Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flying vs. U-haul

My mother is in Minnesota (a long way from North Carolina) this week because her husband’s daughter is graduating from St. Olaf’s. (Well-done, Katie!) When I saw that my mother was to be out of the area for about a week just for one graduation ceremony (I didn’t even go the less than two miles to attend my last two, but that’s me), I asked her if they were driving, thinking maybe they were moving Katie out or something. No, they’re flying. You could not get me to fly to anywhere you couldn’t drive to. Before 2001, my flying experience has been expensive, hectic, uncomfortable, and unreliable (lost luggage, etc.). Since then, I’m not even going to try. Somehow I would be detained as a terrorist because I have screws in my neck that I could no doubt take out and poke somebody to death with in my last remaining seconds. Too much trouble. But no, they’re not driving that far. How crazy am I? (I thought maybe they were bringing Katie’s stuff home with a U-haul or something.) So I asked why she was staying all that time away from home, since she and her husband are flying. Her response was weird to me. She said she’d never been to Minnesota before and wanted to see as much of it as possible. What, she’s going to a giant mall? I always thought that the whole point of flying was that you could leave North Carolina Friday, see the ceremony Saturday (let’s say it’s a Saturday), and be back home Sunday.


I’m feeling better but a bit butchered after Tuesday’s minor surgery. They always make it sound as if it will be just a little “discomfort” and not screaming pain -- and I always fall for it. Some of us never learn.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Train Wreck

I have not died, but I’ve been keeping pretty busy staying sick and even making plans to. So far this year there’s been a septoplasty, pleurisy, pneumonia, bronchitis, various lesser infections, migraine after migraine, and now I get to have a biopsy next week to make sure I don’t have some form of cancer (they don’t think so; they’re just checking), and then abdominal surgery. We are not talking laparoscopy here. We are talking big gut pain. I will be out of commission from whenever I have that (sometime in June) until around August or so. This is getting ridiculous.

The good news is that Kaye is practically retired. She just has the second summer session to go and then she’s free at last. She had a small party (she requested no party, but got a surprise party with just a few friends, and was flabbergasted, mortified and delighted) Saturday with some very good friends, whom she’s known longer than she’s known me, which is getting up there. Here’s the part I find hilarious: she got a brick on the brickyard at State. It gives her name, her department, says “Thanks!” and gives her dates of service. I don’t know if I have to go polish the brick (wherever it is) and observe a moment of silence every year or what. Her department was very generous and kind, and I’m glad to think they appreciate what Kaye’s done. She isn’t tenure-track, but she does lots of little things. Her students love her. I think her colleagues like her – I know some of them love her, anyway. She’s been there longer than anyone else in the department except one person who came in the same semester that she did. So congratulations, Kaye!

I feel very grateful to have her with me when she is so well-liked. I mean, what’s she doing with me? :p Look at the people she had to choose from.

So I’ll be sporadic through August, but I’ll be here when I can.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Return from the Monkeypox

Okay, it’s my second day mostly out of bed, and I’m feeling pretty good. Just tired. When I went to the ER two weeks ago, the nurse asked me if I’d had a pneumonia vaccine. I’m thinking, “there’s a pneumonia vaccine?” and just saying, “No.” Does everybody out there know that there’s a pneumonia vaccine? Well, now you do. You should probably get one next season.

The good thing is, besides racking up a lot of naptime, I’ve had a chance to read ten or fifteen books. My favorite during this time has to be “Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription,” from Bill Buckley’s Notes & Asides in the National Review. I probably would disagree with him at least nine times out of ten, but intelligence and a sharp wit will keep me a fan. (No, I wouldn’t be a fan of Hitler, or even Bush, if either were intelligent and/or intentionally funny. So don’t everybody pile on me.)

Besides, he looks remarkably like my great uncle Bill. He’d be the anti-Bill, but it’s captivating to me.