Testing Day

So yesterday was a fun day: I got to experience the joys of having my first colonoscopy. Yep, big time fun it was.

A few of you have already been through this rite of passage. For those who haven’t, fear not; this is not going to be a highly detailed account of what went down at the endoscopy center.

The reason I was going in a little early (white folks don’t generally need to get scoped before 50 if they don’t have a family history) is that I’ve been having some weird stomach issues for the past year and a half. The symptoms have changed over time, and often didn’t seem related to each other. But they’ve persisted long enough that I went in to see my regular doc and ask for her thoughts. She couldn’t think of any obvious causes or explanations for my issues, and thus sent me off for a scope to get a look inside. I was all for it. Most of you know it was colon cancer that killed my stepfather and I have no reservations about getting tested early.

The results were a mixed bag, but in the best possible way. Unfortunately the scope didn’t show anything in the area of my abdomen where I’ve been having pain. Which is both frustrating and encouraging. It could just be a diet issue, or I may need to do some other tests if the pain continues. They did find and remove a polyp the doc said could have become problematic down the road. So that’s good.

Colonoscopies are one of those procedures that we all seem to dread. I’m guessing they used to be a lot different than they are now. I was knocked out and a roughly five-hour stretch of Monday afternoon is a complete blank to me. There was no pain after. I slept for over nine hours last night and woke feeling crazy refreshed. I would say I still feel a little off today, but more from a combination of lingering effects of the sedatives and low blood sugar than from the procedure itself.

It was the prep that is tough, though. And even that wasn’t as bad as some suggested it would be. The hardest part for me was not eating any real food for 36 hours before the procedure. I’m not a good hungry person and I was getting pretty grumpy before I began the Gatorade and Mirolax cocktail part of the prep Sunday evening. I didn’t get much sleep Sunday as the Mirolax did its work. But, still, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I had only been knocked out once before, when I was 18 and got my wisdom teeth removed. I have moments of semi-clear memories from after the procedure yesterday, but most of it is a complete fog. Apparently I told S the same story about one of the nurses living in the same neighborhood as several of our friends from St. P’s three different times. When I mentioned it again at dinner last night, even the girls laughed because S had told them I was repeating myself.

(Yeah, the girls laughed and laughed when I told them what I was going in for. “They’re putting a camera where?!?!”)

And then there was just a tiny bit of awkwardness because I met the doc doing the procedure at a social event a couple years ago. He had been enjoying the vodka at that event. I’m glad to say he was clearly sober yesterday. We have some mutual friends, and he and his wife have a lake house on the same lake as ours. We may get together over the summer when our mutual friends come to the lake. I sense an opportunity to compliment him on his boat/house/lake toys that I’ve now helped pay for.

Anyway, it’s all done now. I’m glad the results were good but wish I had a better idea of what was going on in my belly. For those of you who get to wait a few more years before you get scoped, I say don’t sweat it. If you follow the guidelines they give you ahead of time, it’s a piece of cake. And you’ll get to take a really good nap after!

Third First Communion

Saturday was an official Big Day for the family. It was L’s First Communion day, a day we’ve all been looking forward to for two years, since C’s First Communion. Do we just love First Communions so much that we couldn’t wait for the next one? Nope, that’s not it. Rather, we’ve been laughing for two years over the prospect of L wearing a formal dress for the first time in her life. If you know the kid, you know that idea is loaded with comedy.

Now L herself was not as excited about the whole dress thing as much as the rest of us were. When the school year began, and we got the dates for the various preparations that go into First Reconciliation and First Communion, we could sense some nervousness in her. I think once she did ask the question, “Do I really have to wear a dress?” We told her that, yes, she did have to wear a dress. But it was just for a couple hours and then she would be done with it. And we promised she could pick out some cool shoes to go with the dress. Unlike her sisters, who were both very excited about wearing high heels for the first time, L took it another way completely.

After several weeks of looking around online, she picked out some fancy, glammed up, white high tops. Once they arrived, she relaxed considerably regarding the dress.

That was the lead up to Saturday. The actual day went just fine, other than all the rain we had before, during, and after the ceremony. She looked fantastic in her dress and didn’t fidget too much. She was the star of her classmates when we arrived at church and everyone got a look at both her in a dress and her shoes. One of her friends took a similar route, wearing some regular white Chuck Taylors.

L had the first reading in the ceremony and handled that with aplomb. Dad the non-Catholic didn’t embarrass the family as we approached for the Catholics to take Communion. Although, just like with L’s sisters, the candle I held extinguished itself before we returned to our pew. You all know I’m not much for religion or belief in a supreme being, but I have to admit it’s a little spooky that’s happened all three times!

Afterward we gathered at our home for a large meal with family, and repeated it with the leftovers and our neighbors later in the evening. L didn’t realize some folks get you gifts for First Communion so she was thrilled she got some cash and other cool things. She had just spent her last $7 on baseball cards, so I may have to restrain her from spending all her First Communion loot on cards, too.

So another big milestone is checked off for one of our girls. And we flip the calendar to May which leaves just four weeks of the school year left. Amazing. Oh, and L headed to school today in her white high tops.


April 2017

  • Pearl Jam – 126
  • Ryan Adams – 97
  • The Beatles – 88
  • Crowded House – 32
  • Prince – 30

Complete stats available at my Last.fm page

Friday Photo

Onward, Upward Fuji X-T2 18mm at f/5.6, 1/600 sec, ISO 200

Where/when do I take the pictures I share here and on Instagram? Most weeks I will devote part of one day to taking a long photo walk. Sometimes I’ll go to an urban area to shoot architecture and people, other days I’ll pick a park or trail system to focus on landscapes and nature.

This week I took a long walk in nearby Zionsville. I walked on two trails and then through its historic downtown area. While I was on the trail, I crossed paths twice with an older woman[1] who was out for a morning run. The first time, as I was headed up the trail and she was headed down, we nodded and said hello. Fifteen minutes later, after we had both reversed course, she stopped and asked if I was taking pictures of birds or something else. I told her I was just out shooting anything that caught my interest. She asked how often I shot, and I shared what I told you above: once a week I take a long walk with my camera. She said, “That’s wonderful, and a very healthy hobby, too. Good for you!” Then she wished me good day and continued her run.

I share that story just because it’s kind of funny, not because it has anything to do with this picture. I took this one a week ago while in the Fortville area. I liked the leading lines toward the big sledding hill, and how the sun was breaking through the clouds just enough to make the hill pop a bit.

  1. I’m guessing around 60, but a rather attractive and fit 60.  ↩

Friday Playlist

Some really good, brand new music to share this week.

“Shine On Me” – Dan Auerbach. The lead single off the Black Keys’ vocalist’s second solo album sounds like Beck channeling George Harrison. Which means it’s fabulous as hell, and perfect for spring and early summer.

“Silver” – Waxahatchee. Katie Crutchfield has written some great songs over the years, but this might be her best yet.

“Bleeding Blue” – Woods. Love the subtle 1960s nods and that fresh horn line that anchor this song.

“Thinking Of A Place” – The War On Drugs. Here’s the big one! Released on vinyl last week for Record Store Day, the first single from TWOD album IV is just about everything you would expect the next evolution of the band to be. Strap yourself in for an 11-plus minute journey filled with dreamy synths, soaring guitar solos, and moody atmospherics. No official release date for the new album yet, but I’m already getting antsy.

“Right Now” – HAIM. I’ve already read two articles saying this summer, and the rest of 2017, is going to be all about HAIM. And as this Paul Thomas Anderson helmed video shows, that isn’t idle hyperbole. They seem poised to be the biggest thing in music when their album hits in June. They’re pop, rock, indie, soulful, and somehow seem to cross just about every demographic line that has divided up the music world in the digital age. Get ready to either love them, or be totally sick of them. Because the Haim sisters are going to be everywhere for the next 6-8 months.

What If The Beatles Had Said Yes?

Last week was a guest editor week at Kottke. Tim Carmody took over and devoted the week to looking back at where and how the web has evolved over the past decade-plus, and revisiting some of the site’s readers’ favorite parts of the classic web.

On Thursday Carmody posted a piece called The Web is a portal to other words, and included links to all kinds of great What If posts from over the years. I glanced at a few, but one in particular caught my eye and forced me to read through with my full attention. I recommend you do the same, because it’s really fantastic. And even knowing what actually happened over history, there are a few gut punch moments in this alternative timeline

Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer.

BTW, speaking of the classic web, I’m guessing that Kottke is one of the two or three sites I’ve followed the longest. I’m still working through all of Carmody’s pieces from last week, but may have to write more about the classic web soon.

Weekend Wrap

I remember when Mondays used to be my blog catch up day. That’s when I’d drop a buncha words on ya’ll about what had gone down in our house, and with our family, over the previous 72 hours.

But Mondays have, strangely, become my busiest day of the week. Time just seems to fly by and suddenly it’s school pickup time, we have a practice and/or game to get to, and I still haven’t had a chance to sit down and do a weekend summary.

So, a belated one on a Tuesday. Again.

This past weekend was pretty good. Mostly because, as I shared on Friday, we were watching one of our young nephews for the weekend. And Friday daytime was reserved for just me and little M. He’s a really good, sweet kid and we had a lot of fun. We see him about once a week, so he was comfortable with all of us to begin with. He loved playing with the girls when they were around. He and I had a lot of fun together, but it took until Friday evening for him to start climbing up on me and getting right into my face, wanting to mimic the noises I made or try to grab my nose, glasses, or lips. I felt that’s like when I was really Uncle D, someone who is fun and makes him feel safe. We had a stretch each day over the weekend where he would spend about 15 minutes getting right up in my face and messing with me. A couple times he had me laughing so hard I was crying.

The funniest part of the weekend came when we had to deal with his hair. He is African American, and S and I have never had to deal with black baby hair. My sister-in-law left us a detailed list of what products to use, in what order, and how to manage it. I think we did a halfway decent job, the key being halfway. We didn’t make him look like a lunatic or anything, but neither was it as neat as his mom can do.

(As an aside, my sister-in-law too struggled for while figuring out the best way to deal with his hair. One of S’s patient’s mothers is a black woman who was raised by white parents. When she heard my s-i-l was struggling, she put together a care package of products to use, a place to take little M for haircuts, etc. It was a really nice gesture. As the mom told S, “I love my parents, but they had no idea what to do with my hair. It didn’t look right until I got to college and was around some other black folks.” Seems like there should be a whole support network for white people who adopt black kids to teach them how to deal with the hair issues.)

He took a two-hour nap for me Friday, which was awesome. He slept perfectly three of the four nights we had him, and that fourth night he just woke up wet and needed to be changed then went back to sleep. He’s working on his two top teeth, so he was a little cranky at times, but nothing that Motrin didn’t help with.

All-in-all, it was a really good weekend. He’s a lot of fun to be around and it reminded me how that stage was one of my favorites with our girls. The times when they are crawling and interactive, but not yet walking so you can still pin them in a confined area of the house when you need to. It was also a reminder of how having a little one around just destroys your house. Not that our house is always neat, necessarily, but we were dodging baby toys and binkies and books on the floor all weekend. And stepping in wet spots from his teething drool. Yuck! Saturday night the girls and I were looking at some old pictures from when they were little and we laughed when pretty much every picture of the living room showed a floor that was just littered with their messes.

As fun as the weekend was, it was nice to pass him back to his mom when she got home. I’m glad we’re well past the diapers and making bottles and screaming kids at bedtime stages. We just have to deal with two pre-teens who are shitty to each other about 75% of the time, girls who burst into tears for no reason, and rooms that are complete disasters. No biggie.

Oh yeah, we also had a couple other kids stay over on Thursday. We were helping out some friends who both had to be out of town Thursday. So we had six in our house for one night. S said we just needed to add one more and it would have been like her house when she was growing up. Yikes!

Bonus Video

“Starfish and Coffee” – Prince

A year ago I was watching this video – one of the few Prince videos available on YouTube at the time – in tears. Still can’t believe he’s gone, especially as we learned about how troubled his final days/years were.

I’ve read a couple retrospective pieces about Prince today, and one of them included this video. Which was ironic because, in prep for my nephew’s morning nap, we listened to the song together three times: two times through the Prince version, and once through Renee Stahl and Maya Rudolph’s version. I guess Prince was on my mind already, I was tired of singing “Wheels on the Bus,” and figured who better than Uncle D to introduce him to some Prince?

The version I saw last year didn’t have the lead into the song, or the segment after. Seeing those just make this piece even greater.

Friday Photo

This or That, Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF35mm f/2 lens at f/4.0, 1/1400 sec, ISO 200

I took a walk last week at Holliday Park, which is a big, gorgeous, old park wedged in between a few historic neighborhoods on Indy’s northside. It has a huge playground, some cool trails down to the White River, and other interesting things to take pictures of.

I love the large, stone trail markers that are set throughout the park’s wooded areas. Each time I visit, I take dozens of photos of the various markers, hoping that one or two end up being unique. It was purely by accident, but I caught the light and shadows just perfectly on this attempt.

Friday Playlist

It’s a throwback day around our house today. I’m watching one of my 11-month old nephews for the day. It feels like 2005, 2007, or 2009. So I thought for the Spotify portion of the Friday tunes, I’d pull three songs from those years when I was spending each day with my 11-month-olds. There’s some humorous subtext to at least the title of each song.


“Celebrate” – Little Dragon featuring Agge. Appropriate as we passed the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death yesterday, this song sounds right out of his studio circa 1987. This, easily, could have been something he wrote for Sheena Easton. It’s brand-new, though.