Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

About my recent disappearance

So, I disappeared from blogtopia* for a while. Might be back now, might not, really. It’s hard to say. We’ve been going through a pretty traumatic time and it turns out some things can’t be shared. Not even in the intimacy of the internets. Anyway, it’s not all mine to share. I can say that no one’s dead  so far and no one’s been diagnosed with anything worse than we’ve already got. That’s about it, though. Now I’m going to go catch up with what my blogroll has been up to.

*Yes, skippy coined that term.


Mortality checks

Mr. Yenta’s father did pass away as it seemed he might. We got down to Florida just in time. Mr. Yenta, his brother and sister-in-law and I flew down together, picked Mom up and rushed over to the hospital to say good-bye – sort of. No one’s sure if he knew we were there, but we hope that he sensed it. That was Monday night and he died at about 3 AM Tuesday morning. He was 90 and although he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia he really died of a total system shut down more than anything. Died of old age is what it really was. He did pretty well. A long life well lived. He was loved by his family and well regarded by just about anyone who knew him. Can’t ask for much more in this life.

Dad was in the news business from the time he was 17 until he retired, about 49 years later, with four years out for WWII. He worked for the same organization the whole time, working his way up from copy boy to senior copy editor of a major publication. At work he came to be regarded and somewhat ferocious. At home – not ferocious in the least. Once in a while, though, he did mention his low regard for graduates from journalism school. He wasn’t a famous journalist, but he certainly was a seasoned one. His death was sandwiched in between two more famous names in different areas of the media.

One the hour and a half drive from the airport to Mom’s place we listened to reminiscences about Jim McKay on the car radio. We all remembered him from Wide World of Sports and various Olympics at the least. He’d died over the weekend. He was a couple of years younger than Dad. All part of the long good-bye to the Greatest Generation.

Upon arriving home we learned that Tim Russert had just died. Did not see that one coming at all. Fifty-eight. Prime of life and, in his case, career. My exact age. WTF, Tim? I’m sorry for his whole family, but especially Big Russ. And Mrs. Big Russ if she’s still with us. We know Big Russ alive and well because Terry McAuliffe had to be corrected on Meet the Press when he made the unfortunate assumption that Big Russ was keeping up with current events from Heaven. Really awkward moment there. Although it’s pretty great to have a son who is incredibly successful and famous and then he writes a book about you – in a good way – to boot, but any father in the world would rather have his son outlive him and give up the rest if he was given a choice in the matter. This has got to be a very sad Father’s Day for Big Russ.

Back on the life-cycle

We’ll be gone for a few days. My father-in-law is in the process of dying and we’re heading to Florida this afternoon. On the one hand, this totally sucks. The world won’t be as good a place without him. On the other hand, he’s 90. His mind has been as sharp as ever the whole time but his body’s been checking out for a while. I don’t know which way is worse. My mother did it the other way, sort of. Her body was having plenty of trouble but her mind left the building first.  That wasn’t good either. It was pretty horrible as a matter of fact. My father simply up and died all at once. In the middle of laughter, joking and conversation, actually. Those were his favorite things besides food. That was the best way to go, but at 69 it was way too early.

In the end, it goes so fast that it always feels like it’s too soon to lose someone you care about.

Weekends are getting shorter

This weekend whizzed by. There was a little babysitting, some RBC watching, errands, chores, a little enjoying of beautiful weather today. Throw in a little more TV watching and hey, presto! It’s almost Monday morning.

Well, the RBC did about what was expected and everyone was reasonably happy except the Clinton campaign. Or maybe they were just pissed because no one sent Ickes the memo with the dress code. There was the Clintonista rally outside which looked as if it was fun for the participants. And dignified.

Today, of course there was the primary in Puerto Rico, where Clinton won big as expected but it doesn’t change the fact that Obama will probably wrap things up next week. So, it was a big news weekend in the political world in which nothing very unexpected happened and nothing much has changed. Except that Bill Clinton is reported to be really, really made about the new Vanity Fair article about him. He was already pretty mad, so this is just one more thing he has to be pissed about.

We finished the weekend off by watching the season finale of The Tudors. Spoiler alert – Anne Boleyn loses her head.  Who would have guessed that?  Next season is coming in 2009. They seem to be remaking the Six Wives of Henry VIII in real time. I just love looking at it. The acting is uneven, casting ranges from brilliant to WTF? and there’s been at least one unnecessary fudging of history, but it’s a feast for the eyes. Just about every scene looks like a Renaissance painting come to life.  There’s solace in it for today’s political wives, too. King Henry VIII was a worse husband than Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Eliot Spitzer all rolled into one.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother\'s Day

To all of us Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Older Sisters, Men with some maternal instincts and any other mothers not listed here. Happy day.

Monday, Monday

Well, we’re supposed to be sitting here in anticipation of Barack Obama’s appearance on The Daily Show tonight, but it looks like I’ll have to wake everyone up when it starts. Husband, sister, cats and the dog are all draped around the living room, sound asleep. It’s been a busy Monday.

I left work for a while to go to the doctor with Mr. Yenta. Wives often go to the doctor with their husbands if there’s a possibility of something being seriously amiss. This is not for moral support. It’s because we can never get the exact right information from our husbands. They don’t exactly recall what the doctor said, they’re not sure what, if anything, they’re supposed to do now, except in the most general way. Requests for specifics are seldom satisfied. On the whole, it’s just easier to go along and find out for yourself. In this case, it probably wasn’t necessary because everything was fine. A sonogram had shown something on his one remaining kidney and the urologist had ordered a CT Scan to see what it was. It was nothing. We were pretty relieved. Giddy even. We’ve been through enough tests that turned up Something that we don’t automatically assume Nothing anymore.

Then we got home and the euphoria ended. We learned that the bass player’s (the who lives in our spare room and is in the same band as our son) sister had died. She was only in her thirties so it really is very sad. It wasn’t unexpected. She’s been very sick for a long time. She lived halfway across the country and he’s been going to visit her whenever the band isn’t on the road. Now, of course, the band is going out on tour later this week, so in addition to getting a flight to halfway across the country he’s got to figure out if he can meet up with them in time for the first scheduled gig, which is a situation he really can’t control. The New Yorker magazine has run this boilerplate before their Nightlife Listings for as long as I can remember:

Musicians and night-club proprietors live complicated lives; it’s advisable to call ahead to confirm engagements.

It’s true. It’s not all arrests and rehab, you know. From time to time a venue has closed, or been closed by some governmental agency, for instance. Sometimes a performer gets rushed to an emergency room and fails to regain consciousness in time for load-in. But sometimes it’s just that musicians’ schedules don’t easily accommodate their lives. For the most part, they make that work by not having lives – not normal ones, anyway. They work tired, they work sick, sometimes they work when family members are getting married, having babies, graduating from things. Forget birthdays, including their own or most holidays. But sometimes you just have to show up for family, no matter where else you’re supposed to be. They’ll work this out. It’s all part of the deal.

Is it over yet?

Fender BenderYou know those times in life when nothing seems to go right? I’m not talking about the very worst ones. A least I hope not.  We’re just in one of those sucky periods where you think, “Well, thank God that’s over. Now we can get back to normal.” and then something else happens.  Those periods come and go all through life. It’s a fact of existence  that makes mortality seem logical.  That’s how it’s gone for us for the last  couple of weeks.

Finally, it seems that Mr. Yenta’s blood was flowing at an acceptable rate – and we had some fits and starts getting to that place.  I returned to work – for real – and he went back to his normal routine. That lasted a whole morning. Then he had a car accident. Not in our car. No, that would be too easy.  It was in our resident bass player’s car. The one who occupies our spare room. Mr Yenta and I share a single car and have done for years. It’s mostly a very manageable arrangement, but when the bass player is out of town, he lends Mr. Yenta his car. Of course, it’s an old car. It’s got no collision insurance on it. Whether it’s worth fixing is moot.  It’s not our car. Mr. Yenta borrowed it and now we have to make it right, so we’ll be paying considerably more than the bass player paid for the car to get it fixed. The bass player was very gracious about the whole thing, which was nice.

Then there’s Mr. Yenta’s CT Scan next week. I’m sure it’ll be fine. But let’s just say that when you’re down one kidney you get a little jumpy when they say they need a better look at the other one.

Tomorrow we’ll be babysitting our two year old grandson for the entire day. That’s exhausting but cheering. He’s a very cute kid. Pleasant, too. Not really a very terrible two. I just hope that our black cloud clears up so we don’t screw anything up while we’re taking care of him. We’re not feeling like the luckiest people to be around right now. On the other hand, things have been much worse and ended up all right.  I’m really just posting all this to vent a little, and also because the suckiness has kept me too busy to come up with a more interesting post.