Feb 25, 2010

Long Overdue

So, for those of you who don't already know, I'm finally going to the doctor for surgery on my leg. For those of you who REALLY don't know, I had Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) about 12 years ago, and had most of my femur and knee removed. Recently, the pain has been increasing, I'm assuming because it's time for a new replacement femur.

I've been avoiding it for quite some time because

a) surgery is a pain
b) thanks to the fine doctors at the Mayo Clinic, I haven't really trusted any doctors other than my own in Houston
c) I've dealt with the pain for so long, it's become a part of my life.

But the pain is getting so bad it's difficult to walk. Throw that on top of a schedule including working full time and being in school full time, plus trying to keep up with keeping the house clean (and doing very poorly on my part) and taking care of an adorable little boy, I need surgery so I can accomplish all of this and more.

Monday I'll be meeting with a doctor and will also get a CT scan of my chest (but Austin, wasn't the cancer in your leg? Yes, but the kind of cancer I had likes to move from the leg to the lungs, which is not a good thing.) And I'm guessing I'll get x-rays and bone scans too. I'm grateful we have good insurance, because it's going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of money.

My thanks to those family members (ie everyone, but especially Mom and Tracie) who have supported and pestered me to get this done.

I'll keep you posted on the progress and news.

Feb 17, 2010

MY Life Checklist

I had SUCH fun doing that last checklist (and from the suggestion of Charlotte) I will make a checklist of MY life. Some will be copied from the last checklist, so deal with it.

I'll give you a minute.

Some of these things I have already done, but still qualify as life goals or milestones.

1. Go to the temple
2. Go on a mission
3. Be sealed to the greatest woman I've ever met
4. Become a father
5. Go to college
6. Graduate college
7. Be a loving, involved and great father (it's a work in progress)
8. Write several novels
9. See at least one novel I wrote published
10. See a play or screenplay I wrote performed on stage or on a big screen - Thanks, Troy and Jen for helping make that one a reality (Pirates of Madera, for any followers of GlassofRandom.blogspot.com)
11. Go back to Italy (I'd say for the art, but really for the food)
12. Go to France (Paris and Arles are my top choices)
13. Go to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (there are other things to see and do in Amsterdam, some of them even legal, but Van Gogh is why I'd go)
14. Win some kind of major award (while an Oscar or Nobel prize would be nice, I'd settle for less, like a leg lamp, for example)
15. Paint a masterpiece
16. Have an exotic pet - Like a Koala bear or Elephant. Or fish.
17. Live in England - There's so much there I want to see, (Castles, museums, Abbey Road, Art, History, Music, Ancestors, etc.) that a visit wouldn't suffice. Plus then I could come back with a fake British accent and sound all pretentious. Like Madonna.
18. See all my kids married in the temple (it doesn't have to be simultaneous, and I'd really prefer it not be to each other)
19. Retire wealthy, and young-ish (50's or 60's)
20. Serve a mission with my sweetheart in our Golden (or Olden) Years
21. Give all my kids memorable, unique names they will love and grow to hate me for as they get older. (Off to a good start)
22. Have my own successful Graphic Design business
23. Write, publish and illustrate several children's books
24. Become an Eagle Scout
25. Learn/Play an instrument - Trumpet and French Horn for real, guitar and piano for pretend
26. Learn a martial art - Aikido and Fencing are on top, Tae Kwon Do and Action Painting are at the bottom.
27. Become a better dancer - I may have one leg, but I can still learn.
28. Build an Awesome sandcastle - Done, but I wanna do better.
29. Shake hands with a prophet - When I was a kid, I met Pres. Hunter, but he wasn't Pres. of the Church yet.
30. Meet Neil Gaiman - the only author I revere who is still alive.
31. Have a huge, messy messy food fight.
32. Ride in a submarine (the ones at Disneyland don't count)
33. Surf
34. Compose a song that can make people cry (from the beauty of it, of course)
35. Prepare a sumptuous feast (debatable if I've done it already, but I mean like French cuisine, 5 course meal kind of feast)
36. Remind Tracie nonverbally every day how much I love her and what she means to me (work in progress)
37. Learn a few good magic tricks - I know a few, but most are either not good or I'm not too good at them.
38. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes - mostly for bragging rights
39. Get in better shape
40. Be happy with my body
41. Teach throughout my life - In callings, in family and at work. I love to teach and would have become a teacher if it didn't mean having as much school as a doctor and having as much money as a hobo. Mostly the school thing tho.
42. Tour a candy factory
43. Program a computer
44. Help as much as a man can deliver a baby - preferably one of my own
45. Write and design a video game- More like Monkey Island, less like Pac Man or Dragon Age (though that too would be awesome)
46. Change someone's life
47. Build a house - tree/club/bird is also acceptable
48. Pet a tiger
49. Have a friend who stays a close friend for over 20 years
50. Write a comic book
51. Own a home theater
52. Buy a brand new car
53. Make and lose a fortune
54. Have a room in my home for painting/ a studio. And use it.
55. Make a difference
56. Make a more specific goal
57. Drive across the country
58. See Paul McCartney perform (I would say the Beatles, but that's not very likely)
59. See Barenaked Ladies live - twice, though, more like BNL once and BN the second time
60. Swim a mile - I doubt it highly, though still more likely than running a marathon.
61. Meet the President - Of the hair club for men. I mean of the United States.
62. Have as few regrets as possible - (right now, only 2 1/2 regrets out of 27 years. 3 1/2 if you count watching "Catch and Release")
63. Watch Citizen Kane without falling asleep
64. Own a treasure chest -not necessarily an authentic, real, old one, but that would be awesome.
65. Own a sword that I don't regret buying - I have several friends who own swords, the only reason I haven't bought one (or the main reason) is that I can't justify buying one without the thought of regret afterwards. I want to, though.
66. Spit off the Hudson Dam - or any other very high surface that doesn't have the possibility of killing someone. Yes, I know it's just a myth about the Empire State building, but I don't want to risk it, would you? I'd hate to be kept out of heaven because I inadvertently killed someone via a flying loogie.
67. Do something illegal but not necessarily immoral - I am open to suggestions.
68. Perform for a full house
69. Be in Comedy Sportz again
70. Dunk a basketball
71. Sculpt a life size marble statue
72. Make a crying person laugh
73. Stay at a high-priced 5 star hotel and splurge
74. Visit Greece
75. Tour the Winchester House
76. Go back to Minnesota and Wisconsin and check up on the people I met and taught on my mission
77. Drive a Ferrari
78. Host a ball or gala
79. Teach my children important life lessons
80. Learn what important life lessons I should teach my children
81. Visit and do a session in 50 temples (If I'm counting right, I've been to 11, done a session at 6)
82. Open a Restaurant
83. Save a life
84. Be the "BEST" at making something, the best hot chocolate, the best grilled cheese sandwiches, the best cookies, something I'm known for making
85. Visit the Holy Land and see where Jesus taught and walked
86. Own a theater - Ok, we're getting in the realm of dreams now, not checklist, back to reality
87. Snowboard down a mountain
88. Never forget the absolute importance of imagination
89. Prove or disprove a theory
90. Meditate with a Guru/Yogi, though it kind of defeats the purpose
91. Attend an Opera
92. Take a picture for National Geographic
93. Write a joke for Reader's Digest
94. Create a delicious recipe
95. Make time for family priority #1 (so far, so good, I think. Some days better than others)
96. Go to the Smithsonian
97. Kiss the Blarney stone in Ireland
98. Read the Bible cover to cover, and the stuff in between too.
99. Always have faith
100. Never stop dreaming

Feb 16, 2010

Life Checklist

I got this from HayLee’s blog. The list part. The comments all me, baby.
I like it because it doesn’t “tag” or “guilt” you at the end. You know what I’m talking about.

Instructions: Take the following list and bold the items you have completed or experienced.

1. Started your own blog - Yes. Whoo. Off to a great start already.
2. Slept under the stars - Wouldn't be an Eagle Scout if I hadn't.
3. Played in a band - sadly, no. Unless singing along with a group in concert for their live album counts. If so, consider that bolded, thanks, Thriving Ivory!
4. Visited Hawaii - Someday.
5. Watched a meteor shower - I have, in the Grand Canyon, no less.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity - lame joke about having a friend named Charity, still no.
7. Been to Disneyland - But of course.
8. Climbed a mountain - See #2. And in Yosemite. (Or #5)
9. Held a praying mantis - Not that I recall. He was hunting at the time. Wah wah waaaaaaah.
10. Sang a solo - Sadly yes, to those who heard it. I think my first public solo was Winthrop in the Music Man.
11. Bungee jumped - No, and never gonna happen. I'll be skinned alive first, thanks.
12. Visited Paris - Not yet. Sacre bleu!
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - Nay. Though I have slept on a boat. does that count? No? O ye of little faith.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - Definition of scratch? Does reading books on the subject count? Oh, what the heck, I'm bolding this baby.
15. Adopted a child - Nope. Morgan is 100% ours.
16. Had food poisoning - Yes, on my mission. Note to reader: expired Kraft Cheese Singles look and taste just like not expired Kraft Cheese Singles.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - No sir. One lady I have yet to-- no.
18. Grown your own vegetables - Yes, actually. In Elementary school, I grew carrots (and a few other plants, but carrots were the only ones that took root. Being roots themselves, I shouldn't have been surprised.) And alas, despite implications from grandparents, I've never grown potatoes in my ears.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - No, but I've seen pictures of her. And why does it say in France? Is the author of this list among the bitter majority that believe she belongs in Italy? (a majority in which I and my buddy Vincenzo Peruggia are a part of?)
20. Slept on an overnight train - No, but I've fallen asleep on the Amtrak. The train, not the tracks.
21. Had a pillow fight - Oh, my goodness, yes. Very yes. (but you'll get no more details from me, the stewardesses, or any of the charity groups involved.)
22. Hitch hiked - Heck no. I don't wanna get eaten by the Hook man.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (shhh) I would never do that. (Never means frequently)
24. Built a snow fort - Growing up in California and Texas, I've never even made a proper snow man (though I have made a snow angel. He looked fat and had a small head.)
25. Held a lamb - Don't think so. Unless you mean certain parts of lamb after it's been cooked to tender deliciousness.
26. Gone skinny dipping - I'll never tell.
27. Run a Marathon - Not in this lifetime, kids.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - Venice, no. The Venetian, yes.
29. Seen a total eclipse - Yes, and you can bet I LOOKED RIGHT AT IT! What can I say, I'm a rebel.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - Both. In high school and at the beginning of college, I fancied myself a poet, so that was kind of a requirement.
31. Hit a home run - Not unless you count T-Ball or Nintendo. If so, then no.
32. Been on a cruise - I hope to. And in the Caribbean. Not in Alaska or some other fake cruise. ;)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - Yup, when I was 4. I was freaked out before and loved it after.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - How ancestor are we talking? England or Iceland? No. Spanish Fork, Utah? Yes.
35. Seen an Amish community - Yup. Turns out they weren't Mormons.
36. Taught yourself a new language - Tried learning Italian and currently trying to learn some scripting languages. Not panning out any better than the Italian effort. Plus, I feel even LESS likely to pick up an Italian woman knowing HTML.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - Anyone who says that is either lying, or much less greedy than I. Not that I'm too greedy, I just want enough money that I can swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck on "Duck Tales."
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - The leaning tower? That's on the list? Not my list, baby.
39. Gone rock climbing - See #2 again.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David - Thanks, Make-A-Wish. True, it's a giant naked man carved from a BIG metamorphic rock, but it remains one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
41. Sung karaoke - Am I Mormon/A Member of my Family/Into Theater/Deluded in my own level of talent?
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - Nope. Ironically, I have seen the Ol' Cheater geyser not erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - Sorry, my money, my food, my friends. Unless you count one blind date. I don't.
44. Visited Africa - I want to keep the relationship professional.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - Yup, even though everyone knows that's when Jaws comes out of the water, but I kept my swimming suit on, so I lived.
46. Been transported in an ambulance - sadly, yes. When I had my seizure before my first leg surgery. One second I'm playing Nintendo, the next thing I remember I'm in the ambulance. Worst game of Mario EVER.
47. Had your portrait painted - Kind of. Nana's painted pictures of all (if not most) of her grandkids, of which I am one. Plus I paid some lady $13 at Knott's Berry Farm to paint a pastel of me. Big Spender.
48. Gone deep sea fishing - Heck yes. Several times. Caught some lovely Barracuda that hung out in our freezer until they went in the trash. Circle of Life.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - No, but my parents did when we went to Italy. They said it was overrated. J/K.
50. Been on television - You know it. Once when in utero on Family Feud, other times in Alzheimer's commercials, Boston Market, a few others, and one Smashing Pumpkins video.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Uh uh. No thanks. If I want to be shark bait, I'll dress as Nemo for Halloween. Sharkbait, bruhaha.
52. Kissed in the rain - Not as romantic as the movies portray.
53. Played in the mud - Greg, Brett and I made a mud pit out of the clay next to my parents house and mud wrestled. It was awesome. And despite what they tell you, (they being Greg, Brett, my parents, and the referee) I won.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - Saw "The Kid" and "What Lies Beneath." Still mad at the ending.
55. Been in a movie - I was in a grad film for a Loyola Marymount graduate, Icebox Dancing.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China - No thanks. I won't even visit the Mediocre Wall of Piscataway.
57. Started a business - EducationalFamilyGames.com. Only cost me $29.95, and didn't make a penny from it. It was required to learn the software at my first Tech Support job.
58. Taken a martial arts class - Always wanted to, never have, except for a free Karate course/sales pitch when I was a kid, only slightly better than the one in Napoleon Dynamite.
59. Visited Russia - see #44
60. Served at a soup kitchen - On my mission, but we served lunches, not just soup.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - I tried, but no one would buy them.
62. Gone whale watching - Nope.
63. Got flowers for no reason - Does "Just because" count as a reason? (Just because... I want sex)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - No one wants my ex-cancer blood. I've received plenty, though.
65. Gone sky diving - Wheeeee! No.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - Nazis. I hate those guys.
67. Bounced a check - Never! Overdrafted my account? Frequently. (bet you thought I'd make some pun about a bouncy check. Please. I have standards.)
68. Flown in a helicopter - I was about to, then they wouldn't let me. No, wait. That wasn't me.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - Still got Scruffy, but he's living in a box somewhere.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - Yessiree. Twice. Neither time did Abe recognize me.
71. Eaten Caviar - Just because it's expensive, doesn't mean it's good.
72. Pieced a quilt - Nope, haven't even quilted a piece.
73. Stood in Times Square - No, but I've stood in Kanizsa's triangle.
74. Toured the Everglades - Nope, not even the Sometimesglades.
75. Been fired from a job - I think it's my specialty. I should add that to my resume under special skills.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - I wanted to, but the Limeys kept going into their dressing rooms.
77. Broken a bone - I think this qualifies.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - All the bikers I know don't trust me. They all think I'll wait until they're at a high speed and then push them off. I have no idea why.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - Yes. I've also seen it in Arizona.
80. Published a book - No, though this is a goal for my life, even BEFORE this checklist.
81. Visited the Vatican - Nah. I've been to the Mormon Vatican (Temple Square, not BYU, silly)
82. Bought a brand new car - No, but I've bought two NBC cars (new to me).
83. Walked in Jerusalem - Not yet, though that'd be cool, if I ever had the chance of going without the strong likelihood of dying. Maybe if there's a 9th (or 10th) crusade.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper - I have, when I was 8 and wrote a letter to a soldier in Iraq, during Desert shield.
85. Read the entire Bible - I blush to say no. *Blush*. though I HAVE read the Book of Mormon about 10 times, New Testament once, Old Testament, never. Hence why half of it is bolded.
86. Visited the White House - Clinton wouldn't let me in when I came to call.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - Nope.
88. Had chickenpox - Yep. I had so many my chicken pox had chicken pox.
89. Saved someone’s life - "DON'T EAT THE POISON APPLE!" There, I just saved yours.
90. Sat on a jury - For a full ten minutes, until they shoved me off. In my defense, I thought it was a class on stage diving.
91. Met someone famous - Sure, like Paul Walker (wow!) and the girl from Step By Step (the cute one, not the smart one, the dumb one, or Suzanne Somers.) AND the director of Beauty & The Beast.
92. Joined a book club - YES! I got 6 awesome friends out of it too!
93. Lost a loved one - I have. Live long enough and we all will.
94. Had a baby - Tracie did most of the work.
95. Seen the Alamo in person - Nope. Once I found out there was no basement, I was like "Why bother?"
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - No, but I did swim in a puddle of rotten eggs, so that's like halfway there, right?
97. Been involved in a lawsuit - Aside from the incident where I jumped on a jury, no, I'm clear. (knocks on wood.)
98. Owned a cell phone -Yes, I've even Pwned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee - Yes. Though I think I won the war.
100. Copied a post from someone's blog to your own - If I do, I always attribute the source as well as edit it enough to make it my own.

Thanks, HayLee! (see #100)