I had a physical yesterday, but I believe it would be in poor taste to talk about the (ahem) glove-related aspects of my exam. Instead, I’ll mention that I was given a routine tetanus shot, partly because I hadn’t had one in 11 years and partly because I gashed up my leg while taking apart a drop ceiling. The shot itself was a piece of cake: the nurse swabbed my shoulder with alcohol, pinched my skin, and gave me the inoculation. But then I remembered, as I was lying in bed last night with a sore shoulder, that it’s the aftermath of a tetanus shot that’s painful. In fact, I have a cold compress wrapped around my shoulder as I type this. It’s starting to get warm, though, so I may have to move on to frozen peas before long.
Archive for June, 2010
I’m hosting a barbecue this Saturday and I’m pretty excited about the menu. There will be standard-issue snacks, for sure, but there will also be a number of things I haven’t cooked before. I’m especially eager to make carne asada, a thin steak marinated in lime juice, jalapenos, garlic, and other goodies. I’m also making tomato-infused Spanish rice and, for those who want a distinctly American dish, beer-soaked bratwurst wrapped in bacon. It will be my first time cooking any of these dishes and I really hope they turn out well. But just in case they don’t, I’ve purchased a 30-pack of Oscar Meyer wieners. It’s almost impossible to mess those up.
Tonight’s sequence of events: balanced checkbook; activated the warranty for a recently purchased cordless edge trimmer; washed dishes; prepared homemade macaroni and cheese; washed more dishes (this time standing next to a hot oven); listened to the Cubs game on the radio; packed a lunch; sat down on the couch to read comics; came across Big Nate; felt a breeze come through the window; realized it was summer; relaxed.
Earlier today, my wife and I chatted with one of the neighborhood kids. He’s a high school student who’s been cutting our grass this summer, but no more. Starting next week, he’ll be living downstate, attending a military academy and preparing for a stint in the Marine Corps. He’s a driven young man who’s eager for a challenge. Fortunately for the Marines, he’s also one of a dwindling number of youth who manages to maintain a healthy weight. In fact, according to a group of retired generals, America’s young people will soon be too fat to fight. That’s pretty troubling, and as good a reason as any to start packing healthy lunches for our kids.
Today’s Grand Avenue offers a prime example of being too smart for one’s own good. It’s something members of my generation can easily identify with. Were we raised by parents who valued book learning over practical skills? Yes. Did we obsess over The Simpsons and South Park as teenagers? Yes. Did we graduate college with a degree in English or one of the fine arts? Yes. Are we cynical about any and every institution, from Social Security to Halliburton to the Catholic Church? Yes. Do we mask our cynicism with quips? Absolutely. We are the smart-ass generation and unless we do some growing up, we’ll spend the next 30 years in the corner, patting ourselves on the back and marveling at how clever we are.
Last year, my dentist encouraged me to get a mouth guard that would protect my teeth while I slept. Apparently, I was grinding the enamel down at an alarming rate and needed to do something to protect my chompers. She suggested I get fitted for a mouth guard and that I make wearing it part of my nightly routine. The device was cumbersome and dried my mouth out at first, but it quickly became manageable. Fortunately, I was not compelled to wear polka dot pajamas or bunny slippers to complete the look.
Try as I might, I can’t help but be baffled by the villain in this strip. Check out the first panel, where he leaps from the banister to the hanging airplane. Examine his head, jutting aggressively. Now look at his left shoulder, arched despite his left arm being raised. Human bodies don’t do this. They don’t contort into physically impossible positions, even if they’re acting on madcap criminal impulses. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be searching for logic in the physical makeup of this baddie. After all, previous installments of Dick Tracy have shown him to be faceless. If that’s the case, then why can’t he twist his body every which way as he flies through the air?