Saturday, March 28, 2009

The morning CLANG...

Not Kris Lang, or Klang, the not so talented ultra goofy horse mouthed basketball player at UNC...but the CLANG. Pots, pans, dishes, foot-stomps, loud voices, and my mother telling my father, "Matty just got in from college, Maryland, partying, saving the poor"...and my father yelling, "It's 7am, I'm up, he can get up too".
You are all familiar with it. My mental image is the father from the movie "The Christmas Story"...Christmas morning, a little hungover from a few glasses of red, stumbling downstairs with his robe on, hair disheveled, eyes half open and crusty, and the wife and kids all amped cause Santa had come. You'd like to smile, you'd like to be cheery, and gosh darn it you actually like all the CLANG, but God Dammit you just don't want to let anyone know. Tis better to be salty, mumble things in a incomprehensible language, and pretend to loathe the evil people who woke you up.
It was MAN night last night. My buddy Eric came over with his Boston Terrier "Mack", and our Boston "Fenway" and "Mack" played and played. My wife was at work, his was out of town, and we had "Man Town" baby. Sushi, beer, basketball, cleaning up dog puke (Mack has stomach problems), beer, farting...and I even showed Eric the new "Fart Machine" application on my iPhone. It was DUDE heaven. The game ended, I dragged my sleep deprived Sam Adams intoxicated self upstairs, and dreamt on about our powerful blowout win versus Gonzaga.
And of course morning came. Per usual my really hot wife even in the morning was up first. I stirred, grabbed our dog, and wondered why my head had the dull ache of beer induced sleep. I stumbled out of bed, put on the coffee and made a rockin ass breakfast. Truffle fried potatoes, bacon and easy over eggs. Magical shit for a half hungover Matty. And I guess I really wasn't that cranky, wasn't worried about the CLANG because I had become the CLANG. Me, Mr. Salty Pants, Mr. "Goddammit Dad Shut the Fuck Up, it's 7am".
As the caffeine hit the synapses I kept on CLANGING and made my way downstairs, directly below the kitchen and started washing clothes. Upstairs I heard more CLANG...the dog running around, my wife cleaning up.
And I realized...what a beautiful sound. The morning, change, a new day, new beginnings, and the wonderment of having a happy home and the thrill of just being happy.
I'm on my third or fourth cup of coffee, my crusty eye balls are clean, my dog is snoring on the couch and my wife and I are catching up on the week's ti-vo'd shows. I am in my zone, and I am happy. But please don't ever tell anyone that I guiltilly enjoy the CLANG, especially when I visit my folks at home. I relish my salty exterior, but gosh darn it, I relish on that plush interior of soul I control...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I recently read a post about a mutual friend of Meghan and I. The post was in regards to her mother, who is an incessant collector of fine dining accoutrement. Sparing the recapitulation, the idea of writing of a mother's quirkiness is sparking my topic today.

I could write about my own parents, both of whom are wonderful and inspiring people. However, I'd like to focus more on the x-factor in the group of parents. The factor that is generally the butt of many "Man" jokes, and the victim of beer induced man-town rants...the mother-in-law.

Say what you will about mine, lay your jokes down, poke your fun, but my mother-in-law has always inspired me. She can be headstrong at times, and sometimes a little too much in my business, but time after time she has always been there for me, and most importantly my wife and new family.

If you look up the word "Adversity" in the dictionary, Mary Ellen's picture is there. She's a single mother, raised a beautiful daughter, and has gone through many a trial and tribulation most would look at and quit. In fact, I see patients daily who have not gone through a tenth as much hardship. Generally, these folks are asking for work slips, handouts, handicapped parking stickers, generally anything that can get them a free pass at the remainder of their ill coped lives.

My mother-in-law Mary Ellen however, is very special, and very dear to my heart. What's most inspiring is that she experiences everything on the positive. You have horrible mold, well, she has found cheese, you see some chicken shit, well, she actually can turn it into chicken salad. In short, she lives, and lives to experience life. She lives with a gusto for "I can" and never has she said, "no, I can't, I don't, it's impossible, well I just don't like it". For a lady in her mid 30s (remember she'll be reading this), she's not into the same middle aged rut most fall into.

Most recently she's phasing her career into retiring, and is spending her winters/springs at her vacation farm in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Instead of lounging on the couch all day, she's riding her two horses 7 days a week, going to the gym 6 days a week, and still finding time for her husband, and family.

Looking to the future I know I am in good stead and I know I married into a great family. I also know that daughers don't fall far from the mother-in-law tree. Knowing that, I'm blessed because my already wonderful and amazing wife is to keep getting better with age. How could I go wrong?

How would I know that you may ask. I'll share one last sentiment before I go. In fact, I have only recently shared this sentiment with my wife, and no one else.

The day we were married, and as the folks processed down the ailse, I saw something really special, and it was in Mary Ellen. I saw her daughter in her eyes, the strength, the beauty, and steadfastness of the Burton family shone through like that strong summer sunlight breaking through a foggy morning in the mountains. That strength, and that beauty made me look twice, well up with tears, and I fought them back. To be honest, I'm a cryer, you name it, I can find some tears. Whilest welling up with these puddles of sadness, I quickly wondered, "How the hell are these tears no flying off my face and into the second row?"

I must be clairvoyant, because after the ceremony I found out everyone bet that I would be the first to cry. To my delight, everyone lost their bet as my wife sprung leaks in her eyes like an old worn out dam.

Maybe this was my final victory as a "MAN", "Mr. Macho Man"..."I dont' cry at no stinking weddings..." Yet here I am, blogging my feelings. Blogging my feelings about my "MOTHER-IN-LAW"...and I'm wearing a nice designer skirt and carrying a matching handbag.

Too all a nice day.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back from the OBX

OBX...I hate that bumper sticker probably as much as my readers...unless that sticker is on your car. If it is...well, it's a little overdone wouldn't you say? I don't dig on most commercialization of a vacation spot. Where is the uniqueness? Why should you flaunt that you visited the "OBX"? If you feel you should, maybe you should also have a bumper sticker saying, "I take poops"....everyone has done it. It's like having a go with the high school whore way back when. It's not special. You can only have a bumper sticker if you did the prom queen...

Nonetheless, my wife and I just got back from Manteo, and Duck, North Carolina. Might I say, after working 20 of 23 days, it was a wonderful reprieve.

For those who have never been to the Outer Banks, it's a nice's the beach as your parents remember...quiet, calm, serene, and not a lot of development. We'll emphasize that 100-fold for now since it is definately the low season.

Most interestingly regarding this area, we found that people in North Carolina really cannot cook seafood, don't offer a lot of good raw seafood, and would rather serve you the grass fed cattle, or the pulled pork sandwich. Being a newly christened Terrapin, it's really an atrocity to live on the coast and eat pulled pork. My wife and I both headed to the local crab shack last night in Annapolis, had a beer, a dozen raw oysters on the half, a bucket of clams, and a dozen steamed crabs. As much as we talk about moving south someday, I think North Carolina made negative points this weekend.

Another rant, I HATE when places try to seem "Fancy", charge a hefty sum for the "I fit a lot of adjectives into the name of this dish so it sounds fancy", and then come up short. Vis a vis...North Carolina in a nutshell. To the North Carolinians out there...PLEASE stop thinking that wall to wall carpeting, fancy labels, a catchy restaurant name, and a few French posters from Marshalls makes the place high dollar.'s really unbecoming. My wife and I both got out of a dinner in Napa for under 100 bucks and it was some of the best food we have ever tasted. Please, stop overcharging for items the waitstaff cannot even hope to pronounce.

Speaking of moving south, our compass is constantly pointing to the charm of Charleston, SC. From our early autumn jaunt in September, we were impressed. The people, architecture, and cuisine is superb. Definately affordable, and the climate is quite tolerable for my cold weather hatin' wife. Our dream is to get some land, a few horses, preferably on a body of water, work until we're about 55 and retire to a life of leisure. I guess everyone has a dream like that. Currently we have the "REAL" American Dream...debt. However, as my grandfather said, got to spend it to make it.

On a side note life is depressing, no one lives forever, and the nicest people die from the most horrible diseases. I am constantly tempted to be a son of a bitch most times. However, it's just not in my repetoire of tricks. Talk to former women I have known, you may have a different answer about what a son of a bitch I am. And I guess I put on a great facade at work. One has to wear thick suits of armor to deal with crying and sometimes collapsing family members when you say, "I'm sorry, but your mother is dead, dying, or going to die". One has to cope. Me? I cope via pretending to not believe in God, Jesus, or any other diety. Do I have questions regarding why things happen to us, and especially to good people? Yes. Do I still believe there is an ultimate purpose? Yes, absolutely. Maybe it's my undying ego and need to feel more important than anyone in the room. But I honestly believe I have been put here to make this world better. I belive I am better at things than most people. Yes I am constantly humbled, most frequently by my lovely wife. But there is something to this life that not many know. I am lucky to at least live a breath of the infinity we have all been born into.

Until next, go heels, sorry terps, and be well.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

We have always heard it...

Rabbit Rabbit, first of the month...happy March.

My wife and I have endeavored to lose that honeymoon comfortable fluff, and pack on the muscle. We have a nice pool in our community, and I am way to vain to wear a shirt with my swimsuit all summer.

Last night I worked the 12a-8a shift in the Emergency Department at my other job...what I find interesting as a new professional is how many people just don't want to do their jobs. Most disconcerting was the patient who needed to be taken care of by a Doctor at another hospital for continuity of care, and the Doctor abandoned the patient by saying, "Well, I don't feel that the patient should be taken care of right now"...more or less...two other doctors one at our hospital, one at the other, felt the patient was an acute or death....thankfully a Doctor who did not ever take care of the patient took up the slack and helped that patient.

I see it every day, and I'm sure many of you in the health care field see the same. We take care of a lot of patients who's providers fail to provide. On a more global scale, these acts of failing to follow through happen with every business. Is this more prevalent? Or am I coming of age and realizing the harsh reality of our world?

I believe the reason most voted for Obama is that they hoped to see a change in philosophy. Maybe they many wanted to see better ownership. I feel he preaches that in his messages to act in your local communities...things starting at home, and progressing globally. My hope of hopes is that Obama succeeds. I do however feel strongly against the stimuli of packages he is helping to orchestrate. I feel these packages are built to reward bad behavior of overspending/borrowing and a overall irresponsibility. We all knew the kids whose parents got them the beautiful sports car, saw it wrecked in a DUI, and then replaced the next week. Was there a positive life lesson?

Truly yours, opinionated, open minded, though I must say...I try to keep a nice verbal armor to protect me...