"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman
Saturday, April 29, 2006
heads we're dancing
look it up.
firstly, happy birthday to my daughters isobel and jeannette. you're loved more than you know right now.
secondly, it was a good day. beautiful weather. angel and i ran some errands, and she was her old wonderful self the whole day. breathed without artificial assistance the entire time we were gone. good soundtrack, too: bruce from 4.24.06 at asbury park (my thanks to mike for requesting this show - i'm enjoying the hell out of it) and strength in numbers (i can out-volume your GNR with my bluegrass anyday of the week, mr. acura-driving middle-aged loser on sunrise hwy).
discourse with the elders this a.m.:
them: the felon wrote angel this week. a very nice letter.
me: uh huh.
them: he asked if he could call collect. we said okay.
me: uh huh. that's your call.
them: well, you can understand why he'd want to call.
me: of course.
them: he wrote us, too. to ask permission. to call.
me: i expect he would.
them: it was a very polite letter.
me: they say the devil is a charming man.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
the kindness of strangers
before i say anything else about anything else, let me express my sincere thanks to all of you who have offered well wishes, thoughts, prayers, and/or kharma for angel. it does mean more than i can say to have your support. so again: thank you.
today is the last day of angel's first battery of carcinoma counterattacks. this marks six doses of chemotherapy and 40+ rounds of radiation therapy. next week it's back to the oncologist to see what progress (if any) we mere mortals have made against what remains an incurable disease.
(for those of you who smoke and have heard all the arguments before: here it comes again. angel's hair is falling out. she is so weak that she sleeps an exhausted, unrestful sleep three-quarters of the day, every day. her skin, where the radiation has been pummelling her, is an unhealthy, crispy brown. think 'sun poisoning'. her voice is a barely audible rasp. her brain is fuzzed out on pain killers that really only aggravate the situation for everyone involved - they don't do a whole lot for the pain, though. it's a lot of fun. you should look forward to it.)
so you might well figure that i've got a lot on my mind. not least of which are the finances here at malicious, inc. imagine my joy when i updated my microsoft money file this past weekend and saw how much time the 90-day forecast line spent below the abscissa. last night i balanced the checkbook with the newly arrived statement and concluded that the paycheck coming tomorrow has already been exceeded by my debt obligations. seriously.
i got a message (unsurprisingly) to call my bank. i guessed, correctly, that they wanted to discuss my account, seeing as it is overdrawn by an awfullotof ben franklins at the present. upon speaking with the bank representative, i assured her a deposit to cover the negative balance was forthcoming at midnight tonight, with my paycheck's direct deposit. i briefly explained that i was digging my way out of a fiscal abyss, with my immediate goal being to reach a state where my preauthorized debits stopped hitting the bank before my preauthorized deposits - i'm getting clobbered by overdraft fees.
much to my surprise, the representative was completely understanding, and not the least bit condescending. then she said, "i see you've been charged with [anawfullotofdollars] in overdraft fees this week. i'll waive those for you." i thanked her profusely.
that just might be the gift that gets my head above water long enough to make it to shore.
i wonder if she could hear my tears of gratitude.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
one eye goes laughing,
one eye goes crying
through the trials and trying of one life
one hand is tied,
one step gets behind
in one breath we're dying
i've been waiting for the sun to come up
waiting for the showers to stop
waiting for the penny to drop
and i've been standing in a cloud of plans
standing on the shifting sands
hoping for an open hand
Friday, April 21, 2006
i wonder: when emmylou sings "deeper well," does God get His groove on?
Monday, April 17, 2006
cup by cup
before the first cup - printed tax forms, wrote checks, stuffed envelopes, posted two pounds of flesh (state and federal).
with the first cup - paid one doctor, called two doctors, scheduled three appointments.
with the second cup - cleared the email inbox, started getting my GTD back in gear for the first time in six months.
with the third cup - put together a 5.1 audio dvd of randomly selected tracks from the collection. said a prayer that my last dvd-r wouldn't turn into a coaster before i was done roadtesting the software.
with the last cup (five hours later) - got that audio dvd out of the burner looking all full of tunes and very uncoasterlike.
now - sitting in bed next to angel listening to evan parker and transatlantic and tom waits and john prine and yes and e.s.t. and the dead and happy apple and barbara dennerlein and richard shindell and papa m and evergrey and . . . in beautiful surround sound.
drew had a sign in his apartment when i lived there: "time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan."
i couldn't agree more.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
blue to grey
it has been a rainy day on long island, and not much happened in my corner of the world. angel is almost through with radiation and chemo. today was a good day for the morphine, and a bad day for angel (though she doesn't know it): one of those days when she's more incoherent than coherent. once the cancer treatments are less in the forefront, i'll focus on getting her pain addressed. my goal is to get her off the painkillers, so she might be more like her former self.
it's still raining. daniel barenboim is caressing mendelssohn's 'songs without words' out of the piano, and robert mccammon's blue world is slipping to grey. angel is drifting back to sleep.
i'm watching the rain.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
i only have eyes for you (but you have to stand really really close)
at my best i can generously be described using phrases such as, "won't scare the children too too badly". at my worst i can paralyze a basilisk. i accepted my fashion-blindness and luke-warm attractiveness eons ago, when the 1980's drew to a close and people could no longer get away with wearing, say, a trash bag and zippers. so my recent optician visit was not for reasons of vanity (gosh, i need new glasses to match my cell phone and belt buckle), but truly the result of suspecting that the cars way up ahead of me wouldn't really be all soft and furry if i ever got close enough to inspect them - they just kinda looked that way, especially at night. mind you, i've worn glasses and/or contacts since, well, before the zippered hefty bags came into style. but i haven't gotten a new prescription in about two years.
i've developed astigmatism (latin for "your eyes are screwy just like jesus's") in which - i think only i could do this - my eyes have focal points in two completey different planes. since i need to see close up and distance fairly regularly, i'm ending up with prospective lenses; this beats getting two different presciption glasses and having to switch them 4874 times a day.
so i picked out frames. they had italian scrawled across the one lens on a removable (i hope) sticker, but i swear i was not going for the name. my selection, having reviewed my insurance benefits, was based on (1) the price tag, (2) the way i thought they looked on me, (3) the price tag, (4) the way the salesclerk thought they looked on me, (5) the price tag, (6) whether i could get a sunglass attachment - i drive into the sun 2 hours a day, and (7) the price tag.
i could've sworn last time i bought glasses, the price tag included the lenses.
things have changed.
my glasses are ready. as soon as i sell my other kidney, i'll go pick them up.