mono as in one or me. rail as in to vent or complain. thus monorail.


what i'm looking for

what i'm remembering
what i'm eating
who i'm looking like
what i'm coveting

what i'm reading
me vs mla's top 100

me vs afi's top 100

what i'm hearing

The Net
what you're wanting


page me

MONORAIL: MONTHLY VIEW [current]   [random]
PHOTO (permalink) 04.30.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
april 2008

KIDS (permalink) 04.29.2008
and he demands naps.
i didn't post yesterday because i was fast asleep by 8:30pm sunday night and didn't wake until 7:45am the next morning. i slept stupendously. i was finally stirred by the only guy in the house who got more sleep than me, anthony. he was three minutes into his day and already on fire, walking around pushing things over, opening dresser drawers and flinging delicate objects against the wall. he came at me with a toothy smile thirsting for a tickle fight. and you know what i did? i smiled back. i smiled before my morning shower, tinkle, coffee or bran muffin. it was at this grinning moment i saw the secret to his blissful existence ... sleep. well, that and not taking any shit or voluntarily doing anything he doesn't want to. and well, there's also his screaming like a wild man when he is hungry and the food item of his choosing is not immediately before him. but aside from those few sticking points he's quite a happy chap.

in fact he's so happy, he doesn't even care if he's got a marbled ball of feces tumbling around his diaper pushing and contorting against his miniscule butt cheeks. if you can have that mess going on and still crack a smile, i think it's clear you've got your world figured out.

HEALTH (permalink) 04.25.2008
if that's the case, i'm surprised we've even heard of it
did you see the recent report claiming masturbation prevents prostate cancer. if this is true, i think i'm more likely to get ovarian cancer before prostate. it's nice to know there's at least one malady out there i'm entirely immune to.

PHOTO (permalink) 04.24.2008
i need a new camera ... and possibly an eyebrow waxing too.

props to david lienemann for the fine qDoba portrait

HEALTH (permalink) 04.23.2008
pollyanna rawks!
i stopped taking vicodan on saturday. i'd been on them for a week an a half and they certainly handled their business. after leaving the hospital, i never experienced discomfort except once when i got lazy about my pill schedule. reason i had to quit them is they were clouding my thoughts and to my great pleasure i have a job that requires unclouded thought. what i didn't account for was the lingering effects of the narcotic.

when i arrived to work on monday i was still a touch foggy. in my addled and unproductive state, i somehow stumbled upon this guy randy pausch. mid last year randy, a college professor, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 3-6 months to live. he has three kids, his oldest being one year younger than bella. the stir about him stems from how he has shouldered this tragic development. how everyone found about him was through his Last Lecture. last lectures are a university-ritual and occur when a long-standing prof finally steps down and delivers their final official lecture. randy's last talk, titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, focuses not on his field of study, virtual reality, but instead on his life experience. my favorite bit in there was something a female colleague told him about dating:

when it comes to men that are romantically interested in you, it's really simple. just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.

the hour long talk was worth those twenty-seven words alone. intrigued i dug a little deeper and found another, subsequent talk randy gave at another university on time management (he does get to claim a bit of authority on the topic after all). also very informational and inspiring. and if you're still jonsin' for more randy, as was i, there's a diane sawyer interview that is not great, but ok.

his experience is surely adding some perspective to my current state which in comparison would barely rate as a head cold, or maybe even a festering whitehead.

FAMILY, WEB (permalink) 04.22.2008
this here's about to become a pay site.
back in the day of the early web, there was this girl who wired her bedroom with webcams. i can't remember her name but she went on to become quite an internet phenom. you could just tune in and see what was happening in her room at any time, day or night. for sure, much of the time she'd be away at school or work or life. most of the time she was in, she'd be reading or writing or talking on the phone. a few lucky times, frenetic, mouse-wielding fanboys were met with her and a rare date she'd brought home to mack and more. what those guys would have done to trade the flashing lights of their baud modems for a broadband connection back then i can only imagine.

i think i'm going to wire my whole house with cameras. for as pedestrian and uninteresting as my house is, we have our share of cussing, nudity and fisticuffs. and i can run with the legends because when i wake up in the morning, i might be alone or i might have up to four humans in bed with me, sometimes even on top of me. for added intrigue and entertainment, i'm going to set up an hourly poll asking viewers to guess what's happening before their video feed begins. questions could include:
  • is anthony wearing pants?
  • is alex wearing a dress?
  • is troy wearing anything?
  • is bella reading a book?
  • is a tickle-fight happening?
  • is someone touching marty right now?
there would have to be odds on each question because some are gimmes, such as that last one, because the likelihood of marty not having someone patting her breast, pushing on her buttocks, or nudging her on the shoulder urging her to get off the toilet so they can go is pretty slim at any given moment. and i'm not the culprit in any of those scenarios. i may have been before we had kids but i am not now because we have kids.

HEALTH (permalink) 04.18.2008
week in review, day 5 (troy)
i didn't take my first shower for six days. the only reason i bathed on the sixth day was i had to leave my bed and my house for a follow-up with the surgeon. the nurses had told marty that the incisions couldn't get wet. they suggested she use saran-wrap to cover the stitches to bathe. so while i was still in bed marty wrapped my leg liberally with the clear sticky plastic. when done, i crutched my way to the bathroom and started the water.

getting into the bathtub proved tricky since i couldn't put any weight on my right leg. after studying the tub obstacle i realized i could sit on the side of the tub and lift one leg over the rim and then the other. once both were inside, i just had to stand up and balance on one leg. the tub was slick which made pivoting on one foot for soap and shampoo precarious. also, closing my eyes and washing my hair also challenged my ability to stay upright. seeing me wobble marty reached a hand in and held me under the shoulder to help keep me from tipping one way or another. while she gripped my armpit and i washed my parts she noticed the saran-wrap mummy-job began collecting water so with her free hand she pushed the water free and pressed the wrap flat trying to keep new water from getting in. with great and coordinated effort we got through this initial cleansing.

four days later i was slated for shower number two in that i was going into the office. this was a trial run of sorts to see how much labor would go into getting out the door for work since marty will be delivering me to work after dropping the kids at school. marty and i discussed the failings of shower one. i told her we should call my mom to see if she still had any of the shower seats my grandparents used while living my parents. marty said we'd be fine.

this time i encased the knee more securely adding layers or saran-wrap and stretching them tighter. i hobbled to the tub and pulled the curtain back. in the bath was an igloo cooler we use for camping. my bathing seat. grinning, i disrobed, started the water and did my funny sit on the tub ledge and teased my legs over the side trick. now this time instead of trying my one-footed balancing act, i just had to move from the edge of the tub to the top of the cooler. i grabbed onto the washcloth holder and lifted myself high enough to make the switch. marty was there again with her hand under my armpit helping me get situated. as i started lowering myself on the cooler i looked at the dirty white lid and commented to marty that i didn't know what was dirtier at this moment, my ass or the top of the cooler. laughing, marty said she just spent twenty minutes cleaning it (you must consider that this plastic box has spent many a night sitting outside in the woods). but i got seated and then i got clean. and with much less fuss than last time.

when i was done and began exiting the tub i realized i would be going into work with a deep and concise impression of the IGLOO logo stamped into my right buttock and a ruler, of all things, stamped on my left. at first i was mystified what the purpose of having a ruler molded into the top of a cooler was but as i stood in front of the sink running my fingers over the small hashmarks and numbers indented on my buttcheek i surmised it was probably for measuring fish. i imagine i was the first igloo cooler customer to ever solve that puzzle in that exact way, but i bet i'm NOT the first customer who could have measured fish with their ass.

FAMILY (permalink) 04.17.2008
week in review, day 4 (marty)
early in our dating life marty cared for me once after i had my wisdom teeth out. in short, i was an ass of a patient. given this history she was not too keen on revisiting having to care for me. i was also sensitive to the implications of it. i don't know if it's the kids or my age or advances in medicine (esp drugs) but this time through has been much better, meaning i've been a much more manageable and hospitable patient, fairly low-impact even.

most importantly through all of this we've found occasion to laugh still. some at me, some at her and some at our kids. my favorite of those moments came when marty and alex were helping to get me re-situated in bed. i was holding my leg in the air, alex was holding the pillows my leg would rest on and marty was wrapping my leg with a bandage. alex looked down and saw something sneaking out of my boxers and through a cringing and turned away face shouted out in his falsetto voice, "eeewww! i can see your penis!" for the record, he was lucky i was even wearing boxers and technically it was my scrotum he was seeing and not my penis. although i think my more winsome-looking penis (compared to my scrotum) would have still been met with a shrill eeewww!

FAMILY (permalink) 04.16.2008
week in review, day 3 (bella)
most of bella's concern and attention came before the surgery. she was anxious about the procedure. much of this anxiety played out in the weeks prior through random and irrational outbursts and not the pointed and direct questions that were on her mind. what they were going to do? how much would it hurt dad? what could go wrong? what if i have to have it done? marty and i were pretty stymied by bella's wide mood swings until marty got bella to talk about it one night before bed. when it was finally done and i returned home, bella seemed herself again. aside from taking great interest in the unveiling of the wound (pictured below), she has been pretty hands off letting alex shoulder most of the humor-dad work.

but while bella is not greatly overt in her care and concern, she always leaves a mark. a couple of times i've woken up from a nap to find the center pieces of a snyder's hard pretzel sitting on my bedside table. this is my favorite part of a sourdough pretzel (better dough to salt ratio). bella knows this. when i see them i imagine her walking about the house snacking on the pretzel, careful to leave the prime center cross in tact. and when the outer ring is done, i imagine her quietly stealing into my room to set the small prize on the table before turning to leave as quietly as she came in. not once has she or i mentioned them and not once has one of those hard little knots of bread not made me grin knowingly.

FAMILY (permalink) 04.15.2008
week in review, day 2 (alex)
if you're ever going to lay in bed for a week or two and don't want to be lonely, alexander is the pal you want to have around.

the second he walks in the door from school his little feet race up the stairs towards the bedroom. once outside the door, they slow, pause even before he peeks around the door jamb to see if i'm awake. if i am up he says quietly, "hi daddy" and comes to the foot of the bed. after asking how i'm doing he runs through a short checklist of things i might need; pumps in my aqua-kuff or more tea or fresh ice or adjusted pillows. after seeing i'm stocked up and comfortable he crawls into the bed and curls up at my side leaning his head on my shoulder. we will sit like this for a short while without words. after a bit we will do one of two things; read books (BONE series) or play on the computer. the other day while bella was at school and anthony and walt were napping, alex and i sat side by side in an otherwise silent house for three hours. he was playing games on pbs kids on his computer and i was watching season three of battlestar galactica on mine. we would occasionally get the others attention to ask a question (how does this work daddy?) or point out a cool looking thing (check out this rocketship aleo.). these uninterrupted moments with alex has turned out to be a real surprise of this long stretch stuck in bed.

FAMILY (permalink) 04.14.2008
week in review, day 1 (anthony)
the last week in our house has been unique. i have been laid up in bed for six days now, only getting up to visit the bathroom, and this only when the need becomes dire. my mother stayed with us the first few days, primarily to take care of me. and marty has been doing the whole single parent thing with the kids. in that i'm stuck in bed, the house plays out more like theater to me than life. my family serves as the characters swishing in and out of my doorjamb view throughout the day. this week, i'm going to take a day for each personality and write about what makes their performance noteworthy, to my eyes at least.

let me start with anthony. he's the only one in the house i'm actually afraid of. the older kids understand i can't play or roughhouse. anthony does not. and he is a hooligan. and he is completely unpredictable. and he is the absolute wrong height to be walking around people who just had knee surgery. and he moves about the house with a cocky swagger that smacks more of a ivy league frat boy than a diapered and wordless child. when i see him stop at my door my body tenses. most times though, he just walks directly to my side and rifles through the glasses and dishes sitting on my bedside table. he reaches into full glasses to pull out a little handful of ice which he sloppily moves to his mouth. it is not uncommon for this trespass to topple glasses and crash dishes to the floor. his raids are inelegant and unquiet.

when he's not stealing or upending my food stuffs he dances for me. the style most resembles a little soft-shoe with his feet shuffling about, his arms swinging at his side. while dancing, he watches his feet in a studious manner as if evaluating his technique, although i believe he is just taking in the show as is anyone else watching. after a bit he seems to sense the need to mix it up so he turns around and steals away in our bedroom's double door closet which is situated just behind his dancing stage. once inside he pulls the doors closed, mostly. through the small gap he peeks out. when he sees you seeing him he giggles and waits. after an unpredictable pause in time he flamboyantly throws the doors open, jogging forward to the ohhs and ahhs of the crowd. he will then turn and again disappear into the closet for a repeat performance. and no one will ever question his stamina or dedication to the show given how many encores he's prepared to deliver. he is a consummate showman.

HEALTH (permalink) 04.11.2008
i'm starting to itch, everywhere.
i haven't showered in three days. aside from a cumulative twenty minutes spent on crutches going to and coming from the bathroom, i haven't even been out of bed for the better part of three days. and now, on the fourth day after surgery comes the great unveiling of the bandages. bella has asked to be there when it happens. she also said that i may need to close my eyes because she fears i may not be able to handle what i see. sad thing is she's right. sadder thing is she knows she is right.

so enjoy your clean bodies and able joints for me today, and possibly tomorrow as well.

and, yesterday was my two year anniversary at the new job. i spent the vast majority of it sleeping. how inauspicious.

HEALTH (permalink) 04.09.2008
you can't touch this - hammertime
for those wondering, my puke-free streak remains in tact.

multiple people warned this was in jeopardy, medical professionals and citizens alike. so far i haven't has as much as a single tremor in my tummy. regarding the operation, it was a success. i have one brand-spanking new, taught and tight ACL ligament on loan from the hamstring of the same leg. two downers did arise though. one is not only was my meniscus not salvageable, the damage was more extensive than the MRI revealed so i ended up losing more of it than was initially thought to be in jeopardy. secondly, because of the failing meniscus, a quarter-sized hole developed in the cartilage supporting my upper leg bone. from the OR, the surgeon called marty who was in the waiting room and explained this last point. he said he could attempt to repair it but the extra work would prolong my recovery period (which was initially at six months), and right from the start, the leg would not be able to bear weight for six weeks (from an initial projection of 2-3 weeks).

for as mixed as all this news is, i'm so elated someone, a great someone, finally got in there and looked about. this problem has plagued me for twenty years. i won't get into how our healthcare system exacerbated my condition. if you're personally curious about that, you can ask me directly. but i do see that a good side to having waited is that the technology has immensely improved over the years. i received exceptional care from a pleasant, knowledgeable and empathetic staff at the Washington University Orthopedic Center. truly top-notch, exceeding just about every expectation and hope i had.

the last time i had knee surgery when the anesthesiologist put me under he prepped his needle, told me to count backwards from ten. i made it to seven. this time a very pleasant and lovely lady, erlene, came and said it was time.

so, am i going to stay on this bed or do i have to get in another one?

you have to get on another one.

are you all going to lift me onto the new one like in the ER show?

this isn't television and i don't get paid to lift grown men.

ahhh come on. i was looking forward to that.

sorry sugar. you're on your own.

it seems erlene was jocking me because i tapped out about six seconds after her last comment.

and upon arriving home, the kids have been great. bella reads to me in bed while scratching my head and alex lays close to me talking at great length so i don't get bored. tonight, we chatted about his up and coming birthday party. he asked if i'd be able to play ogre with all the kids. i said i was afraid not. in seeing how much this saddened him, i told him that i would instead tell all of his guests a big and long ogre story. the excited smile across his face told me this would be a worthy replacement. he told me in return that regarding all the kids in the house he would tell them, "this is my dad. you can look at him, but don't touch him." if this isn't a sign that you've arrived, i don't know what is.

for those who called and sent notes. thank you. i'm appreciative.

HEALTH (permalink) 04.08.2008
i'm not allowed to sweat for six weeks
here's a riddle. what is it that you walk into and crawl out of?

give up?

the answer is an orthopedic clinic. and i'll be visiting one today. i've had knee surgery before but never as extensive as what i'm in store for here (acl reconstruction & meniscus repair). people have been mostly kind in sparing me some of the more concrete details but in the last few months i've heard phrases like, "repurpose a portion of hamstring" and "only need to drill two holes". and, given that for two hours tomorrow parts of my body are going to be drilled through and repurposed, i think i'm going to take the rest of the week off.

unless i say funny things while drugged in which case i may make an appearance.

KIDS (permalink) 04.07.2008
pillaging families for more than forty years
saturday alex had a birthday party to attend. i was tapped to take he and a neighbor boy, sebastian to the celebration. sebastian lives a few doors down from us and is one of alex's favorite pals. the last time i took the two of them out, we went to a local attraction, the city museum, for the day. when it was time to head home, we had lost sebastian's shoes. when i delivered him home, i told his parents i had good news and bad news. the good news was i was safely returning the eldest son. the bad news was he no longer had his shoes. this saturday after his mother buckled him into his seat next to alex, she turned to me and said "and don't worry about his shoes this time troy, i put a really ratty pair on him." i appreciate human sensibility.

the party was leagues away. the birthday boy chose chuck e cheese as his locale and the closest one was several zip codes from us. between the distance and a highway closure, i ended up horrifically lost. a trip that should have taken thirty minutes took us over an hour and at our most remote point we were driving through farmland and at one point even found ourselves in the middle of a forest. when we were shrouded by trees i found the boys staring our of their respective windows, fascinated. this was about forty minutes into the trek and one of them asked:

how much longer will it be until we are at chuck e chese.

uhhhm. well a few minutes ago i didn't know where we were, but now i do which means we are no longer totally lost. so that is good. and based on where i think we are, i'd put it at ten minutes away.

turns out we were twenty five minutes away but the moment i walked into this children's mad house, i yearned for the uncertainty we knew only a half hour ago back in the woods. in surveying the dark, cavernous room, i concluded i haven't been to one of these since i myself was alex's age. furthermore, i think i can sum up the day by describing three scenes:

scene one. the birthday party is sitting at a long table watching a video of people singing happy birthday. there are four other such long tables to our right and left. a commotion behind us causes all of the seated adults to crane their heads to see the source of noise only to spy a huge costumed rat walking towards the stage with a mob of children parading behind it. in the melee i see a child launch himself from a chair onto the rat's back. the kid looked like a miniature version of tom cruise acting out a scene from the mission impossible series. post-jump, i recognize the kid as being from our neighborhood. i looked to his mother who was sitting across the table from me. she looked both drunk and high:

lori, i think your kid just attacked the rat

LORI (smiling as though she didn't hear my comment)
i feel like i'm in a movie. i've never been here before. this is surreal. i don't think this is really happening to me.

she never acknowledged the fact that her son was chewing on the rat's tail and madly punching his right buttock. based on the rodent's non-response i think the high school kid wearing the costume either couldn't feel the assault or found it inconsequential compared to the fact he was currently wearing such an ill-fitting and socially-damning getup.

scene two. throughout the day the hostess of the party gave me over 150 gold tokens for the two boys i brought. at first i thought this would be far too many but learned it was possibly not enough. there was one game that had you deposit a token. the game would then shoot the coin into the air where it would land on one of three terraced metal trays. on the trays were the coins shot by previous players and behind the coins were several mechanized bulldozors which cyclically pushed at the coins. the goal was to land your coin in a spot that would cause the shovel to knock a bunch of coins off the tray. alex quickly fed five coins into the game. he then looked up at me and asked why nothing was happening. my eyes widened.

alex! what do you mean nothing is happening. don't you see it shooting your coins in the air?


well why'd you keep putting money in.

i don't know.

you should figure out what's happening with the game before you pump a bunch of coins into it.


after i explain the premise of the game, he becomes excited and pushes coins in faster than the game can launch them into the air or he can watch them fly. it turns out the best game of all is seeing how fast you can insert your fistful of coins into one of the machines.

scene three. i am sitting in a race car game. alex is on my lap. he needs me because he can't reach the gas pedal. i can see sebastian playing another game to my right. regarding alex's game i just keep the pedal pushed all the way down so i can watch sebastian. alex spins the wheel madly. occasionally a sultry sounding woman's voice comes through the speaker, "what are you doing? you are going the wrong way." she sounds annoyed ... but sultry still. without looking at the screen i tell alex to turn the car around. he asks why. i tell him he's going the wrong way. while we have this discussion i see a kid who looks about nine hovering behind sebastian. sebastian's game has spit out a bunch of tickets, which he hasn't noticed because he's focused on the game. the nine-year old reaches down stealthily and tears the tickets loose and stands to walk away. and this becomes the next thirty seconds of my life:

HEY! YOU! YES YOU. GIVE THOSE TICKETS BACK TO THE BOY! turn the car around alex. GIVE THEM BACK TO THE BOY! cuz the sexy lady said you're going the wrong way alex. STOP TAKING LITTLE KIDS TICKETS! you're still going the wrong way alex. APOLOGIZE TO THAT BOY! SHAME ON YOU! turn the car around alex.

at the end of the day the kids have collectively won just over 300 tickets with their 150 coins. before leaving we go to the prize counter to learn that they can have a plastic spider ring or fluorescent sticky worm that will cling to walls. because the two boys are not insane, they have no interest in either of those crappy baubles. the perky girl showcasing the prizes tells me that i can pay the difference between the ticket value and true cost of the toy if i'd like. they kids pick a ball game they can play together. my cut comes to more than twice what we would have paid for such a toy at the k-mart next door.

the moral of this longish story is this. if you have any money to invest, buy chuck e cheese stock because they have somehow figured out how to run a nearly criminal operation under the guise of a legitimate business. they are geniuses. their patrons are not.

KIDS (permalink) 04.02.2008
say it, don't spray it.
you may recall me mentioning a discussion i had with a man who asked if i had yet crossed streams with my son while urinating. at the time of the question, i had not. the gleam in the man's eye told me he found this to be one of those father-son moments he looked forward to and now cherished.

last weekend i joined the club. marty's voice called up the staircase announcing breakfast. this woke both alex and i. we got out of the bed we were sharing and together shuffled to the bathroom. wordlessly we stood side by side before the toilet, unsheathed and began to urinate. we directed our torrents around the bowl in a haphazard way. after a moment, the streams touched, crossing magically, if even for just moment. alex looked up to me, about to speak. i cleared my mind waiting to experience a moment i knew i would forever remember. alex's still tired face caught my eye and said ... "dad, stop splashing me."

the man who turned me onto this milestone did say i would remember the first time i crossed streams with my son. he did not say why i'd remember. he just said i would remember. he was right.

QUOTES (permalink) 04.01.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
eighteen years

< Mar 2008 Monorail Archives

View A Random Post

Current Monorail
May 2008 >
Welcome Professional MonoRail TroyScripts Gallery