Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Fighting Irish

The routine heart cath that Dad went in for yesterday morning ended up being anything but routine. One triple-bypass surgery on three blocked arteries (one at 100%, one at 90% and the other at 80%), two aneurisms, and one severely blocked carotid artery later, they had Dad stabilized and very heavily sedated in the SICU. Did I mention that the anesthesiologist told Dad pre-surgery that he’d had a heart attack at some point in the near past? They kept asking him if he’d had any episodes in the last year or so that would’ve possibly left him dizzy or weak? He said no, not that he could recall, and that he really had felt just fine until he had been slung up into the emergency room in B’ham during his yearly physical (to keep his volunteer DAV van driver clearance) about a month ago for a racing heart rate-his heart was clocked at about 130, when it is usually at a lawful 56). He was a little peeved at all this fussing, because it was keeping him away from his grandson.

All of this happening to the toughest, but kindest man I’ve ever known. As a child, he held the record for running away the most times from the orphanage in which he was placed. He was briefly jailed in Lisbon, Portugal while serving in the US Navy for throwing a man through a plate-glass window while defending the honor of a woman. Rescued countless individuals on and off the road while making a living as a truck driver (one bridge-jumping suicide attempt, numerous car wrecks). Saved a child from choking at the local YMCA by performing the Heimlich manuver. Drove non-stop out to Denver four days after 9-11 to retrieve my sister and her then boyfriend (now husband) who had been stranded with me on their late-summer vacation by the horrific events and then drove them back to Alabama. Came out to Denver again a couple of years later to retrieve his other daughter (me) and bring her back to Alabama after her nine-year marriage was over; again, almost a non-stop trip, but one that instead of being emotionally draining, ended up being one of the best and most memorable trips that he and I have ever had together. He has volunteered to drive countless disaster collection trucks to the ravaged areas where they needed to go. He’s given a handful of family vehicles and odd jobs to folks who were down on their luck. He even decided to allow the thief who hijacked his eighteen wheeler, stole all of his stuff and then showed up in court wearing his boots to keep said boots because he felt the man needed them more that he did…in my opinion, he shouldn’t’ve been diagnosed with a heart that had blocked arteries, it should’ve been an enlarged heart because it’s so fucking big.

So, here we are, very happy to still have this extraordinary man with us. He looks a little different right now, a little frail, but he’s doing very well considering what he went through yesterday. He’s a scrappy Irishman from the Appalachian Mountains, the hardest kind of man to keep down.

Thank you all for your continued calls and prayers. This has only begun, and I expect some really difficult times for him ahead. But you know that with the bad, there’s always some good, and I’m certain that there will be some very hilarious moments too (there already have been, and I will share those soon). Keep thinking about us!

Listening to: Charlie Parker (he's always there when I need him). Reading: Andrew Weil's Eight Weeks To Optimum Health

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Does the city engineer know about this?

Och! Went to the council meeting this morning to support the appointment of a new library board member and learned a valuable, unrelated lesson. Today’s lesson was: City Hall is inhabited by men who do not lock the CO-ED (may I put exclamation points here or later?) bathrooms. I discovered this little fact after starting to innocently make my way into the UNLOCKED CO-ED bathroom on the fourth floor outside the pre-council room. I almost ran into a gentleman making an exit from said bathroom into which I was making my way. When he saw that it was little ol’ me (a girl), he put his hands on my shoulders and backed me out, saying, “There’s someone in there.” I replied, “Well, yes, but isn’t this the bathroom, and isn’t there a lock for when someone’s inside?” “Why, yes, but he didn’t lock it” (“he” meaning that there was a man in the bathroom at that moment using the facility, I’m assuming the urinals, and “he” didn’t lock the exterior door). I thanked him for saving me from such a terrible embarrassment and kept backing away. You see, I was there for the council meeting, but I was not interested in seeing a councilmember.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Painful Walk Down Memory Lane

It's been over fifteen years since I last had these on. I got them out so that I could show nephew how ballerinas dance on their toes. It felt like a sledgehammer was taken to my feet. Hard to believe that I used to spend at least four days a week in these. Now, I can barely spend four minutes in them...

So, what did nephew think? He promptly wanted to try them on himself. And so, we let him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Is Happy!

Nephew likes to play in my hair. He makes me stand very still with my hair cast over him. Sometimes he laughs and looks back at me as if to make sure that it really is his auntie's hair that is disorienting him thus. Notice the spittle on his chin. Disorientation.

Johnny Cash Friday or, Soft Serve Ice Cream With Corn

Is everybody wearing black? I like to wear black on Fridays because of my long-standing Johnny Cash Friday tradition. If you visit the interior ladies bathroom of the library on any given Friday, you may hear me singing Folsom Prison Blues. If I know that you're there, I'll stop singing though.

Yesterday I picked up some poop in the Children's Department of the library. I did not go into work thinking, "Gotta touch base with the new Adult Services Librarian, set up for my independent film, write on that damn grant else am I forgetting here? Oh, yeah, look around for some stanky shit to pick up." Honestly, I didn't go looking for it. I just heard some stiffled screams coming from the C.D., saw some of my co-workers fleeing the area and knew that whatever was happening was going to be too good to miss.

Let me set this up further for you guys who were not there: Cute rug with little images of a school house, police department, church...nice quiet residential tree-lined streets...a couple of late-model die-cast emergency personnel vehicles (too late to stop the perp, it seems)...and what looks like two piles of soft serve chocolate ice cream with corn-topping. "It looks like it's firmed up, but damn, that's sick," claims my friend and co-worker the ebony enchantress. I look at it and observe that this is not something that has slipped out of a diaper. This was calculated trou dropping. Man, I'm cursed, right? This is because I love the word scatological, right? No one wants to touch it, and frankly, I don't blame them. I'm momentarily taken back in time to Warren Tech Horticulture where I would have to double-bag and pick up the dead rabbit carcases that were unceremoneously left behind by the greenhouse cats (because my students were usually frozen by the sight of something that was a little too real-life and unsanitary for them-when it is still warm and has an odour and is right at your feet, it's just a little different than TV).

So, when I'm faced with a problem like this, I just act. I double-bagged and picked up both piles. I admit that my gag reflex kicked in once, but only because the enchantress had been wrong. It had not firmed up.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The A-Team

This shout-out goes to my SLIS Sisters: Chex-Mix, Power Point and the Lady G (you'll get your nickname on the next round). I can't imagine fighting library foolishness without ya! See you in January, if not before then.
Answer Sheet

Addendum courtesy of Chex-Mix:
Ten years ago, in 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.