Tag Archives: 30 Rock

Ten Things I Don’t Know How To Do (and will never learn)

I just heard about a new link up at a blog called Mama Kat’s Losin’ It. Participants are offered a choice of five different writing prompts. I chose “Ten Things I Don’t Know How to Do.” Coming up with stuff I suck at?  Piece of cake. And, being the curious cat that I am, I decided to take a look at the non-accomplishments of some of the other writers for ideas. I expected to see a lot of stuff like Ride a Bike, Drive a Stick Shift and other fundamental life skills. Instead, I read that my fellow entrants couldn’t do things like Fly a Plane, Feed a Manatee or Conduct Analysis of Job Cost & Profitability. (sweating) What??? (more sweating) Holy crap. I don’t know how to do any of those things either.

Of course, since I’m telling time, remembering to feed myself and lacing my own shoes, I guess I’ll consider it a victory. Still, there’s a lot of basic stuff I never mastered. Here’s a sad but honest look at some of my (cough) personal deficiencies.

Ten Things I Don’t Know How To Do (and will never learn)

1. Dive. You will never teach me to leap toward anything leading with my skull. You people are insane.

2. French braid. Much to the chagrin of my young daughter, I can barely manage to give her a decent pony tail. At this point, she’s completely given up on me and branched out on her own. Braids, twists, buns … she’s perfected them all. “Poor mama,” she says, patting my head condescendingly.

3. Line dance. Not now, not ever. Not only do I not know the “moves” to these “dances,” I hate the very idea of them and was the bitchy bride who attempted to ban them from her wedding. Of course, my band and guests overruled me. And when Strokin‘ wafted across the ballroom, they thought they could peer pressureguilt … encourage me to join them on the dance floor. They did not.

4. Get the fitted sheet on my bed. I try. Lord, how I try. Corner by corner. The first one is simple. The second satisfying as it creates an edge. The third is a little harder but I can see the freshly laundered surface coming together. But the fourth? Not a chance. It’s just too tight for my weakling arms to get into position. And I’m left either (a) calling for reinforcements or (b) putting a pillow over it until someone else gets home.

5. Replace the bottle on a water cooler. Another shout out to my weak arms. But don’t make fun. Have you ever tried it? That sonovabitch is heavy. And I think my story can be best told by watching 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon in action. 

I wish I knew how to select only a portion of a YouTube video. Sadly, THAT IS YET ANOTHER THING I CAN’T DO.

So might I ask you to scroll to the 1:22 minute mark to see the clip?

6. Hit  a baseball. Same for tennis, softball, lacrosse. Nothing with hand-to-eye coordination, people. And I promise I’m not exaggerating. Remind me to tell you about the time my injury shut down the batting  cages someday.

7. Operate a DVR. I mean, I probably COULD if I actually OWNED one, said the proud owner of two VCRs.

8. Change the time on my bedside alarm clock. We have a total of eight clocks in the house and two in our vehicles that need to be adjusted whenever there is a power outage or time change. I’ve mastered all but one. And that one just happens to be the clock to which I spent the most time in close proximity. I just press a series of buttons in random but desperate succession until my mission is accomplished. The whole process usually takes about 5-7 minutes. And I always walk away from the job frustrated and stressed that  I might have accidentally set the alarm for some ungodly time in the middle of the night.

9. Cook rice. It seems easy enough. And I’ve driven friends crazy over the years with my questions. I follow the directions to the letter but, inevitably, I always wind up having either to add more water to the bottom-burning concoction or boil out the excessive liquid. Which then creates sticky rice. Perhaps I should seek work as a sushi chef.

10. Perform CPR/Heimlich maneuver. Sure, I attended parenting classes prior to giving birth to my first child. But that was more than a decade ago. And I was eight months pregnant. And the room was hot. And all I could think about was peanut butter. At this point, I think my best memory of the procedures is from a Jeffersons episode where George is forced to perform CPR on a clansman. It was a “very special” episode.

What about YOU?

Do you have any failures you want to share with the class?


The ODNT guide to smooth hospital living

Please continue to excuse any typos, omitted words, nonsensical lines of thoughts, hysterical rants, etc. … for as long as I’m in my recuperative blogging mode. Actual pain, strong medication, inconsistent sleep patterns and unusual typing angles from my bed are all to blame for these sometimes annoying but always entertaining idiosyncrasies.


The night before my surgery was a busy one. I took care of a lot of things so that they could sit a week without my help. I packed everything I thought I’d need at the hospital. I hugged my kids (a lot) and did a few goofy things with them like indulging my daughter’s sudden desire to dress as Santa and be videotaped filling the stockings. I locked in my guest writers for the blog while I was out of commission. I wrote my final, pre-surgery blog post, A Letter to the Lung Mass, which went up in the wee hours of 12/1/11. And I thought about writing this entry in the days soon after the surgery, knowing full well I wouldn’t be keeping any notes and would have to somehow keep it all ‘organized’ in my brain, often addled even without the help of medicine. So, here goes. In completely random order, my thoughts on hospital stays …

(1) Don’t worry about getting to sleep on time the night before your surgery. You will not sleep anyway. It is, however, a great time to catch up on emails and manage things electronically before you check out for a while.

(2) If you are ridiculous enough … cough … I mean savvy enough to have a timer set on your hot water heater, don’t forget to adjust it the night before so that you have hot water for your very irregularly-timed, morning-of-surgery shower. It’s already bad enough that the hospital will require that you use an inexplicably red alcohol-ish solution (in place of soap) for this task. I just closed my eyes and pretended I was at summer camp again.

(3) Make sure the comfy, go-the-hospital-super-early clothes you lay out the night before are fully dry. Otherwise, they’ll do little to keep you warm on a chilly morning, especially after a frigid shower (see #2). I decided to join the legions of fools who believe rain on your wedding day is good luck and labeled things like ‘no hot water’ and ‘damp clothing’ as good omens. I had already taken a Xanax at this point in the morning so anything was possible.

(4) Don’t be surprised if you have friends who are amazing and crazy enough to wake up at that hour and start texting you funny, uplifting messages before your surgery.

(5) If your parents seem completely calm and collected throughout everything, they’re not. They’re worried sick. So, just hug them. A lot. And don’t make them watch Charlie Chaplin’s Smile on youtube. (This is my second reference to the post entitled A Letter to the Lung Mass, 12/1/11. Hmmm, maybe you should read it.)

(6) Wear your hospital-issue attire with pride. They tell you to open the gown to the back and eighty-six your underwear for a reason. It’s how hospital people survive. They work their asses off and their only means of entertainment from day to day is getting to laugh at ours. Our asses, that is. I’m pretty sure mine was out there for two solid days. And now I’m crossing my fingers for no tagged Facebook pics.

(7) The OR will be freezing. (Cruel, considering #6). But you’ll only be awake for a few minutes in that meat locker. They’ll start making plans to put you under immediately. I decided I was going to focus on my kids’ faces as I drifted off. In the hopes that it would inspire happy, carefree dreams. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is taking longer for me to fall asleep than usual. Picture the kids’ faces. Picture the kids’ faces. I can’t believe I’m not …”

(8) The human body can drop its core temperature considerably without sustaining permanent damage. Just as I was starting to come to, I remember hearing someone say, “No, she’s still 91 degrees.” And all I could think was “What?!!? That’s bad, right? Shouldn’t someone be slicing open a Tauntaun’s belly and shoving me inside it for warmth?” (Okay, that could not be a nerdier reference. I have no explanation why my bleary-eyed brain would turn to Star Wars. Oh … and yes, I did have to look up the term ‘Tauntaun’ for this post.) And the staff obviously felt differently because, rather than an intergalactic snow horse, they instead opted to warm me up with the aid of a heater/blower blanket used to treat hypothermia patients. (Sidebar: When I looked up hypothermia tonight for this entry, 91 degrees is listed on some sites as ‘mild’ hypothermia and others as ‘moderate.’ In any event, it’s over now and I’m warm and cozy in my bed at home with the heater on and the cat at my feet.)

(9) When given the chance, embrace the catheter. Love the catheter. Truth be told, I wish I was cath’d right now. Once I stopped telling them I felt like I had to pee (only to have them answer patiently, “so pee!”) and I let go, it was wonderful. As a rule, I can pee on command and, thus, it was very liberating to be able to ignore this constant urge at a time when movement, of any kind, was quite painful. And considering how many tubes were attached to me and how much I was sucking down ice chips to soothe a breathing tube-induced sore throat, not to have to get up to pee every five minutes = priceless. One small note that I would have been glad to know in advance – your body does in fact get lazy and “forgets” how to pee on its own when you’re home again. I had a lot of start/stop issues until the whole pee factory was up and running again. Which … is kinda weird.

(10) Chest tubes hurt. It was the first thing I moaned about when I came around, as it was inserted through my back and I was lying on top of it at the time. It’s also the part of me that hurts the most as I type right now, again lying on my back. And it hurts just as much coming out … but that’s only because they yank it out, like a band-aid. Which means that, for only a second, it hurts like a ….

(11) Ask for the nurse button to be put in your bed. After I’d been there for hours and they’d closed my curtains and door (glass wall) and we were on our third round of nurses, one of the staff people in the room asked me where mine was. I groggily answered that I had no idea that I even had one. And then he located it on a table far off in the corner of the room. He seemed pretty disturbed about it and said that an ICU patient on her first night there, closed off from the nurses’ station, should have had access to it. I appreciated his concern and rolled back over to sleep.

(12) Never refuse pain medication. It doesn’t go to work immediately and you never know when it will be offered again.

(13) Hospital ice chips are the best in the biz. Never refuse them either. I want to get a hold of one of these machines and open up my own new-fangled snowball (not snoCONE, this is not Maryland) stand. And I expect to make millions.

(14) Feel free to pass on hospital food, especially if you’re not hungry. Which I wasn’t. You don’t need to save it for later either. There’s not a chance in hell it will taste better when it’s cold and somewhat coagulated.

(15) When you hear sirens and robotic female voices over the loudspeaker repeatedly calling for a Code Red in the middle of the night, sleep easy. It’s probably just a test. I did. Good thing my instincts were right, especially in light of #11.

(16) When packing for the hospital, you will not need a laptop … or a book … or makeup … or even your toothbrush. When you leave, you’ll put on the same clothes you arrived in and go home. I could have packed in a quart-sized ziploc.

(17) Apparently, general anesthesia, certain IV medications and/or narcotic painkillers mess with your up-close eyesight. Or so I am theorizing. No one seems to know what I’m talking about. All I know is that I needed to wear Dave’s dimestore, Drew-Careyesque reading glasses for a few days to get by. Today is the first day I’ve been able to do without them.

Anyway, that’s it for now. It’s late and Dave and I want to watch 30 Rock on Netflix. If I think of any more of these “gems,” I’ll be sure to pen a part two of these useful items. Night, all.