Friday, December 28, 2012

Bella gets her tonsils out

12/27/12 15:18 Stony Brook Hospital

Ali and I are in the recovery room after Bella had her tonsils and adenoids removed.  We have been here since 11:00, leaving the house at 10:30, the receptionist in the surgery center seemed to know who we were when we walked in, “Gordon?”  Yes.  She just threw up.  The doctor came in to explain the hospital may not have a room in pediatrics since it’s full.  There are 40 beds up there, and there are cases of flu so the doctor recommended we stay in the recovery area.  It’s not too bad, since we have a TV, but in time if necessary we will be moved.  The only problem with being here is the potential lack of visitors.  Bella was nervous before we left the house.  For weeks leading up to today, she would not discuss the surgery.  Did not want to deal with it.  This morning Amanda comforted her and the rest of the kids hoped she would not pass gas while in surgery.  She is hungry, since she has not eaten anything since last night.  Sitting here watching her in pain is difficult, I feel helpless sitting here.  I mentioned the TV and the child chose the Disney Channel.  The same awful show is playing over and over.  It’s a distraction from the pain.  A sort of distraction.  Overall it’s quiet down here.  So soon after Christmas most of us wish we were with family. What else can we do on this break from school and work?  Go to the hospital.  Edit my novel which is like pulling teeth, it's a slow tedious task, since it involves formatting.  Besides outside it’s a rainy day and  an early night.  Ali plans to spend the night here.  I hope they have one of the recliners she can sleep in.  I may go for a walk around since I can’t sit in this small room.  

Why did she get her tonsils removed?  She suffers from sleep Apia which can cause epilepsy.  There is a direct relationship between sleep apia and epilepsy and removing the tonsils may reduce the sleep apia, but it will take months for us to learn the facts.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Pixies' Doolittle blasts from my car on the commute

Last night on the way home I stopped at Mr. Cheapos Record store in Mineola and bought some CD’s and DVD’s for my expanding collection as well as a Christmas present for my brother.  I love records and CD’s…they are like books, I collect them.  I avoid ordering from the Apple corporate sterile library.  Why? To receive tin music on my computer?  Not for me.  I like reading the CD, holding it, seeing the pictures the artist wants to share with their fans.  Dave likes heavy metal music, cheesy 80’s bands and the store has a dense eclectic collection of music - new and used works.  I found a cool DVD collection of Iron Maiden.  Being there, I happened to find some music.  Morrisey, who I am seeing in two weeks with Amanda at CW Post,  The Hold Steady,  Joni Mitchell, and the Pixies.  I bought Doolittle since more than twenty years ago I had the tape and record.  I looked at the dark copper cover with the monkey like an old friend.  Hey, wanna come back in my life?  The ride home was a breeze through the dark traffic, insane punks cutting in and out with their compact seats stuffed in wide mufflers, backed up trucks, and slow buses.   Not a care in the world.  The whole album shifted my voice and mind back and to those years when I sang...screamed with Francis Black, I was singing out loud with the windows rolled up. The lyrics are entrenched in my subconscious.  Debasser, man I can play that song on bass, even if I don’t know a split lick about playing the instrument.   Don’t know about you but I am un chiem anclausia (thank you for printing the lyrics) Grow up to be a debaser.   And I screamed out TAME without a care who could hear me…what a song to get out all pent up aggression.  Play that one loud.  Wave of mutilation ….drive my car into the ocean.  The rows of break lights in the distance looked like the tips of the waves under the light of the December moon.  My ride was converging with the music and I was singing along, and I had the idea in my delirious older brain I can start a band and we’d play this whole fucking album – for sure.   Because I can sing it.  I’m playing the album now.  It’s loud as hell I am ringing a bell…I bleed….shaking teeth.  Under the stars each new song was welcomed into my lonely car.  Like most commuters I was locked into isolation.  From our cars we grasp steering wheels and imagine we’re either James Bond or a rock star as we drive home from work.  Inside our caves we regain our composure and retain the images we created.   Let me tell you some memories of this album.  Back when this was a new album, I was a college student and went to DC to march for student’s rights – fighting against racial injustice.  It was on that bus ride Frank Dentrone had one of the best quotes of all time - when discussing the song Monkey Goes to Heaven.  “It’s so true. This song is it. Man is five, and the devil is six, and God truly is seven.”  Yes Frank…noble words from a man who I love like a brother….On that bus ride was a beautiful Russian student from NYC.  We picked up a group of students in the city, and I remember trying to flirt with her and she was not giving me the time of the day.  But she loved Frank.  It could have been his long thin hair and his leather anti apartheid pendant.  Either way, I saw them kissing near a tree after we finished our march.  There is always time for a kiss after the riot we created in the city.  Another memory I want to share with you, well two.  I saw The Pixies on their Doolittle tour at The Ritz in the city and remember Kim Deal playing bass and her smiling as she played and I thought back then, I could do that.  My most recent memory was seeing The Pixies at Jones Beach a few summers ago.  Interpol opened as well as Sonic Youth another band I will write about.   Being the cool dad and the only way I could go to the concert, I reluctantly brought Amanda and Emma when they were twelve and ten.  There are a few songs they performed that made me shake my head in disbelief.  One of them was; I’m  Amazed.  Warning to cool parents – don’t be ignorant and take your children to see a show you don’t know completely.  I hoped the show would not scar them intellectually or emotionally.  It wasn’t that bad, since from time to time I ask them if they remembered the show…yeah, it was great….it really was great to see the band back together. I know my girls are....well at least on the surface - normal.  

Trivia question what was the name of the album before changing it to DooLittle?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Day After A Tragedy

I woke up this morning to the alarm clock going off at 7 in the morning.  I slept very well, exhausted from the annual holiday party on Thursday night and the sales dinner on Wednesday night.  It was one of those nights when sleep struck quickly and the dreams were vague memories by the time I was shutting off the alarm.  I had an hour to feed the cats, make coffee and get ready for basketball.  Then like a reminder to the stark reality I heard President Obama on his weekly radio address to the country. His voice was reassuring but the tragedy that occurred yesterday morning in Connecticut did occur.  I remember driving to work after 9 /11 and the announcer said, yes. It’s true the towers are gone.  It was true.  Children were slaughtered.  Twenty.  Maybe this tragic event will be the mark when as a country we can say no more access to assault weapons, to the arrogance of a powerful lobbyist group in the NRA.  I am not against taking all guns, it’s these particular large scale killing machines that are the reason for these incidents.  Have your hunting rifles for hunting.  Is there a sport in machine gunning in the woods for deer?  When is it enough?  I know it’s not just the guns.  Some say it’s our mental health programs which are working with reduced staff and funds.  Some say it’s the violence in the video games.  Yet this event will subside and we will go on with our lives till we are shocked that another madman struck.  Wasn’t it this week a man shot and killed in some innocent lives in a mall?  Minnesota.  Children were killed yesterday in their elementary school, and forever Newtown Connecticut will be etched in our country’s history as being a town where this hideous act occurred.  It could be any town.  It has become too many towns, malls, churches, universities, trains, city streets, play grounds, but as long as these guns – these assault weapons are available – we run the risk of the possibility there will be more blood.   I played basketball for a couple of hours in Amityville with some guys from work.  After that it was a quick shower, change of clothes and off to help Phil move.  They moved to Ronkonkoma, a house that is right behind Connetquot High School.  It was a mild day today which made the job easier.  Most of the furniture was loaded in the truck by some of Gabby’s friends.  It was the unloading where we made the biggest dent.  It did not take long to unload, but some of the furniture was very heavy.  Their new neighborhood is a step up, and the new house is larger.  Men were washing their cars in their driveways, eyeing us with suspicion and not making eye contact to their new neighbors.  After we left, I saw house after house with Christmas lights and kids running on front lawns and in another a group of kids playing football with their father.  I am happy for Phil and Jenn and the kids and wish them the joy and happiness not only in their new house, but in their new neighborhood.  And like that our lives continue as other lives cope with their pain.  I say a prayer to all of you...may God comfort you for the rest of your lives.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tom Wolfe struggles to complete a sentence in interview at the NY Public Library

On Wednesday, I drove into the city and parked a couple of blocks from the NY Library where Tom Wolfe was scheduled for an interview and book signing.  I had tickets to see Henry Rollins there earlier in November, but I avoided the trip into the city since we were hit with a Nor’easter.  I asked the good folks at the library if I can exchange the tickets.  No problem,  Mr.  Wolfe is an American icon in the letters and arts.  Instead of writing about this life and his works I will focus on the night.  The event started a little late, but for me this was fine since I was running late.  Last Wednesday, the Christmas tree lights were turned on a Rockefeller Center with performances by Tony Bennett and Rod Stewart as well as others, so there a gridlock warning in effect.  Midtown was jammed.  While driving downtown on Second Avenue, trying to avert racing firetrucks, I went down a side street and they followed after me.  I couldn't escape the madness. Parking on the road is a risk,  the cow can be towed or broken into, but I had little time and parked it and walked briskly up to the library, passing Bryant Park which was lit up for Christmas, Shoppers holding hefty  bags and weary workers with their haggard faces waltzed on the sidewalk and stepped out of my way. All of then had an air of gracious class of course; since we were in midtown. Reality, " Yeah, get the fuck outta my way."  I found the entrance and the venue and took a seat in the last row and waited…a young woman apologized for the slight delay. Some in the crowd were clapping and carrying on since he was late.  She said Mr. Wolfe was delayed in traffic.  No, the truth we later learned was that he was distracted reading original works by Dickens and his works in the libraries archives,  You pathetic bastard, some minds from the unruly crowd must have thought, you had us waiting for seventeen minutes.  The man came out and we quickly forgot that he was late.  The room where the Library holds these events is large and expansive it must be pushing more than a hundred years old with classical motif like you would find in a botanical garden with a high circular cathedral ceiling.  I assume there were a few hundred in the room.  Eventually as the interview was being conducted with banal questions and with Mr. Wolfe's constant annoying ramblings, the audience began to escape the room.  The next day I read many of the references Wolfe made, for instance his view on the art world, there are only three thousand serious collectors in the world and more of them live in the city.  He has his opinions.  He is an intellectual who has the habit of stopping mid sentence to finds the words he was searching for in that majestic mind.   I was bored to death, but had to get my books signed, his new acclaimed novel Back to Blood and a rough first edition of Kool Aid...That was the reason I went in and waited for the interview to end.  I loved Bonfire of Vanities and remember the sensation it caused when it was serialized in Rolling Stone.  I also loved The Right Stuff – which is one of my favorites.   I didn’t have to wait too long to meet him and got a chance to say, and I meant it, it was an honor to meet him.  He seemed startled and I reached out to shake his hand.   His hand has touched so many hands in our history; the same one holds the pen that creates indelible stories.  

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