Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Happy Chemo-Tines' Day!

          Did I actually move to Joniopolis? Or did Joniopolis just sort of spot me in the distance and then flow over me like sneaky lava, just because my name was Joni?
           Because something weird is going on here, and it isn't just having to have chemo. WHICH, by the way, is the very, bottom, last item you should put on your bucket list.
            You'd think having cancer and then chemo would be plenty of holiday cheer, right? But no. I had to BEGIN chemo right smack on February 14th, the day of hearts and roses, love and chocolate. You look up irony in the dictionary, and there is a photo of me on that day, hooked up to an infusion tube leading to a port in my chest.
             This port looks like a Lego buried under the skin (make that purple and green skin) and it looks like a tiny jack-in-the-box which, if presented with enough Pop-Goes-the-Weasel music, might suddenly burst open to reveal a creepy little clown.
              But this is not all. Are you kidding? You think Joniopolis would end right here? No, the nurse who has to infuse my little jack-in-the box notices that I'm pretty swollen (NO KIDDING) and leaves to get A LONGER NEEDLE.  That's right, A LONGER NEEDLE.
             What are we talking, here, a knitting needle?  No; just an inch-long one since the standard 3/4 inch one is too short.  This is exactly like meeting some shady guy in a dark alley and having him say, "Hang on-- I need a longer knife."
              Oh, by all means, get the proper tools in order. We don't want to skimp at at time like this! So now I sit there and await my stabbing -- which I will later learn is the rock bottom least of my worries-- but at least I can reflect upon a grand gesture this morning. My hilarious kids gave me a humongous bouquet that says, "Happy Chemo-Tines' Day."
               Thank goodness they live in Joniopolis. 
You, too, can glimpse my crazy world by ordering my books right here. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Doggone Crazy Timing

           Cancer is many things, but one thing people don’t always consider is that it's time consuming. You suddenly have an overwhelming number of appointments, phone calls, procedures, and paperwork to do. I say that as if you can now decide never to get it because of the hassle. I mean, who has time for all this, right?
          So I’m awaiting word of an upcoming appointment I need, when I get this message:

          For those who can’t see it, it’s a reminder to bring my RABIES CERTIFICATE (okay, in all fairness they did not capitalize it) to my upcoming appointment. 
          And I’m thinking, Seriously? Can I not just wallow in self-pity for two minutes?  The answer is no, I cannot. I have to endure ludicrous messages (some would say from the universe—the humor sector).
           And, of course, then I remember that I’m taking my dog in for a nail trimming and the message is from them. But it is not addressed to Mickey. Just saying.
However, should you actually contract Rabies, I imagine you’ll be looking for some great books to read as you recover.  Here are just a few of mine. Okay, all of them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

About Town with Joni

          Charles Kuralt was a popular TV journalist years ago, and many of us recall his “On the Road” segments for The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.  He always found something quirky or charming in the nooks and crannies of the U.S. And he would have loved my town.  Yes, because it often exemplifies the folksy goodness he so enjoyed. But also because it serves up a continuous supply of material.  Here are just three examples of things I’ve seen lately, simply by tooling around here:
          This one was in a public restroom where, I can only assume, visitors LOVE toilet paper. They simply cannot get enough, and will swipe-a-wipe to satisfy their craving.  OR… they want the heavy bar holding the paper, for who knows what purpose.
          This is a company that has diminished its motto simply by adding quotation marks.  Like saying your cafĂ© is a “quality” restaurant, it makes the reader question your claim. We’ve all seen people make air quotes as they refer to an “expert” who isn’t one, or a “vacation” that went sideways.
          And in this case, are they not quite changing the rules? Only pretending, perhaps? Or are they changing something, but it’s not really the rules, per se, just perceived rules.  Or maybe we should wonder what’s wrong with the old rules, that they need changing-- Were the old rules too demanding, and now they’ve thrown punctuality and safety to the wind?
          And this one was a pleasant surprise when I was filling out another medical form. On and on the pages went, asking for all my medications, all diagnosed ailments, you know the drill.  Then I came to this section about emotional adjustment, titled CORING.  I know they meant coping, and goodness knows typists can get tired, but this particular typo had me wondering if they wanted to get at the core of all our feelings. AND, if they even glance at these forms before printing them up.
          The top question says, “Since you became ill, have you felt any of the following?” and there’s a blank space for “other,” where you can write something in. I thought about writing, “Increased irritation with typos,” but then thought, nah, these aren’t irritating. They’re entertaining. Awkward and Upward!
Don’t you just want to drive around town all the time and find local  amusement?  FREE local amusement?  I hate to bring up the word, free, and then ask you to buy my books, but they are available here, and for only a modest fee (which is 75% of the word, free).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Unforgettable Moments in Veterinary Medicine

          I’m not sure why going to the vet has to be so funny.  I just know that often it is.
          The veterinarian where I take our hooligan animals is usually crowded, with at least 8 or 10 pet owners and their various dogs and cats in tow. We’re all a friendly bunch and we get to talking. I always find it sweet that each owner has painstakingly chosen a name for their furry friend, and then tacked on their own last name.
          “Is Muffy Wilson here?”
          “We’re ready for Puddles Amherst.”
          I picture people looking at their newly acquired rescue cat or pound pup, and deciding that they look just like a Sprinkles.  Or Bambi.  Or Nacho.
          But this isn’t the funny part. This happens when you get a noisy room full of pet owners chatting away, and a vet technician comes through the door and shouts, “Who’s eating dog feces?”
          At which point you have never heard such silence. Not one person so much as breathed in any noticeable way. Even the animals were quiet, as if they could understand the question and no way were they going to admit to that.
          All of our eyes looked like fried eggs, just staring ahead and hoping not to garner any attention.  I, for one, was terrified that someone would raise their hand and then the rest of us would all throw up.  But maybe that’s just me.
I promise my books will have no ill effects upon you.  In fact, you can read them at the vet’s while you’re waiting for Fido. Or whomever.