Monday, November 29, 2010

The Booger Paradox

Last night we were driving back from Portland (where we had Thanksgiving with my parents, which was very nice) when something tragic occurred.

I unintentionally sent my daughter, Anna, spiraling into the Booger Paradox (which isn't actually a paradox at all--more of a positive feedback loop--but who cares when it sounds so much more compelling to call it a paradox, and 67% of people aren't bothered when someone calls a positive feedback loop a paradox?)

How did I initiate the Booger Paradox?

I did it by being a man. A man who can't do hair.  And who physically assaults his daughter (not really. Please hang up with CPS and take a chill pill) thus making her bawl, thus causing boogers to come out of her nose which she finds really frustrating, which makes her cry more, which makes for more nose-running, which causes more crying, which causes more boogers, which causes even more crying... you see the paradox that's actually a positive feedback loop here, right? It's a vicious cycle of boogers and weeping.

Allow me to explain what happened.

Anna was in the back seat complaining that she couldn’t sleep because her ponytail prevented her from laying her head back comfortably. I offered to take it out of her hair for her because wife is driving.

Now, if Wife had been the one resolving this issue, it would have been seamless. She would have reached back, magically caressed Anna's head for a few moments, and Anna’s hair would have come cascading down around her face, ready to be comfortably slept on. Somehow, I got confused and forgot to factor in that I am not her, and indeed, possess a Y chromosome, thus rendering me incapable of such a feat, and also giving me the unfounded confidence that I could do this because, hey, I can do anything, right?


I confidently reached back, one-handed, and after tugging and pulling for approximately thirty-seven hours, I succeeded in making her look like she’d put her finger in a light socket--not only in that her hair now resembled a blown-up hay bale covered in stray strands of unsuccessfully removed rubber band, but also because she was obviously in as much pain as if she actually had been electrocuted. Also, she was bawling. And it was really sad.

As always: Father of The Century!

Triumphant soccer player kissing trophy

 I don't know how I do it, but I seem to win this award every couple of days or so. What an honor!

After begging her to let me try one more time, which she responded to by actually recoiling in fear even though she really wanted to trust me, I was finally able to remove the stray strands of rubber band I had gotten stuck all through her hair. Along with those pieces of rubber band came enough stray, broken hair to make a doll's wig.

I was not thanked for my efforts. Which is good, because more than anything I felt the urge to punch myself in the face.

(Aside: you might be wondering to yourself, “Hey, if The Weed is such a man’s man that a ponytail actually shrivels up into a ball of insane, nasty, mesh-like messiness at his mere touch, why wasn’t he the one driving home? Driving home is the man's job." Allow me to respond first by yelling defensively and masculinely “NUH UH!” and then by pointing out that men with body deformities like legally blind left eyes sometimes opt not to drive long distances on the freeway, which thing is NOBLE and LIVE-GIVING and is in every way chivalrous and, indeed, kind of courageous and awesome. Bet you wish you (or your husband if you’re a girl) had a blind eye so you (or he) could be as chivalrous as me, huh?) 

Anyway, as an unfortunate byproduct of my actions, Anna’s nose started running. So I got her a tissue. Then Anna started getting frustrated because her nose wouldn’t stop running. This frustration led to crying. Which led to more boogers. Which led to further frustrated tears. Then more boogers… you get the point.

Here. Here's a diagram of the complex process:

And thus it continues, potentially endlessly

In response to the B.P., the following conversation took place: 

Me: “Anna, if you keep crying about boogers, boogers will keep coming out of your nose.” 

Anna: *starts to cry harder, frustrated, and wipes nose furiously with tissue* 

Me: “See, sweetie? That crying you’re doing? That’s actually making more boogies come out of your nose.” 

Anna: *cries with even more frustration* 

Me: “What you’re going to have to do is wipe really well, then stop crying so that the boogies can all dry up. Here, blow your nose.” 

Anna: *sucks in.*

(Side note: Anna's never been able to blow her nose. She does learn new things every day, so I thought maybe nose-blowing was something they’d taught her in pre-school. You know, for her and all those other kids who also can’t exhale forcefully out of their nostrils on command.

I was incorrect.) 

Me: “No, see, you have to blow out.  Like this.” I exhale from my nose, trying dutifully not to jettison a boogie myself. “Try again.” 

Anna: *sucks in again and starts to cry very loudly with frustration*

At this point, the sweet, docile father-figure that knew he had caused the mess vanished, and instead I became an annoyed and frustrated parent ready to settle this immediately. I think I rounded out this delightful exchange with something really useful like “Anna! You’re just going to have to face it: either your stop crying, or the boogers will keep coming, and keep making you want to cry more! Just wipe once more, close your eyes, and go to sleep!”

Of course this induced more crying, thus more boogers/runny nose, thus more torture for all of us. At least for a little while

Teen girl blowing nose

 Is this girl experiencing the Booger Paradox? (Probably not. It appears that she can blow her nose.)

 Lessons learned: 
  1. I need to keep my freaking man hands to myself. Especially when it comes to hair.
  2. I need to research how to teach the skill of nose-blowing. 
  3. I need to not be a jerk about the Booger Paradox. Especially when I caused the inciting event.
 4. I deserve a prize for parenting. Clearly.

Eventually, as it turns out, my feeble and embarrassing efforts paid off. Anna was able to lay her head back and sleep soundly. And thus the cycle was stopped.

At least until the next time I decide I can help with her hair...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Celebrity Crush

Most marriages seem to have an unwritten rule where a partner can have an open, slightly comical celebrity crush on some random stranger who appears occasionally in the media. And when I say "most marriages," I mean "my marriage." And when I say "a partner" what I mean is "my wife."

That's right. Wife has a powerful celebrity crush. She's had it for many years..

Needless to say...

Did you get that? You should have. I didn't even need to say it. It was needless to say.

(FYI, what is up with that phrase???  "Needless to say" = accuracy FAIL.)

Okay, the thing that was needless to say, but that was actually needful to say because, as it turns out, you can't read minds, is I am maybe just a little bit insecure and I have a slight issue with Wife's celebrity crush.

One might assume that this was because her celebrity crush was some stallion-like super-hero of attractiveness that makes me insecure because of his sheer awesomeness..

This would be inaccurate.

Wanna know why her celebrity crush unsettles me a little and makes me wonder just a smidge about who I am as a person, a man, and a member of an ethnic group?

Here. Take a gander:

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Lionel Richie performs during the Collingwood Magpies AFL Grand Final celebrations at AAMI Park on October 2, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images) 
                                                   Lionel Richie

This turtle-neck-wearing, crooning freak has stolen my wife's heart, and I don't know how to get it back, nor what to do with my self-respect knowing that I'm competing with a 60-year-old black man who looks like a mix between Geordi on Startreck and Julia Roberts.

Knowing this is the kind of man the most carnal parts of my spouse desires compels me to do a mental check-list comparing our features and attributes which always propels me into a spiral of depression and self-loathing.

Here's an example of how the thought process might go:

--Lionel is an amazing singer with a fantastic career and many awards to his name.
--The Weed has sung some songs in church. He once asked Wife if he should try out for American Idol. Wife pursed her lips, shook her head and said "Sweetie, I'm not sure that's for you..."

Lionel: 1
The Weed: 0

Lionel is freaking rich.
The Weed can barely pay for the breath of air he is currently breathing, and would be hard-pressed to purchase a bus pass and not have to put it on a credit card.

Lionel: 2
The Weed: 0

Lionel's daughter, Nicole, has been on TV for many years and used to be bff's with the likes of Paris Hilton.
The Weed's daughter only started watching TV two years ago and doesn't have a single friend who is named after a city.

Lionel: 3
The Weed: 0

The next one is the final nail in the coffin:

--Lionel is black. Wife loves black men and bites her lip visibly whenever a black man sings on any TV show. I'm pretty sure that secretly she wishes I were black. Or at least part black.
--The Weed is white like snow, and has no swagger, style, or cool-factor

Lionel: 1,000
The Weed: 0

Eventually I realize that I am making a comparison pro and con list about LIONEL RICHIE a guy whose prime was when I was six and who now resembles a human unicorn and who wears more scarves than any woman I know, and my self-confidence implodes, leaving my manhood and sense of self in a shambles.

And that's before I take into account the fact that I am losing badly.

Needless to say...

(Seriously, people. Did you not get that one?  COME ON! Why isn't this trick WORKING?)

Okay, this time instead of saying it in English, I'll express it in math. Because I'm so good at math.



Isn't math awesome???

In conclusion, I wanted to point out that when I showed wife this post, she laughed and then said: "I feel like if you put up the song 'Do It To Me,' everyone will totally get where I'm coming from.  Mmmmm. So sultry!" (And yes, she was biting her lip as she said 'mmmm'.)

I think we should test this hypothesis:

The saxophone alone makes wife swoon. And me wish I'd played sax instead of violin.

So, do you totally get it now?

I know I don't.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

80's Movie Saturday--The NeverEnding Story (Or, why I should never, ever have been allowed to have children)

Do you have a four-year-old who is eerily drawn to the dark, scary, and sinsiter?

If not, you're really missing out.

My four-year-old is fascinated with stuff that might scare her as evidenced by the fact that for her night-time lullaby she prefers to watch Michael Jackson's Thriller (because there's nothing more soothing than watching a bunch of Zombies dance together in a dilapidated graveyard while their appendages fall to the ground.)

Turns out that this isn't enough for our future-Stephen-King-lover.

We kind of made a mistake.

Every morning when Anna gets up, either Wife or I is outside in the garage running on the treadmill. (Okay, I'll be really honest here and admit that I haven't run since Monday BUT THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE because I'm about to run right now. Outside. In November. Which counts for like 3 runs.)

Anyway, the point here is that when we're running on the treadmill we're watching the X-files, whose intro-music is creepy enough to give adults nightmares, and whose themes deal regularly with incest, extraterrestrials and psychosis.  So, probably not appropriate for Anna until she's at least five.

Here's the thing though. That creepy intro music and muffled discussion of alien private parts and what not? Anna hears it and she's drawn to it like a moth to a flame or like a meth-addict to a crappy apartment complex and is like "Can I watch, Daddy?  Please? Please?"

And I'm like "NO. That's too scary for you. Let's find something more kid-appropriate.

Like The NeverEnding Story."

Here is the music video which makes me feel nostalgic and filled with wonder.

So, today I decided to watch it with her.

As it turns out, the movie it is way better than I remembered and also totally inappropriate for 4-year-olds creepier than I remembered.


Here's a really brief recap in case you've forgotten why you shouldn't show this to your toddler:

Bastion, the protag., gets lectured by his dad who makes a freaky concoction of orange juice and egg yolk which he actually blends and drinks in front of his child. Awkward.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 20: A competitor eats a raw egg at a checkpoint during the 2010 Urban Max Series adventure race at Wentworth Park on November 20, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Participants competed in pairs of two and were challenged to reach predetermined checkpoints by solving riddles using only using only a mobile phone, map and cue sheet. Contestants could walk, run or take public transport but the use of cars, bikes or taxis meant instant disqualification. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Who doesn't enjoy a good raw egg? Or a good Salmonella infection?

Then, Bastion gets thrown in a dumpster.

Next, a probably predatory book-store owner shows him a book, Bastion steals the book, gets to school, and then decides instead of going to class to sit in a dark room with a fake skeleton and read the book.

The book happens to be about a dude/chick (perhaps a hermaphrodite?) named Atreyu who is asked to save his world, Fantasia, from The Nothing, which is this terrifying cloud thing that eats stuff.

So, he/she decides to do it instead of hunting Purple Buffalo.

It was about this point in the movie that Anna started asking questions. These questions helped to emphasize the extreme level of confusion (and damage?) I was inflicting upon my daughter by letting her see this film.

Things like:

"Why does that rock guy eat rocks?"

"Can some doggies fly?"

"What's her name?" (Referring to Atreyu, played by a male)

"Is that a fox or a wolf?" (Referring to G'mork, the main bad wolf guy that is now going to haunt my own nightmares (again), right before he fights with Atreyu and gashes a big flesh-wound into his/her chest (breasts?).)

"Why did he have blood on him?"

"Daddy can you die from a wolf?"

So, yeah. Nothing but wholesome family goodness in the The Weed household.

I think I should get the Father of the  Century award.

Oh, but one cool thing was that, just as the theme of the movie suggests, there were totally moments when the story was NeverEnding!

Like when Atreyu gets woken up by his/her horse and pets the horse and says "I know what you want, it's time to eat. Good idea!" in the voice of a 23 year old woman, and then it awkwardly cuts to Bastion who cheers like he's at the Superbowl and says "No, it's a GREAT idea" and then grabs an apple (which apple, if you'll remember, he devours whole, including the core, which I always thought as a kid was kind of bad-A. Nothing more tough than eating an apple core.).  At this exact moment, I couldn't help but continue the story by jumping up myself and saying, "No, it's a TRIPLE great idea" and then grabbing a can of sweetened condensed milk because it's Saturday which is my free day wherein I eat whatever crap I want, and I wanted sweetened condensed milk because it's literally dulce de leche that hasn't been boiled, and thus delicious.

(Do you see how that works? If you want the story to be NeverEnding, you must now say something like "No, it's a great idea times INFINITY!" and then get up and eat something yourself, and then document it somewhere like your journal or a $28 million budget film, so the story gets passed on and on and on, just like in the movie. If you don't do this, it is your fault that Fantasia, the storehouse of all dreams and fantasies, crumbles into nothingness.)

Dark clouds pass over downtown Miami, Florida August 15, 2010. An area of low pressure over southwest Georgia could move southward into Gulf of Mexico waters by early Monday and has a medium chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said on Sunday. The low pressure area was the remnant of Tropical Depression Five which dissipated on Wednesday in the Gulf. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is home to about 30 percent of U.S. oil production, 11 percent of natural gas production, and more than 43 percent of U.S. refinery capacity. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT IMAGES OF THE DAY)

If you don't get up right now, find something to eat, and document it, these clouds will eat you and your family alive. So, no pressure.

Anyway, right after this is when Atreyu's horse sinks into the Swamp of Sadness, which was so devastating to Anna and me both that I could no longer touch the can of sweetened condensed milk I was sipping from (because that's how I roll people, I drink sweetened condensed milk from the can. Don't knock it till you try it.)

In conclusion, the Darkness is coming. And we're all going to die because there's nobody on earth that can understand the actual name Bastion says melodramatically into the dark night when he's alone in the school surrounded by seance candles, which name utterance happens to be the only thing that can save us all.

Sorry about that.

Hey, guess what else Anna has been begging us to watch that I may or may not review next week because I am a horrible parent who lets his daughter watch movies way beyond her age? The Dark Crystal!!! (Fittingly, this was lent to us by our friend Crystal.)

Update: Anna just came up to me with a random book and said "Daddy, what is this book called?" I told her what it was called, and then she said "I wish we could find the book called The NeverEnding Story. Maybe we can go to the book store to try to find it because I really want the book called The NeverEnding Story."

Perhaps this means I didn't just ruin her life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stuff Happened! And I might have stumbled upon my calling in life!

Okay, first I'll tell my story about finding my new calling in life, then I'll tell you some good things that happened this week with my blog.



Remember Steven A. Tersigni, my cousin who attempted a character assassination last week?

Well, yesterday he made me feel really good about myself (probably to assuage his guilt.) (Did you know in former times that that word was spelled asswage? I seriously cannot be the only person who finds this hilarious.)

How did he do this?

He gave me this Practice Quiz about human anatomy to try!

Guys. After 11 consecutive attempts to answer a question correctly, I got to this question:

What bony feature of the mandible can be used to find and palpate the facial artery?
Oblique line
Mental trigone
Premasseteric notch 

It was so easy! Are you confused? Well, let me explain it to you.

The answer couldn't be "oblique line" because as a writer I know that oblique means something along the lines of "indirect" or "unclear" or "anything uttered by Bill Clinton when discussing sexual relations." (ZING! Nothing burns worse than a joke hijacked from the 90's.)  It has nothing to do with the human body! So, duh, process of elimination, A is out.

Next, it was pretty obvious B was incorrect because I've never heard of a mental trigone and I'm actually pretty sure that no such thing exists. And I would know, because I am a mental health therapist, which pretty much makes me an expert on anything having to do with the word "mental." So, yeah, B is out.

As far as C goes, mandible reminds me of the word mandala, which always reminds me of ceramics for some reason, which relates to bone in that both are white materials. So obviously the answer can't be "angle" because that's geometry and has nothing to with bone or ceramics. C is clearly not the correct choice.

This leaves us with D. D is correct because all other answers have been ruled out through the process of elimination (and common sense). But, if you examine it, it's obviously the correct answer anyway because of the word "notch." As in, you can find and palpate the facial artery by locating the premasseteric "notch," much in the same way that you can find and palpate huge blobs of excess fat hanging over your pants after Thanksgiving by locating the "only notch that still works" in your belt. Or by "making a new notch in your belt" if none work.

(Wait, what? You've never had this happen? Woow. *paradigm shifts completely*)

So yeah, I think it's safe to say that I'm totally qualified to practice medicine now. Which is a huge relief, because now I can probably make some money. Maybe even enough to afford Trapper's Sushi which I recently tried for the first time and now understand is heaven in the form of raw fish.

Thanks Steven!

Next, here's a picture:

Is it weird that I can't handle publishing a post without a picture of some kind even if it has nothing to do with anything at all and I just clicked on basically the first picture I saw in my "photos" file?

Next, on to the three important things that happened to my blog.

1. I won a contest!!!

Specifically, for this post which I wrote to join the Writer's Platform Builder Crusade. I was very honored to win it (honestly). I was late to the game, and didn't think I stood a chance, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

As the winner, I was interviewed by the originator of the crusade, Rachael Harrie. You can find my interview here: WARNING: I talk a lot about writing and what I do as a writer and my process and current work and stuff. Click only if you're interested in seeing that. 

(Did the fact that I made that link really big make you more likely to click? Not my intention.)

2. I was featured as an editor's choice last Sunday on!! (No, not That's what happens to cool people. is a blog catalog I signed up for that I'm pretty sure must be run out of Indonesia or something because all the emails I get from them are riddled with Engrish. (The email about being featured started with "Congratulation!" and ended with "regards Thank you,").) I have no idea what being featured means, if anything, but I am very flattered! (I mean that genuinely.) (Parentheses much? Sometimes I get so parenthetical I baffle myself.)

3. I wrote a guest post at another blog. It was random and very spontaneous, and it has to do with destiny. Click here if you want to read it. (Maybe I should make this one really big too?)(I hope that's not obnoxious. Sorry if it is. But this time the intention IS to persuade you to click.)

Oh, there are four. Four important things.

4. I ditched my old url and just signed up with because I realized when even Wife was like "Um, what is your blog address again? Inattentive-something-something?" that it just wasn't working. (Don't worry, still takes you right here which should come as a great relief to the two of you who had that link bookmarked.)

That is all.

Here's another random picture.

You're welcome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Emetophobia (Wait, a fear of WHAT???) UPDATED

I'm not really a phobic person.

Heights? I'm fine. Spiders? I'll pick them up and carry them outside to preserve their fragile little lives because I have a tender heart for all living creatures (minus mosquitos and ticks because anything willing to steal my bodily fluids in front of my face deserves to die in retaliation. But if they left me alone, they too would be cared for and coddled by my girly gentle soul.)

There is one thing that I really have a true, real phobia of however. And that thing is vomit. Most especially me vomiting.

I can't really explain it in a way that makes sense to you unless I describe the lengths to which I will go to avoid this thing.

1. I am the least anxiety-ridden person on earth. I'm as laid back as Garfield. I am chill like an ice-tray. In a nuclear invasion, you might find me curled up in a corner playing online Scrabble. Yet many who know me would swear I have OCD because of the number of times a day I wash or sanitize my hands. Do I care about germs? Not particularly. Is the issue cleanliness? No. It is all directly a defense against any type of infection that might cause me to do the thing that I don't even want to write again because it terrifies me that much and I'm a little worried that this much talk about it will jinx me into doing it. (Not joking.)

2. If my food even approaches an expiration date: DONE. If it looks like there might be something on it resembling mold. DONE. If I think a bug has touched it, or concentrate on the fact that most people ingest 7 spiders a year, or most plants including fruits and veggies have had bugs walk on them, or I'm probably eating something really repulsive in this hot dog like ground chicken testicles which if I think too hard about might get me nauseous... DONE. If I hear the word "vomit". DONE. If someone says the letter V in my presence. DONE. If I merely start.. DONE. If...DONE. DONEDONEDONEDONEDONESTOPIT!

If you try to get me to eat after looking at this, you will get punched in the face.
Evidently, a rotten tomato = the nastiest thing in the world. 
(There is a distinct possibility that I will develop an entire food-repulsion diet franchise based solely on this photo. And that it will make me very wealthy.)

3. Don't even get me started on actually seeing or hearing vomit. Well, yes, actually. Do get me started.

Remember how in my last post I mentioned that somebody had a grand mal seizure? And that that someone (who was totally healthy in class on Saturday and worked really hard, incidentally) had vomited everywhere because of it?

Well, you can guess how this went.

Guy falls on the floor, and I'm like "okay, he's having a seizure." Guy convulses dramatically. I'm cool as a spring morning. "Don't put your hand near his mouth," I say, trying to protect fingers from being bitten off. "Don't restrain him."  I'm there, by his side, helping him not hit walls. I am not phased. In fact, I start to think I'm a bit of a hero. And then? The guy makes a noise that sounds like it might lead to vomit.  I'm out of there in no time flat. Gone. Left the room. No consideration of what was happening, no checking with the other people there to see if they "got this." I just disappear.

THEN he actually starts heaving. Needless to say, I'm toast. (DON'T TALK ABOUT TOAST AND VOMIT IN THE SAME SENTENCE BECAUSE IT MAKES ME WANT TO YOU KNOW WHAT.) I go back into the classroom and someone else is like "Are you okay? You look like you're going into shock..."

Yes. I'm going into shock. Not because a guy is convulsing violently on the floor during a class I'm leading. Not because someone's health is on the line and the paramedics are coming because the seizure has lasted longer than his girlfriend has ever seen one of his seizure's last. It's because he was throwing up and I could hear it. That's why I look like I've seen a ghost to the point that people are asking if I'm okay.

So, yeah, I'm a regular hero. I will save the freaking day until you vomit near me, at which point I curl into the fetal position and start rocking back and forth and sucking my thumb and humming lullabies to myself to self-soothe.

I think it's obvious that vomit is my kryptonite. Hear that robbers and gangsters? You now know the secret to my demise. Samson had his hair, Achilles had his heel, and I have partially digested food mixed with stomach acid that's expelled through the mouth (and sometimes nose (squiiiiiiiiiiick!!!)).

This wouldn't be as much of a problem as it is for me if I didn't have kids.

Some kids are like vomit factories. My cousins used to throw up as a matter of course--it was almost like it was part of their bedtime routine. Brush teeth, say prayers, go puke everywhere, go to bed.

(Aside that is nearly irrelevant but I'm sharing anyway because I'm thinking about it: I will never forget the day one of my seventh graders threw up in class when I was a teacher and I was so taken off guard that I made him clean it up. Um, Mr. Weed, did you not know that there are these people schools hire that are paid to clean up such things? They're called janitors.)

My girls, thank heavens for huge favors, aren't big vomiters. However, anytime the words "my tummy hurts" are mentioned (which, tragically, because kids have difficulty localizing pain and discomfort at a young age happens A LOT) I go into a full-fledged, 100%, complete psychological melt-down. I am terror stricken. I can't sleep. All I can think over and over is "Please don't let her throw up, please don't let her throw up, please don't let her throw up..." which sounds all altruistic and noble and fatherly, and indeed, part of it is that I cannot comprehend the horror of a 4-year-old having to suffer through something so vile and it makes me very sad, but underlying it all is a very selfish thing: if they get sick and throw up, there is a high probability that I will get sick as well and that is UNACCEPTABLE! So then I start chanting it faster: "Please don't let her throw up, please don't let her throw up..." Ad nauseam. (What a disgusting Latin phrase.)

The last time this happened I got fed up. I was like, "this is STUPID." So I went downstairs, got online, and looked it up. I wanted to know more about it.

Turns out, it's an actual disorder called emetophobia. And apparently it's one of the most common phobias out there. There are people who literally starve themselves because of this. (I am obviously not one of these people.)

Who knew?

By this point, it was way into the middle of the night. I was going to be very tired the next day if I wasn't sick myself, and I was not happy about it, but I was thankful to know that I wasn't alone in my terror.

And what happened?

Nothing at all. She wasn't even sick.

But, BUT, and this is the kind of thing that drives phobias, there was one time when my oldest said she felt sick, and I kept poo pooing it, and she said it for several hours, and then she threw up lots of times and I had to stay up with her all night and lay with her in the bathroom while she moaned and it was really sad and it seriously felt like one of the hardest things I've ever done and I got all existential and weird and jaded and was like "WHAT KIND OF WORLD DO WE LIVE IN WHERE LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE TO VOMIT? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? IS THIS EVEN WORTH IT?" and I wasn't even kidding, and it was really horrible and very melodramatic.

So, clearly, I have to be on guard for that.

Man about to vomit

Is life even worth living when this moment of horror is inevitable?

Also I went for 18 years without throwing up and then that record was broken two years ago but it wasn't a bad one and I almost think it shouldn't count.

Also, this post is really rambling but it's kind of how my brain works when the "V" word is mentioned.  I might edit the crap out of it (go Ritalin!) tomorrow. Might not. We'll see. (Update: I won't.)

Also, do you realize how often people talk about vomit on Facebook and Twitter (and blogs? Touche!)? It is utterly ridiculous and I view it as an act of status terrorism.

Also one of the most terrifying stories I've ever heard was of this type of flu that made my friend Lindsey Lawson throw up every 20 minutes or so for 48 HOURS STRAIGHT. That is some serious stamina. I think she deserves a medal. And if I ever get that I will seriously consider euthanasia.

In conclusion: I am a neurotic freak and why do people even like me?

Wait. Don't answer that.

Good night.


There is a bona fide emetephobia counselor who saw this post and commented here. First, that is hilarious. Second, this is a real disorder, and while I was being somewhat hyperbolic for comedic effect, there are those for whom this disorder is a very debilitating thing. I understand how that could be the case--I certainly feel some of the symptoms (obviously). Anyway, if you are someone who genuinely has emetophobia, check out to find out more information and get help.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The most phoned in post ever.

Today I'm going to do something a little non-conventional because I have to finish a load of crap for my chemical dependency endorsement (did I mention I'm attending community college? They even sent me a certificate--just for enrolling. It is now framed) and I also work tomorrow, which means I'm working on Saturday, which means you should definitely pity me. But at least I'll be teaching marriage courses to people who really need it. Like former convicts. 

(Side note: last Saturday in the middle of teaching this same class one of the participants had a grand mal seizure. Right there. On the floor. It was crazy, and I felt bad because he was a really nice guy with a lot of tattoos, and he was vomiting everywhere. We had to call the paramedics and everything. Naturally we ended class because I'm pretty sure there's a rule that states that when someone's carried out of the building on a stretcher it means your work day is over.)

Medical staff moving patient on bed, in hospital corridor

Yes. My job here is done.

So, I'm sharing a blog post I wrote in my lj (which was my first real blog) back in 2004.  I'm pretty sure this post is historically significant in that it was one of the first blog-posts I ever wrote that didn't involve emo poetry. I only wish I was joking.

Hope you like it! [That last sentence is to be said in the exact same voice used by Miranda sings as she introduces most of her songs.]

June 16, 2004

Well, Wife and I got new furniture last night. 
Ok, so not new furniture. Old furniture that's new to us. Here's the story (with all euphemistic family jargon parenthetically defined in terms of reality): 
Wife's "aunt and uncle" (identical twin from another womb and her husband) are getting new furniture. Lolly and I have parents that are both capable of extending "financial aid" (money for, like, food) to us, but have opted not to so that we become "independent" (white trash). Therefore, being "independent" (white trash), we can not afford our *own* new furniture, but are at the whims of "benefactors" (people who want to get rid of their crap) who mercifully wish to bestow their "goods" (crap) upon our "heads" (future garage sales). In our "financially sound" (indigent) circumstances and mind-set, we are very willing to hoard such "furniture" (hud). For that reason, virtually everything we "own" (hoard) is something have "acquired" (extracted from the garbage) in this manner.
Anyway, so when they came, Rob (the Uncle) and I "hefted" (dragged) the "sofa and love-seat" (germ infested mounds of cushioning sequestered in green cloth) into the "house" (crappy apartment). I being "legally blind in my left eye" (a total klutz) have no "depth perception" (common dimensional sense) and therefore scraped the "wall" (whitewashed cardboard) with the bulky "couch" (reclinable cesspool). My "wife" (the most awesome person on earth) was not happy. We then spent the rest of the evening "sitting" (swimming) in the "furniture" (eight years of collected grime) and "talking" (gossiping) and "laughing" (making fun of people we know and love). It was "fun" (fun).
Actually we're pretty excited because, sadly, it really is an upgrade for us. And I make it sound much worse than it is. They make our apt. look like a real home, as opposed to our other couch which made our apt. look a little like a nursing home and which we are lovingly bestowing upon Lolly's brother and his wife. This is like an exalted version of passing clothes from sibling to sibling. It's pretty funny.
All right, I've gotta "write" (spew forth) a "fun" (Hellish) "essay" (diarrhea of verbiage) now. Have a great day!
Aw, those were the days. Back when we were both in college and were just really scraping by. Things are way different now in that now we also have three children using all our second-hand furniture and we're scraping by now because of my career in the helping profession as opposed to because of us being students.  So cool how things change so dramatically over time!

What? You didn't click on the link above?  Well, you simply can't go on with life until you've seen this:

                              If I wasn't already married...Mmmmm.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You know what's awkward?

I just realized an online equivalent to the experience we've all had at one point or another when someone is waving in your direction at somebody behind you but you don't know there's someone behind you and you think they're waving at you, and you look at them for a minute thinking "who are you?" in a very awe-filled, childlike internal voice and then idiotically decide to wave back and smile excitedly like you've just made a new friend.

(The aftermath of this is always humiliating. You wanna play it off like it was no big deal, yet there's a part of you that feels just a teeny tiny bit hurt that you didn't actually find a random new best friend and that they chose someone else, so, to try and show how not-a-big-deal it was you say something about it really loudly like "Ha, I totally thought you were waving at..." but then your voice trails off when you realize they aren't even acknowledging you because you are so awkward, and now you look schizophrenic.)

It is this:

This conversation only looks vaguely like an actual Facebook conversation because I totally made it up and have no art skills whatsoever. Please don't mock me. Also, I'm available to create your wedding invitations and/or graduation announcements if desired. Call me! *does phone sign with hand* <----(also awkward)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Smear Campaign!

This is exactly why I didn't get into politics. This, and the fact that I hate politics.

Yesterday, there was an "incident" surrounding my P-ness post.

It happened on facebook.  I'd posted a link to my post, and after a normal comment or two, I saw this:

  • Steven Tersigni Dude, you copied me. I told you that I did that same thing in like February.
    2 hours ago · 
First, I think it's important to be up-front. Steven Tersigni, my cousin, did have a P-ness incident very similar to mine, and he did tell me about it about six months ago. This does not change the fact that I had my very own P-ness incident in front of a women's church group while giving a workshop on marriage in which I had just made reference to "sex"  and someone "wanting to have sex." (In fact, it occurs to me that his implantation of the idea into my subconscious (a la Inception) might have caused said incident. Thanks a lot, Steven!)

Second, I think it's important to note that in his user-photo for facebook Steven has his hands wrapped around his wife's neck.  Here's a closer, and thus grainier, view:

The Happy Couple!

Familial conflict much?

It should come as no surprise then that when I told a story that was very similar to something that he'd told me had happened to him half a year ago, instead of laughing at the commonality, Mr. Tersigni opted to accuse me of plagiarism.

Don't think I don't see what you're doing, Steven. I can tell that you feel threatened by me and my illustrious career as a mental health therapist. And you should. Med school, shmed school. I'm already DONE with my (far less demanding and and far less marketable) degree. How do you like THEM apples?

In response to his comment, I, with all the love and honor one cousin can have for another, said: 

@Steven--Oh man! I really, really wished I remembered what you are talking about, because that could have been very helpful. 

Now, there was a grammatical issue with this reply. I used the past tense of wish, or "wished," which, I'll admit, renders the comment nearly incomprehensible. Instead, I should have said "I really, really wish I'd remembered." Doing so would have given the sentence that "this sentence actually communicates a useful thought" charm sentences really ought to have.

But could Steven just leave that alone? NO, he had to insult this former English teacher further by having the audacity to misunderstand a completely misleading sentence that I myself could barely understand when I read it again.  Thanks a lot Steven! Remember this moment when you need a therapy referral because you're so rich as a doctor that you lose all moral grounding and your mental health deteriorates!

Instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt and assuming I'm illiterate, he chose to believe I was challenging whether or not his P-ness incident, or our conversation about it, had actually occurred, because then he replied with a copy of the chat in which our conversation took place. 

Steven Tersigni
Steven Tersigni So tonight, while teaching my MCAT class about molecular hybridization and how the superscript above the "p" tells you how much "p" character a bond has, I unwittingly said "this number tells you how much 'p-ness' the the bo...nd has."
March 24 at 10:57pm · 
Josh Weed Ha! Classic. 

Yeah. First of all, did anybody even understand what he just said? The superscript of the molecular WHAT THE CRAP ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

Second, at the onset of his character assassination, he said our chat occurred in February, but as you can plainly see, it was actually March.  NICE. Like I really want a doctor working on me who can't even remember the exact date upon which a vague, peripheral-verging-on-completely-unnoticeable Google chat conversation with a cousin took place. How did you even GET into med school, your excellent MCAT scores, good grades, and one fantastic letter of intent edited by yours truly notwithstanding?? 

Anyway, by this point, my patience had worn thin. Here was my curt reply: 

@Steven--Don't misunderstand--I remember what you're talking about, but I really wish I'd remembered it about two seconds before the phrase came spilling out of my mouth... Could have been very, very helpful. 

C'est la vie. 

It was pretty much a veiled attempt to say: 

I love you, cousin.  Can't we just be friends? Why do you insist on persecuting me? 

His reply? After all he put me through? After the shame, and the self-reflection, the self-doubt and hours of looking up copyright laws pertaining to g-chats? And after the massive study I conducted (read: sample size of four) which was randomized (read: consisted of my wife and three children under the age of five) which clearly indicated that 1 out of every 4 people has had her very own P-ness incident when she was a teenager?  Do you know what he said to me?

Here it is:  

Steven Tersigni ha 

Yeah, Steven. Don't deny it. You were really ashamed. 

Maybe it's my sense of humor you're jealous of. Maybe that's why you are attacking me. 

Maybe it's this blog. 

Well, Mr. Med School, I own that. You can't have it.  So why don't you just stick with your "MCAT Classes" and your "molecular biology" and your "job that will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars more a year than mine ever will." 

Leave the writing of "humorous"-blog-posts-that-are-read-by-approximately-nine-people-who-glance-at-them-cursorily-with-a-grimace-of-pity to me. 

Thank you. 

Oh, and by the way, my P-ness is bigger than your P-ness.*


(Was that joke too much? I couldn't resist. I'm a horrible person.)

*Lest you think me a beast, I refer to the fact that my Perceiving score on the Meyers Briggs Personality Sorter is numerically larger than the superscript indicating the P character of Steven's soul, which is now so low it has deteriorated our bond.

**This post was published with the permission of Steven Alan Tersigni, and his subsidiaries. No actual familial relationships were harmed during the creation of this post nor in the events leading up to its inception. No, I don't mean Inception the movie. I'm referring to the impetus of these writings, idiot.**

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lesson learned.

Word to the wise:

While presenting a workshop about the Meyers Briggs Personality Test and how it can positively impact marriage as an invited guest, feel free to refer to the letter sub-types in abbreviations.  For example, you can call a person's tendency towards "Introversion" one's "I-ness" or one's score in the "Judging" category one's "J-ness."

Do not under any circumstances refer to one's "Perceiving" score as one's "P-ness."

This is especially true when presenting said workshop to a church-based women's group, on the heels of scandalizing the room by reading a quote which contains the word "sex" several times, and even talks about someone wanting to have sex.

Believe me, you will wish you were somewhere more comfortable. Like maybe a proctology exam.

Surgeon putting on gloves
"This might be a little bit uncomfortable."


You think that glove intimidates me, doc? 

Apparently you've never seen this:

Senior and mature women at tea party