Tuesday, April 22, 2014

tuesday april 22: scattershooting while ...

-- Dan Rather.


Happy Tuesday, peoples and peepettes!  At least, as happy as one can be.

It’s been a roller coaster ride, last couple of days in the world of Stevo.  So let’s go Scattershooting while wondering why in the hell modern medicine has yet to invent a drug to lessen the effects of a migraine …

* Because God bless it, did I just endure the most of one.  It hit me about 5:30 Sunday afternoon.  I was out on The Patio at my Second Parents house, was thinking about where to take them to dinner … and bammo, the pounding started.

It was go time … as in, go home.

* For those of you who have never had a migraine?  Thank God, thank every God, that ever was, ever is, ever – hang on, I need to stop hauling out sappy one-liners from the “HIMYM” finale*.  Just thank God, whoever God is to you, that you’ve never had one.  

Because here’s what one feels like for me. 


(*: sorry, critics; I still love it.  You're starting to crack me ... but barely.)


* First, it comes out of nowhere.  With me, it’s usually when I’m coming down off of a stressful period of life.  (My last one even in the Richter Scale ballpark of this one, was heading home after the raiders game in October … and that one, which knocked me out for two days after dealing with Dad’s issues, felt like a 0.3 on said Richter Scale, compared to this one.)  This one?  I’m not stressed about anything.  In fact, if anything, life hasn’t been this good in over a year, pushing two at this point.

Second, the left side of my head, always for some reason above my eye, begins twitching uncontrollably.  It ain’t a twitch.  It’s a pounding drum, like Mick Fleetwood opening up “Go Your Own Way”, or like the drum roll to open “Cochise” by Audioslave (which your Chiefs are introduced to at home game, Kansas City).  Just a rolling surge of pounding.

And then, after about ten, fifteen minutes, either (a) the pounding breaks, and it’s a false alarm, or (b) in the words of that great detective Scooby Doo: “whroot whroo!”

This?  Was “whroot whroo”.

I went down for the count a little after six on Sunday night.  I’m thankfully in the minority of migraine sufferers – I can sleep during mine.  Because that’s all I do.  The pain on the front of my head is so intense, it knocks me out.  And for those of you saying “yeah right, it’s the alcohol”, uuh, no.  Simply seeing the light of the alarm clock light, when going through one of these, leads me to immediately vomit for three minutes.  (Great visual while reading this in the second office, I know.)

I called my boss at 7:46am Monday and somehow managed something coherent enough to confirm I was alive, and I wasn’t coming in.  That … was not a good idea, at least on paper.  But the pain is so intense, that any simple sliver of light, leads you to want to bash your skull into a concrete wall, until the pain goes away via your demise.  Again, if you’ve never had a migraine – you are one of the very, very, very lucky ones in life.

(Thanks again Mom, for passing this “family trait” down to me!  Once again, Drew gets the good, I get the bad … you take ‘em both?  And then you have, the Facts of Life, the Facts of Life!)

* But thankfully, I've known my boss going fifteen years now.  She gets it.  Monday after a Chiefs game sick day = drunk dial.  Random Monday in April after a religious holiday = yup, he's sick.

* Here’s how you know it’s a migraine with me: I HAVE to have noise, to sleep.  Don’t care if it’s a fan (preferable), or television or radio or iPod, I HAVE to have noise, to fall asleep.  Once I’m out?  I don’t wake up.  (Thank you Benadryl for helping deal with this crippling allergy issue, that isn’t helping at this point!)  My dad can confirm – he got fined $500 by the good folks at TCU my first semester, because I slept through both fire drills, even though those things were so loud when I was awake, I’m pretty sure I peed my spot on the floor both times.  Once I’m out?  I’m out.  It’s getting knocked out, that’s the tricky part.

When one gets going?  It hurts to hear, let alone see.

So, if you tried to reach me yesterday (and I’ve been issuing the mea culpas right and left this evening), I apologize. 

* Before “Migraine (Insert Catch Phrase Here) Watch 2014” began?  It was a perfect Sunday.

I got up from a nearly perfect Saturday (more below), and realized “whoa, I gotta be at my folks in barely two hours!  (Hooray going to bed drunk and not setting the alarm!)  And I haven’t bought the kids anything!”

So, I almost literally sprinted to the Dollar General a few blocks away, huffed and puffed my way in the door, and saw the most precious sign of the day.

“All Easter Products 50% Off!”

Each grandkid (and five were there yesterday), got a solid $25 worth of candy and other teeth-rotting and parent-infuriating items in their bags … for less than $40.  And I had a sixth bag left over in case Neeck and his daughter Taylor were coming.  Because I’m the cool uncle like that.  And because they're family like that.

* And leaving Dollar General, now really behind schedule (because again – I loaded up that much candy for the kids), I realized “oh crap, I’m on wine duty today!”

So, I hit up the liquor store across the street, grab four bottles of Barefoot and Little Penguin something or other (the “family size”, or as it’s known in my casa, the “typical Tuesday” size), sprint to a shower, and head my folks way.

* Got there a little after noon.  My closest friends can tell you – if I show up within 15 minutes of actual plan, and 50 some odd minutes of requested arrival time?  I’ve nailed it.  I am habitually late for anything other than a tailgate.  I’m always four hours early for those.  (Gee, wonder why?)

* And go figure, my nieces now both have glasses.  (One has to always copy the other, after all, even if she doesn’t need them.)  So now we’re back to “random wild guesses as to which is which”, because the glasses were the give-away it was Fallyn.  Did Unca Teve botch who was who fifteen times?  You betcha!  Did anyone care?  Heck no!

* Lunch was rock solid.  My mom and I may not be the closest two people on this earth, but give her credit, she knows her limitations … and her biggest one is cooking.

The menu?  Turkey, brisket, and ham from Zarda, cheezy hashbrowns, some green bean casserole I’d kill for, a fruit salad, and a healthy selection of adult libations from your good friends at Little Penguin, Barefoot, and whatever Dad picked up, because as he put it, “I was sure you’d (still be drunk / hung over), and forget to grab your part.”  Glad to know my expectation level is that minimal, pops!

* After lunch was the Easter egg hunt.  I wish I’d remembered my iPhone charger before loading this post, because my “contribution” to hiding 70 plus eggs for five kids to find, was this:

(me) (enjoying glass of wine)
(my mom) Yo!  (Yes, she actually says yo!)  Yo!  You gonna help me or what?
(me) Yeah, give me a couple.
(my mom) (hands me two eggs).
(me) (puts both eggs on top of the fake deer’s head (don’t ask) in the front yard).
(my mom) That’s about the most lazy thing I’ve ever seen.
(me) You’re just mad you didn’t think of it first.
(my mom) I call the bench (next to said deer)!

* For the record, my two eggs … were amongst the last two found.  Apparently if you stick something where nobody can possibly miss it?  Five kids under the age of eight, can miss it.

* After the Easter egg hunt, it was off to the Second Parents, who celebrated their eighteen anniversary Sunday. 

* And yes, I too think it’s fitting I have a set of parental units, whose anniversary is the most “high” holy holiday, known to man.

* Flashing back a bit farther to Saturday night, my good friends Anthony and Jaimmie (finally!) tied the knot at a lovely little winery in Sugar Creek.  I’m not sure which Anthony in my life held his prior job longer: Anthony R as the groom to be … or Anthony V as the perpetual intern. 

* Had a blast seeing great friends I hadn’t seen in a long time that night.  Paul and Brandon and Chelsea and Andrew – miss the beer pong games at tailgating.  I get real life interferes … but sometimes, real life doesn’t have to be real.  Plus, I’m starting to feel like the old fart on the front porch here screaming “GET OFF MY LAWN!”  I was thrilled the party shut down at midnight.  Me!  The guy who had to be dragged kicking and screaming (ok, not literally; I was too stoned) from the side of Crawfordsville at 3am before the Indy 500 not even eight years ago!  The guy who used to pride himself on the “60 Hours of Indy” – no sleep from Saturday morning to Monday night, to avoid the PTO Day on Monday.  (Yeah, that went out the window a while ago.)  Still, I love seeing good people, do good.

And now, let’s really start scattershooting, in the sense of the word the great Blackie Sherrod intended …

* Today’s funniest political column: by far, the “congratulations”piece from the New York Post to Chelsea Clinton.  For the record, I think it’s classless, it’s out of bounds, and it sinks my side of the fight to the other side’s level.  (For the record, I LOVED it.)

* Today’s worst political column: by far, the “what does this pregnancy mean” piece by Peggy Noonan.  In the interest of fairness, I love Ms. Noonan irrational as a speechwriter, and as a journalist, and I have met her twice in my life, and both times, she could not have been more gracious or accommodating of a wannabe high school journalist, at the National Journalism Conference in 1994 and 1995.

I've also met Mrs. Clinton twice.  If I am to believe "my" side of this fight, I am in the minority ... but anyone who believe she wasn't the most conservative of the Big Three in 2008?  Is clueless.

And anyone who doesn't want to move the Democrats back to the center, if only to hold it?

Doesn't give a sh*t about this country.

* NFL Schedules come out during bowling league’s final night tomorrow (Wednesday April 23, 7pm).  Considering my wedding gift to Anthony and Jaimmie was to decide “what the f*ck, it’s just a few hundred bucks!”, and buy the third seat next to me, to ensure they make every game?  Circle me giddy with excitement!  (And light on cash!)

* If I had to pick the AFC West right now, I’d take denver at 11-5, San Diego at 10-6, KC at 7-9, and oakland at “it would take over 65,000 bowls of new Super Colon Blow, to sniff the postseason!”. 

* And if you don’t get the Super Colon Blow reference … rest in peace, Phil Hartman.

* NBA Playoffs so far.  Not a whole lot of surprises.  Which is shocking.

* Craig Sager: get well soon dude.  You’ve got a loyal army of fans rooting for you, among them Gregg Popovich.

* Gusser.  Maybe this is what triggered the migraine, was seeing a friend so swollen by cancer of the (pick one) throat / jaw / mouth, that his lip has turned inside out.  The dude may be a bit challenging at times to like, but who amongst us isn’t?  (old school “sporting news fly” voice) SHADDUP!

You’re in my thoughts, and prayers, sir.

* Finally, my bowling league closes down tomorrow night … and circle me curious, Bert, as to how it will.  (No, I have nothing planned.  Although God knows, there is one person, and exactly one person, I’d love to express my heartfelt “appreciation” for, to their face … only we all know, he won’t have the balls to show up … and if he does, he’ll hide in the bathroom for four hours “changing the diaper”.)


No, that’s not the way to end.  Not on what today should mean, to every citizen of this country.  So allow me to say to the friends in this league who have had my back this year, in ways I never imagined, and please, allow me to name you by name:

To Penny and DeHart, my teammates.  To Suzanne and Steve and Mark.  To Kyle and Carolyn and Jeff.    To Kim and Shelly, to Daryl and on those rare sightings, Scott and Rebecca and Travis, to John and Leigha and Graham.  To Sue and Sally and Dale, to the Pink Ladies – Angela, Cathy, and Mrs. Commissioner, Judy.  To Beth and Deb and Marcus (and Gabby when there).  And to the Pandas, and Cam.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  A genuine, heartfelt, sincere thank you. 

You kept me sane this year, whether through “Group Therapy”, with Suzanne and Penny and I dealing with our folks health issues.  Whether through Daryl (once again) mocking an early KU exit, or Daryl and Travis changing the teamname midstream to “Six Balls And No Chick!”.  To Cam and Ashley and Ammie, for their decent goodness, their appreciation for what I tried to do, to fix the wrong that has been done.

My conscience is clear, when it comes to this league, and the people in it.  I’d love for one former member of this league, to look me in the face, and tell me that his?


But that’s not how I choose to end this Scattershot.  (Although you intentionally typed it, knowing it’d get a response, right?)  Hell yes I did.

Because to end on that, on an anniversary like today, repulses me.

* Because a true American hero died ten years ago today.  Pat Tillman, a safety for the Arizona State Sun Devils, the Arizona “Super” Cardinals, gave up his NFL career, to serve his country after 9/11, and was (apparently) tragically killed by friendly fire, ten years ago today.

At the risk of sounding like the arrogant asshole I am (usually) not … I couldn’t wait to go BTK after 9/11.  (Scroll to the Chiefs pick of the post; you’ll get it.) 

You would have found no bigger supporter of the Iraq invasion, than me.  (Other than maybe Mrs. Clinton, or Mr. Bush.)  And to this day, I don’t regret the incursion; freeing 25 million people from a man who killed almost ten percent of them, is not a regrettable incursion, it’s a cause for celebration.

I suspect, Mrs. Clinton feels the same as I do: utter regret, at such a waste of life.

Because we accomplished nothing, via his sacrifice.

And you all have no idea how much it disgusts me, that Pat Tillman is the symbol, of that accomplishment of nothing, from ten years ago.

He deserves better.

The last two commanders in chief, who have destroyed this nation’s standing in the world, destroyed our goodwill, destroyed our good name, destroyed the idea that America was the beacon of freedom for all, all in the name of either (righting Daddy’s wrong / proving Junior wrong)?

Deserve far, far worse, than what Mr. Tillman tragically suffered …

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