Saturday, August 27, 2011

NEVER GOOGLE SKIN CANCER...scary looking shit man, no joke!

I feel like an retired old man right now, I'm about to talk about a medical condition in great detail. OK, so it's not bodily fluids (brief bleeding aside) or genital talk or anything, so you'll survive.

Almost a year ago, I busted my elbow on something, I don't really recall.  I got a nice little scab and didn't think twice about it.  A few days later, I nailed it again.  We're talking funny bone area here, so not the greatest feeling, but again, I don't recall much about it.  The following few weeks, I must have busted the scab at least a dozen times.  You'd think that by 31 I'd be fairly self aware, but it turns out my elbow has borrowed Harry Potter's invisibility cloak or something, cause I don't seem to have full awareness of its existence. 

So I don't know at what point I really noticed something was odd but by January, I was dealing with a bump on my elbow where the scar once had been.  I don't know what my deal was at that point, but I scratched it back into a scab and then went through another couple weeks of busting them back open. 

A month or so following the bump started growing.  It kinda reminded me of a wart at first.  I've never had one, so I'm going solely on my perception of witches noses and toads left over from childhood.  It was kinda weird and as the heat started rising in Spring, I began wearing short sleeves again.  Band Aids with Neosporin worked out alright except I still wasn't actually aware my elbow existed when it came to arm articulations.  I'd catch them on everything and have that sexy black ring around the area where the adhesive rubbed against god knows what.

So I needed something sturdier.  Corn pads!  That'll dry it up AND give it better protection, right?  Ever bought or used these things? QUITE CREEPY TO HAVE ON YOUR ELBOW, now that I think about it.  They're like a quarter inch thick and have a hollow center where a medicated pad fits over the lump.  Kinda like a hemorrhoid donut for what should be your foot, but in my case, my elbow.

The top started to dry up and turn black.  Skin shouldn't turn black unless a tattoo, latex or some other substance has been applied. So I chose to alternate days.  Corn Pad, Air it out, Neosporin Band Aid, Repeat.  On the air it out days at least four over the the few weeks I repeated, I busted it on the car door and bled all over the place.

So here's the best description I can give of what Neosporin did to it.  Ever see a Star Nose Mole?  Here's one.

Yep, that's what this began to look like.  It's like each cell on my elbow decided to grow into a tower away from my body.  Not that long or anything totally gross, but enough that this was the image in my head.  Followed by OH MY GOD, people have to think I have leprosy or something!  Who can't see this bump on my elbow?  I mean really, isn't that the first thing you see on someone?  Then their shoes and eyes right?

So we're well into summer at this point and my wife schedules me an appointment with a dermatologist.  Yeah, so apparently this is a high demand field (I guess since skin cancer is the number one fatal cancer, it should be) because they booked me a month and a half out.  Yeah, so I have work meeting in Houston the same day.  I canceled and requested another appointment, maybe a few days before? You know, cause they have cancellations and whatnot right? The receptionist laughed in her email response.  Seriously, typed HAHAHAHA followed by, we can reschedule for October.  I replied I'm positive it's cancer so fuck you very much too.  She didn't respond.

I set up an appointment with my normal doc, who is also very over booked.  Three weeks.  I guess back to school hits him pretty a good way. Maybe he took a vacation.  It's not like I see him often, so who knows.

Somewhere between the dermie appointment and cancellation, one of my employees told me they'd had something that looked just like it removed from their forearm and it WAS cancer.  That's the only reason I've gone down this road.  I'm basing my medical advice on that of a 65 year old who surely wouldn't steer me wrong.  Cause no one that old isn't practically Jesus right?

So tonight I decided to look it up because it has begun to hurt over the past week.  Stab me in the eyeballs and dump bleach in the sockets.  Google Image Searching "skin cancer" is horrific.  Lesions EVERYWHERE.  Boobs half gone.  Faces Hollywood couldn't design!  GAHROSS!

Here ya go!
I know, I'm sorry.  There are hundreds more, but I couldn't, yeah.

So, since WebMD was no help, I'm appealing to you, please tell me what this is!

Side note: It's astonishingly difficult to photograph your own elbow with an crappy old iPhone. 

Kinda looks like a hairy boob. 

It's all crusty and craggy like an alien planet now.  If you made it through this post without bailing or being totally grossed out, I commend you and would highly recommend visiting your local nursing home.  They'd love to tell you all about their recent trip to the bathroom for sure!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I don't think I'm a Racist, I think I'm a Realist

Nivea apologizing for their recent ad featuring a black man cleaning up his appearance and "re-civilizing" himself sparked a Twitter convo with a guy that irritated me. (Link)

I said:

@ R U Kidding? Look beyond the skin color! Unkempt vs Clean. NOT Racist! RT @mashable Nivea Pulls "Re-civilized" Ad

@thespianJK Said:

@Dornage Nivea said nothing abt white guy being "re-civilized". They just told him to look like he gives a damn.

I said:
@thespianJK Oh, I see what u r saying. But still. The Look Like You Give A Damn is their new catch phrase. Way overthinking in my opinion.

@thespianJK said:

@Dornage "Sin City isn't an excuse to look like hell" - white Nivea ad. "Re-civilize yourself" - black Nivea ad. It's the "civilize" part.

I said:

@thespianJK So had it been a stoner white boy with dreads it would have been ok right? Gotta quit focusing on race at some point.

@thespianJK Said:

@Dornage No I don't. Not when it comes to things like this hinting at a stereotype of black men being savages and white men being polished.

@thespianJK Said:

@Dornage And the stoner with dreads would have been cause for question as that is associated with a black hairstyle.

@thespianJK Said:

@Dornage Nivea should be a little bit more sensitive to things like this.

I said:

@thespianJK I disagree. Respect is one thing. But fear of offending will only lead to people being fake all the time.

I said:
@thespianJK I disagree. Respect is one thing. But fear of offending will only lead to people being fake all the time.

Here's the deal: I don't believe in Gay Rights, Straight Rights, Black Rights, White Rights, Men's Rights nor Women's Rights.  Everyone is human.  You should respect them equally. Unless of course they're your Boss, Parent, President or Spouse...then you'll probably have to kiss a little ass.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Goodnight Moon

I forget sometimes my daughter is only 2.  She amazes me daily with how bright she is.  No I'm under no delusion that other parents don't think the same thing about their children.  I sure hope they do and I hope they tell them so daily!

I'd been away from my family for a full week.  They were up visiting in Oklahoma while I went back to work and enjoyed a week of bachelorhood.  When I arrived on Saturday evening both of my kids were very excited to see me.  My son just wanted to be held and my daughter told me "Daddy, you were gone a very long time back at our home in Texas. I'm very happy I found you again."  Just made my world!

So tonight we were doing the nightly routine for bed and she needed her final book which is always Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.  Admittedly, this book has become purely bittersweet.  She absolutely will not let me get away with not reading it but when it's time to read it she pitches a fit because she doesn't want it to ever end.  We started it when she was about 16 months old.  She'd always anticipate "The Little Toy House."  I'm not sure when that went away but when she was about two and a half the new obsession became the fact that "The Red Balloon" would disappear from the room on certain pages.  Then it would suddenly reappear.  "I found it!" She'd proclaim.

I remember when she was about two we'd lost the book in the house somewhere and my wife and I recited it in unison as an alternative to the real deal.  She clapped and told us "good job, guys."  That was the only time it was acceptable.  Since then if she suspects I'm just reciting it she says, "No Daddy, you have to read it."  I tell her I am and she grabs my hand and says "no, your fingers have to point to the words." Ain't no foolin' this one!

So tonight as we're wrapping up, I can't find the book but I know her Gigi has an older version on the book shelf.  It's a paper back, not a hardback board book style.  "No, little one Daddy."  I explained I don't know where it is but this one will tell the same story, it's just bigger and paperback.  "No Daddy, we need to go back to our home in Texas and get my little Good Night Moon."

This kid may love her family SOOO much, but she's ready for her own place with all the familiarity of home.  Gotta love it.  I told her we'd go back on Tuesday, only two more days.  She replied "No Daddy, no more days, we need to go back to Texas on Sunday."

Yep, that's all folks this kid has made up her mind, we belong in Texas where her bed has pink pillow cases and Goodnight Moon is small and Daddy doesn't go away forever and ever.

In case you need a reminder of how it goes!

I recorded a ton of her books so my wife could show them to her that way she'd still have some semblance to our routine.  I don't think it ever worked out for her.  Apparently both the kids were fascinated that it was my voice on the computer though.  And after uploading these, I realized I missed an opportunity to practice the readings after recording.  Sometimes you just don't know until you hear yourself though.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When the Cat's Away, the Mice Will Play. Oh, and Do Housework

I took my family up to visit relatives last weekend.  I came back on Sunday by myself.  I'm going back for them on Saturday and going to spend a couple days there myself reconnecting with friends.  500 miles each way  is so worth the freedom though. 

I'm not saying I don't miss my kiddos and wife, but the reality is I haven't been alone for a week in almost a decade.  Yes I've gone out a couple times with friends but nothing extravagant, just some beers at the bar down the street.  It's been cool.

My original intent was to do a giant chunk of the ubiquitous honey do list.  Really all I've done is picked up the house and done all the laundry.  But still.  The first day that I ran 6 loads of laundry and folded it all I was like, "what the hell does my wife do all day?"  Feeling all proud of myself.  Then it occurred to me that I couldn't have done this much with the rugrats around either.  In fact, the living room that I'd also picked up would have been a disaster within minutes too.  Oh and the next day when I got the kitchen cleaned up? Yeah, then it occurred to me that the living room and kitchen are two areas I clean every day any way.  Hmmm.  Not feeling nearly as productive as I had.  Maybe I'll tackle the rest of the shelves I was supposed to hang in the bedroom a month ago.  Maybe I'll call my buddy for a beer. 

Yep, I'm lazy with or without the stress of children.  Though a queen size bed without four bodies is un-freaking-believably awesome.  Highly recommend it to all parents.  Separate bedroom for each of you to sneak to after the kids have joined you is definitely an investment worth considering!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Latest iPhone Game Addiction

I find there isn't enough time in the day yet amazingly I still find time to post on Facebook, Twitter, occasionally this blog and play three games regularly on my phone.  I'd say it's a priority issue but really it's more an outlet for my ADD.  With that unapologetic and BS rationalization for being a total lazy ass, here's my newest find that I can't put down.

It's called Tiny Tower.  It's created by Nimblebit. I have also played Sky Burger that they've created and like most game apps I've ever downloaded, after a month I became un-enamored and moved on to a new obsessive time waster.

So here's the skinny. You have a skyscraper to build.  You build it floor by floor.  You have 6 options on the type of floor it will be.  Residential, Food, Service, Recreational, Retail and Creative. You build Residences for tiny people called Bitizens.  Each bitizen has a unique name and look as well as a "Dream Job" and a 0-9 ranked scale of floor interest.  You build the other floor types to provide businesses for your bitizens to work.  Creative for example would be a Tattoo Parlor or Photo Studio. Three bitizens can work at a place and ideally you pick those who want to work in that particular industry or score a bonus when you assign someone their dream job! They then stock your business for sales. It cost you time and coins to stock, but you are repaid because Tiny Tower never closes and as your stocked items sell, your bank keeps filling up.

Now, here's some of the obsessive parts, you can earn bonuses for fully stocking a facility. Other bonuses come randomly by being tipped for taking customers up the elevator to their desired floor.  You can speed things along by spending bucks, but once your little world begins to grow, there's no need to waste your bucks, they come in handy in other ways like upgrades and what not.  You as the gamer have the option of paying actual hard earned dollars from your REAL bank account to get more bucks, but thankfully I'm not that obsessive nor am I an ignorant teenager with access to mommy's wallet.

More obsessions come in the form of dressing up your bitizens.  At first it was just cute and mildly entertaining to make each bitizen stand out.  Eventually it becomes a necessity as you are occasionally asked to locate a specific bitizen and they all end up looking alike which leads to wasted searching.  So a silly hat, the addition or lack of facial hair and crazy costumes become a must to distinguish one varied skin tone and subtle male versus female characteristics apart.

The bigger the tower the more time you spend stocking and the more floors cost but it's all OK, because when you're not there, they're still hard at work for you like good little slaves would be.  I mean really, who doesn't need a Shrimp Platter from the Mexican Food and a Cardio Work out from the Health Club at all hours of the night? The food floors take less time to stock, but make you less money because their items fly off the shelves.  So that means you want floors with better stuff.  That often times means you have to evict the occasional flunky who's dream job is working for a Sky Burger or the Laundromat!  Sorry little guys, this game is about me.  I'll never miss you Alan Monroe with your yellow goatee and blue baseball cap.  Hello Vivian Jones, thank you for aspiring to work at the Glass Studio in your Pirate Costume.

These little bitizens mouths never stop moving...I think there's an oxygen problem or maybe this is waterworld but the DVD rentals don't get damaged.  They also never sleep nor sit.  There are chairs everywhere but they insist on pacing back and forth like crack heads.  Can't really help a customer locked behind a counter though I guess.  There's a fun element of humor involved helping bring your bitizens to life by way of a mock Facebook.  Bitbook allows the bitizens to be goofy and obscure all while guilting you the player into restocking because "Just had to close the Aquarium, hope I don't lose my job" really hits home you know?

There's help along the way in case you get in over your head or are impatient like everyone else.  VIPs come in various forms.  A Celebrity will temporarily increase the number of customers purchasing things on your floor. A big spender will buy out an entire product. Delivery men will knock off 3 hours of restocking.  (This comes in handy when adding more 3D movies to the cinema.) A Realtor will move a new bitizen in an empty apartment. Also Construction workers will knock off a few hours of new floor construction.  But you HAVE to actively play to get the VIPs or you just wait to turn the game back on and eventually your stocking will be completed, items will sell or the floor construction and someone will eventually visit the floor that needs a new resident.

I highly recommend downloading this free app and enjoy playing god with your minion.  Though my wife keeps reminding me I'm one step away from Farmville and two steps back from a Tamagotchi.  Less than subtle way to say "Dorn, put down your damn phone and pay attention to your family!"

Thursday, August 11, 2011


My wife requested some free stickers from a company a few months back.  I didn't know what the story was until they arrived.  I don't think she did either...strange that she would have gone blindly to a website (directed from a couponing website I'm sure) and given them her address and name, but it is what it is now.  She was thinking our daughter would like some stickers and they are free, so why not?

They arrived a couple weeks ago.  They will not be in the hands of my daughter.  No porn or anything she shouldn't be exposed to but they've piqued my interest, so they're mine now.

They are from a design company in San Francisco called Altitude. Their site has a wide variety of their projects and design capabilities...most of which are very interesting, but they all seem to revolve around the idea of not conforming.

The stickers are part of a defacing property campaign to turn our ideas behind the economy on their ear.  Here's the blurb from their site:
What's actually good, or bad for the economy? And why are we always concerned with what's good for the economy, instead of what's good for people? Altitude investigated this concept through a series of posters and stickers distributed in 33 countries and every US state.
The two I received say:

nature is bad for the economy
obesity is good for the economy

I've been debating whether to participate.  Basically Austin is the perfect town to spread this kind of message, I just have issues with messing with other people's property.  After a couple weeks of deliberating, I've decided yes, I will join the cool kids in spreading the message.  I'll post some pics later.  The idea is to get creative with the placement and send in your work to be shared.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hansel & Gretel This Was Not

While out of town a few weeks ago, I received a call from my wife in an utter panicked rage.  She opened a preheated oven to cook dinner and found dozens of DVDs and CDs melted on the racks.  Our little girl was very naughty it seems.

Firstly, my wife doesn't cook often.  She is in charge of weekday breakfast and lunch for her and the kids and that's about the extent of it.  So on a day when she has to come up with dinner (not from a drive thru), hiccups are HIGHLY unwelcome.

Here's a dramatic re-staging of the damage.

She'd pulled them out while on the phone with me and was burning her fingers getting them apart.  She wanted to know what all was officially lost.

When she called me she said it was about 70 DVDs.  I was thinking in their cases and everything.  Nope, just the loose ones and it was closer to 25, 35 max.  That said, it was all of the kid's favorites including Your Baby Can Read.  The latest Harry Potter BluRay, a few of our favorite CDs were all that we lost.  The random Disney movies and all of the "on the road entertainment DVDs" are going to be missed and eventually some will need replacing.  It's the Your Baby Can Read that sucks the most.  Our son is in the middle of his learning experience.  Knowing it works means we'll have to replace it. 

So, how you might ask did this happen?  Well this was a Wednesday evening and I used the oven on Monday, so that leaves all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  Anytime while it was off she could have loaded it up, without the anticipation that it would be turned on.  Yes, we have child safety latches on the thing, but our daughter disabled them months ago. 

So, my wife tells me that she should have checked (which I wouldn't have necessarily prior to this incident even though I usually double check the rack placement).  Apparently this isn't the first thing to pretend to be supper.  She's found baby dolls tucked away like the witch in Hansel and Gretel in the past.  Yeah, so pretty much shame on her for not checking, but since the kitchen isn't her domain, I'll give her a pass this time.

Oh, and this of course isn't the first DVD related destruction my daughter has put us through.  Eventually we'll learn. Right?

Take aways? Don't leave your DVDs out of their cases.  Don't leave anything of value within reach of a toddler, or any size child for that matter.  And finally, ALWAYS, ALWAYS open the oven before turning it on!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch-Change, Time to Make Some Strange...

We've been reevaluating our lives (money wise especially) recently, as a family, I mean.  My wife has been unemployed since June of 2009.  Her unemployment wages helped keep us a float for quite some time.  The days of living partially on government money have been gone for a while now.

We've had to scrutinize our budget...something we've never really done before.
 Cable went away a year ago.  With Netflix, I don't even notice it's missing. Along with that was the home phone and frankly aside from a blatant lie from a salesman about how much more we save by bundling, I can't recall why we had one to begin with.

  • My cell phone contract is up in October.  I've had a work cell for nearly 5 years now and again, aside from the novelty of playing games on my phone, I have no reason to have a personal cell.

  • It's taken some work, but various student loans are entirely manageable now.  Well, with the exception of one from Oklahoma that until they began garnishing my wages, I didn't know I had.  That's a crappy realization.  They want me to pay half down in order to discuss removing the garnishment and setting up a payment plan.  They seem to think nothing of the fact that they are crippling me and were anything but fair about the garnishment option.  Hello, if you can find my employer after a 24 hour search (time between the judgement and the notification of garnishment), you could have found my address within the 10 years prior (9 1/2 of which weren't at the address you kept sending mail to!).

  • My wife began couponing like the crazies on TV a few months back.  If it weren't for my irrational need to eat produce, meat and dairy NOT FROM A CAN, our grocery bill would be even smaller.  That said, we're down to $65 a week for 4 mouths, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.  This was the biggest challenge.  I have to admit that I wasn't completely comfortable at first but the amount of free crap you get by doing so is unfathomable!  That said, I was super proud of myself this week when I was picking up some yogurt for my lunches this week I scored several these 6 packs of Dannon yogurt for the kids at 9 cents each after coupons!  The guy at the register did a double take when he read the amount to me.

So how is it possible? Another thing we'd NEVER done. We plan every meal on Saturday for the Sunday through Saturday following.  Our grocery shopping is organized around it.  Now, on Sunday when the ads come out in the paper, we augment some meals depending on the deals.  I'm not going to lie, I miss my typical spontaneity regarding cooking and on the spot shopping.  You know picking up salmon on the way home and throwing together a mango avocado pico with almond apricot couscous.  But the brief moments of creativity in the grocery aisle are greatly overshadowed by the decidedly less stressful event of knowing exactly what I'm cooking when I get home.  I can't tell you the number of times I'd be stuck in traffic pulling teeth over the phone to find out what my wife wanted me to cook for dinner.  Yes you should get the picture now...I'm the cook with lunch time pb&j exceptions.  

  • What is also the biggest change is that we only eat out once a month.  This includes my lunches.  I'll be honest, I'd usually only spend $3-5 bucks at lunch but then there was the random stopping for something to drink while on the road or the $10 lunch splurges and whatnot.  It adds up quickly.  

  • Alcohol was the most recent phase.  I can drink me some beer.  I'm not going to say alcoholic is a possible description, more like Al Bundy...though I'd never compare myself to him in a million years!  

These last few things have had a grand side effect too! I cut soda (diet) out except for rare occasions and had been watching my portions since the beginning of the year.  Combine that with the lack of fast food and minimal beer intake and you've got a 35 pound lighter Dorn in your midst.  Just think what could happen if I actually exercised on a regular basis.

You know what's more astonishing? Spending time with the kids occupies a lot of time that I'm now not sure how we filled it with as much going out as we did. 

Getting back to the whole reevaluation.  Because I've always worked toward moving up in companies that require relocation, we're still renting 8 years later.  We've paid $1100 a month toward someone else's mortgage every month for the past 5 years.  We've looked at buying a house several times but houses we can afford (around the 200K range) are in the ghetto and I'm not doing it.

So we've been kicking around the idea of moving back to our home town of Tulsa, OK for a bit now.  Nothing is set, especially since I haven't gotten a job relo or anything.  But my brother-in-law bought a home a little smaller than ours for 60K a couple years ago.  That right there tells me I could easily find one for around 100K that'd suit our needs and still not be in the ghetto.  Not joking when I say that 150K will put you between a crack dealer and a homeless guy in Austin.  This isn't NYC for christsakes!

So, now I have to make the real decision.  Do I pursue opportunities in Tulsa or should I look for a higher paying job here?  I'm marketable within the company, but outside I'm just another name on a resume that doesn't have a masters degree, 20 years of experience and is willing to work for 20K a year in a job landscape that the Ukraine would kill for and we should be ashamed it's in America.

OK, so I'm rambling and just started bashing countries that I have no beef with while wagging my tongue at my own.  It's time to call it a day. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Congratulations! You have Broken the Internet.

I'm trying to expense my hotel stay while I was traveling to Houston.  I need a receipt to do so.  I went to where I booked it and have been getting no where.  It couldn't find it under my account (yes, I'm using the right one...same one I got my confirmation email!)  So I searched by my last name.  No luck.  I then search by my confirmation number (from the email they sent).

Here's what I got!

While I appreciate humor in business, this just pushed an irritable me over the edge!

Shouldn't be this difficult, ever.