May 11th, 2011

sign trespassers will be shot

Cyborgs of the future

My dad's in the hospital. Not to worry though, it wasn't for anything unexpected. He's been having knee problems for a while and is finally getting knee replacement surgery. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is since we communicate about as well as an armless Helen Keller. I do know that fluid has been accumulating somewhere in there and he had to get it drained via syringe a couple of times. Considering my general fear of needles, I don't even want to know what kinda spiked turkey baster they ended up having to use for something like that.

I will admit I was pretty blase about the surgery in general though. My family has this tendency to over react about medical issues and so you usually have to take anything with a pretty large grain of salt. This is emphasized 10 fold with my dad who is a Grade A certified hypochondriac. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before but he used to go around with a notebook where he would record his blood pressure and other vital statistics a dozen or more times a day. I guess his dedication to avoiding the grim reaper might be looked upon admirably by some people, but I can't help but view it a little contemptuously. It's not like he was a paragon of health for the vast majority of his life but by the time he hit his 60's and felt death knocking it was diets and exercise and an almost obsessive interest in his own health. Frankly, I'm not sure I wouldn't welcome the shadow lover if only I could somehow make an appointment.

All of that said, my blase views were reinforced by the fact that I thought knee replacements were pretty easy peasy. Even back in highschool I knew a couple of local athletes who had had to have the procedure done and its ubiquitous made me consider it the surgical equivalent of 2+2. I mean, I know there's a risk whenever you have to use general anesthesia but I figured that was likely the main concern and that recovery was almost an in and out affair. It turns out that that view was a little skewed now that I do some more reading. By far a knee replacement doesn't come close to the triple bypass he already had to have a couple of years ago, but it's apparently not a cake walk either. The recovery time will take months to fully complete and there are a variety of potential complications which could muddy the water. In the end, it probably wouldn't be anything to worry about at all in a 20 year old athlete but the situation's different when you apply it to a person in his late 60's with additional medical issues.

The surgery was actually yesterday and I haven't heard any updates about how it went since then. I can only imagine everything went well or the entire family would be buzzing like an overturned ant hill. I think he's going to have to stay in the hospital for at least another couple of days and then we'll see how the prospects look.
cookiepuss soul

All the bounty of the sea

I have some pictures of this past Mother's Day to share and considering that it's only 3 days after the fact, it's practically a record for me. Usually it's weeks until I manage to get around to uploading pictures if ever.

This Mother's day was pretty spiffy overall. It had the added significance of also being my mom's 65th birthday as considered by the Chinese calender. For those of you unaware, the Chinese calender is lunar, which means that her birthday changes every single year. It can be as early as late march or as late as early may, which made things pretty problematic when we were kids. I pretty much gave up on trying to figure out anyone's birthday after a while and I didn't even find out my mom's birthday according to the Western calender until a few years ago. The Chinese way of counting age also includes the 'year' spent in the womb which means that everyone is a year older than they actually are (from my perspective anyway). To celebrate the dual event we decided to go to a restaurant in Newark which my cousin had taken us to a few times when he was still in Jersey and my grandmother likes. It's a Spanish place whose name I can't remember off the top of my head though I can look it up and edit it in later. (Iberia Peninsula Restaurant).



This is me upon waking up that morning. I looked in the mirror and the first thought that popped into my head was that I looked like a shonen anime character. The 'spike' actually was more defined before I put on a shirt which messed it up a bit. I also managed to find my electric razor and rid myself partway of the scruffy hobo look.

When we got to the restaurant, I was overjoyed to see that there were heaping bread bowls with butter pats. I _love_ good bread. As far as I was concerned, I would have happily sat there and eaten nothing but the bread and counted myself more than satisfied in the restaurant. In the end, I must've consumed a loaf of bread near the size of my head all on me own which was a double edged sword since it also left me pretty full and unable to fully enjoy the bounty that was to come.



What a spread, eh? Three paella's, a giant seafood platter, some suckling pig, and somewhat inexplicably a plate of goat my cousin ordered. I tried a piece later on and it wasn't bad. It just seemed like an odd sort of thing to order from my perspective.



So in the picture form left to right is Jeff, Maddie, my dad, aunt Kaila, uncle James, uncle Charlie, Will, and my grandmother.



Here's a closeup of the giant seafood platter. It was even more impressive in person. The entire table basically looked like a seafood bonanza.



Here's a picture of my grandmother, mom, and Connie.

After the meal was over, we boxed a ponderous amount of leftovers and went back to Connie's place. In addition to the rest of the food, I also swiped all the bread that was leftover and to Connie's disgust, the butter pats as well. Waste not, want not.



My mom's birthday cake. It was pretty spiffy with an amazingly light white cake with Bavarian cream in between the layers. Just thinking about it now makes me want another big spice, though that may partly be due to the fact that it's 1:30pm as I'm typing this and I haven't had anything to eat other than a handful of peanut butter m&m's.



Maddie actually ended up blowing out the candles instead of my mom. She also sang an off-key rendition of happy birthday which I guess I should have video recorded but hindsight is 20/20.



Here's my grandmother holding Morgan. Morgan was also with us at the restaurant of course, but she was a good girl and slept the entire time, not waking up until we got back to Connie's place. It was my first time seeing her in person and she seemed pretty good natured.



Here's a picture of Connie's entire family all together. It's likely that Morgan will be the last addition barring the unexpected and so the circle is now complete.



And of course no parting is complete without goodbye kisses from Will. I have no idea who in the world taught him to give goodbye kisses but they did it wrong as you can see. He goes about it like he's trying to take a bite out of you and leaves an impressive amount of slobber.

And so that was Mother's Day and my mom's 65th (or 64th for the Americanized) birthday. We took home one third of the leftover paella which I happy devoured yesterday. I am, however, sad to report that the bag with the bread was left at Connie's. I'm sure it won't go to waste but it's still sort of disappointing that I won't be the one to eat it.