalent of the Parkerites (i.e. friends he's known for years and years ) or his girlfriend, so I can't complain about any of them being ranked above me. Honestly, I'm just happy that he finally moved me above Dane Cook.
***Until I come up with a good nickname for her, it's either call her that or Squiggly's sister. Incidentally, PigPen is #2 on her Top Friends list as well, while she's #16 on his; just thought I'd throw that in there.