I remember when I initially said that I'd be posting once a week here. How quickly plans change when there's work involved...
That being said, I have experienced quite a lot since Vegas, so it's probably time to write some of it down.
Last weekend, because of the holiday/four day weekend, I entered with the best intentions. I had a small list of things around the house that I needed to do, and by the end, I had accomplished very few of them. On the front end, the toilet needed to be fixed, the microwave needed a part replaced, my car needed to be taken in, and the yard needed to be mowed.
I fixed the microwave and took my car in.
Being a homeowner has been quite the humbling experience for me. I've learned that there are so many things that can go wrong, so few that I know how to actually fix, and that it typically costs a small fortune to have someone come set things right.
However, I've also learned that with a little determination, and thanks to the amazing people I have in my life (and youtube), there are typically ways to work around my own ignorance in these areas.
After having Kevin's dad take a look at the lawnmower, I asked Shelly's dad if he could help me figure out what was wrong with the wobbly toilet in our master bathroom.
Shelly's dad has done construction for pretty much as long as I've been alive, so there really isn't a job that he doesn't know how to do. It's also something special to watch him go to work on jobs that are intimidating to me, because when he starts in, he makes everything look so easy.
And I say that I asked him to "help me" with the toilet. I'd be remiss if I didn't clarify that Jackie "helping" me equates to me alternating asking how I can help - and if we're in over our heads. At one point, he realized the job was going to be harder than he originally thought and he made an exasperated sound. I asked "Are we going to need to call someone in to take care of this?"
...the look he gave me.
Like a mother who walked into the kitchen to see the dishwasher erupting with suds because her kid had used the wrong type of dishwashing soap. He knew I was trying to help, but eagerness does not equate to know-how.
While he's never been anything but nice, and has always patiently answered my questions, I can't help but think helping me with projects feels like "Take your kid to work day" for him - only I'm not his kid... I'm the man-child he let marry his daughter.
And every time he helps with something around here, I'm always stumped at how to repay the favor. It's like, do I offer to draw him a picture? Because other than drawing cheap little cartoon characters, my skill set is pretty slim.
Honestly though, I'm just so very thankful that he both knows how to do these things, and that he's never once acted put out. The insecurities I feel when he comes over are all in my own head, and not due to anything he's ever inferred - looks of pity notwithstanding.
I had a doctor's appointment this week that I debated on chronicling here, but I promised myself that this blog wouldn't be just the happy parts of our lives, because that's not realistic.
While I was initially going in for a month check-in after starting a new medication, I ended up talking to my doctor about a lump I had found.
I remember listening to a Mike Birbiglia standup comedy album one time, and he talked about his personal experience of getting diagnosed with a bladder tumor. He explained that one of the funniest things that can happen to a hypochondriac is for them to get cancer, because "... it confirms every fear you've ever had in your entire life."
What made matters worse was that when I asked Shelly for a second opinion - my ever-patient wife, already long-used to quelling my exasperated imaginative fears - she began crying.
She felt the lump, too.
I'd add an addendum to Birgbiglia's thought about hypochondriacs: It's less funny when the person who typically calms the hypochondriac down boards the belief train and starts to think something might actually be wrong.
I'm used to me freaking out over things, because I've been tightly wound my entire life. I know that me freaking out often ends with everything actually being fine. I'm sure not used to Shelly joining the team.
...and I'm not a fan.
And you know, it's strange. Going to the doctor for personal things is always an eye opening experience for me. As a therapist, I spend most of my day every day hearing personal things and long-kept secrets from people, and encouraging them to share. I can eloquently explain how talking about our fears can help us to heal - and how there's never anything to be embarrassed of, even when something is wrong.
When I have to go in to talk about something from my own personal life, I find myself slightly less confident in the powers of honesty and assertiveness.
But I'm no hypocrite. I did go in, and I did openly talk to my doctor about my fears - and after a little poking and prodding (well, more cupping and squeezing if we're being honest) he explained that my issue was nothing of concern, though agreed that I was still smart to seek professional input.
You know those moments in life where you do something so awkward that time seems to move in slow motion - the kind of things that when you look back on them later in the day (or year), you wince?
As a male, whenever a doctor checks you in that area, you typically have to help out by holding certain things... out of the way.
I dropped my slacks, aided Dr. Edwards in his diagnostic search, pulled my pants back up, and then finished the appointment.
Only, before I could get up to wash my hands, Dr. Edwards took off his gloves, talking the whole time about how he was retiring - and explained that my next appointment would be with his partner, Dr. Fell.
Without thinking, I instinctively stuck my hand out to shake his, thanking him for being my doctor for the last few years.
Now, you may not have ever had the experience of literally touching your genitals in front of a person and then trying to shake their hand - but I promise you, it's not in my top five life experiences.
....the look he gave me.
(I'm noticing a trend in my experiences).
Nevertheless, I left his office with a clean bill of health and a healthy dose of cringe. I guess the saving grace is that the one appointment that I embarrassed myself in front of my doctor was also my last appointment with him.
I mean, there's that...
Saturday, we went to a pool party at the home of a doctor that I work with.
Dr. Hughes from the ER had a cookout/pool party at her house, and while Jaxon opted to stay home and use his Saturday free time playing Xbox, Jade chose to go with, and had the time of her life.
She ended up befriending Dr. Hughes' five year old daughter Kate, and the two spent the entire party running around and playing together while Shelly and I got to visit with the adults.
A handful of other people from the hospital were there, and as always, it's so nice to get to spend time with people from work - while you're not at work. Even though the hospital was bound and determined to be a member of the party itself, as Dr. Hughes' phone blew up the entire time we were there, reminding all of us that some things never take the weekend off.
In the end, we talked, we laughed, we ate hamburgers and hotdogs. It was an awesome afternoon.
Sunday, my parents came to town to go see IT with us at the theater.
I know it's happened before, but I've had a hard time remembering a movie that I was this excited about going to see.
I think it's because I read so rarely that when a movie comes out based on a book that I HAVE read - and then I hear that it's a pretty faithful adaptation - it makes me super eager to see how things go down.
And man, this movie is something else.
I've been trying to get Shelly to read the book for some time, because even though she's afraid of clowns - the book itself is less about the clown and more about the kids that have to deal with him. It's this weird mix of genres, and ends up being more a coming of age story with a monster in it than an actual monster story.
The kids in this movie didn't disappoint, either. I can't think of another movie that's this perfectly cast. Plus, it's nice to see movie studios not shying away from R rated movies. This movie is supposed to be scary, and the kids in it are supposed to act like real life kids.
Poor Shelly, though.
She's been afraid of clowns her entire life, and while this movie was at its heart 'Stand By Me' with a monster in it - for her, it was a bowl full of nightmares with a few dick jokes thrown in for comedy relief.
...a dick joke/nightmare trail mix, if you will.
I will happily pay full price to see it again, but I know full well I'll be going alone.
After the movie, we went to Katfish Kitchen for dinner with my folks, and then back to the house for a few card games.
We always have so much fun playing games as a family. I'm already excited for next month, because we will make our annual trip out to Lake Eufala to meet up with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins - and when we all get together, we have some of the best times playing card games.
...save for the time that we played Cards Against Humanity and my uncle kept asking what certain words meant.
...that was... less fun.
Other than all that, the week has been pretty normal.
I've put the finishing touches on the inside pages of the Cherokee children's book that I've been working on, meaning all that's left is the cover.
It's a book that I'm working on with my friend Brad, and we're still in talks on how we want to handle publishing. We're both working middle-class dads who don't really want to hire an agent - but we also want to make more than a dollar every time one sells (especially since we're splitting that dollar down the middle).
Createspace has been nice this far, because it's taken most of the work out of the process. I draw the pictures and upload them. They print the books and handle ordering/shipping through Amazon.
Though, with them doing the lion's share of the publishing, they take the lion's share of the profits.
It would be nice to find a publisher that gave us a little more freedom and cut of the take.
For now, I think that's it. I lost the drive that told me I'd update once a week, but I will continue to update when there are things to update about.
Hope your week is awesome.