Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hump Day Quickies

  1. It's not Hump Day. Yes, well, a day late and a dollar short is how we usually start off here at the Bradstein Household, so you shouldn't be surprised by that.

  2. Last night was the big fantasy football draft in Black Belt Mama's league. She's done an excellent job setting everything up and herding all of us cats, but she can't control everything. For example, thanks to ESPN, which is hosting our league, last night's draft took about half an hour longer than expected, required an extra glass of wine, an extra cup of tea, more frustrated curse words than are heard in a sinking submarine--but also allowed time for bathroom breaks while the draft was paused and all 10 of us were trying to log out and back in. As I said, BBM is a great LM, and having been through this once before already this week, made sure that nobody ended up with a dog killer.

  3. Day care was much better this week, thanks for asking, although it was brutal at the drop off. Ms. K remarked that 3B is "really very resilient" to do so well after only three single days at her place in three weeks. She said that she has kids who come every day and don't do so well after three weeks. At first, I thought we were in for another bad day because when I closed the door behind me, 3B latched his talons into my shoulders and lunged for the door, trying to crawl over my head to get out, screaming the whole way. While I couldn't get him to stop crying when we were standing up, I did get him down on the floor, on my lap, and was able to distract him for a few seconds with his toys that I'd brought at Ms. K's suggestion. When I called at noon, she said that he'd cried for about 20 minutes, tapering off the whole time, and was now on the changing table in front of her. I could hear him laughing. Hell, he's not that good to us at changing time. When I showed up, 3B was on Ms. K's hip, sucking his thumb, waving at me. She said that they'd had a great day, which was a relief to us all, making it easier for Mama to concentrate on her work after I gave her the noon update, since she knew her boy was happy.

  4. That virus--that one that you probably have by now? Yeah, don't quite kiss it goodbye when it seems to settle into your throat to die. That's what I did earlier this week, and I clearly jinxed myself. Swallowing has been laborious all week, since it feels like someone poured glass dust on my tonsils. On the upside, I've lost a few pounds since I've been avoiding passing anything through my throat. If I could have stuffed scrambled eggs and toast into my stomach through my nose, trust me, I would have. The only odd thing was when I drank some OJ, figuring the acid would hurt like hell, but that the juice itself would be good for me in the long run, and it felt better than anything else I'd ingested. Go figure.

  5. Much of the pain, however, has been offset by a kind of numbness that, while familiar, is not comfortable. Since last September, I've been thinking that this time would be different. That this time I was older than when Dad died and that there wouldn't be that horrible abyss to fall into and crawl out of. When Dad died, I probably did go through some form of all five of Kubler-Ross' stages, but the most prominent and long-lived was depression. Since Mom died, however, I don't think that I have gone through those stages, really. There was the immediate mania following her death, and yes, short bouts of anger and bargaining, but this was different. Mom died suddenly, unexpectedly, unlike Dad who we all watched leave us as he walked among us, his brain tumor pressing out who Dad was, crushing his personality, intellect, and finally his life with its infinite vigor. So, perhaps those rules don't apply here. Perhaps now that I'm older, I'll be more resilient, like 3B. Or, perhaps, there will be long days, weeks even, where I want to lay down on the cool floor and evaporate like a cloud, expanding out into the dark matter of the cosmos. Or see if I can cry enough tears to erode this stone weight that's crushing my chest. Or maybe I'll discover that, even after this virus is gone, I have no desire to eat, that my jaw is clamped tight like a rusted hinge, that my stomach is tied up tight like a wet bedsheet, that everything tastes like paper, and that eating just one bite too many can cause a week-long stupor. Or perhaps I'll discover that the stupor is here for now, regardless of how much I eat, and that I'm simply too tired to lift my fork. And now I know why, all those months ago, I bookmarked certain pages. It wasn't for the melancholy reminisces of my melodramatic pubescent years, I was reminiscing about the days that were sure to come, and which are now wrapped around me like a blanket, a soothing snare.

  6. Let's see . . . there was something else . . . oh yeah. I almost forgot. It turns out that I have a blog, and that I've been getting comments there from people who are eerily similar to you. However, those comments have been going to the inbox of a schmuck who is eerily similar to me, and he hasn't been responding. What a jackass, right? Yeah, well, I've had a talk with that schmuck and he promises to be better about that whole second side of a two-sided conversation. Especially now that he can swallow without whimpering.

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  1. Anonymous9:09 PM

    It was a bit frustrating huh? I'll have to look into alternatives for hosting next year... if you're not still too busy crying over what will be a dismal season for you. . .

    (Actually your team looks pretty good, you rat!)

  2. Anonymous12:18 PM

    Ah, fantasy drafts. The best part of the season.

    Glad you're feeling better. No sickness out here yet... oh, wait, I bet I just jinxed myself. Nevermind.

  3. You need a break, you take a break. No apologies required.

  4. Yah, I was missing you, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I read that Chris Rose piece recently, and was impressed by his candor about something that many people find shameful, and I thought his comments on what it was like to take psychoactive medication (the prescription kind, not the chocolate I'm noshing on right now) were intriguing.

    I'm pretty leery of medicating illness in general because I think most medications only work on the symptomatic level, not on the root of the problem. But in Rose's case, his medication allowed him to simply function, which allowed him to also work on the root of the problem at the same time.

  5. Anonymous12:07 AM

    Hey buddy I cant find your number right now. Mom passed away wednesday night. We were all there it was very peaceful for her after alot of pain the last week.I dont know how I feel about God right now, but if he exists like she always beleived then she is in a much more wonderful place that she had been. This is a link to the obit not even sure if it will work.

    I had emailed you and it returned it. Any way TCB for the King right now.

  6. This time you have a wife and son to help you focus on life. It was a blessing to have 3B and his joyous little life there to remind us that life is still going on last September. Another little lesson he shares with us. There is sadness and happiness in everything. Hold your little one and your wife and look for the joy in life again.

  7. BBM: I have one word for you--Yahoo! Actually, I've never participated in any fantasy leagues, so how do I know, they could all be the same. But next year, I'm getting me one of those two-beer-can hats so I don't have to keep getting up.

    LADaddy: Sorry to hear about your impending throat implosion caused by glandular explosion.

    Shannon and Henitsirk: Thanks for your supportive comments. And H--yeah, I go both ways on medication. To roughly paraphrase Tom Lehrer, nobody feels as desperate as a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.

    CAGirl: You're right. 3B seems to have known exactly when we would need him the most--and he still does. Some days, however, there's still something missing.

    King: We love you and 'Cilla, and we're sorry for your loss. Having met your folks only briefly, I still know that your Mom was a wonderful, caring, loving, kind person--I know it through you. She raised you to be a great person and a wonderful friend. I don't know about God either, but I do know about your mother--she is a testament to all the good that is possible in this world. Give our love to your family. We hold you all in our hearts.