They're still here....

Good morning gentlemen....

Thanks for waiting by my front door all night.  I must say I prefer that to getting into the attic and making noise all night like your obnoxious friend did.


Great political satire

I caught this on LGF a few days ago and it was so clever I had to steal it.  This is a Gerard Baker piece and where ever you stand on the upcoming presidential election, you have to admit the our friend Barack has gotten some pretty powder-puff coverage thus far.  I recommend reading the whole thing but here's the first few paragraphs to get you started: 

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.


Summer Interns

This is a tribute to our two interns this summer... Tommy and Judith. 

I'll start with Tommy since he was the first we met and also the first to leave us.  Tommy couldn't have come at a better time for Matt and I.  I don't think we realized how much we were missing our friends and in need of a spiritual jump start until he came.  His sense of humor clicked with ours and it felt like one of our long lost friends had come to visit.  Plus we had a few theological discussions that felt refreshing after having 7 months of bedside services.  

But even more than ministering to us, it was exciting to see how God was using Tommy here with the kids.  Since our first communication with Tommy, he's stated that his mission is to demonstrate love... "because without love I am nothing" (I Corinthians 13).  It's one thing to hear someone profess this, but it's another to see it in action.  It is the greatest asset that any one team member or intern can add to these camps.  These kids are in desperate need of someone showing them real love... Christ's love.  God can change lives with a simple hug and "I love you"... we've seen it here.  Although we all fall short on that often, the kids saw it clearly through Tommy.   

We were very sad to see Tommy go and miss him already, but we are trusting that God has it in his plan to send him back next year.

(This picture says it all)

And now to Judith...  

Judith came with camp 3 as well but was thrown into this weird mix of being a team member and intern.  We asked Judith to do things that were pretty uncomfortable for her... like praying in front of 100 strangers for the first time, and dancing and singing up front to Russian songs she's never heard of before.  I know this stretched her quite a bit, but already I can see how God is growing her and giving her more confidence everyday as she is now our only intern.  She brings such a sweet spirit that the kids adore.  Being around Judith is very calming... something that is certainly needed when doing back to back camps!  I love having her around!
God has blessed us with two Timothys this summer.  I wish I could keep them year round!  But God never fails in providing what we need... or showing us what those hidden needs are while being blessed!  

(disclaimer on pics... you can pretty much consider all pictures stolen from other people as we've stopped taking pictures all together.  As it is we get anywhere from 1500 to 3000 pictures a camp... so who knows who the actual photographer is... sorry to all you professional buffs)


Crimean Plagues

Camp 3 is over but I thought I might backtrack and post about one of the defining aspects of the time.  It was these little guys.It's difficult to give context to their size, but I assure you that these are no regular grasshoppers.  A few days before the start of 3rd camp, a plague of locusts descended on Kerch in numbers that shocked even the long-term locals.  I neglected to get a good picture of it this morning but they normally are in bundles of 10 or 15 on most surfaces every morning.  They make a heck of a racket and love to fly around aimlessly only to end up on your head or shirt.  Nary a meal goes by without some dive-bombing or under-the-table sneak attack and forget about walking through the grass.  Mowing the lawn is like insect genocide.

It's truly an annoyance of Biblical proportions.  I guess the only question for this camp is whether it will be frogs or the waters turning to blood.....


LOtD - Jake

Sorry about the gap in posting.  It's been a busy week.  The team left yesterday so we had all our round-up/goodbyes on Wednesday night.  We did shashlik and later s'mores, all accompanied by plenty of good conversation and jokes.  Jake, one of the funniest guys I've ever met, was out with us and in unusual form.  I overheard a conversation snippet between he and Yana, an interpreter, that almost made me pee myself.  It went something like this:

Yana: I'm gonna miss you guys.
Jake:  I'll miss you guys too.
Yana:  It's going to be sad when you leave tomorrow.
Jake:  Nah, it's cool...  If I miss you too much, I can just mail order you.

For the slow among you (which couldn't possibly be any of the regular readers), that is a reference to the massive "mail order bride" business from eastern Europe; Yana being a young, single, local Russian girl who likes long walks on the beach and is looking for a caring man to help her with visa requirements, blah, blah blah.....

In an earlier post I posted a video of Jake's band.  It was brought to my attention that I hadn't given the band's name... Breaking Down; and you can get some of their stuff on iTunes if you liked the video.


Say hello to our little friend

Somehow this third camp has already come to an end.  If each camp continues to fly by it should be snowing in what will seem like one week.  This camp was a different experience for Matt and I as we were more behind the scenes; therefore not getting to connect as deeply with all of the kids.  It certainly didn't make it any easier to say goodbye though.  These kids are so thirsty for love that it doesn't matter if they know your name or if you've taken a shower recently... they will come out of nowhere to give you the biggest bear hug.  And once you hear some of their stories you don't want them to ever let go.  

Some of these kids have tugged so much on our hearts that the "a" word (adoption for you slow people) has surfaced in our minds.  But due to the growing difficulties as an international to adopt here in Ukraine and the extremely high financial requirement, we just don't see how it could be possible.  So we got to thinking... maybe we could sponsor a child... sort of like Compassion International or Vision Trust... but more on a local level... and found Maxim.
The first day of camp I saw Maxim kicking a soccer ball around looking tough with his doo-rag and chained cross necklace.  My first impression was... so here's the tough kid... too cool to sing the songs or talk to any of the team members.  Despite my impression, I gave him a big smile and said "Preevyet" in my thick English accent and continued on to my busy preparation.  Soon I found him following me, trying to communicate as best he could with my limited Russian, and giving me this wrinkled nose face.
A kindred spirit... a fellow nose wrinkler!  Each day you could see Maxim relax and fit in with all the other kids singing and dancing on stage.  He quickly became a favorite of each of the team members.  
Near the end of our camp we found out that Maxim had lost both of his parents in a car accident in June '08 and is now living with his older sister.  We spent a little time talking with his older sister today telling her that we wanted to stay in contact with Maxim and to help out financially as needed.  She was grateful for our offer but said more than anything, Maxim needs emotional and moral support as he is having a hard time dealing with his parents being gone. She liked the idea of us hanging out and just developing more of a relationship with him.  So we've set up our first hang out time for this Friday and plan to continue on a weekly basis.  PLEASE pray for us to be consistent and diligent with Maxim.  Pray that God would work through us somehow to minister to him and his siblings.  We don't really know what we can offer or even what this will all entail but God has placed him on our hearts so we're just taking it one step at a time and letting him work the miracles.  And speaking of miracles... pray that our Russian would miraculously improve so that we can really communicate with him and also his older sister and brother.  I'm sure you'll be seeing more pictures of our new friend.

(Oh yeah and once again we stole these pictures from one of the many photographers here... Russian Tradition)


I wish you could have all been here...

So this morning, much to my surprise, Campbell began to show off the Russian that he's been absorbing for the last 6 months.  At morning exercises for the campers, as we were counting for our stretches, he began to count along.  I didn't even realize that he had observed people doing this enough to have figured it out, but there he was counting 1 through 8 just as clearly as in English.  This follows his having begun singing along and doing his version of the motions that go with our Bible story songs earlier this week.

He has said Russian words here and there for a while now but this is the first time that he appears to be actually using them within context; not just regurgitating the words that we tell him to say.  We were a bit worried that the multi-lingual environment (don't forget that some folks actually do speak Ukrainian sometimes) would delay his speech until he could figure out what was what, but he seems to be making progress quicker in recent weeks.

Just thought you might be interested to hear how the boy's doing.


Why we're really here

In the life of most missionary types, I imagine that there is a point - or many points - where they say "Why am I here?"  For many, it's moments of discouragement based on lack of progress, unmet expectations or downright failure.  We go through that sometimes here (generally in the winter... haha) when we just don't understand the point of our being here; our place in the grand scheme of things.

Then there are times where we see what God is doing around us (though not always through us) and we are buoyed.  We get to feel good about the situation and it makes all seem momentarily right in the world.  Unfortunately for us, these moments are sometimes hard to find through the language barrier.  The great stories of heartache and redemption come to us second and third hand.  I don't begrudge anyone this; it's just the way life is as a foreigner sometimes.  We do get them eventually and I hope to share some of them with you.  They will be long and the temptation will be to skim or skip but I promise they are worth it.

Here's the first one; the story of Isolda.  It's written by the HopeCenter staff and quickly edited by me for grammar:

Here we go! Summer camps 2008 have started! There is no bigger joy than to see how the kids coming to us from internats and orphanages  from all over Ukraine are getting re-born. Every single kid’s heart is being filled with God’s love which drives away the bitterness and grief of what they have experienced.  Looking into their eyes you can see that their lives have not been easy

In ward 1 there was a teenage girl who has been living in an orphanage for several years. Her unusual name - Isolda - stressed her inborn beauty. Outwardly, she did not differ much from others in her ward. She was not very talkative and reacted harshly to the attention of the boys in that ward. After a while we became good friends with her. It was obvious that she got ready to connect: she would ask for advice, shared her personal girl’s concerns with us or would just sit with us. On one of the evenings Isolda shared her family story.

The girl was born in Volgograd, Russia. Her mother had just turned 19, she was not married. The young woman had to raise the child by herself, receiving no help from her family. When Isolda was 1, her mother went to work in a shoe shop. The baby would stay with neighbors. But this did not last long. The mother started drinking with new acquaintances - shop clients. Soon she abandoned her job and there began the tough life. As the mother saw the source of all her problems in the little pretty girl, she started taking out her anger on Isolda. She would not give her food for several days. Cruelty kept growing all the time with the girl being beaten often. The mother would drink alcohol all the time. The girl had to walk around the neighborhood to ask for food. Neighbors would call to the police but they did not deprive the mother of parental rights. Isolda's story got even worse as her mother started using drugs.  Isolda would often find herself in the places where people were using drugs. She never attended kindergartens, never interacted with other kids.  Instead she was surrounded by drug addicts. The mother would make her get money for buying drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Isolda would often pick up glass bottles, she begged, she did everything so that her mother would not punish her. Isolda also shared that many times she saw her mother being raped. The girl experienced unspeakable horrors. Once she and her mother were almost buried alive; only a miracle saved them! Soon some relatives took Isolda to a town in Ukraine. But the girl spent a short time there and found herself in an orphanage where they taught her reading and writing at the age of 10. It is there that she found out that her mother went to jail for murdering her boyfriend. Isolda said that it should have been her instead of that guy because her mother tried to murder Isolda multiple times. “I always dreamt that she would call me 'honey' and that she would be my best friend forever”, Isolda said… 

As we spent some time with Isolda we realized that she wants forgiveness, love and Jesus. God once said, - “Even if your mother abandons you and everybody abandons you. I shall not abandon you”. Bible lessons, bedtime stories, interaction with Christians started changing the girl, she started being re-born by hearing the Word of God and seeing people's concern and care of her. For the first time she was reflecting upon the fact that she truly wants forgiveness. The bleeding soul wounds like hers cannot be healed right away, but the process is on-going. Pray for her. We seem to be the first ones to encourage and support this cute teenager in seeking God through our prayers. Jesus opens doors for those seeking and thirsty.

Sadly, these types of stories are the rule rather than the exception here at the HopeCenter.  It's such an encouragement to us that real change is occurring in the lives of these who desperately need our help.


Livin' the beach life

For those of you who were under the mistaken impression that our life in Eastern Europe is hard, check out how my week's going and maybe you'll change your mind.

The camp's jam packed with kids so cute that mere mortals can't resist their powers.  Like her...
...and her
...and her

Not so much Jake...  He was told to do make-up for our special game called Biffer and he went a little too Alice Cooper.  In the course of a chase of a little girl, he used a voice (which he described as being from the movie 'Stargate') and the poor child just collapsed, stared back at him in utter horror and started sobbing.  He had to apologize later for being too scary.

As you can imagine, Cam is loving it.

2 hours at the beach everyday with little or no responsibilities other than playing with the aforementioned super-cute kids.  Sarah: super-cute.....   Sergey: not as cute.
Cam is becoming a beach bum...

Umm...  not really sure what to say about this one.  Amanda from AZ showed up in this dress-like thing (is there a name for that article of clothing?) on the first beach day and Sergey immediately made the Marilyn Monroe reference.  There is no real excuse for Tommy.

I'm not gonna lie... I do a pretty good manicure once I get my system down.  Judith, our intern for the rest of the summer was a good sport and let Sergey and I show off our new-found talent.  You can't really see the color for hers but they are pale purple which matches her camera.  Me and Sergey's nails are painted because we let each each of the girls whose nails we painted pick a color and do one nail.  Quick math says that I have now painted exactly 11 pairs of hands.


LotD - Stacey in Louisville

I made a comment on the SLC post on Christians drinking beer; sin or no?  When you do this on a blogger site (as on most sites), there is the option to receive an email update for future comments.  The debate turned into a comments monstrosity revolving around when and how drinking is permissible for Christians.  This morning I got an email with the following comment signed by Stacy in Louisville:

"Know why you can't drink or have pre-marital sex in Bible college?"
It might lead to dancing"

I doubt the commenter just wrote it but I still loved the sarcasm.  


Camp 3 is going to rock

If you were at all curious about how sweet this camp will be, watch this video.  Jake, the guitarist/guy who jumps around a bunch is here and ready to do his thing.  He also filmed the video itself.  We are working on starting a rock band, which of course I would manage for 15% of all royalties and merchandising in perpetuity, but we are short some of the instruments.  I expect some great videos and photos in the next few days.

Bringing the pain with Camp 3

Day one of Camp 3 was flat out crazy.  For the first time since being in here, I have gotten to see kids from my camp last summer.  A bus-load of kids from Kiev showed up and were jacked to see me again... it was like we had never been apart.  Wrestling, tickling, joking and insane amounts of energy.  Normally when campers arrive they are calm and reserved but these kids showed up like a case of Red Bull.  The crew that we have for this one is going to be awesome.  Tommy the Intern was a rockstar today and Judith is learning very quickly.  I expect great things from their partnership.  I have 2 links to other camp 3 related blogs that you need to check out:

The main team blog - handled by Tommy but written by the team itself
Sergey the interpreter's blog - he has a few really great shots in his most recent post

Here are a few other shots of the afternoon.


Interesting Bible verse

I just caught a post at SLC that put these 2 verses side by side.

First, the more commonly known:
"Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself.  I am the Lord."
Leviticus 19:28

Now for one of which I had not been a aware:
"On his robe and on his thigh he has his name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
Revelation 19:16
This was in reference to Christ Himself returning in glory.

Any thoughts on this one?  Are we tattooed folks reading too much into this or are the anti-tattoo crowd cherry-picking the regulation-laden book of Leviticus?

Cam on the Innermet

Check out this link.

Cam's gone international and worldwide.  Sergey is a friend and interpreter who has been blogging about the past few weeks with his American brotha, Tommy the Intern (who has a great video clip of him singing with the kids at the orphanage).

Camp 3 team is here

Last night the team arrived for camp 3, having enjoyed a lovely trip.  There's 11 team members plus 2 interns (Judith and Tommy) and little Steve who has been here all summer.  There is a decent number of HopeCenter veterans and a strangely high percentage of teachers, both current and retired, so expect a great camp with excellent involvement and interaction.  I was actually able to walk a lap around camp for a tour this morning.  I hope to have some pictures of the team and their exploits in the coming days, particularly since I can't actually participate as much as I would like.


Crazy days

I'm not sure what's going on this week but I have read 3 amazing stories regarding the witch hunts for racists and PC thought police run amok.  I'm linking to each but here are the summaries:

1.  At a meeting of Dallas county commissioners, a problem occurred when a white council member referred to the office as a "black hole" due to issues with paperwork being lost.  One of his fellow members took offense to this, claimed that the issue was actually a instance of a "white hole" and demanded an apology for the previously-unknown racial epithet.

Seriously?!?  If we are to assume that a celestial body which has an absence of light (hence the "black" in it's name) is racist and perhaps by extension the entire natural universe, then what hope do we have for racial reconciliation in our world.

2.  Keith Sampson, a janitor at Purdue University-Indianapolis is in the midst of a legal dispute regarding his reading of a scholarly book called "Notre Dame vs the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan" during his break time at work.  The fact that, by virtue of its title alone, the book seems to be an homage to a victory over racism and that it was and is readily available in the universities library makes no difference to the complainant or the Affirmative Action Officer whose case it has become.  Inexplicably the charges have since be changed from the book itself to other unnamed (and thus, likely nonexistent)  harassing behaviors.

I guess there are some limits to the lack of self-awareness on which these academics seem to have a monopoly.  Apparently someone looked back and realized the obvious hypocrisy in being a book-burning, civil liberties organization.  It's a pity that university diversity nazis don't feel this shame more often.

3.  In England, nursery school staff have been advised to keep an eye out for racists as young as 3 years old.  While I am firm believer in starting early with excessive discipline on children who have little or no concept of their actions (read with sarcasm), I think they may have gone off the rails on this one.  One of the included "racist" behaviors is dislike of unfamiliar foods.  

Apparently the correlation is that if a pre-schooler doesn't like curry or jerk chicken, it's only a matter of time before they are attacking their South Asian or Caribbean classmates with sharpened graham crackers.

I must give credit to Crunchy Con and Little Green Footballs for bringing these 3 stories to my attention.

Am I alone in my despair for the future of logic in western civilization?


Goodbye Mr Jim

This morning we had to say goodbye to an invaluable member of the HopeCenter team.  Jim Hunt lived here for 2006, part of 2007 and returned again for the first half of this year.  He knows more about this facility than almost anyone outside of Andrey and Yuri.  His personally touches are on a myriad items around camp.  He created, crafted or refinished most anything wooden around here and there won't be a day that goes by in which we won't think about him and miss him.  He returns to Tomball, Tx to be reunited with his lovely wife Shari who has been gracious enough to lend him to us for these 6 months.

He was like a grandfatherly figure to me (even though he isn't really old enough to be) simply due to his massive breadth of experience.  He truly was like a grandfather to Campbell.  Every time Cam saw him around camp, his greeting was always either, "Hi Jim... working hard?" or "Hi Jim.... going to your house?"  We loved sharing meals, experiences and games of cards with him and we will certainly miss his banana bread and fresh apple cake.

Jim, if you read this when you get home, I want you to know that you have only been gone for 2 hours and we miss you already.  God bless and give our love to Shari.


LotD - Paul Dunberg's shirt

Paul had to wear this shirt several times during last camp before I really stopped to look at it.  Bearing in mind that I am big fan of quoting movies, who can be first to comment what this shirt is referencing?

If I had prizes and any means for delivering them... well.... I still probably wouldn't give you one for getting it first.  Google makes these contests too easy.

The kid is a riot

This morning Sarah was joking around with Cam and she gave him a seashell saying, "If you listen you can hear the water of the ocean."  Not missing a beat, he puts the shell up to his ear like a phone and says "Hey water.... you down at the beach?"

He kills me....



That's right people.  That is an authentic, non-Photoshoped picture of me standing on my own 2 feet.  It may not come across, but I am actually putting nearly equal weight on my atrophy-shriveled left leg.

I was given the go ahead to start putting light weight on my foot when I use my crutches or stand and I was surprised how good it felt.  While the wound (which Sarry mysteriously keeps calling "the incision") still looks REALLY funky, if there is minimal twisting or pressure I can actually maneuver without crutches.  It only works for very short distances but it's a start.  I have also made it my goal to be able to drive Jim to the airport in Simferopol on Monday afternoon so I have to take it smart and easy this weekend.  Driving is more controlled and will involve much less pressure than even gentle walking.  Stay tuned to see if I can rejoin the ranks of the useful in the next 48 hours.


Victory over terror

I just read this morning of an encouraging development in the worldwide war on terror.  Though generally this effort manifests itself in battling Islamic terrorism, Wednesday we saw a victory over terrorists of a different stripe as the former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages were rescued from the narco-terrorist group FARC.  Betancourt had been held as a key bargaining chip for 6 years in the rebel group's ongoing war against the Colombian government.  Along with their release, the operation succeeded in capturing the important FARC leader known as "Cesar" who was to be escorting the prisoners.  The operation may in fact signal the beginning of the end for the marxist FARC which has plagued Colombia since the mid 60's.

The kicker was that the rescuers, who were Colombian military, fooled the FARC rebels into handing over the prisoners (which also included 3 American contractors) by wearing the official, if somewhat obvious, communist uniform of Che Guevara t-shirts.  Idiots....

Moments of the surreal

There are moments when an event or series of events occur and it makes you reexamine how strange your life has become.  This is my evening:

-Sarah's gone to get a cavity filled at a Ukrainian dentist that helps us on the side after hours (her appointment was for 8pm).
Update: Sarah just made it back and not only was her cavity filled... for free, but our dentist also gave us home-grown eggs and milk from his backyard.  Now that is hospitality.

-Our 2 year old son is still out running around camp in the dark (it's 9:25pm; an hour and a half after bed time) with a 35 year-old Ukrainian... I have no idea exactly where.

-I'm flat on my back (mostly) because I hit my sandaled foot with an ax after completely missing my targeted branch.  I'm passing time by watching all the Indiana Jones films and transferring mp3s to friend's phone from my Mac via Bluetooth; hitting OK every minute or two before every one of the 53 desired tracks.

What steps did I take in my life that led me to such an interesting 4th of July eve?

Answer to photo riddle

I thought the previous post was pretty obvious and only entertaining in that it does look somewhat like a circa 1970 shirt collar.  Maybe that means that I have lived here longer than I thought.

The answer is C...  this was part of my breakfast.  Called kielbasa, translated as sausage but tasting like a hot dog, this little sucker is a staple of Ukrainian (or at least HopeCenter) cuisine.

Thanks for playing, maybe we'll do it again sometime.


You make the call...

Ok, everyone jump in on this one.  Is this:

A. an action hero of "fat Elvis" from the 70's?
B. the carnivore version of Veggie Tales in a leisure suit?
C. my Ukrainian breakfast?

Comments from the most unexpected sources

I doubt any of you have really noticed but I have consciously tried to limit my self-comments recently for a variety of reasons.  One is that I don't want to waste my limited supply of vaguely interesting material.  It's in that vein that I am using a full post in response to a comment by morecowbell from this blog.  It took a little looking to discover that morecowbell was none other than our buddy Aaron H. in Tejas (that's Texas to you gringos).  It's a group blog and doesn't allow outside comments but if you see his handle on my (or anyone else's) blog, give him a big hello.

And Aaron, in response to your comment... I can still beat you with my crutches.   They even have spikes in case I need to walk on ice... or your forehead.



Just got this comment from Slick:
If you guys steal Keane from Spurs I'll personally fly over there and whack your other foot with an axe!!!

I will make no effort to fully explain (Slick knows what this is about) but since this is the second captain from another Premiership club with which Liverpool are seriously linked I must say... I'm sorry, but at least we aren't as bad a Chelsea.  Can't we agree on that?

It's crazy days so it probably won't even happen.


This morning I had an appointment at the hospital with the Doc who stitched me up.  That is to say, I was asked to come to the hospital before 10 this morning and try to locate him for a follow-up examination.  We arrived before 9 and laid out an ambush for him in front of his 3rd floor office.  After an hour he finally arrived and asked us to meet him back downstairs.  A short wait later and I was led to an examination room.

I was to learn later that he told Tanya he intended to stick a pair of pliers into the center of my wound, between the stitches (right at the most tender spot) and spread it apart to see how it bled.  Tanya did not have time to explain this to me before they strategically forced her to wait outside.  Needless to say I was surprised at the procedure and I am sure that the look on my face conveyed that emotion.  After I assured him that the pain was concentrated in that area and no more stabbing/spreading would be needed, he had it re-wrapped and said I could go; something I happily did, right after my lightheadedness abated.

The prognosis was this.  Despite swelling in middle of the slash, he determined that it was more due to blood pooling in that area than a serious degree of infection.  He proscribed (sort of a misnomer since you can buy nearly anything over-the-counter, no questions asked) blood thinners and an ORAL antibiotic.  No more injections in my butt... which is nice because Andrey had decided this should be his job.

He also determined that sitting on my lazy (and now injection-bruised) butt for 95% of the day was not nearly immobile enough to allow healing.  I have been banned from moving around the house or going to meals for at least 2 or 3 days.  As such, this is essentially the only view I will have for the next 72 hours.  Oh joy...