Oh, Papa Bradstein -- how you torment me.
During one of my last fellow-blogger check-ins before my self-imposed exile, I discovered that this blog-hound tagged me with an "8 days a week meme". Not one who completely understands the concept, I did enough digging to figure out that it would have to wait until my return. This also provided me something to fret over during my time away -- as if I needed anything more (as you will discover shortly). However, now that I'm ready to put hand to keyboard once again, this seems like the perfect way to get you all caught up and to share my vast knowledge about several things that are completely mundane.
So, over the next 8 posts, I will introduce you to The Truth. Mind you, it is indeed "out there".
8 Things I did during my "vacation"
1. Bent myself into a pretzel, and cooked until golden brown.
Yes, I finally made the plunge and became a practitioner of Bikram Yoga. For those not in the know, this is the yoga done while you sweat away your very soul in a room heated to a toasty 105 degrees. The first time I did it I thought I was going to die. The second time, I needed to lie still for the second half of the 90 minute class, but the end of my existence didn't loom as large on the horizon. Over the next few times I got the hand of it, and by now I think I can get through the entire class without passing out. I say "I think" because....
2. Enjoyed a return to Chez Healing!
Yes, Vampboy asked for a pony for Christmas -- and Santa responded by giving him a lifetime seizure disorder. This is one of the many things that fall into the category of "latent effects" brought on by brain tumors and their subsequent treatment. We spent the entire week before Christmas at Chez Healing in two separate residencies -- each brought on by a seizure he had at home. The first was rather small, but the second was rather large. Vampboy doesn't have the type of seizures where he flails about like a fish out of water; rather, he has "partial complex seizures," where he slowly blanks out until something just short of a catatonic state comes over him. Initial tests gave the chilling possibility that the cause was a relapse in his cancer -- giving us about 48 hours of sheer terror and panic -- until further tests concluded that was not the case. I'll tell you, though; it's really a sad state of affairs when you're actually glad that your child has a seizure disorder -- but the other option was far, FAR worse. At present VB is doing well and seizure-free, thanks to a medication he may be on forever. Plus, the whole affair put a huge crimp in my overall plans for a restful month, not to mention taking me away from my "sweaty stretching class".
The other challenge wrought by the above activity was the delay in getting the holiday shopping done. Although abject poverty reduced our ability to be generous with many of our loved ones, a little help from some kind sources gave us at least the ability to buy tokens for our family. So, with Vampboy off with relatives, I did a mad dash to the stores the weekend before to contribute what I could to the December economic figures. What I found most amusing is that I was surrounded by what I've come to understand is the typical profile of the last-minute Christmas shopper: Male, and carrying at least one bag from Victoria's Secret. Guys, really -- can't you think of something that she might actually enjoy, not just you?
4. Organized the "War Chest".
It had been a year since I'd done any filing of our various papers -- bills, receipts, etc. Add to that what I estimate to be over 600 "Summary of Benefits" forms from Vampboy's insurance carrier, and I ended up spending a huge chunk of my waking time sifting through a pile almost bigger than me. Everything is now filed in it's proper place, with all things medical in a large, highly organized storage bin. Here's hoping that we never have to add to it.
5. Watched the first 3 seasons of "The X-Files" on DVD.
What else was I to do while engaging in #4? There are two things this taught me: first, I still think Gillian Anderson is hot. Second, I'm glad they got rid of that damn brown brief case she seemed to carry in every scene of the first season. And the shoulder pads - good Lord, she looked like a tiny football-playing office worker!
6. Celebrated a couple of holidays -- maybe you've heard of them?
Both Christmas and New Years were peaceful and without drama. Santa did make up for the seizure thing by getting the one present VB had talked about for months - a red plastic cup with a straw. Strange, but it's better than him asking for a Playstation 3.
7. Went All-Natural.
No, this was not my attempt at living as a nudist. As a family thinking about moving into "survivor mode", one of the things we decided to do was look at how we could eliminate things from our environment that increase the risk for cancer. Our main plunge was to switch all of our cleaning products to stuff that's entirely natural. We're lucky to have a local shop that specializes in that very thing, so our house is now clean as a whistle and smelling of Lavender (which, as it turns out, is a natural anti-bacterial).
8. Itune, Youtune, we all scream for...
While I didn't get to my entire collection (not even close, in fact) I did follow through on some uploading of my current CD catalogue onto Itunes. However, it leads me to believe that I might need to acquire my own Mac to finish the job, for fear the one we have might explode under the musical weight.
One down, seven to go. Watch out, Bradstein --- revenge will be mine!