I. Love. My. Dahhhhhgs: Proof that I can hold two opposing ideas in my mind simultaneously.

Do I like the smell of pee? Do I enjoy picking up pieces of poo or scraping channels of packed poo out of my tennis shoe treads with a toothpick? Does it feel good when a “power chewer” clamps his jaws on the middle of my hand when I’m simply trying to break up a vicious 3 AM fight between two male puppies who both believe they are the Alpha? Does a bear shit in the master bathroom and wipe its ass with Charmin?

Negatory.

When I’m away from home, do I pine for six precious little puppy eyes? Do I adore doggie kisses even when they leave a schmear of shit-smell on my skin? Are MY dogs the cutest fur-babies in the entire known universe? Does a bear shit in the woods?

Abso-fucking-lutely.

Update From the Heart of Hess 9

7/1/16
Update from the Heart of Hess:

Now, I’ve never cut anyone open from throat to tummy with a sharp instrument before – so I’m not saying it’s easy – but I grew up watching my grandparents clean fish out at my granddaddy’s pond, and in his 70’s, Papa could gut bream like they came with factory perforations. His handwriting looked like a drunk practicing penmanship with his non-dominant hand during a ride in a rusty pick-up with worn-out shocks on a dirt road after heavy rains. But, goddamned if he didn’t slit a straight line in a fish that might even still be squirming to get away. So, you can see why I’m baffled by the veering wound down Hess’s chest after his heart surgery.

Hess's chest wound

As if I needed another reason to hate on Dr. Toothy, a.k.a. Doodie Chowser, M.D. But, come on. Even the Jehovah’s Witness who stopped in earlier this week commented that she’d “never seen a heart surgery wound so crooked,” which leads me to believe A) she might really be a home healthcare worker after all, and B) Doodie had pot brownies for breakfast the day he operated on my husband, or Katharine Hepburn did NOT, in fact, die in 2003 and has been immersed in researching her role as an asshole cardiac surgeon for the upcoming re-imagining of Adam’s Rib. And come to think of it, Doodie DOES have a horsey face. I’m liking this theory.

Anyway: the jiggly hypotenuse of a scar on my husband’s chest. Was Hess trying to dodge Doodie in the OR? Was he placed by mistake on one of those vibrating beds instead of a proper operating table? Was there perhaps a loud cover band playing “Wipeout” on the floor below? Who can say? All I know is that Hess looks like he might’ve had a drug deal go sour with a kindergartner.

If you want to get down to it, the meandering river of an arm wound where Doodie harvested Hess’s radial artery looks ever worse:

Hess's arm wound

And now, NOW, we’ve got a serious problem. As we wash and swab with Betadine the gradually drying, hardening protective wound cover his body has produced, I see the desire sparking in Hess’s eyes because, Reader: My darling is a picker. Loose skin, errant mustache hairs, nostril dwellers, scabs – These beauties are a plate of pastries and pie wedges in front of a woozy diabetic.

Because I’m deaf, God has gifted me with the heightening of other senses in compensation; I’m not sure how this makes up for my inability to hear music, conversation, laughter, and evidence of achievement during sex, but I’m blessed with the olfactory skills of a bloodhound. I can detect urine at 2 parts per million and the remnant of a cigarette smoked by a pizza delivery guy fourteen years ago at 200 yards. Thank you, Jesus!

Also, I have a “picking” radar with the accuracy of Mormon sperm. Bulls eye, every time! If I’m driving, and Hess’s pointing finger gets within one-inch of his nose hole, I’m on it like Bill Cosby on a roofied blonde.

Early in our relationship, I’d say something like, “Can I get you a shovel?” and we’d both die laughing. Now, if I notice and mention any of Hess’s picking, he looks at me all slitty-eyed with his lips in a constricted little O not unlike the rectum of a drug mule who’s just spotted a road block.

I admit that when I’m filled with anxiety, I gnaw at my fingernails, which drives Hess mad. And, at least once a day, I put the household through the agony of Elane’s Clearing of the Bronchial Tubes, and I’m SORRY I have to hack up small chunks of lung with such wet auditory detail. But, you have to understand, Reader, that Hess can take a teeny scar from a scraped knee and pick at it until it looks like we’re cultivating a good-sized cauliflower crop on his leg. I can’t tell you how many times he’s created Niagaras of blood down a limb where a scratch was almost healed.

So, now do you grasp our dilemma, Reader, do you? Tonight, when we saw for the first time that the arm scab has just started to lift off at one end, we shared twin looks of horror that said, “Trump is the Republican nominee for fucking president!” But, we were really just aghast because we recognized the allure of all that luscious scabbing to a man helpless to resist its siren call. God! There’s going to be blood everywhere, just everywhere, and he’s going to pick that arm wound until it’s the width of the Mississippi. Do you all think a straight-jacket would help? Not for Hess. For me, people. For me.

Update From the Heart of Hess 8

6/29/16 & 6/30/16
Update from the Heart of Hess:

All righty. Let’s see. Covering two days here, so get comfy on that toilet, Reader.

The home healthcare people did not come by on Wednesday as the rep said they would, so we were kind of in limbo, waiting to ask questions and whatnot. Then, a woman came this morning (Thursday) when I was fast asleep, so I have no idea what went down. She could’ve been a Jehovah’s Witness for all I know or someone selling magazine subscriptions to fund her “senior trip,” and I guess the upside is all the money I’ll save by not having to buy Christmas gifts anymore, or we might have some rockin’ new periodicals on the way.

(My sincere apologies to any Jehovah’s Witnesses I’ve offended, but what are you doing on FaceBook, anyway, since it’s the Devil! Run! Oh, my Gahhhhhddddd, Runnnnnnn!) But, the problem here is that I was asleep. Dead to the world. Visiting the Land of La-squared.

If I didn’t need to sleep, I could get almost everything accomplished especially Hess’s and my grades, which are so, so behind. It looks like we’ve worked out with our dean to have someone else cover Hess’s SNHU courses starting next week. And, let me tell you, that will be a BLESSinnnnnnnng. And a half.

It’s not JUST because there are two assignments per week times over 60 students (in three classes) times the two weeks I’m behind for a grand total of over 240 assignments glaring at me from the gradebook. 240. Assignments. To. Grade. PLUS the current week’s additional 42 assignments in my class to grade by Sunday. FML.

It’s mainly because there is also an endless supply of discussion board posts to answer every day and student emails that need responses and student problems that need to be corrected. AND, when there is ONE student who sucks up your time like a hooker named Hoover, well. You can imagine. (Not the hooker. Focus here.)

So, there is a student in one of poor Hess’s courses whose life philosophy is this: (super whiny and nasally voice) “It REALLY hurts when I stab myself in the guts with this Ginsu-sharp knife, and even though everyone’s told me that the pain will stop if I just quit stabbing myself, I just feel like if someone would DO something to make this not hurt anymore, everything would be all right.” The student sends a flurry of increasingly agitated emails and matching posts to the General Questions forum at the least hint of distress, so we’re met with a wall of whine every time we go to class or check the email.

I spent nearly two of my very precious hours trying to sort out her issues today. I finally, finally got her to contact Tech Support, and guess what??! Guesssssss! Tech Support lobbed it right back in my court probably because the IT guy couldn’t get her to stop stabbing herself either. I hate him and wish a painful pox on his loins.

But, the damned DAY before the heart cath, this crap started, and Hess was honestly beside himself with stress over the student’s bombardment. It felt almost good to send her a reply that might have possibly kind of suggested that I really appreciate how much STRESS she caused my husband, who was now being scheduled for an emergency quadruple bypass, which may or may not have been exacerbated by recent STRESS.

Yes, some of you may be thinking, “Well, Elane, you could be grading right now instead of writing long, long updates.” If you’re one of those folks, please kiss the fattest part of my ass on your way out. Not only is this the only way I maintain a shred of sanity, but I vomit these things out like whatever that was that Teddy puked allllll over the kitchen floor today.

In fact, it takes me less time to write an update than it took me to clean up allllllll that Teddy vomit, partly because I’ve run out of paper towels cleaning up various fluids over the last couple of days and can’t go to the store because “The patient must be attended 24/7 for the first 2 weeks.”

Speaking of fluids, besides the copious amounts of pee I’ve swabbed this week, today, as I mentioned on FB, the skies opened up and rained on us like a cow peeing on a flat rock, and I totally forgot that there is a leak in our bedroom ceiling, which I didn’t recall until I picked up from the dresser top some slipper socks to shove on my freezing feet, and water poured out of them and onto the floor the same way a showerhead does when it’s on full blast and someone neglects to close the shower curtain all the way. Hess.

But that’s okay because I had one clean towel left that absorbed an astonishing amount of water from the bathroom floor, and I had to wash linens anyway since Teddy woke me up this morning by dragging his freshly diarrhea-y butt across my arm and the bed sheets. Really. It’s okay. Racing stripes are cool.
And, see? We’re back to where I started: Teddy had to wake me up because I was asleep.

I stayed up into the wee hours trying to finish grades – hahaha! And, at around 5 AM, Hess jolted me awake because he was distraught over the CPAP machine doing something or not doing something, and because I was going on about 2 hours of sleep, I handled the situation much like a crack whore on a bender. I fell back asleep, and at 10 AM, Hess jolted me awake because he needed his blood pressure assessed before morning meds. And although nearly five plus nearly two seems like it would add up to nearly seven hours of quality sleep, no. When that shit ain’t consecutive, forget it. I feel like I’m in a secret sleep deprivation study.

Meanwhile, Hess took the wrong damned meds, sent a few email responses to students that were either gibberish or maybe Farsi, and then let some woman in who probably thought I was a total bitch for sleeping while my frail, recovering husband was toddling around unattended. Man, I can’t wait until the reinforcements get here. Those are coming, aren’t they?

A Little Consideration, Please

You know, it is evil to post photos of people on social websites without their permission. I have never, ever, ever liked having my picture taken because taken means stolen, and whatever tribe it is that believes cameras steal your soul is absofuckinglutely right. One should not have to suffer even in private the humiliation of the hard, cold pictorial evidence of one’s actual appearance, yet alone in a global forum teeming with former high school classmates’ malicious anticipation that you are more swollen than they are.

I prefer to live in a sort of delusion that I don’t really resemble what a Polaroid says I do. If you have seen a photo of me, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. My fat fricking chinnage looks like one of those inner tubes for river rafting, or like Trump when he’s sputtering. Coincidentally, my upper torso appears to have been inflated by a gigantic air mattress pump perhaps inserted into one of those little plastic valves that may be hidden beneath my back-fat folds. Who knows what’s all up under there? You can understand why I don’t willingly pose for posterity. It’s totally unfair to be the cause of mass pukery.

Now I realize that many folks enjoy flaunting the goods, especially when they are young and firm and dumbasses. I mean, who out there hasn’t allowed the occasional tasteful Hustler-crotch-shot or the harmless sex-with-multiple-kitchen-accessories tape? What? Yes, I meant besides Paris Hilton and anyone who assists Hef with his catheter and collection bag. What? No one? Huh.

Well, booby shots, then. Everyone does that. Even Pippa. And what happens to all embarrassing exposures the second the image develops? They pop up on Facebook. Or somebody’s ex sells them to a skin mag. Whatever. Why can’t we all just show a little more consideration? Here are some pointers that might help: Don’t let anyone ever shove a camera in your hoo-ha. Don’t generate a penis gallery with your own damned cell phone. Don’t smoke. It kills. (I just had to throw that in there.) And please don’t put my age- and jumbo-bags-of-Kit-Kats-tarnished image on display without checking with me first. My answer will always be “no,” but it is strictly in the best interest of public safety.

You Know What Sucks? LipoSUCtion.

I admit it. I’ve had liposuction. It hurt like a mother, but it did do exactly what the doctor claimed it would. It “reshaped” my trouble areas. The only thing is that the new shape is more Quasimodo than Barbie. Never did the physician tell me that once I had fat sucked out of my squarish hips and my inner thighs—which I always wanted to have a space between while my feet were together the way cheerleader legs have—that fat cells would sprout up in places I’d never had them before.

In case you’re not familiar, here’s how liposuction works in twenty easy steps:

1.)    Anesthesia is administered, but apparently it is only the “twilight” kind which doesn’t deaden a goddamned thing but makes you “forget” the pain. My ass.

2.)    Incisions are made in areas near the suction sites. The surgeon skillfully slices your tender flesh open with something mother-fucking sharp. I remember thinking, “That son-of-a-bitch is using something mother-fucking sharp to slice the tender flesh of my…private area, which I clearly did not give permission for him to do.” What I actually said was, “Ouch. Ouch. Ouch,” while some gloved hand repeatedly slapped mine away.

3.)    A very long, straw-like canula (from the Latin word for reed because the canula is hollow and large like a reed instrument such as a fucking clarinet), is threaded into the incision and down to the suction site where it is then jammed over and over and over into tender flesh to hack away large portions of fat-cell-filled tissue and to suck them out. The contents are vacuumed into an extra-extra-large Ziplock bag. The canula is mother-fucking sharp.

4.)    There is no attempt at actual cosmetic shaping because the surgeon is too busy viciously slashing as if he is angry with the fat or with you or with all of humanity.

5.)    Once the carnage is over, the incision sites are stitched, and compression garments are heaved up over your vacuumed areas.

6.)    You are sent home high on some drug, your incisions leaking excess saline tinged with your blood, which you deserve to have stain and ruin the car’s upholstery if you forgot to bring old towels.

7.)    You are in sweaty delirium and scathing pain for days and days until you go back to the doctor to have him take out your stitches, which is akin to having some son-of-a-bitch stick needles into your inflamed bruises and then rip them out really fast.

8.)    You continue to wear the compression garments for several weeks, and you may or may not get used to peeing through the cut-out hole in the girdle.

9.)    Finally, the day comes to remove all the bandaging and to view the new you.

10.)  There is lots and lots of cussing.

11.)  You are all lumpy and green and yellow and not at all svelte like those brochure thighs in the waiting room.

12.)  You wait patiently for years for the brochure thighs, which never materialize.

13.)  Meanwhile, your sides grow considerable handholds, which flop over the elastic waistbands you now are forced to wear.

14.)  Your upper back has folds.

15.)  Your upper gut looks like it’s expecting. Triplets.

16.)   No clothes of any kind ever fit correctly again.

17.)  You no longer fit into the “apple” or the “pear” category. You are one of those bumpy, misshapen gourds that comes out only at Halloween.

18.)  You never wear a swimsuit to the beach for the rest of your life without someone calling for a marine rescue.

19.)  There is still no space between your thighs when your feet are together.

20.)  The only thing that sucks more than liposuction is that you have no one but your own sorry fat ass to blame.

Plumbfucking Plumbing

I have a problem with my plumbing, and, no, I do not mean that plumbing. Although at my advanced age, I could technically be talking about that plumbing. But I’m not. You don’t need to know the status of my goddamned vayjayjay. I’m talking about plumbing. You know: water issues in my house.

The first problem is that the water pressure in the kitchen sink used to be about as strong as the stream of an 80-year-old with a bowling ball for a prostate. Then the phenomenally gifted maintenance staff at our complex fixed it. Now when we turn on the faucet, water firehoses out with intermittent jackhammer bursts of nuclear power. The sound is especially pleasing.

My bathtub’s pressure, on the other hand, changes with its temperature. I can choose freezing-ass dribbles or a scalding-ass spray. Neither one can rinse the dry off a cotton ball, but clean is so overrated anyway.

Another fabulous feature of my bathroom is the unintended bidet. You know what a bidet is, don’t you? You in the back? No? Has your head been up your ass until now? Maybe if you had a bidet you would know these things because it would have washed your head out of your ass.

That’s right. A bidet is a separate potty-looking thing that shoots a plume of water up your ass so that you don’t have to sully your hands or precious sensibilities with toilet paper like the little people. My father had one installed in his master bath once, and I thought, Oh, how cute. His-and-her toilets for the couple who can’t bear to be apart for even one shitting second. Literally. And then I used the weird looking toilet because I didn’t know it was a bidet, and water shot all up my…wait. I said I wasn’t talking about my goddamned vayjayjay. Nice try.

Anyway, my current toilet has a vicious pressure when it’s flushed. Water blasts out of the front at the speed of light, and I swear I don’t have a single wrinkle in the privates anymore because of the defacto laser treatments. And the shock of an unexpected tepid torpedo of H2O to the pelvis-y area is an extra little wake-up call each morning. It’s difficult to go back to sleep once your loins have been bitch-slapped. Plus, it’s hard to argue with the supreme clean of a sand-blasted genital. Wait. What? Am I talking about my…Dammit.

Some People Suck.

Oh, good GOD. People are such inconceivable pustules sometimes. I swear I felt like an Iraqi village today, all besieged and molested. First, this guy who obviously has a wee little peepeepee cut me off on Interstate 75 lest I arrived three-point-six frucking seconds ahead of him at the light at the end of the off-ramp.

Then, once I made it to a parking spot after following an idiot on the other end of the speed spectrum who insisted upon taking seven hours to go over each of the four-hundred speed bumps in the school lot, I watched this guy light up a cancer stick right in front of the sign that says, NO SMOKING: Because we care. My ASS. The campus security guys smoke right there all the time! And this jerk today happened also to have those preposterous low, low riding jeans puddled around his ankles. What is the point of those? Don’t these nimrods realize they look like they’re walking around in a Depends®-sized shit-diaper?

But then! The best thing EVER happened. I wheezed through the asshole’s wall of smoke and headed to the elevator, which is at the far end of a third-floor breezeway. The lift door opened, and out stepped a young woman…with a cigarette to her goddamned lips. She whuffed out a copious cloud of the second-hand variety and glared at me with her super intelligent eyes filled with “I love humanity” attitude. No matter that it is against the fucking law to smoke here and that there are five billion signs with the little red slash through the lit cigarette. Why, why wasn’t I brave enough to push her ass over the rail? She slipped on her sliminess, officer.

After class, I found myself forced to go to my favorite place, Walmart, home of vraiment chic people with whom I want to have wine and cheese. Vexing experiences today at Wally World! I turned a corner in the sock section only to run into a buggy that some slumbag had left blocking the aisle. In it were the desecrated remains of some high-fat, processed food products. That’s stealing, slumbag! And I can’t even express without apoplexy the lagoon creature who barked into a cell phone the entire time it was in line. It did not acknowledge the cashier or the fact that it was not at home in its mudbog. I. DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND. PEOPLE. The upside is that nothing’s bad enough that a few good funerals won’t take care of it.

Thank You Notes for April 13

Dear spring weather in Middle Georgia,

You are usually such an enjoyable season what with your plethora of fragrant blooms, your gentle breezes that whip my hair lightly from my face so that I go around looking like a celebrity in a music video, and your temperate sunshiny days that crisp up nicely after cool-enough-not-to-need-the-AC nights. So I really appreciate your completely considerate shift to one million degrees this afternoon just as I was leaving for work. Keep up the trend! It’s awesome sweating so much that the raging rivulets carve an actual valley between my boobs. A family of deer and a couple of sparrows have moved in. Thanks.

Elane

Dear every single red light from my house to work,

Thank you for managing to turn red immediately before my car arrived at each of your intersections and for staying red as long as possible even when no other vehicles were visible for three hundred miles. Great work!

Elane

Dear air conditioner in my car,

Thank you SO much for fucking up. TODAY!

Elane

Dear April 13, 2011,

The only way you could suck any more is if you were on Friday.

Elane