Ode to the Red Envelope

Yesterday I stopped by the clinic before work for a blood draw in anticipation of my annual checkup next week. Because they did not open until 8:00 and I had to fast, I took my time getting ready in the morning. Took a brisk walk and was treated to a spectacular sunrise. People are always asking me why I get up so damned early rather than sleeping in.

This is why, folks.

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In any case, I got there promptly when they opened, and was in and out in about 10 minutes. When the nurse stuck a needle in my vein she exclaimed, “Good news – you have blood!” I laughed politely, even though I’m pretty sure this is the exact same thing, the nurse who took my blood last year said. Word for word, even though it was a completely different person. Which makes me wonder if there’s a Making Small Talk With Patients course that’s a prerequisite for graduation from nursing school. I’ll have to ask my mom, who is a retired RN.

Then the nurse mentioned the lab work includes a cholesterol check, and without missing a beat, urged me to get an Egg McMuffin after my blood draw because I had been fasting and she said it would really hit the spot. I found that sort of funny and ironic. Then again, my doctor is a big fan of diet soda – he once extolled the virtues of Diet Coke to me and seemed to pooh-pooh the idea that aspartame is bad for you, so I wonder sometimes whether this clinic is on the up-and-up.

Not that it matters. Next week’s appointment will be my last one with these guys, barring an unforeseen case of the bubonic plague or something.

Knock on wood.


When I got to work I was swept up in a conversation with the web developers, which is weird because my interactions with them are typically pretty limited. They code, and I make sure modifiers aren’t dangling. We run in different circles. What happened was, I was walking by and decided to be a smartass by pretending to crash their meeting. Only they insisted I stay and wanted my input on a question, so the joke ended up being on me. The question was an interesting one, though: they wanted to know what type of technological innovation I am resistant toward. So I thought about it for a minute and  answered, streaming.

Not music streaming so much. I’m Team Spotify all the way. I refer instead to video streaming, which I tend to abhor.

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This is still my life.

I explained that I still have an old school Netflix DVD subscription, and dropping those red envelopes into the mailbox is a time-honored Monday morning tradition to this day. They regarded me with equal parts compassion and amusement. One of the guys said, “They still make those?!” I’m not sure whether he was referring to Netflix DVD subscriptions or DVDs themselves, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard that.

I don’t know what to say, other than, watching TV on a laptop (or god forbid, a phone) just feels weird to me. The screen is too small, the volume’s too low. It delegitimizes the whole experience. To be fair, I do have a Netflix streaming subscription as well, and a smart TV, and just this week I’ve been streaming a WWII documentary, so I’m not completely out of touch with the modern world. I just prefer the old ways, which makes me sound like a grandpa. Whatever.

Don’t even get me started on how much I miss Hollywood Video…

Countdown: 107 Days

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