A Few Quick Things, vol. 29

rsz_star_trekOur oldest son was sick last week, and went to the medical center at his school. Turns out, he has mono. Right before finals are about to start… Fantastic.

He also had bad pains in his side one night, and texted me at 1 am saying he was going to the emergency room. I stayed up until 5, texting back and forth with him. They did an ultrasound and said his spleen was enlarged, probably as a result of the mono. He was also dehydrated, which I think is standard. Right? Everybody’s dehydrated, at all times. Even though it feels like the entire world is hydrating at an acccelerated clip.

Anyway, he’s better now, and his first final is tomorrow. I think Toney and I are more worried about them than he is, which is also standard. Nothing is easy with that kid; it’s all suspense and concern. Not unlike the episode of The Sopranos when Adriana told Christopher she’s been working with the FBI for a year or so. OK, maybe it’s not that bad… But you get my point.

Have you ever had mono? I think I did, back when everybody called it the Kissing Disease. Needless to say, I wasn’t kissing anyone at the time. It was during Junior High, and I couldn’t even make eye contact with girls. Therefore, my parents thought it was hilarious to say repeatedly, “Who ya been kissing?” Which shined a bright light on my already-obvious hideousness. Ahhh… the good ol’ days.

The boy will be home on Friday, and we’re going to see The Replacements in Philly on Saturday. It’ll be the final US show of the tour, and I’m excited. I saw the band four times during their original run, and they mean a great deal to me. It’ll be a blast to see them with my kids, and 6500 of our closest friends.

The show is outside, and so far the weather is predicted to be perfection. Superchunk is opening, which is awesome, and the reviews of previous shows are almost unanimously positive. The general consensus: the band sounds fucking fantastic. Here’s a random review, talking about their San Francisco concert.

And here’s the current incarnation of the band, just a few months ago on Jimmy Fallon, playing ‘Alex Chilton.’ Can’t wait to see ’em on Saturday!

This is an extremely shitty video of the first Replacements show I ever attended, in 1987 at The Pier in Raleigh. How in God’s name did somebody sneak a 1987 camcorder into that club? Those things probably weighed 35 pounds back then, and probably required a car battery to power them. Unfortunately it cuts off before Westerberg put his foot through the bass drum at the end of the show, and proceeded to destroy the whole drum kit. Oh well.

A few random notes:

Toney and I took a walk yesterday, and passed a house with an emaciated Christmas tree by the curb. It’s May!! I mean, come on. That’s some high-end laziness, right there. The thing still had tinsel on it. Do you know of anything lazier? Any examples? If so, please share.

We’re watching a show called Hotel Hell, starring Gordon Ramsay. It’s one of those deals where some expert goes to a failing business (in this case, hotels) and helps them turn it around. In an episode we saw last week he turned on a black light in his room, and checked out the comforter on the bed. Then he said something that caused me to laugh for five solid minutes: “Look at that! Disgusting. It’s a virtual mosaic of semen.” Toney almost had to put the TV on pause because I couldn’t stop laughing. Great stuff.

I think I’m going to rent a yurt during the first week of June, and get my next novel kicked into gear. Here’s a video of what they look like: exactly the same ones I use. They’re a great place to write, and only cost $35 per day during the off-season. Once schools are out, they go up in price. I’m going the week before that happens.

And I’m out of time, my friends.

For a Question, let’s just go with your spring/summer plans. Got anything cooking? The weather is great here, and it puts me in the mood to plan. What’s your ideas for R&R during Summer 2015? Tell us about it in the comments.

And I’ll see you guys again soon.

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  1. We have a baseball stadium in Morgantown now. I hope to make it to a game there this summer.

  2. madz1962 says

    Sorry to hear about the oldest boy’s mono but glad he’s on the mend.

    My summer plans include scanning Indeed and Monster, writing cover letter after cover letter and willing the goddamn phone to ring.

    We are in the middle of negotiating a condo in Rhode island (because when you’re out of work, the next logical step is to purchase real estate). If this deal goes through I may just say fukkit on the job search and spend the summer on the beach.

    • When I lost my job at Warner Bros. we turned around and booked a trip to England. Big ticket purchases are the thing to do when you lose your job.

  3. Lee in bama says

    Spring and summer plans? Where do I start?
    We’ve been on the “lets make a baby” path for 8 months now, so that’s full steam ahead until something sticks.
    We have our house for sale, but don’t know where we will move when it’s sold.
    I started a consulting business last year, in addition to my full time job. I’ve had 1 client for the last 14 months, and in the last two weeks things have blown up and now I have 2 more clients, one of them being a consulting firm who will contract me out to their clients as well. What the heck? This might be enough to eventually leave cubicle-farm hell and be self employed from home. I’m hoping in the next 12-18 months.
    Life is super busy, a bit stressful, I’m extremely impatient (this whole baby thing is tough on us old gals), and the dollar I planted out back still hasn’t sprouted any money trees or even shrubbery.
    I need a beach vacation soon before I have a melt down/break down.
    All that being said, I’m pretty darn happy with my life and summer is my favorite season.

  4. Like madz1962, I lost my job too about a month ago. After 24 years, a swift kick to the nuts the Thursday before Easter, and my job was eliminated. First time in 39 years I don’t have a paycheck. So summer will pretty much be spent here in the pierogie belt, looking for a job. Yippee!

    • Ugh. I’m sorry to hear that, Joe. I had no idea. I hope they offered you a decent severance package after all that time? Good luck.

    • The Qweezy Mark says

      Given your freedom, you’d better have the nicest lawn in town this year!

  5. Traveling up and down the Western states of OR, CA, and NV. Family members getting married, graduation from college, visiting friends, and a training conference. There is going to be some serious driving this summer (too expensive to fly 3 people back and forth).

  6. johnthebasket says

    Joe and Madz,

    I’ve been messing with LinkedIn, and so far I’ve interested a couple of companies in places I’m not interested in moving to. Yeah, I don’t like LinkedIn so much, but it seems to be pretty active.
    1) Have you tried it?
    2) Opinions of it?

    Good luck to you both and to all the folks looking.


    • madz1962 says

      I was on linkdin but it was through my orevious employer. Then some girl kept gawking at my profile so I haven’t renewed it.

      Ever have someone desperate to be friends and you just getbthat creepy vibe?

      I got a 6 month severance package but trust me, it evaporates fast.

      Good luck JoeT. Better things await us.

      (I have to believe that or I’ll turn to the bottle… of something!)

      • johnthebasket says


        You might want to start LinkedIn clean and sober (the entry, not you), with only objective reference to your orevious employer.

        The activity is fast and not a little furious out there. There are headhunter trolls and placement trolls and contracting trolls, but you’ve been around long enough to spot those. There are also genuine employers out there. Also, when you apply for a job, you can refer your prospective employer to your LinkedIn account so they can lamp your experience.

        I’m not pimping for LinkedIn. It sucks in many ways, but it is a tool to get your resume to prospective employers. And, if you don’t go with the deluxe version, which I would never do, it’s free.

        I’ll let you know whether I find a job or end up getting jumped by a squad of neo-nazis. I’m hoping for the former, which is why I eschew Craig’s fucking List.

        I feel for you. I, also, have worked for a couple orevious employers. My nuts still hurt.


    • I’m all linked in and such, but I think I’m like you…I don’t get the point. Do employers cruise the site looking for Mr or Ms Right?

    • I’m all linked in and such, but I think I’m like you…I don’t get the point. Do employers cruise the site looking for Mr or Ms Right? Good luck to you too Madz. Two things, I was at a required class at the unemployment center today. In the class was a guy who asked how to spell “resume”‘ and another one who asked if you need a driver’s license before you can get a CDL. Depression hit me at that point.

      • “I can’t spell VW but I drive a Porsche.”

        • Franky T. says

          … Because I’m a blonde?

          “My father’s outta Harvard
          My brother’s outta Yale
          But the guy I took home last night
          Just got outta jail.”

          Love that Julie Brown!

  7. I’m glad to hear the boy is on the mend.

    I’ve never had mono, but I have had German measles.

    That 1987 “camcorder” might have been an Ikegami HL-83, with accompanying Sony BVU-50 and battery belt.

    My LinkedIn is tied to my home email, not work. I figure that whatever benefit there may be is for me, not for my employer.

    All I have this summer is a fambly reunion, which might not exactly qualify as a “vacation”.

    Wow, what a random sequence of crap I just wrote. Except the first one; that wasn’t crap.

  8. Skippy in WV says

    On Wednesday I’m traveling to Richmond, Va to see Marilyn Manson with a good friend. I’m getting married this fall so my summer is spent planning for the wedding. Yay.

  9. revashane says

    In my youth I was a radio dj. The summer of my first job I noticed a Christmas tree on the interstate. I talked about it and got great responses. I worked at stations up and down the east coast and have always found Christmas trees on the road in the summer. Retired now and living in Arkansas and sure as shit I saw a Christmas tree on the interstate last week.
    This summer we are going to South Carolina and buy a beach house for retirement, Property is so cheap we gotta jump and then wait 2 yrs before we move. Looking at an old place a few blocks off the beach. There will be an open door policy at Casa Revashane for all at the Surf Report/ MSucks fambly.

    • I’m selling a beach house on Isle of Palms as soon as I finish foreclosing on it.

  10. This summer is our 30th wedding anniversary. We were planning to go on a Caribbean cruise (never been before) but we had to break down and finally buy another car since mine decided to take an early retirement! So now we’ll probably go on a nice, long road trip to anywhere but here! 🙂

    Oh–and we have plenty of neighbors who still have Christmas lights up on their houses. Maybe they’re going to use them for Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, the 4th of July…or Halloween!

  11. Summer plans… last half of May and first half of June are going to be spent hopping around Europe starting with a week in Rome->Florence->Venice->Vienna->Ljubljana->Vienna->Paris->London. I’m blowing through all my vacation, airline, and hotel points and doing the whole 25 days in 5 star hotels and first class flights for almost free (had to pay $2500 in fuel surcharges and taxes). The last half of my summer will probably be spent wishing I hadn’t used up all my vacation time in one fell swoop.

  12. Yeah, being dehydrated is like being fat. If a doctor ever looks at you, you are dehydrated and fat. And also probably lying about not smoking. No matter what you are dehydrated and fat, until you a too skinny and in a comatose state due to over hydration.
    Before I met him, when my wife was a kid, my father-in-law would keep the undecorated Christmas tree up in the house until July 4th. Then they would bring it outside and explode its dehydrated wood carcass with fireworks.
    This summer I plan on spending every day swearing at my broken over complicated sprinkler system that only need to water 750sq ft of grass but has never correctly done so.

  13. madz1962 says

    If anyone is keeping score, we withdrew our offer on the condo. After the inspection we asked for a 3500 credit which was very generous considering the shit hole they werev unloading. yhey came back with 500. And they won’t budge. So with a flip of the middle finger we told them to stuff it.

  14. I was laid off 6 weeks ago, so the summer will be spent job hunting. Thanks to a fairly generous severance package AND cashing out my 401K, I should be able to take a relaxed approach to employment for a little while.

    We’re planning to head to Maine this summer, and take a wandering drive home through VT, upstate NY and the back roads of PA and VA. I’ll worry about full time employment in the fall, just as my kid starts high school (and ROTC).

    • Oh, that sucks about the layoff. Sorry to hear it. I would say to watch out for the tax consequences of cashing out the 401k, but I guess you’ve done your homework.

      I lived in upstate NY for several years, and I’ll say it’s utterly gorgeous in the spring and fall. Summer is OK, but it can get a little warm when you don’t have air conditioning. If you’ll be driving the Hudson Valley, I can recommend the Aerodrome in Old Rhinebeck (I can’t be bothered to google the proper name) – it’s a museum, partially “living”, with seriously old airplanes – World War 1 and before. Get a ride in a 100-year-old biplane! There are lots of other things to see and do; maybe dinner at the CIA.

      And if I’m not mistaken, I-84 is the southernmost Hudson river crossing that doesn’t have a toll.

      • madz1962 says

        The Newburgh-Beacon bridge on 84 has a toll. That would be the most southern crossing on 84. I think it’s still .75 cents which at least makes it the cheapest.

        • Chill – Even with the penalty, I will still come out ahead. The Company went public within the last year, and the funds aren’t doing so well. I’m jumping ship financially to avoid a worse bath in the coming months.

          Thanks for the heads up regarding tolls and places to visit! We’re trying to avoid the usual route, which is 95/495/295/95 (perhaps not in that order). Tolls and gas usually run us around $400 or more, which is still cheaper than 3 people flying round trip and renting a car in Maine. We’ll be in The County, which is as far up as you can go before hitting Canada.

          • Take the Palisades Parkway to the Bear Mountain Bridge, then find the Merritt Parkway to traverse CT if that’s your thing. BEAUTIFUL and away from the madding crowds. There’s a good rest stop right after you get over the bridge.

  15. BTW, in high school The Qweezy Mark was known as the “Mono King.”

    • johnthebasket says

      Is that because all the other guys were doing it in stereo?

    • The Qweezy Mark says

      That lawn ain’t gonna cut itself, Joe. Have you been productive today?

      • The Qweezy Mark says

        I actually haven’t done a damn thing all week. The new system in my industry renders me pretty dormant at times. I did tie one on on Wednesday night, though. Vodka and oysters.

  16. Sphincter-clincher: The Replacements postponed last night’s show in Pittsburgh and tonight’s show in Columbus “due to illness.” If Saturday goes down in flames, I’m going to be one sad fat man.

    • Maybe it’s mono?

    • Jazzbone Swirly says

      Paul might be on a bender

      • Jazzbone Swirly says

        I would hate for that to be true, however. He’s apparently been sober since the 1990s.

        • They’re on the move. They were spotted in Gettysburg this morning. They’re scheduled to play DC on Friday. And Toney says I’m acting like a 14 year old girl getting ready to see One Direction.

          • madz1962 says

            That was a funny remark from Toney!

            And the condo deal is still alive. We may close in a week.