Archive for the ‘Pittsburgh’

The passing of a great educator: Barbara Schomer

November 03, 2011 By: nooccar Category: Pittsburgh, School

I enrolled in graduate school at Duquesne University in spring 1998 to begin work on my Master’s degree in English Education. I was excited to get into the classroom and work with students. My internship was at Baldwin High School where I was a student myself. It was surreal giving my sister a hall pass and teaching a friend of our family, who we would see socially on the weekends. While the internship was awesome, student teaching was the real deal.

I won’t forget the day I walked into the graduate offices and was given my student teaching placement. In script handwriting it said “Barbara Schomer, Mt Lebanon High School”. While I didn’t know the woman, I knew the school. Mt Lebanon is one of the top public high schools on the east coast, and I was excited to get into such a prestigious school. My grades were near perfect, my professors lauded me each week, and now I was going to Lebo.

In late Spring I went to meet Barb Schomer. She was a short, older woman who demanded respect and was a solidly important part of the English faculty. I remember the box of novels she handed me to read over the summer and her showing me “my desk” in the corner near hers. We talked for quite a bit and I was under the impression that she was one of the more rigorous cooperating teachers in our program, but I was use to working with these sorts of educators. Student teaching began day one with students and I stayed until late December. Barb started our relationship as the pedagogist and me as the clerical mind. I helped keep things organized, took attendance, kept us both sane. She said she loved that about me. She told me that at home Barb’s husband, Bru, took on that role and it was nice to have me around. Her former student teacher was a performer with a background in theatre. Barb would hand her the lesson plan and the woman would do it. That was just enough. Then I came along with a background in literature and a strong pedagogical presence. By the semester’s end, our relationship shifted. I continued my clerical organization but segued them smoothly into my relationship teaching the students and building a family in the classroom. I finished that semester winning Duquesne’s Student Teacher of the Year Award and that had everything to do with Barb.

I learned so much from this woman. I learned to always have things planned out “in case you get hit by a truck” as she would say. Have plans more than a week out. Always praise students before critiquing them, always help them genuinely get better in whatever you’re teaching, balance the line between teacher and friend.

I left Duquesne, Mt Lebanon and Pittsburgh in the summer of 1999 and for the first few years I reconnected with Barb and Bru over holidays. I remember when we took Claire to dinner and they were able to enjoy this new little girl throwing her cheerios across the table at them. They laughed and her and enjoyed her as their own grandchild. By now Barb retired and Bru still taught science nearby. Barb, always an outdoors women, spent more and more time volunteering around the world and living in their West Virginian cabin. She even made it out to AZ to visit friends where I was able to spend an evening with her.

In 2010, Barb was diagnosed with Cancer. Her and Bru quickly moved to Centreville, VA so Barb could be treated at Georgetown University Hospital’s cancer center. We continued our relationship via email She was able to visit her cabin and take short walks in nature. By spring she was able to make a trip to Las Vegas to visit family and I was happy to hear her traveling and getting by. By fall she’d been to Florida and was doing well. When she could not get out as much I printed and framed a photo she liked of mine that I shot in the Coconino National Forest this past March. In early fall Barb traveled to PA for a family reunion, and I wish I were there so I too could talk to her once more.

I was not there. I was teaching in Arizona where my own students tell me what I mean to them. They share their dreams, hopes, fears, and loves with me. They listen to my words of wisdom passed down from Barb. I had the honor of passing on Barb’s wisdom to both Joe Abbruscato and Lindsey Costley, my own two student teachers, and I live my teaching life in the shadowing grace of a giant of a woman who will always be missed by me and never forgotten, as today Barbara succumbed to her Cancer with Bru and her daughter’s at her side. She is peacefully walking the trails of nature, caving to the depths of infinity and watching over all of us. Thank you, Barb, I love you.


Pittsburgh Summer

August 07, 2010 By: nooccar Category: Adams, holidays, Pittsburgh, Travel

This summer I had the opportunity to spend a month in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Claire was with me the entire time and spent a good deal of the month visiting our family. I expected more time sitting, watching movies I’ve not seen, and generally being a log lump while working on my lengthy to-do list. I didn’t expect to travel around as much as I did. For example, one week I drove to Lawrence County to visit with my mother’s cousin all day on Monday, road around with my cousin Brian another day to shoot our city, and the third day I went with a friend I’ve not seen in 15 years to photograph another part of the city. Friends surprised us by driving from Virginia for a long weekend, and people I didn’t think I’d see I spent a lot of time with.

AuntieM & Claire
Auntie M & Claire on the John Deere in our parent’s backyard.

Claire and I fished at Trax Farm, my uncle and I had some good talks, I drove my mum back and forth to the train each day (so I could have the car), etc… My brother-in-law, Danny, and I installed lighting on my parent’s porch one day and another day we took Claire kayaking, after Donna arrived for two weeks in PA.

While there, we drove to Warren, PA for the fourth of July. I first made this trip 16 years ago with Donna when we first dated, and it was good to see so much of her family, including a cousin we’d not seen since our engagement party in 1999.

I shot many abandoned buildings and captured the history of Pittsburgh from the old farm homesteads out near Bridgeville to asylums in Scotts and New Castle to an old iron mill in Braddock. I also photographed the Strip District and Southside before turning the camera on the families.

I’d never live there again, but I know the true love I have for a city I once took for granted and now miss from time to time. A city that still holds my heart.

Christmas’ tattoos

January 03, 2010 By: nooccar Category: holidays, Pittsburgh

My uncle grew up working in his father’s Harley shop and when the father passed away, my uncle took over the shop. The biker culture always included tattoo art. My cousins grew up with this in their family and when my oldest became a man, he went and got a tattoo. The three brothers were then and are now artists, so Brian, the oldest, purchased a tattoo gun. He practiced on himself, his father and fruit at first. As he had tattoos done by others, I considered my own work. I too am an artist, and I considered getting a tattoo, also. At first I thought of silly things like cartoon characters (ok for some, but not me), and then I wanted the experience of doing this but not necessarily designing it. I chose two interlaced dragons on my right shoulder. Nothing too drastic, and we had my uncle’s friend do the ink. Part way through I felt a little ill, but the biting needles didn’t both me that much. As I left the tattoo shop, he said, “you’ll be back”. He explained that he knows a way large population of people who cannot get a single tattoo.

He was right. Within a year I was back in his shop. Even though I don’t run off to church weekly, I am religious. I wanted a fish that in part represented fisher of men, but I wanted it to be subtle. I had the letters of the fisher of men built into a koi’s scales, and I went back to same tattooist. That fish went on the inside of my left ankle. By this time my cousin was working on his tattooing more and more and he was cheaper than anyone since he was family. Over the next few years during college he tattooed a red and black tribal son on my left shoulder and a toe ring one weekend when were in Penn State and bored out of our minds. Then it was time for the biggest tattoo: my iguana. I got my iguana tattooed over the course of about five hours initially. I remember lying on my mum’s dining room table while my cousin worked on it. We listened to Toad the Wet Sprocket while he worked and I also took a nap. The tattoo is about 14″ and it’s on the back of my left leg. The final tattoo I got for a really long time was my dream catcher under my tribal sun. I got this as my wife and I began dating, and I’ve not had anything since. Not until now.

This past summer Donna and I traveled to Las Vegas with some friends, and we came very close to getting tattoos. This got me thinking of what I would get. I considered several different ideas; some of them were simpler and others really need to be designed well. It wasn’t the right time, not then.

As I began searching for a good idea this year for presents for my brother and sister, I knew I wanted to get my brother something that he could take with him wherever he went that would always remind him of me. The only thing that could be is a tattoo. It was time, but what would I get? I considered a few ideas and then it came down to something that had a raccoon or my daughter’s name. I wanted something that represented my child, and I highly considered getting her name tattooed across the inside of my left wrist. Donna, frankly, was less than thrilled with the idea. I knew I could cover the tattoo with my watch band when needed. That didn’t convince her.

I had a student design a raccoon tattoo for me that had a scorpion in the center, which I thought represented me well. But when I got home, it just wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t feel it and I had to feel it. And at this point the only people who knew about the Christmas gift in my family was my wife and mother, and the only reason my mother knew was because she guessed it one morning.

As Christmas break began, I went looking online. I am never one (after tattoo #1) to just get a stock design but I knew I could find ideas online that I could develop and redesign into something. As I searched, Christmas morning arrived. I wrote a nice note in both their Christmas cards announcing my intentions of paying for tattoos for them both. Meghan was nervous but she has two tattoos already, and her tribal sun needed some work so she could be safe and do a touch up. Jaime, who’s always more reserved, didn’t have much to say. I told them I’d find time when we were available to go get a tattoo. I also began figuring out where to go. I emailed a few friends in Pittsburgh but since I didn’t live there in a decade, I wasn’t sure. I also went on Twitter and sent out a message. One person mentioned a tattoo shop in Bloomfield that I considered, but then @corpsefire wrote to me about Shannon Daley at Jester’s Court in Southside. Southside is my old stomping grounds for years so this felt right to me.

Now I needed a design and kept putting it off. Donna initially was getting ink with us, but then she backed out because (I assume) her design wasn’t ready. As I worked on my design and was frustrated, she suggested I just get them theirs and not worry about mine for now. This wasn’t how it would pan out. This was something I was doing with them. It had to be us all.

One problem I had with the raccoon design was that it was circular and there’s not a spot where I felt like it fit on my body. Then I found a really small drawing of a tribal raccoon online, and suddenly I had an idea. This worked for me, but now I needed it designed. I liked the shape and the body, but it needed work to be mine. I grabbed the body and enlarged it. Then began working on the tail that reminded me of the FireFox fox tail (which I thought was kind of cool), but it didn’t feel right to me. I was showing the initial design to my mother and had this circular area in the center that didn’t work. She suggested the @ sign (it’s called an asperand, if you must know), and I loved the idea! A large part of why I was getting the raccoon was because over the years it has become my online identity. Everywhere online I’ve been known as @nooccar now (including this blog), but something was still missing. As I designed, redrew, and worked on that tattoo I showed it to Donna again. She said the ringed design on the tattoo didn’t seem to work and why not go directly with the word “nooccar” built into the tail as the texture. I adored the idea and began working on it. By now I was running out of days in break, since it was December 30th. Over the course of the next four hours into the wee hours of the morning I designed and redesigned the tail. By about 3AM, it was done. I had “NOOCCAR” built into the tail and designed the asperand myself. Donna, her brother and her mother liked it. Suddenly this feeling came over me that this was the design I’d been waiting for and I was ready. I was giddy as I went to bed.

I called Shannon and set up an appointment for the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. All the while I kept asking my brother what he was going to get, and he just kept shrugging and telling me he’d be ready. He’s a man of few words so I had no idea. Meghan was scheduled to work until noon, so she would meet me and Jaime in Southside. When Jaime picked me up at my in-laws, he looked down at my design and said “that’s what I’m getting”. If I had any idea he was planning on getting the same tattoo as me, then I would’ve designed him a generic tattoo. I was completely touched that he wanted to get the same tattoo as me but the “@nooccar” built into it wouldn’t do it for him. I showed him the design closer and he agreed we needed to change that.


Meghan arrived as Jaime and I walked into Jester’s Court to meet with Shannon Daley. I showed her my design and explained that we wanted change the tail. She agreed and went to draw up the patterns. At the eleventh hour Meghan decided a touchup wasn’t significant enough; this was a gift from me to her and she needed to do something special and new. Meghan had a Celtic swirling circle design that she came in with, and I asked her what that represented for her. She went on for several minutes explaining the significance, and I liked her ideas. It was time to begin and we made Meghan go first since she was the youngest. She wasn’t too thrilled.


Shannon set up the workstation and got out a huge padded table out from behind a row of arcade machines. Meghan stripped off her boots and climbed onto the table. She was worried about the pain, but as Shannon began to tattoo the swirls onto Meghan’s leg Meghan was surprised by the lack of pain. She was ok with it. While we waited, Jaime played Galaga and I shot these and other photos. Meghan’s tattoo took about 90 minutes because the swirls were continual. When it was completed, Meghan was thrilled with Shannon’s work.


Jaime wanted this tattoo on his left leg near where he had another tattoo from the artwork inside of L7’s Bricks are Heavy CD cover. I had suggested the right leg so we could get them in the same area, but he was set on the left. This later surprised me because we had Shannon put them in the same exact place but on balanced ankles, which worked well in the end. Jaime did very well and his work didn’t take long at all. Shannon explained that continual circles and clean lines of Meghan’s swirls. Jaime finished up and I loved the work she did on it.


When I got to the tattoo shop, the smells came back to me. The ointment, the soaps, etc… and it all came back to me. When it was my turn I lay down and prepared my self. I remember the biting needles and the shading/coloring hurting a little more than the line art. I won’t lie, the bottom of my tattoo hurt near the top of my Achille’s Heel where it was more tender, but it wasn’t anything unbearable. Jaime’s tattoo and my tattoo both took half the time of Meghan’s because they weren’t symmetrical. Shannon went over the care instructions with the three of us, she finished my tattoo which turned out wonderful, and then we thanked her.



Below are some of my favorite shots of the day.

Meghan shot this photo as Shannon prepped my tattoo.

I love the composition here of me, Meghan and Michael Patrick, another tattooist working that day.

Shannon as she began my tattoo.

Shannon finishing up Jaime’s tattoo.

Shannon working on Meghan’s tattoo.


Claire, the Wii fiend.

December 29, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, holidays, Parenthood, Pittsburgh

Last night my mother’s cousin and my father’s cousin both visited us and after spending some time in the kitchen around appetizers and drinks, we all moved into the living room where my sister turned on the Wii. My dad and his cousin played for awhile but then Claire wanted to play. They flipped from electronic darts to shuffleboard where you need to swing the remote to compete. Claire grabbed a remote and more or less challenged everyone in the room. She’d never played Wii before but quickly picked up the idea of how to play. Within an hour, she was beating everyone at Wii shuffle board and was ready to move onto Mario Kart.


The adventures of a Crackberry addict

December 27, 2009 By: nooccar Category: holidays, Pittsburgh, Technology, Travel

The other evening I was “hanging” with my family while Donna and Claire were off at her parent’s, and my father was having his annual Christmas dinner for the girls in his office. Partners are strictly forbidden unless you are a part-owner and because of his own self-imposed rule, his own son wasn’t permitted to attend. I was with my mother in South Side near the restaurant already due to shopping but I wasn’t allowed because then the girls would bitch about their boyfriend/best friend/father of their child who couldn’t come along. I told my mother it was all ok, and that I was going to walk the streets of South Side since it was my old stomping grounds. She gave me her bus pass and sent me on my way. If you know South Side this next part’ll make sense. If not, that’s why Google made Street View.

I walked from the Hot Metal Bridge area near Cheese Cake Factory down to Primanti’s at 19th Street. Primanti’s is a staple of Pittsburgh, and I got my favorite Pastrami no tomatoe add egg extra cheese and a Yeungling. Yum! I wolfed down the food, pulled my hat over my ears and kept going. It was dark out, and I had called my sister to meet me after work near the mall by my parent’s where the trolley terminated. At 14th street I walked into The Beehive where I use to spend almost every evening when I was in grad school and some years in high school; it’s changed a bit since then, but it always has memories for me. I got a coffee to warm up, shot some photos of my DSLR shoved in my coat, and walked outside. I stopped across the street where there use to be a bank that was now a bar. After 20 minutes of waiting and tweeting from my phone to record my journey, the bus came. I flashed my mum’s pass and road down towards Station Square.

After jumping from the bus, I ran across East Carson to the trolley. I shot some photos while waiting 10 minutes for the trolley to the Village. Then I went to send another message, but no phone. Uh oh. No PHONE! I checked my pockets. Got my iTouch, point&shoot, wallet, bus pass, Canon, scraps of paper, gloves, and hat. NO PHONE! Trolley came. I didn’t get on. I let it pass by me, and I retraced my steps back across the busy road, looking for a smashed BlackBerry in the road. Nothing. I looked at everyone on a phone and wonderered. Then I walked back up the trolley ramp. The next one came. I got on. I’d given up. I sat down and waited for my stop 20 minutes later.


Across the aisle was a lady chatting away on the phone about only God knows what, and when she hanged up I asked if I could use her phone to call my ride. She agreed but then her stop came up as it rang. I handed it back, and thanked her. I sat there wondering if my sister, Meghan, would be there to pick me up in the cold winter night. I finally walked to the front of the train and asked a man if I could use his BlackBerry; he agreed.

I called Meghan, she answered, and immediately said “they found your phone!” My heart lept. I told her I was close and almost there. She said she’d been waiting. I jumped from the trolley after wondering if I had to shell out hundreds for a new phone and climbed into her car. She told me the bus driver had my phone and it’d be at the Collier Garage after midnight. I asked where the hell the Collier Garage was. Meghan said it was in Bridgeville, which wasn’t far from my parent’s new place. I texted my mum from Meghan’s phone and since she use to live in the area, said she’d drive me later.

At 11:40pm we left for Bridgeville and I walked into the Port Authority Transit dispatch at midnight with my ID card. As the man handed over my phone, he said no one usually picked up lost and found that quickly and he wished me a Merry Christmas.

Yes Virigina, There still are nice people in this world.

Claire’s igloo

December 22, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, holidays, Parenthood, Pittsburgh

I always say my favorite part of the Christmas holiday is when the tires bounce down onto the Pittsburgh tarmac, and you know what? I didn’t even notice this time. No reason, really. It just wasn’t such a huge, relaxing deal. Maybe it’s because I have a million things on a list of things to do when I have time to do things. I don’t know.

Claire, after being shy girl lying on the airport floor, was glued to her Papa the first day in town, and we weren’t scheduled to see my family until Sunday. I told my mother to pick us up early so I could drop my MacBook Pro off at Apple for some minor repairs while I was on break and had access to other computers. She agreed and I went to bed Saturday evening in my brother-in-laws awesome Posture-pedic king size bed. Sunday morning came about 12 hours later as I really needed some sleep after last week.

Claire, her Uncle Danny and Papa were in the backyard in the 6+ inches of fresh powder, so I grabbed my camera, gloves, and ski pants before joining them for a short bit to shoot some photos before getting ready to see my family for the day.

Claire mentioned wanting an igloo, and I didn’t even know that she knew what an igloo was let alone that she wanted one. As I said, the snow was really powdery but anytime you tell Uncle Danny he can’t do something, he tries to do it. Especially when it involves jumping off cliffs and driving through rivers. This was no different. He wanted to build Claire an igloo so we go to work. We shoveled snow off the grass into a huge pile, scrapped it from the sidewalk, and filled recycle bins with snow from other parts of the yard to make it higher. Then Uncle Danny began to throw his weight against it while I suggested a watering can to make it wetter. We sprinkled water all over it, attached it like beached whales, and then began scooping it out. We got it to a point where Claire could get into it fully if she bent her legs, but of course she refused to do that. She did look up for a few photos, and then pulled herself from the igloo. She announced she was bored, hungry and cold. Papa immediately took her inside, while Uncle Danny and I admired our handiwork—two hours later and as my mother was scheduled to arrive.

Missing mini-me

June 03, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Pittsburgh, Travel

I don’t mind traveling for work, and I enjoy flying around the country (for the most part), but being away from Claire is hard. When she was two months old she flew to PA while I took a trip down the east coast. This was a little hard because she was so new, but her mother was with her so that helped. In 2007 Donna and I flew to Europe without Claire. I’d been away from her for a few days before flying to Berlin that year, and by the time I hit Vienna I missed her so much. I can dig a day here or long weekend there, but once again she’ll be off to PA this summer to see her grandparents. I will literally be away from my daughter for 21 days: 3 weeks. Yes, I realize she will be around her grandparents and family and busy, and I will be super busy myself but it’s still hard. I hope to talk to her a few times, and I hope to Skype her. I will have to get my mother-in-law access to my ning to post photos of Claire so we can all enjoy them, too. Things’ll work out but it’s always a little disconcerting. In another decade she can just stay with us during this time and all will be fine.

My Girls

Thomas Road House

May 09, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Adams, House, Pittsburgh

My mother sent the following email out to some people today. Read for yourself.

Well, for the past several days we’ve been going back and forth with the seller of this nice level ranch home on Thomas Road in Peters Township. This morning we finally heard back that they accepted our latest bid!!! Whooooo hooooo!! Apparently there was another bid that came in late yesterday, and there was also yet another buyer who was asking to go back for another viewing. His agent told him to just take the bid, already, cause we’d gone out of way to accommodate what he needed too. Sheesh…. No idea when the closing will be. Getting our house redd up so we can put it on the market. They don’t really do that thing where they wait for you to sell your old house anymore but I think we won’t have too much trouble, even on the main road since we’ve really fixed our place up real nice.

I can never go back: A New House

April 27, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Adams, holidays, House, Parenthood, Pittsburgh

Ok, I think it’s time to comment on this one. One day in 1984 I was walking home from school and my parents drove by. I waved them down and hopped into the car. They told me they were off to look at houses because before that we’d been renting, and it was time to move on. We went to this three story cape code on a major highway. The former former occupant had died on the first floor master bedroom and the basement had nice wood paneling. The next day I wrote the address on my wooden desk at school. This was midyear. Within a month we were moved into this new house on Curry Hollow Road. I finished grade 4-6 at two local elementary schools and spent junior high and high school in that house. I can begin to tell you some of the stories in that house, and some others will never leave my lips. I visited home through undergrad and then moved home (into the dead lady’s room) for all of grad school. My brother has lived there for 24 years now. My sister about 20. I lived there for a good part of two decades myself. The house isn’t the largest, the yard isn’t the biggest, and it’s on a highway. In 1993 I became a man in that downstairs basement. Through the early 1990s my cousin courted his now wife and mother of 3 children while spending most weekends living in that same basement. In early 1994 I got my largest tattoo to date on my parent’s dining room table in that house. In spring of 1995 the house caught fire. The basement was destroyed, half the first floor. That same basement where I was sleeping on a December morning in 1994 when I was informed my grandmother was dead. That same house where I lay in an upstairs bedroom with fever and chills in 1988 and was shortly diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The house where I met with my tutors through Jr High when I couldn’t go to school. The same house from which we all three graduated from high school. The home to which my sister headed after a stint in Colorado and, years early, my brother after another in South Bend, Indiana.

My parents are getting older. Dad has bad knees (over weight, skied for four decades). Mom has bad knees (baker’s cysts), bionic hip and a terrible back (sciatic and discs). Did I mention the house has three floors? You can’t even get to the living room without going up a flight of stairs or two… and in the snow and ice, it’s even worse. They need one floor.

Now, I come to say this. It looks like I will never ever be in that house again. Never. Ever. My parents are selling it. They too are moving on like Donna and I did a decade ago. They aren’t going as far. My parents are prepared to put in a bid on a single story (with a huge basement) large home in Canonsburg, PA. We shall see if they get it.

When they talked about moving, we always told them to go for it! Curry Hollow has always been small, too small for two dogs, three children, two parents, a parade of boy friends, girl friends, friend friends, and our own families now. Mum began looking more earnestly after Christmas (now that the economy sucks and you can get a good deal); she liked the Thomas Road house, but I didn’t realize my father would run our the day after tax season to look, too. When he’s ready, my father acts quickly. Too quickly almost for me right now.

My uncle (Dad’s little brother) is in town. They all went to view this Thomas Road house yesterday, and today my parents began packing our house. Yes, Ours, still. I’ve not lived there in a decade, but I am really town now between being happy for them to have the room they need and the lack of stairs, etc… but it’s like I can never go home now. There will be nothing familiar at all with it. No sleeping on the back porch in the summer, listening to New Kids on the Block and getting my ear pierced when I was 12, or the pond where I froze my snapping turtle to death by accident. Nothing. When they say you can never go home again, now I really get it.

This feels like it’s becoming a reality. We talked about new carpets for 15 years and they are doing it now… to sell our family home. We talked about new bathroom model. Now, they are doing it. The basement acoustic ceiling has been falling down for 15 years, my uncle and brother replaced it today. Today. Took 1 day. I waited 15 years, and I will never see the ceiling, the hardwood, the paint. I will get off the plane at Christmas and go to someone’s weird unrecognizable house.


January 01, 2009 By: nooccar Category: health, holidays, Pittsburgh, Travel

It seems that every Christmas someone ends up at Urgent Care. Claire went last year and again this year for coughing, but this year they thought she developed a cough because it was cold and snowy and then got really warm really quickly. They said she wasn’t contagious and to have a nice day.

The next morning I woke up congested. That was 3 1/2 days ago. By this morning I thought I was going to die. I was completely congested, my head throbbed, and my nose wouldn’t stop running. I grabbed my clothes and headed straight to urgent care. The doctor took one look at me and told me she hoped I had no where to be. My temperature was 103.6 and my blood pressure was 140/90. She did a strep throat culture and x-rayed my chest, before she had the nurse come in and put an IV in. She said she’d prefer me to go nowhere until they brought down both my fever and my blood pressure. They ran an IV of Toridol and I laid there and slept for an hour.

Later she came back in and told me I had pneumonia and a sinus infection. Well, no crap. Anyone could tell me that I had a sinus infection. But the pneumonia was news to me. Damnit. I feel terrible, but Toridol sure helped. I headed to Walgreen’s to buy like 20 different drugs before driving to my parent’s house. Now I sit here on their couch waiting for Penn State to kill USC in the Rose Bowl.

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