I know it's hormones and neurotransmitters all brewed up in an evil cocktail of malaise, but that doesn't make my mood any easier to handle. So if you don't want a dose of angst, feel free to click on another node right the fuck now.

Hawaii was wonderful, and I'm having the same sort of post-wonderful experience thing going on that I used to get after great sex with a stranger back when I had great sex with strangers. It's post-travel depression, and I am sure it's in the same malignant family as post-coital depression or post-divorce misery. Post-anything-good is pretty assy, as far as I can tell.

Since I've been home I have had no fewer than four conversations with men over the age of 40 who are unhappy in their marriages. It's amazing to me, actually. None of them hate their wives. They just feel as though something important is missing. I listen and ask questions, and the more I listen and ask questions the more puzzled I get.

I wonder if all men are in pursuit of The New.

A woman can be many things. She can even re-invent herself to a degree. But no matter how she tries, she will never be what she was the first night she met her husband - she will never again be The New. I can't help thinking, after talking to these unhappy men, that what they really want is more of what they already have - just with someone else. Someone new.

I know I'm going to get jumped for saying this, but women get an occasional hunger for The New as well. The difference is that women can almost always satisfy that upstart desire with a brownie or a pair of un-sensible shoes or a moisturizer that smells like mangos or a candle that smells like cut grass. Once men run the gadget gamut (TiVo, iPod, new computers, better car, satellite TV), their wives can pretty much kiss job security good bye.

Maybe it's a fear of getting old. You're only as old as the woman you feel, and all that. Fear of mortality is the great leveller; it certainly seems to level its share of relationships. If the source of all this male angst is a fear of getting old, I think that's very sad. Bathing in the blood of a virgin may have more anti-aging properties than sticking one's dick in a 22-year-old.

Fuck Viagra. Someone could make billions on Relationship Ritalin.

None of this means anything. It's just a late night ramble, a stream-of-consciousness nod to the fact that no matter how attractive we women try to stay, no matter how scintillating or intelligent or hot or wrinkle-free we appear to be, none of it matters once our men hit the end of the old attention span.

I read the other day that men don't pay whores for sex, they pay them to go home. There's a lot more truth to that than I wish there was.

This is Evelyn George, sitting in this morning for Mildred Patterson, one of the leaders of the bingo group. Her arthritis is acting up and she is having chest pains after reading something naughty here called, oh, dare I say it? Such language: Wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. My goodness. She was shocked, friends.

Mildred has led a difficult life. She worked in a electrical factory during World War II. Her boss was very tough on her. Some hanky panky might have happened. This explains a lot of her religious fervor, friends. She went to get married to her husband Franklin. They had three children, friends. Two of them fought in Vietnam. One of them became a melon salesman. I think one of her sons died. He had polio. Go easy on Mildred, friends. We in the bingo group do. Like I always tell her, "Your heart can't take all the yelling."

I used to work at Macys, friends. That's right, Macys the department store. I worked in perfume and lingerie. I saw many pretty girls in those departments. Some of them you would have liked to get to know. Some of them not so much. There were some nice pretty girls and there were pretty girls who used rough language. I didn't like the rough language girls very much. I would say, "You are usinng rough language, which I don't like very much." Some of them would stop and apologize. Others would keep using rough language and make fun of me, calling me a tired old banana. Maybe I am a tired old banana. It is rude to call someone a tired old banana.

One of Mildred's grandsons is on the pot. He sometimes comes to the rest home on the pot and you can tell by his bloodshot eyes. This isn't very respectful to Mildred, who did her best to teach him to play Battleship, the game where you try to sink your friend's imaginary plastic battleships by calling out numbers. You need to play it. It is a lot like Bingo. Except in Bingo you don't sink anything. Except maybe your spirits sink a little when you don't win. I don't like it when my spirits sink, friends. Do your spirits ever sink? When mine sink I like to sing this little song. It goes something like this:

Sometimes when it is rainy
I walk between the raindrops
I walk between the sorrow
I walk between the rainclouds
I know it is a short walk
From the Packard to the front porch
Oh, please mister raindrop
Let me get there safely
And maybe when the rain stops
I'll see my true love again

This is a nice song. If you ever feel sad you can sing it to. You just kind of sing it any way you like. I never put it to music. My dead husband was a music man. He never took me seriously. He liked to keep me around the house. He liked when I made him breakfast and dinner and did things for him in the bedroom you'll learn about when you are older. They are not for talking about, friends.

I would like to make you some of my famous fudge cookies and a tall glass of lemonade. It is a hot summer. Fudge cookies and lemonade are nice in the summer. Not the pot. Don't get on the pot. It makes you lose your mind. A mind is a terrible thing to let go to waste. Maybe you will be the person who finds a cure for cancer? You won't if you get on the pot.

Okay, bye bye. The nurse is here with my meds. Remember, I believe in you, friends. You can do anything with your life. Just stay off the pot please.

Saturday: I went to a BBQ at a place I volunteer at, and lock my bike in the same place I have for over a year. The neighborhood isn't the best, but I've never had problems before. When I come back, though, someone jacked the seat. I took the bus home--had I had a seat for my bike, I could have been back before the bus even arrived at the stop.

Sunday: Because my bike is my primary mode of transportation, I had to take my parents' car up to REI. I bought a new seatpost, saddle, and rear flasher. As soon as I got home, I try to put the seatpost in, but it stuck after a couple inches, so I left it until the next morning.

Monday (today): I woke up with (what I thought was) plenty of time to get this seat on. When I got out to the garage, however, and tried to push the seat down, it didn't move. I tried to take it out; it didn't move. I end up calling in to work saying that I couldn't make it, and sat around until my mom came back from work.

As soon as I had a car again, I took the bike up to REI, in an attempt to get them to get the seat out. The two bike repair shop guys looked at it, and tried to pull the seat out, without luck. Oil didn't help. They even called over a tall guy for better leverage (the seat was only in about 3 inches), and he couldn't move it. I was told I was S.O.L. (the repair guy's words, not mine), and that my two options were to either use a blow torch to heat the seat tube so it would expand, or to hacksaw the thing off my bike and toss it.

In the end, I took the bike home, and later that evening, with the aid of a monkey wrench and a hammer, my dad and I managed to twist and pound the seatpost out of the seat tube. Happy, I drove back to REI, exchanged the seatpost, got a new seat clamp (non-quick-release, which was the problem in the first place), and drove home. Listening to jazz on the radio, I turn into the garage, and hear an awful noise--a "bike rack breaking and twisting as bike hits the garage" sound. In the end, I totaled one of the rooftop tracks, bent a foot for the whole rooftop system (fortunately not so much that it isn't repairable), and probably killed my bike's rear rack. The car and the bike itself were both fine.

So, my question is, is this a "Comedy of Errors" thing, or just bad karma?

I think maybe I almost died yesterday.

Being an ER nurse, I'm probably more aware than most people how ridiculously easy it is to die. That doesn't mean, however, that I've been any less sure of my own personal immortality than your average joe on the street. Granted, having had experience with death, I don't wish for immortality, and I'm aware that I will die, but more as a "some day, in the fullness of time" concept - for example, I don't have a will, I haven't made arrangements for my children in case of my death, I don't have a living will, and I don't currently have life insurance. All of these things will change, preferably within the next two weeks.

Actually, I think definitely I almost died yesterday.

WARNING: Grossness alert...

On out way to Ozzfest in Indianapolis, my sweetie and I stopped for lunch. I wasn't very hungry, but I felt fine. After our meal he went to the bathroom while I paid the bill. Suddenly, I got a slight stomach twinge. I figured since we had about another 1/2 hour to go I'd best use the restroom as well. About 2 minutes after I entered the stall I suddenly became violently ill and projectile vomited into the toilet. I don't know how long that lasted, I just remember sweat starting to roll off me in streams. I started feeling weak and my vision went to black and white. Everything started looking as if it were rendered in low-resolution pixels.

I heard someone come into the restroom, but I stayed quiet - I'm one of those people who just want to be left alone when they're sick. They left again. I found out later that Alex had gotten worried when I hadn't appeared after about 1/2 hour, and had sent a server to look for me. If he hadn't, I don't know how long I would've been in the bathroom undiscovered.

I became conscious of the fact that pretty soon I was going to, er, be spouting at both ends. I got to my feet somehow, got my pants pulled up, and staggered out towards the trash can with the intent of getting the plastic bag so I wouldn't vomit all over the floor. It was wedged tight. I think someone came in while I was yanking at it, but I can't swear to it. Suddenly I found myself sitting on the floor, and the garbage bag was still stuck tight (which pissed me off more than a little, I can tell you). All I could see was black and white shapes, and the room was spinning. I remember sinking backwards and then someone I couldn't make out telling me to sit up, and not being able to. I remember my body wouldn't do what I wanted it to and that made me mad, but I was so miserable and sick and hurting that I couldn't concentrate on being mad.

Somehow I got pulled up to a sitting position, and the person told me not to move. I, being the great order taker that I am, took advantage of my new position to drag myself back to the toilet, and managed to actually get up on it. I must have vomited at some point during this process because the next thing I remember is someone mopping at my shirt and myself looking with surprise at a big stain on it. I still couldn't see, but there was definitely someting dark on my white shirt. A nurse who was there kept trying to talk to me but I just wanted to be left alone. She wanted to call EMS, but I didn't want them called. I already knew that I had some kind of gastroenteritis, and I didn't need anyone else to tell me so.

The nurse told me I was pale, diaphoretic, and that my pulse was rapid, weak and thready. I couldn't hold my head or my body up, I just propped my forehead in my hands and my elbows on my knees so I didn't have to expend any strength. She asked me what I would think of a patient in that situation, and I told her I was ok (I think, people kept asking me to repeat things, so maybe I didn't say everything I thought I did). Meanwhile, fluid kept pouring out of me, out of every conceivable opening.

When I finally realized that I could no longer articulate full words or raise my head off my hands at all I gave in and allowed them to call 911.

Suddenly the room was full of EMS and firefighters who talked about having me walk out to a gurney. They decided against it when they were unable to find a radial or brachial pulse, and only a feeble carotid pulse. Two of them lifted me off the toilet (the ultimate indignity) and half-dragged me to the gurney. My legs and feet were completely numb, as were my arms, and I wasn't able to assist them at all. I assume I was wheeled through a restaurant filled with gawkers, probably terrified to finish their meals (any restaurant manager's nightmare is to have a patron taken away by ambulance...).

In the ambulance the paramedics were unable to find a blood pressure. Apparently they stuck me several times for a large bore IV, judging by my punctures. I think I remember hearing that my veins were completely flat, and I definitely remember hearing a request for the airway bag. I remember my clothes being cut off me, and a comment about T elevation. I also remember going Signal 10 (lights and sirens).

I was later told that the ER had been prepared to code me, that my pulse rate was 157 when I arrived and that my blood pressure was 52 over 20something. I remember seeing Alex, and being so happy he was there. I remember standing on my head in Trendelenberg position for a long, long time, and shaking with chills from two IVs infusing full out.

I finally came back to myself freezing and embarassed. Five liters of fluid later, I was able to pee, was released from the hospital, and we made it to Ozzfest in time to see the last half of Mudvayne and all of Iron Maiden (what, you didn't think a little thing like that would stop me, did you?). Unfortunately, Ozzy was ill so we didn't get to see Black Sabbath perform.

But we did get to buy an Ozzfest 2005 t-shirt... ironically, it shows the devil, surprised on the toilet...

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