Monday, March 26, 2007

How 'Bout Them (Horse) Apples?

This evening, I had to do an "out-of-class" swim. Essentially, the instructor takes a day off from class and we have to do the workout at an odd time. Usually, we try to stick to the class schedule and get it out of the way. Last week's Orgo test prevented it.

So, me and another guy in the class meet to swim this afternoon. Little did we know we'd be the oldest ones in the pool. It was kiddie swim day. Between laps, I'd take a look at all the kids learning to swim. I bet the oldest kid in there was maybe four. They were killing it! Splashing around, having a great time, swimming with better techniques than I use.

"Damn, they're cute," I'd think before swimming some more. When I finished my swim, I walked into the locker room intent on a quick rinse before heading home to study.

Two steps toward the shower, I thought I saw some dirt. Then, I thought I smelled some poop.

"Certainly, I'm not seeing this, am I?," I asked myself aloud. I leaned in for a closer look. "Son of a bitch," I say, "it is poop." I stopped and stared at it, not believing what I was seeing.

Either some kid had dropped a deuce in the shower or a tiny horse had gotten into the locker room or this was some prank. Either way, the shower was littered with tiny, stinky turds. Further inspection revealed neither a tiny pony or Ashton Kutcher. It was a kid. (FYI - If the med school thing goes bust, I can fall back on my awesome skills as a private detective.)

This is crap. In the shower. Left by adorable little defecators.

Suddenly, those adorable kids weren't so damned cute; they were living containers for tiny little bowels packed with feces and tiny little bladders filled with urine, all ready to discharge anywhere with no notice.

Then, I thought about all the pool water that had gotten in my mouth during my swim.

Hours later, I'm wondering what will kill the taste of the chlorine bleach. Just for the record, stick to Listerine or something. Never bleach.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Danny's Mangled Kicker -The Photos

My sister and I visited Danny and his family yesterday. He continues to look better. (As long as you don't make eye contact with this leg, a.k.a. the mangled kicker.) I'm still feeling really, really terrible about this whole thing. I'm also more than a little gun-shy about playing. If you're looking for me when the Sleestaks take the field, I'll be the jackass in the medieval armor.

For your viewing pleasure/displeasure, I've dropped some photos of Danny's leg online. For more, click the photo.

What's wrong with this photo?

If you guessed:
Dan's beard - Shame on you; deduct 10 points.
Lack of leg wounds - Correct; award yourself 1 billion points, smarty.

By the way, rumor has it that Danny held on to the ball during the collision, meaning that his tibia and fibula weren't the only things out on the play.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Three things that I've been thinking of this week:
  1. My wife's torn ACL
  2. Danny's gruesome broken leg
  3. Organic Chemistry
ACL Hell
Today, we're going for an MRI to determine the extent of the damage to the ligaments. The doctor said that even if the ACL is completely torn, she'd wait until the MCL had healed before doing surgery on the ACL. This way, the recovery might be faster because the body will be healing from the surgery instead of surgery plus additional ligament damage. Anywho, it sort of sounds as though surgery is a likely outcome.

One of the best parts of the ordeal is that while I'm busting my hump yesterday studying for my Orgo test, the MRI imaging service calls to tell us that we'll need to pay $550 out of pocket for the MRI because our insurance won't cover it because it's a "pre-existing" condition.

"Huh?," I ask. "Pre-existing? From when, a week and a half ago?"

"Just telling you what they said, sir," the voice on the phone told me.

"Seriously, they realize that this is the result of an injury that we reported a week ago, right?"

"I don't know, sir. All I know is that they denied payment for a code of 'pre-existing condition.'"


Anywho, here's what a $550 MRI scan will get you:

Although I'm no doctor, comparing this image
with info on the internets
leads me to believe her ACL is busted.

O' Danny Boy
My boy Danny went home from the hospital the other day and now starts the road to recovery with his leg. Honestly, I've been haunted by the very thought of being injured so badly. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain. Stories from the field (the softball field) keep rolling in, each with a different take on how bad the situation was:
  • J3K told me that the sound of the bones snapping sounded like a gunshot that he clearly heard in the outfield. At the sound, coupled with Dan's awful moaning and screaming, he immediately ran infield.
  • Danny recounting that he heard and felt his leg snap. After falling to the ground, he reached to grab his leg and it just flopped around ... not at the joint or anything but in the middle of his shin.
  • A teammate in our dugout passed out as a result of the sights and sounds of the ordeal. She fell and hit her head really good. She's OK.
  • Keith, the guy who, in my absence, is playing shortstop, has remarked that if his throw to home was off (instead of a laser-precise bullet), Dan wouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • PJ2k7 (aka Dokken) said that the first paramedic to arrive thought he was responding to a "possible fracture" call. Evidently, the phrase "the bones are sticking out of his shin" didn't translate into a for-the-love-of-God-please-hurry-your-ass-up response call. He arrived at the field and meandered up to the scene where he quickly realized that he was unprepared. Think Brody in Jaws when he sees the shark and says, "We're going to need a bigger boat."
  • Because they paramedics didn't think they were responding to a high priority call, they didn't bring a fully stocked ambulance. Danny keeps recalling the complete lack of any kind of pain medication until after he reached the hospital. His story about being in the ambulance as it drove off the field, evidently hitting every single bump possible, makes me wince.
  • The surgeon described the approach of implanting the metal rods in Danny's legs. Noting, of course, that he would first thoroughly clean the bones to rid them of the dirt from the softball field. (?!?)
Luckily, the surgery was successful. The kid is at home recovering with his family, beginning his physical therapy and the road to recovery. I'm going to see him tomorrow and promise to get a photo of his mangled kicker.

I took a big Organic Chemistry test this week. I did my best to study my ass off for it. Honestly, it was a welcome distraction from all the health issues. As usual, it was tough.

One of the questions dealt with synthesizing a tri-substituted benzene ring. For my answer, I drew SpongeBob. In really big, block letters, I wrote his name under it. It was all done in crayon. I think I wrote the "S" backwards.

Right when I was finishing, my arm shattered, sending my bone and blood all over the desk.

Absorbent and yellow and porous is he.
(And able to synthesize benzene with glee.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stuck Between Stations

I'm roasting in Organic Chemistry hell. Big exam tomorrow and I'm trying to make the big push to be ready.

Tough week. My pal Danny broke his leg during a softball game. Actually, some ding-dong put his knee through Dan's shin while trying to score. Dan's tibia and fibula broke and burst through the skin in his leg. Later that night, he spent three hours in surgery having everything cleaned up and nice new metal rods inserted into the bones of his leg. Everything seems to be fine; he's recovering. More details later.

Life. It really throws some curveballs, huh?

Here's a video for a song from a band that really, really makes me happy. It's "Stuck Between Stations" from The Hold Steady.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring Break 2007

I’m wrapping up my spring break. Unlike me and J3K had planned, I’m not in Daytona. (The very idea of it didn’t fly well with the wife.) Anywho, I’m in Avon, Colorado and have been skiing Vail and Beaver Creek. The weather has been good but terribly warm. We’ve been catching the first lift and making first tracks on the mountain before all the idiot college spring breakers (myself excluded because I represent a classy women’s college) dust off their hangovers and get on the mountain.

Yesterday, I did a double black diamond. It was ridiculously steep. Honestly, it scared the hell out of me. On the trail map, it was only a single diamond but when we got there, it was a double black. Anywho, one for the record books.

By the way, here are two contrasting methods to get a free day of skiing:
My way:
Get off of the plane, drop off luggage in the condo office because it’s too early to check in. Change clothes in the bathroom, grab snowboard and head to slopes. Present boarding pass for flight that arrives as Vail/Eagle airport. Receive free lift ticket (a $70 value). Kick ass on slopes before anyone else arrives.

Yep, that's me owning the mountain (but not the photo).

My wife’s way:
Have a great day on slopes. Warm up on some green runs with an occasional blue. After a lunch break, hit another blue run. Unfortunately, catch ski in slushy mogul, twist knee while falling, strain MCL, and tear ACL. Receive refund from resort for purchased lift tickets.

Bones are OK; ligaments are hosed.

All told, I think my approach was a little easier.

Jedi Mind Tricks Would Help Me Erase This

Last week, I was in Physics lab, mapping magnetic field vectors. My lab partner left our workstation and walked over to another table full of women in our program. She started talking to one of our younger classmates. While continuing to work, I overheard her congratulate our classmate. The younger woman responded, “Thanks. We’re excited but we’ll probably wait until after I finish this program to really start making plans."

At this point, I didn’t want to be left out of congratulating her, so I shouted across the room: “Congratulations! So, when did it happen? How? Gimmie some details!”

As soon as the words left my mouth, any noise from the class ceased. I’m talking needle scratching the record, nothing but crickets sort of silence. Everyone silently stared at me.

My lab partner returned to the table and urgently whispered to me, “Do you know why I was congratulating her?”

“She didn’t get engaged?” (I think my voice cracked when I said this.)

“No. She just found out she’s pregnant.”

“She’s not engaged, huh?”


At this point, I broke the silence by yelling: “On second thought, I don’t need any details at all. I don’t care about when or how it happened. Congratulations, though.”

I packed up my things and left with tons of eyes watching me.