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My Fathers Guitar

Sep. 13th, 2009 | 04:10 pm
mood: chipper

I've got to figure out what I want to do about blogging and this journal. I just don't update enough these days to really justify it being around. On the other hand, how many years have passed since I started it? I'd hate to just throw away all that history.

Anyway, here's what's up:

My son has continued to do well in school. I really couldn't be more proud of the boy.

I've been doing a TON of derby-related stuff of late. I worked as an NSO last night, and I almost had the opportunity there to ref on skates for the first time in an official bout. Unfortunately we couldn't get my insurance info worked out since I was a last-minute substitution, but it's okay. I'll be on skates on September 26, my league's next bout night. Am I nervous? A little, I guess. On the other hand, I've worked very hard at this, and I'm 100% prepared for it, so I'm not as afraid as one might think. After the 26th, we've got an away bout that I've also been asked to head ref, and then a "just for fun" event on October 30. The skaters will be dressed as pirates and ninjas, and my ref crew will be vikings for the evening. If that doesn't have fun written all over it, I can't imagine what does.

My mother-in-law moved in. It's chaotic. She likes the house hot and the TV loud. I like it cool and quiet. In addition, her stupid little dog has decided to use the rug in the front room for her toilet. I'm ready to punt the stupid thing over the neighbor's house and let it be someone else's problem. With any luck we'll all settle in and start to cope a bit better, but for the time being I'm thinking that living in a hotel wouldn't be that bad.

Speaking of living elsewhere, I've been spending some time lately in Bloomington, a town about an hour south of here - mostly for derby stuff. It's one of the first towns I've been around where I could see my family moving. I really like it down there, and if I could find work for the wife and I, we'd seriously think about it. My mother would be pissed, but frankly... She'd have to cope.

As I type these words, I'm sitting in a Starbucks while my wife has a derby league board meeting a few blocks away. I'm using her bitchin' new Toshiba laptop and drinking too much coffee. I could get used to this... But next time I need to remember to bring my headphones, because the music selection is so bad that it makes me angry.

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Tolnaftate 1%

Aug. 12th, 2009 | 08:55 pm
mood: exhausted

My son started kindergarten today. I wish I could have been around to take him and pick him up. More on that later. Anyway, he seems to have had a good time and also seems to have behaved himself quite nicely. I'm still adjusting to the fact that my son is. in. school. Jeez, where has the time gone? I swear it was just a few weeks ago that I was getting up in the middle of the night to feed him and stuff. Hell's bells.

So, what else...

This past Monday, the doctor who did the surgery on my leg told me that I waas completely healed. The leg is, for lack of a better way to say it, as good as it's going to get. What's that mean? Well...

It doesn't hurt any more. In fact, for the most part it feels completely normal - just like the other one. There's some stiffness in the morning, and my ankle still tends to swell if I'm up and moving for more than an hour. That's okay, though, and both of those are supposed to improve as I move along.

Speaking of moving along, the doc told me I'm welcome to start skating again. For obvious reasons, the idea of doing that scares the shit out of me. Of course, that's precisely why I've got to do it... I don't want to have that fear in the back of my mind. Honestly, the fall that caused my injury was a "perfect storm." The wheel touch, the angles involved... I could fall a hundred times like that and I wouldn't end up this hurt. I'm still going to have a panic attack the first few times someone skates up behind me.

Anyway, I reffed another bout this past weekend even though I had to do it off-skates. I was Head ref again, and things couldn't have gone more smoothly from my perspective. I had some really experienced refs on my crew, and the newer ones are developing quite nicely as well. All of the skaters and several members of the audience had really nice things to say about the job we did, and I'm proud of that.

My band really does have a bass player now. We're working on new songs, and our debut is on September 26. We're playing my derby league's next home bout afterparty. Yeah. Reffing early, playing with the band late. I might not survive the night, but it's going to be fun anyway.

Oh, hey. Being cleared by the doctor means I went back to work on Tuesday. The good news? My broken leg is fine. No problems there. The bad news? Pretty much everything else is killing me. My feet, in particular, are causing me fits right now. I think I'm ready for new work boots anyway, and since I haven't been wearing them I don't have any callouses down there. Plus, I happened to return on a 90 degree day, and it was really hard on me. Suck. On the other hand, it has to get better from here.

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Audio track commentary...

Jul. 31st, 2009 | 11:26 pm
mood: blah

Staying up too late watching one of the most poorly acted films I've ever seen... Suburbia. It's funny how important it was to me back in the day. Still is to some extent, I suppose.

I haven't updated in a while, so here we go. The people at work are being shitheads about letting me come back, so I still haven't worked at all since my injury. The good news is that I'm going to be fully cleared after my next appointment on August 10. They really won't have any choice but to let me back in after that.

My wife and son have been out of town since last week. They're in Texas moving my mother-in-law up. I'm not sure really how to feel about it. I mean, I understood that it was going to happen. The woman's old, and we've been planning this for years. On the other hand, it's still a big change and a lot to take in all at once. In the meantime, I'm supposed to be cleaning all of my stuff out of the spare bedroom - where my computer and guitar rigs have been since we moved in. I'm slacking, which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me. Lots to do yet, and I've got about a week left to get it done.

Made a road trip myself last weekend. Drove up to Akron, OH for a derby bout. The team I ref for got totally slaughtered, thanks in no small part to some of the poorest officiating I've ever witnessed. It's strange to me how different leagues/refs interpret the same set of rules we shold all be following. I was running the penalty box because I'm still not skating. One of our skaters got thrown out of the bout because she gave one of their refs the finger. I felt bad for her, especially because I wanted to give the guy the finger a few times leading up to that myself.

Our next home bout is August 8. I'm looking forward to putting the stripes back on myself, and it's our first new bout in our new home. It's the Forum in Fishers. Great place in a shitty town. Honestly, I've dedicated myself to avoiding Fishers, but it's a nice newer indoor hockey facility, so it's a great place to have a derby bout, for sure.

My band got its new bass player. We're working hard to write some songs, and we think we'll be playing shows again by September. Throwing the former guy out means writing all new songs and doing all the work over again. It sucks, really, but we weren't going anywhere under the circumstances. We had a good practice last night. It felt good to play music again, and I had a lot of fun.

I miss my family. A lot. They've been gone a week now. ALl I have to do is sit around here alone, too. Fucking miserable.

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Water Beverage

Jun. 25th, 2009 | 11:31 pm
mood: moody

Oof. Let's see...

Okay, so this Saturday past the derby league had a bout. It was my debut as a head ref. Things probably could have gone a little better. On the other hand, we got more right than wrong, and the crew didn't have a negative effect on the outcome of the bout. That's a win in my book. One of the visiting league's skaters re-injured a wrist she'd had surgery on the previous week. Don't ask me why she'd try to skate one week post-op. She did, though. Wife had to take her to the hospital after the bout, and as a result missed most of the afterparty. That's too bad, too, since the bout shared the date of her birth.

I'm already deep in planning for the next home bout, and it's not until August. Sheesh.

Sometimes I think I worry about derby too much. On the other hand, I'm home injured still, so what else is a guy going to do?

On that note, I've been faithfully attending physical therapy appointments. I'm apparently doing very well in them. The therapist wants the doctor to lighten up some of my restrictions, even. I'm happy about that. I can get around the house without my boot now, and the therapist has me climbing stairs and lifting weights. There's hope for the idea of having my life back after all.

I'm scared shitless by the idea of getting back on my skates. Which is, of course, exactly why I need to get back on them. Good news is that my leg won't break in the same spot again...

Oh, shit. I forgot to mention this here... The day before the bout, our league, my wife and yours truly made an appearance on a local morning news show. One of our skaters works for the station, and she got us in there. The league recently released a cookbook - a proper "Socialite" response to the typical pinup calendar that other derby leagues have made. We prepared a recipe out of it, and then put on a quick skating demo. It was stupid hot even at the early hour, but we had a ton of fun with it. They even geared up the local weather man and got him out on the track.

Oh, the band... We decided to go ahead and "hire" the guy I talked about in my last post. He wasn't able to make practice last night, though. Plus, our drummer is going to Hawaii next week, so no practice then, either. After that, though... We're back on top of our plans to take over the world.

My cousin and her man came up from Kentucky to help work the bout I was talking about earlier. I worry that we spend too much time working with derby stuff and not enough time just hanging out. I'm trying to schedule a time for us to get together and just have fun, but even without my work schedule in the way it's just not as easy as I would have thought. All the same, we had a really good time. I hope they did too. Love 'em both to death, and can't wait to just hang out with them and pretend roller derby doesn't exist for a change.

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Cycling is an important muse...

Jun. 18th, 2009 | 12:10 am
mood: drained

Well, that was nice for a change...

I got home a little later than usual, but band practice tonight went really well. Our drummer invited an old friend out to try out for our vacant spot on bass. He's definitely different from everyone else in the band from a stylistic standpoint, but at the same time he seems like he'd be a good fit. He picked up the songs quite quickly and was adding some personal touches to them by the end of the night. Seems to me like a good guy, too, but our other guitarist didn't like a "vibe" he got from him, so we'll have to see how it works out.

Next week one of that other guitarist's friends will be coming out to play with us, so we'll see how it goes. An important thing to remember here is that the old bassist is also a good friend of said guitarist, so it's possible that his "vibes" aren't always correct. Time will tell.

Regardless, tonight was a good time. First time in quite a while that I was genuinely excited for a practice, and also the first time in a while where I was pleased with the result. Now we need to get our songwriting chops together, and I think we'll have a band again...

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What others are saying

Jun. 17th, 2009 | 02:56 pm
location: US, Indiana, Hancock, Greenfield, Waterview Blvd, 584

A quick update of sorts... I started physical therapy yesterday. Simple little exercises, but they sure seem to hurt a lot. I'll be doing that two times a week for the forseeable future. I'm starting to limp around the house some without this cursed boot on, too. Everyone keeps telling me to take it easy while things heal for six to eight weeks post-surgery, but I just want to do so many things right now that it's driving me crazy.

My roller derby league has its next bout this Saturday. I'll be making an appearance with some of the skaters on a local morning news show Friday. I'm ready to ref for the first time, but I'd be lying if I claimed I wasn't nervous at all.

Oh, I forgot. I'm going to talk with my HR department about returning to light duty this coming week. I haven't missed getting up at 5:30am, but I have missed paying my bills on time...

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4 Peanut Butter Cups

Jun. 6th, 2009 | 12:34 pm
mood: anxious

I managed to stand in my bare feet (no boot) last night. My leg has been locked in this boot any time I'm mobile since my pre-surgery ortho appointment a few weeks ago. My ankle isn't used to supporting my weight any more, so I was a bit wobbly/weird. Plus, my calf is shrinking rapidly, and my achilles tendon is tighter than it probably should be. I forsee much physical therapy as I continue my recovery.

Despite all this, I'm in relatively good spirits wherein my injury is concerned. I'm making progress almost every day. My followup appointment is Tuesday. They'll take my stitches out and (I think) clear me to return to work. Obviously I'm not looking forward to getting up at 5:30am every day again, and I'm also not looking forward to the incredibly boring job they've got in store for me until I'm walking normal and cleared for full duty. On the other hand, it's another step to getting life back to normal, and that's something to be happy about.

My derby league has decided that despite my injury I'm still the head ref. I won't be on skates for something like two-and-a-half months still, but they have enough faith in my abilities to let me stand in the center of the track and hold the bout together. That's nice of them, and I certainly don't intend to let them down.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday changing my bicycle's setup so that as soon as I'm cleared I can start riding again. I switched it back to a low-geared freewheel, put the back brake on again and switched my clipless pedals for the platforms from my BMX bike. No fixie resisting, low/spinny gears and no foot retention seems to be the way forward until I'm back at full strength. I don't even care as long as I'm on it sooner rather than later.

Hopefully with my stitches out I'll be able to do some pool running and stuff that way. I'm concerned about my fitness. I wasn't in good shape before the crash, and I've obviously not done much to help myself since.

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Ultra tough

Jun. 2nd, 2009 | 10:40 pm
mood: drained

I'm not going to swear to it 100%, but I'm pretty sure my band broke up tonight.

The reasons why are obvious if you know the people in the band, but the long & short of it, while being as nice as possible to everyone involved, is this... Some of us can simply no longer get along with each other, and if it's not these four guys playing these songs, the band can't go on in its current form.

Yeah, I'm upset. I'm not at all happy with the way things panned out, and I'm not happy with some of the people involved at all. On the other hand, some of the remenants of the group (myself included) are getting together a week from now to figure out what our next musical step will be (a new band), so I guess it's not all bad news? I don't know. I miss this one already.

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To Open...

Jun. 1st, 2009 | 08:48 pm
mood: accomplished

Well, another day, another milestone... I was able to walk without crutches for the first time since my injury today, and I'm pretty happy with myself.

See, since I got hurt, I've been using crutches to get around. Simply put, I'm bad at it. I can barely walk on crutches, even this far along since the crash. I don't know why. Some people can't dance, some can't sing... Well, I can't crutch.

Anyway, to help my recovery a bit, the wife wanted me to try using just one crutch. She worked like hell for the better part of a half hour to teach me how, and I just couldn't do it. Hell, thinking about it now, it STILL doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, I needed to pee, and I was pissed about trying the single crutch thing, so I just threw it down and walked off to the bathroom. Imagine the wife's surprise on that one...

Yeah. It might seem a little soon post-surgery to be walking on the leg, but my doctor told me that as soon as he was done, the leg would support my full weight. They wanted me to take a couple of days for things to start healing up, and then it was fair game. If it didn't hurt too badly, I could walk however worked. Well, it turns out that it doesn't hurt any more walking in my boot than it does walking on the crutches, so here I go...

Two weird things. One, it doesn't hurt the broken part of my leg, but my foot is sore from this stupid boot. Not as comfortable as my usual Vans, I can tell you that. Two, is it weird that I can feel the stuff they put in my leg? Like, I can't tell you that I feel the plate and all seven screws, but I can feel that there is something new inside there. It's creepy, yet awesome.

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Eject before disconnecting

May. 31st, 2009 | 12:45 pm
mood: content

I had surgery on Tuesday to repair my broken left fibula. I had to be in the hospital at 6am, so we got up around 4:30. We made a stop to pick up my mom, and got there a little early. Registration was quick enough, and the next thing I know we're on an elevator headed to the second floor surgical ward.

Once we arrive there, I'm told that I need to go back to the evaluation area for "just a few minutes" so they can weigh me and do whatever else it is that happens before you go in for an operation. I'm also told that my family will be allowed back as soon as that's complete and that they'll be able to with me until I'm wheeled out the door to the OR.

So, an hour and twenty minutes later, I'm sitting there having had almost nothing done but getting into my surgical gown and having my left leg shaved (sexy, especially since the other one's still covered in fur). I don't know, somebody at the hospital has decided that communication with the patient and their family is just not really important or something. So, I raise just a little hell, and my family comes back to sit with me for all of five minutes before the doctor says it's time to go. Do you have any idea what it's like to sit in a closet-sized room all by yourself for an hour before your first-ever surgical procedure? Yeah, I was tripping out.

Anyway, they wheel me back, and I'm telling them all about roller derby and my crash and stuff. Next thing I know, I come around in the recovery area already complaining of leg pain. Seriously, the first thing I remember is being in the middle of saying "leg hurts. I hurt. I hurt. Ow, ow..." I kept falling asleep and waking up, falling asleep and waking up... I was in the recovery area for something like two hours? I don't really know.

While I was in there, my family has no idea what's going on. The "regular updates" they're supposed to be receiving just aren't happening. Fuck if I know why, but nasty letters are being written as we speak. So, finally I get assigned a room upstairs, where I'm supposed to stay for observation and pain management. Once I'm up there, I asked agan for pain meds. Obviously, I just had surgery, my shit hurts. They tell me "I'm not in their system yet, so they can't give me anything." Really? How hard is it to plug me in, being that I've already been registered and had surgery? Seems like someone should be able to scan a barcode on my paperwork or something and BING, there I am. Clearly, however, it's just not that simple.

TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER, I finally get my morphine pump thing set up. Unfortunately, I was hurting bad enough by then that I literally spent the rest of the day catching up to it. All in all, not the experience I was after. I was having enough trouble that I decided with my doctors to spend the night in the hospital.

The next day I woke up feeling what I can only describe as "dope sick." Tons of morphine, not enough food or drink, not enough rest? Yeah, I was pretty crappy. Anyway, I quit using the pump and switched to regular pain pills. I met with a physical therapist who taught me the new way to walk on my crutches, and finally got cleared to head home.

I'm doing much better now. I can put more weight on my "bad" leg every day, I negotiate stairs and such much more comfortably now, and generally speaking, things are progressing a little ahead of where they should. Awesome.

There's more that has happened since my last post, obviously, but since this has gone on this long, I'll split the rest into their own post a little later.

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