Jul 242007

Spent a good deal of the last three weekends with my sister and her kids Sydney and Gavin, who made their first trip back to Michigan in about two years. Surprised them at my Mom’s house on Saturday the 7th when they arrived, thinking I had gone to Toronto. We hung out and caught up, and the kids quickly got over their shyness of me, as it had been nearly two years since I’d seen Syd, when Gavin was a newborn.

The following weekend the six of us spent at roadster_guy‘s parents’ beach house near Port Huron, where a fine time was had by all. Despite not getting to the gym for four days, I got plenty of exercise chasing after a 4 year old and a 20 month old: innumerable piggy-back rides across rocky beaches and through waist-high surf; endless overhead presses so they could reach up and touch the ceiling of the house or be splashed through an incoming wave; many laps around the back yard chasing after Sydney the Rock-Star Cheetah; panic-sprints whenever Gavin toddled too far away and straight toward water or roads… The Navy SEALs should add “Child Care” to their physical training curriculum, but I think the dropout rate from exhaustion would become unacceptably high.

Yes, Sydney decided that for the entire trip to Michigan she was a rock-star cheetah, and I was the designated cheetah chaser. Granted, she had never even seen a cheetah until I showed her some pictures and video on the intartubes, but no matter! There was a permanent catch-and-release program in effect all weekend. Sadly, however, I was informed that upon returning to California she will assume the form of a horsey and leave her cheetah days behind. Alas, Acinonyx jubatus, we hardly knew ye.

Last Tuesday Mollie and I went out to dinner at Mongolian BBQ, which she had no access to in the Mojave Desert (shocked I am!), then saw the new Harry Potter movie, which we both really liked. The first half did kind of drag a bit, but once the action picked up toward the end it was worth the wait. The battle in the Department of Mysteries, especially between Dumbledore and Voldemort, just rocked. On that note, agent00groovey stopped by last night to drop off HP7: “Harry Potter and the Truckload of Money”. I wasn’t really going to read it anytime soon, because I had found a bootleg copy of a draft of the book about a month ago and read it already. However, after reading a couple spoilers posted by my flist, turns out that the version I have has significant differences from the final version, so I need to actually read it now.

Saturday we had planned to have the family come up to our place, then go on to Quake on the Lake (hydroplane races) at some friends’ parents’ beach house. That fell through when Mom had to work that day and had no ride home if Mollie had the car. Aaron was disappointed, but we canceled going and I spent the day with them while he stayed home. We went to Bishop Park in Wyandotte and met up with Mollie’s friends Kelly and her sister Lisa, plus Lisa’s kid. I hadn’t seen Kelly since our wedding reception, where she was the date of my buddy Jim. We chased the kids around the park for awhile, then went to Stroh’s for ice cream, finally stopping at the fountain on the corner of Biddle and Eureka. Everyone got soaking wet running through and around it, but it was a blast.

Sunday I trekked back down to Brownstown to go with them to the airport, and got a gate pass so I could help haul their stuff to the plane. I didn’t even know it was possible to go to the gate without a ticket, but apparently they make exceptions for one person under certain circumstances (like being five months pregnant and traveling with two small children). After endless questioning, Sydney now knows nearly everything there is to know about airports and airplanes, and how they work, and probably repeated it all to my sister throughout the entire flight. You’re welcome, Sis. :o)

I was overeager to get home and got busted doing 75 mph in a 60 mph construction zone. Fortunately, the cop didn’t give me an actual speeding ticket, as that would have been double fines and double points, but instead gave me one for “impeding traffic”. Coincidentally, the $150 fine is equal to the birthday money I got from my in-laws, so happy birthday to me. I didn’t REALLY need new clothes for work, or a contribution to my Mac fund, did I? :o(

So last week I saw a urologist about the lingering side effects of the stent I had put in about 3.5 years ago due to repeated strictures. He took down my history, did a basic exam, and scheduled me for a renal ultrasound and “retrograde urethrogram” two days later. The ultrasound was nothing, but the other test involved squirting me full of contrast dye and taking real-time x-rays. I’ll spare you the details, but six attempts later I was soaked from the waist down in sticky chemicals and subsequently developed an infection in a bad place from the constant abrasion. Despite barely succeeding with the final part of the test, the radiologist and I agreed to declare Mission Accomplished and I was out of there.

Yesterday’s followup with the doc resulted in two more tests, where it was determined that, although the stent is working perfectly, my bladder is three times normal size, from years of straining against various strictures, never empties completely, and may never regain full function. So, I’ve been cathed and bagged for a week to give it a short vacation, followed by a “dynamic function test” sometime next week. Glorious.

This is NOT comfortable, and sleeping with it is even less so. I did go to the gym yesterday (upper body only), as I refuse to let this keep me from doing things, but I’m still trying to configure things so I can wear shorts outside and have it stay unnoticed.

In nerd news, City of Heroes released Issue 10 today, with an alien invasion occurring across the game world, a revamped war zone to go with it, new graphical effects for the sonic powers, and lots of other fun stuff.

And that’s our news for today.

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