Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A gym master in total

Hysterical review of the Total Gym infomercial with Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley.

Time for us to pay up

All us Sox fans are in trouble now!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

surprisingly, a calming effect...

Me: I'm definitely going to come by after the office party
Me: I can't believe you guys are moving tomorrow
C: cool!
Me: you're crazy
C: yes
C: it's too much to deal with; I'm going nuts
Me: hey, at least half your family isn't in and out of the hospital. It could be worse
Me: I haven't sent christmas cards yet; I feel very guilty
C: ug. that's literally the LAST thing on my mind
Me: well, considering everything that's going on
Me: and, since my mother is convinced that my grandmother won't make it until christmas, you want to get stuff out to her as soon as possible, you know?
C: wow
Me: you do know everything that's going on, right?
C: sorry, no
Me: (Insert summary of all the stuff you've already read about below, which C had missed while he was buying a HOUSE in the SUBURBS!)
C: well, I had the most terrifying experience of my life two days ago, but it's completely inconsequential and crass compared to these troubles
Me: no, no, no
Me: my family shit does not diminish your stuff. I tell you so you know, not to make you feel guilty or sorry for me
C: it really does, I've been getting so stressed and terrified, you're really actually calming me down telling me this stuff
Me: terrified? what's up?
C: you wouldn't believe it.
Me: well, I'm glad to know that
C: so I go to the bank to get 10K in certified checks for the closing.....
Me: right
C: (as any good story starts...)
Me: hee
Me: it was a dark and stormy bank
C: yes
C: then, on the way home, I see some boxes
C: boxes! I say
Me: yay, free packing materials!
C: that's good, I need some boxes!
Me: I did that when I moved, went to office buildings and got empty computer boxes
C: that's totally how we're doing this
Me: it's the best way
C: so I pick up the boxes and go on my merry way home
C: I get home
C: throw down the boxes
C: go to the computer
C: and, wait,
C: hang on...
C: where are the 10K in checks?
Me: arghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
C: ("boxes!")
C: new rule: when carrying around $10,000... FOCUS.
Me: oh, dear god
Me: where did you leave them?
C: you don't want to hear the play by play of my twenty minutes of SHEER TERROR?
Me: yes, yes I do
C: the tearing apart of the apartment?
Me: but I don't want to actually FEEL the terror, as I can't take it right now
Me: so I want to take a peek at the last page first
C: the retracing of the steps back to the grocery store?
C: heh
C: it all ends fine, at least in this universe
Me: you know, buying your first home is indeed one of the most stressful things you can do. a major purchase like that throws all your systems into overdrive
C: so I look in the boxes for the fourth time
C: about to call the cops or something
C: first time- shook the box
C: 2nd time- looked in the boxes
C: 3rd time- physically felt through the boxes
C: so you can imagine the level of SHEER TERROR at this point
Me: yes, I'm feeling it
Me: you tell a good story
C: thanks
C: it's so hard to get people to sit still and listen
Me: hee
C: anyway,
C: fourth time, I'm unfolding all the flaps and shit, ready to take them apart
C: and
C: voila
Me: stuck in a flap?!
C: bingo
Me: C, I hate to say this
Me: but don't you have pockets? or a messenger bag or something?
C: I'm a ditz, I know
C: I had them in a nice folder!
C: I thought I was being all professional!
Me: hee
Me: that's what you get for trying to be professional!
C: indeed
Me: next thing I know, you'll go and cut your hair or something crazy like that
Me: I can't take it, C
Me: please don't tell me you're not drinking tonight so you won't have a hangover for the move tomorrow!
C: hahahaha, no
C: I'll probably still be drunk for the move
Me: good idea

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Silver Lining

I'm not calling the family situation Cancerpalooza anymore, since it's gone way beyond cancer at this point. Suggestions welcome.

When I last updated my faithful readers, Mum was going in for her second surgery, and I was leaving on a jet plane for Chicago. Here's the latest:

Mum is having a rough time recovering from the second surgery. In the end it was, surprisingly, more invasive than the first, and they found a tangerine-sized fibroid tumor while they were in there. But they've tested everything again, and she has been declared cancer-free! Also, when they tested her ovaries, they found that her o's have been producing too much estrogen her whole life, which can (and did) cause endometrial cancer, which can (and did) cause fertility problems (hello Miracle Baby!), and which can, but hopefully will not, slightly increase the risk for breast cancer. They're gone now, so they'd better stop with the mischief!

Dad had to have a cardioversion on December 7 to shock his heart into a regular rhythm. This caused him to go into congestive heart failure on the 9th. He went to the ER, spent a few days in the hospital, got one of his meds switched. Now he's in this oddly unstable condition until they figure out the proper dosage of the new meds, which leaves him with fluctuating blood pressure and other unsettling feelings. AND he can't travel while they're observing him, so the Christmas trip to Chicago is off. Thank God, because I really didn't want them travelling while Mum was recovering, but she felt obligated. Now the choice is taken out of their hands. And as a bonus, they get to go to Denise's wedding! Mum would never choose the wedding over her parents, but I know she'd been disappointed to miss it.

Nonna was released from the hospital and sent home, where they'd set up a hospital bed in the dining room and hired a day nurse. On Friday, December 10th, while Mum was out picking Dad up to bring him home from the cardiac unit, my uncle calls her to say that he's driving from the office to the hospital, but he doesn't think he'll make it there before Nonna dies.


Just what Mum needs, right?

And I got out of a meeting to find a similar message on my voice mail.

Nonna had been vomiting and delirious, and she couldn't breathe. The nurse thought it was really bad, and she was rushed to the ER. Turns out she had a pulmonary blood clot, which they're treating. She's still in the hospital, and should be home again soon.

And my uncle told my poor mother, as if she doesn't have enough to deal with, that now that she's not coming to Chicago until December 28th, he doesn't think he'll be able to take it, and he's going to have a nervous breakdown.


How DARE he?!?! She doesn't have enough to deal with? It's not like she's going on vacation instead of coming out to help. Anyway, for years she's been trying to get my grandparents to move to Boston and live with her, so she could help take care of them, and they've always refused beause they like their freedom and their own space. In fact, my grandfather wants her to buy a condo near him and move to Chicago to help him out, as long as she doesn't live with him and cramp his style.

Can you imagine? If this is the family she came from, it's a miracle my mother is anywhere in the general vicinity of sane.

I told my mother to bring Dad's medical records with her when they go to Chicago after Christmas, so that if anyone questions her reasons for not coming sooner she can rub them in their faces. Also, I reminded her that when Dad's mother was in and out of the hospital during her final months, he had a heart attack. So if her brother ever brings up the threat of nervous collapse again, she should mention dad's heart attack. So he has something to strive for.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

And she rocks, too

Last night I checked out Jodi's gig at the Bitter End. She did this hilarious rif on He's Just Not That Into You, putting four songs together as a four-act play of love and loss, punctuated with quotes from the book.
watching her on stage, I noticed something else. About 15 or so years ago, long before we'd met, Jo and I probably had fairly similar bodies -- type, size, height, etc. Except I couldn't manage to keep mine until 30, and she's looking better than ever at... Well, I'll leave it to her to tell you, because you'd never guess from looking at her. The girl would be smoking at half her age!

Monday, December 06, 2004

...Man Alive

Jude Law has a disproportionately large head. Regardless, please go see Closer as soon as possible. Jude's character is more whiny brat than sexiest man alive, but Clive Owen makes up for it, and you hate yourself for wanting him even when he's all nasty and smarmy. Dave and I sat in the theater long after the credits were done, jaws still hanging kind of low. Many of the reviews I've read say that the relationships are twisted. Well, maybe I'm messed up then, but I thought it was a very honest portrayal of how people really do feel. Honest in a way that not only movies never show, but people don't want to admit to themselves.

And Julia Roberts was the most sympathetic I've ever seen her in any film. I've never bought her sweetheart shtick; I've found most of her characters to be cold and selfish. But here, she keeps trying to do the right thing, she's torn and conflicted, and you really feel for her. She was the most breathtakingly beautiful I've ever seen her, as well.

not enough blarney...

once upon a time, long ago and far away, I went to Dublin and took some pictures. They're finally up online. I was going to blog every day, and keep a detailed record of all the wonderful things I did and learned and saw. But I never did that; I am a bad blogger. If you have any questions about the photos, though, I'd be happy to expound.