Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'll Be More Machine Than Man, Twisted and Evil

Yesterday, I met with the surgeon who will be installing my port on Friday afternoon.

This is a nifty little device -- a catheter that runs into a major vein near your heart plus a little dome connected to the catheter. The dome is implanted under the taut skin around your collarbone. This allows easy access to your circulatory system for both injections and blood draws; the nurse sticks the needle right into the port and you don't feel a thing. Or you shouldn't, anyway. It's a must for chemotherapy, as I'm told you get needled approximately 12,309 times per cycle.

The port will technically make me a cyborg, or "robo-cop."

Scheduling the 20-minute surgery to get the port installed has been proven the most bureaucratically infuriating ordeal of my cancer experience thus far, involving multiple calls back and forth between different extensions at Seton Medical Center, the surgeon's office, etc. But it seems that we're on for Friday at noon.

Also! This morning I deposited some man-seed at the cryobank as insurance against the chemotherapy (maybe, potentially, possibly) leaving me infertile.

The best thing about sperm banks (in my one-time experience) is how delicately the staff tap-dances around the essential fact that you are there to jerk off into a cup. The two euphemisms used repeatedly were "produce the sample" and "take you to the back room." The former sounds like all work and no fun; the latter sounds like detention, interrogation, or torture.

I must add: though this was a very nice facility with a very helpful staff, their collection of wank material was unsatisfactory. Listen up, fertility labs/cryobanks! You cannot bring the same lackadaisical approach to your spank mags as you do to the junk in the waiting room! Stroke books are not an afterthought; they're an essential tool of your trade. A half-dozen tattered Penthouses will not do. Variety, please! Different guys, different tastes! (Also, whatever it once was, Penthouse is now a hardcore Maxim where every pictorial is cut short for a comparative review of rancid body sprays.)

A final note: last night I made a very stupid pledge that on the first evening of every chemo cycle I will watch National Treasure to boost my spirits. I say "stupid" because I'm not sure that even my all-consuming affection for the movie will survive an eternal association with chemotherapy.

So, while my love for it is still strong, let me (for the 27th time) explain why National Treasure is awesome:

1) The word "treasure." The word is used an average of once per minute in the movie. By grown men. And it's one of those magic words that takes on its own comic force the more it's repeated. TRAY-ZURE.

2) The treasure itself. The treasure they are looking for in National Treasure is a storehouse of every lost and valuable artifact of every human civilization ever. It is the treasure, a maximization of the very concept of treasure.

3) Nicolas Cage. Seriously, who the fuck is this guy? I once knew the answer to that question: an off-beat actor who fit nicely into quirky movies like Raising Arizona. Now I guess he's the leading man you call on to sleepwalk through your movie when no one else will do it.

But how the hell did a guy who looks like a wax dummy with a bad toupee become leading-man material in the first place? Isn't the basic guideline for a leading man "men want to be him, women want to be with him," not "neither men and women would be shocked to see him rummaging through a dumpster"?

I mean, Jesus Christ, look at this ghoul!

4) Watching Nicolas Cage act and narrate "thought." There is immense pleasure in watching Hollywood's laziest furrow his brow and mumble his way through the solution to one inane puzzle after another. "'Seeing twice' ... 'seeing twice' ... to see ... focus ... focusing twice ... look again? ... no no ... twice ... BI ... bi ... focus ... bi-focals ... Ben Frankl -- IT'S IN THE LIBERTY TOWER!"

5) Him:

I have no idea who this actor is. To my knowledge, I have never seen him in another movie. But he is the sidekick in National Treasure. And his anti-triumph is that he is the lamest sidekick ever. He is so bland that he could be an art-terrorist exploding the notion of Comic Sidekick. He responds to every situation with sarcasm so canned that it wouldn't pass muster in an old Head and Shoulders commercial. He is the human Alf.

6) The movie re-contextualizes every important event in American history as an attempt to either conceal or find treasure.

I could go on. Jesus, could I go on.


Paula said...

1. I hope you will refer to this blog post everytime you need to make a point about National Treasure, because I believe I have heard this speech 409782439047 times.
2. I believe I came out on top with this pledge because I have ensured that I will only have to watch it three times over the next two and a half months.
3. Your love will survive chemo. You didn't throw away your teddy bears because they were tainted with the thought of monsters under the bed, did you?

Chris said...

Alright Curtis, you've actually convinced me. Every previous time you explained the merits of this movie, one of us was too drunk for me too pay much attention.

If you're watching the film anytime soon on your hotshit TayVay, and could stand some company, let me know. Even if I watch it, there's no way I'm paying full rental for a Nick Cage flick.