Friday, September 24, 2010

Hilarious or frightening?

A friend of a friend found a purse in PB. While going through it to find out who it belonged to, he found this list of "goals" inside.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way

I am at home sick today. We had a poker tournament over here yesterday, and I ordered pizza from a local place. I thought it was fine (I am not very picky) but a couple of people mentioned that they did not care for it. One guy apparently went home and was sick all night. I woke up this morning feeling fine, but have had major gastro-intestinal distress all morning. I've got some serious abdominal cramps going on.

I can;t get much done around the house since I am in pain, so I am getting a few things done for work on my computer. I am camped out on the back balcony of my house watching airplanes take off and land at Lindbergh field. That by itself is not especially thrilling, but it is a little more interesting when you listen to the Air Traffic Controller.

There goes Southwest 897. Bye Bye. Have fun in Houston.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Important Conversations

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Luck when it counts.

I've done some incredibly stupid things in my life. I am lucky not to have not gotten arrested and jailed for many of them. There are a few other incidents that I am lucky to have lived through.

One night, in the winter of my sophomore year, I was in rare form and managed to polish off nearly an entire bottle of bourbon. Only 20 years old, I already had plenty of experience drinking hard alcohol and knew my tolerances... or so I thought. I failed to take note of the fact that this stuff was 103 proof. So when I approached what I thought was pushing the limit... it was already far too much. As I downed the last swig from the bottle, I knew I was going to regret this night.

I remember walking home in the snow, and collapsing about a block from my house. I managed to crawl the last 200 ft and made it into the side door, soaking wet and cold. I lived in a room off the basement that shared a wall with my roommate Chris. I dragged myself towards my bedroom. I didn't quite make it. I laid in the doorway, half in and out of my room. I felt like every breath was an effort. I tried to get up.. and fell back down. My stomach tensed and I threw up. I didn't have the energy to even lift my head, so my head rested in my own vomit on the carpet. I could barely breathe now. I was so weak I felt like it took a conscious effort to keep my heart beating. I lost all control of my bladder and bowels. When that happened, I felt there was a very good chance I was going to die. Even in this most depraved moment, I was able to comprehend what a tragically pitiful way this would be to end my life. Even having lost control of nearly all body functions, my mind was still aware of the severity of the situation. I knew I was in a bad spot. I was unable to physically help myself. I could not move, so I could not get to the phone to dial 911. My only hope was to try and get the attention of my roommate.

"Help," I mumbled. Nowhere near loud enough. I took a minute to save up the energy for another attempt.

"HELP!" I gasped. It was louder but still probably not enough to rouse him from bed. I figured I had enough energy for maybe one more attempt... so it had better be good. I rationed up the energy and yelled with everything I had left.

"HELPPPPPPPP!!" That was it. I had nothing left. I was resigned to whatever happened at that point. I passed out.

I woke up to freezing cold water blasting my face. Chris and his girlfriend had heard my cries for help and saw my legs extending from my doorway. They found me unconscious in my own piss, shit, and puke. They rolled me onto my comforter and dragged me to the downstairs shower. I sat in the water for a bit. Still too weak to move, they helped get me out of my clothes...which Chris threw in the garbage. I tried to drink some of the shower water but I kept choking.

"hospital..." I whispered.

"OK...I'll get the car."

I nodded..."hospital..." and lost consciousness again.

I woke up in the ER, with an plastic bracelet around one wrist and an IV in the other. There was a cord with a red button at the end of it laying near my hand. I pressed it. A nurse eventually walked in.

"How are you feeling?" I thought about it for a moment and answered honestly.

"Fantastic." I really did.

"I'll let the doctor know you're awake."

I looked around at the equipment in the room. I had a pulse monitor on my index finger and saw the readout on the digital machine it connected to. 72 beats per minute. There were several bags of IV fluid hanging from a hook above me, some empty. A clear liquid quickly dripped through a tube and directly into my bloodstream. There was another larger bag hanging from a hook below me. It was almost full. I traced the tube from that bag up underneath the sheets and found it ended at the tip of my penis.

"Oh.My.God."

Beep Beep Beep Beep. The machine now showed my heart rate at 110. Suddenly I did not feel so fantastic anymore. the severity of the ordeal was becoming clear to me. I was also incredibly uncomfortable having become aware of the long plastic tube that had been jammed through my prick to siphon the urine directly from my bladder. I knew that thing was going to have to come out... and I was not looking forward to its removal.

The doctor arrived and wasted no time explaining to me what a colossal moron I am. He explained that I arrived unclothed, wet, wrapped in a blanket, and near death. I was in hypothermia with a body temperature of 95 degrees. My pulse had slowed to 48. My blood alcohol content was .37. They jammed a tube into my stomach and filled it with charcoal to absorb anything still left in there. Then they pumped it out. They pushed fluids intravenously to rehydrate me. They inserted a catheter to remove that fluid as it passed through me. He explained that I surely would have died without treatment. He was not gentle about it. I believe the question he asked was, "Do you have any fucking idea how lucky you are?"

If his scathing admonishment didn't make enough of an impact on me, the agonizing pain I felt when they removed that catheter... did. It hurts just to think about.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My first fight.

I was 16. This kid, Wesley Forehand, was cruising around my neighborhood with a couple of his buddies. One of them, this little twerp named Scott Gorman, grabbed a bag of grass clippings and threw it onto the my friend Sarah's driveway. It broke open. Sarah yelled at him to pick it up. He called her a bitch. I walked over to see what his problem was... and to get him to clean it up...not realizing I was being baited into a physical confrontation by a trio of delinquents. They were just looking to find an outlet for some pent up macho energy. Any one of them could've just hit me and I would never have seen it coming. But like most macho idiots, they needed to get me to say something that they could use to justify their impending actions. At this age, most kids were all bark and no bite, so I didn't really think anything was going to happen. I figured I'd tell them to shut up and they would eventually leave. I was wrong. Scott started calling me a pussy...repeatedly. Then he shoved me. He was a lot smaller than me, so I thought it odd that he would try to intimidate me physically. I shoved him back. He went toppling over his bike that lay behind him. That's when Wes said, "That's it!" and pulled his shirt off...giving me a split second to realize what was happening. I had never been in a fight, but I remember my dad saying to me once: "If you can work it out by talking, then do that. If you can run, then run. But if you must fight... then make sure you hit him first, hit him as hard as you can, and as many times as you can." So when Wes came at me with his head down (it seemed he was looking to tackle me) it allowed me to put him in a side headlock with one arm, and beat his face in with the other. I heeded my father's words. I was still hitting him when I felt him become heavier and heavier. I was holding him up completely for the last few punches, until he became too heavy. He fell to the grass with a thud. He appeared to be unconscious. A moment went by before I realized what had happened. And then a strange thing happened. I started apologizing. I leaned over and asked if he was ok. I heard muffled moans. I touched his shoulder and apologized again. He eventually rolled over. I had smashed up his face pretty bad. His nose was gushing blood, and his lips were split. He crawled up into a sitting position and kept touching has hand to his face and looking at the blood saying "You broke my nose... You broke my nose." I felt sick.

I apologized again and said something like, "This didn't need to happen" as I turned to pick up my hat that had fallen off during the fight. When I straightened up, everything went white for a second and I felt like I had just woken up. I was dizzy. It wasn't until I saw the third kid, Jesse Ribbey, holding his hands up in a fighting stance, that I realized I had been hit. It was the first time I'd been squarely socked in the face. I touched my fingers to my lip, and looked down to see blood. I tasted it in my mouth. He had totally sucker punched me. He must've felt a bit cowardly, because he didn't hit me again, though he was shuffling and bouncing around like a boxer. My useless friends finally stepped between him and I, and I began walking away. No one came after me. It wasn't until I got to Sarah's house and saw what he had done to my face, that I actually became angry. I wanted to go back outside and fight him, but Sarah's father stopped me. It was probably a good thing. Jesse was a tough kid and would've hurt me pretty bad.

While I was inside tending to my face, Wesley was calling his older brother, a tough-guy named Billy. Wes spread the blood all over his face, and when Billy arrived he told him that I had attacked him. Billy showed up at the door to Sarah's house threatening to kill me. Sarah's dad chased him off, but only after getting on the phone and calling the police. Great... now I have this psychopath chasing me down.

Sarah's dad drove me home and I explained what happened to my parents. They instantly placed blame on me...standard operating procedure in the Kelley household. Sarah's father interjected and explained that I was standing up for his daughter and defending myself. Only then did they seem to become concerned about my injuries.

Apparently I had twisted my ankle during the scuffle and was limping around. Since I had heard my friends tell me they saw Billy Forehand cruising around the neighborhood on his moped, I chose to use a cane that would double as a blunt weapon if I needed it. At school it was a 5-iron. At home in the neighborhood it was a wooden baseball bat.

The stalkings from the older brother became worse. Someone had told him where I lived and he showed up outside the house. My father called the cops, but Billy left before they showed up. My Dad looked up the number in the phonebook and talked to their father on the phone. Apparently the Dad was a bigger moron than the kids, telling my father that I had attacked his son and that I had a beating coming. Yay!

And then... something really weird happened.

One day during band practice, Dave's dad came upstairs and said that Wes Forehand was outside and wanted to talk to me. I looked outside and saw him standing in the driveway. I saw a pickup truck parked across the street with someone in it. The three of us walked outside. I turned to Dave and Kevin. "You gonna watch my back this time?" They promised not to let anyone sucker punch me.

"I'm just here to talk," Wes said, holding his hands up.

I walked up to him, trying to look relaxed but nervous as hell. Dave and Kevin stood a few feet behind me. Wes sort of hung his head sheepishly as I approached. "Hey Greg," Wes said. "I just came by to apologize. You kicked my ass fair and square. I shouldn't have told my brother that you started it. That was fucked up... and I'm sorry." He extended his hand.

I was floored. I looked across the street. I could see Billy forehand sitting in the driver's seat of the pickup truck. This was strange.

"Alright," I said and shook his hand.

"So we're good?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said. "We're good."

"Alright. Thanks, man." He turned, walked to the truck, and got it in. They drove away.

As it turned out, Billy had a rap sheet and had done time in Juvenile Hall. Sarah's father had included in the police report that Billy had threatened to kill me. And then when my father called to report that he was stalking our home... some representative of the law paid Billy a little visit. I don't know if the cops gave him an ultimatum or what, but word got back to me that Billy was looking at more jail time just for making the threats. Also, word had gotten back to Billy that I didn't attack his brother... that it was the other way around and that I was just defending myself. He was pissed. This would explain why Billy personally escorted Wes to apologize to me... I still don't know whether it was the cops or Billy that insisted upon it.

What an ordeal. I suppose it ended well enough. Going forward after that, I felt like it was smarter to avoid confrontation than to have to go through something like this again. Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating being a pussy... just that sometimes its better to laugh things off.