Friday, October 31, 2008


Monday, October 13, 2008

Road Trip - Hi Moms Dinner

I remark all the time what great kids I have. My kids also have the benefit of belonging to a splendid family.

On the drive up, I imagined cars from the entire east coast converging toward Newport. We had family and friends from New York, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida all driving together to celebrate Adam's achievement.

Adam and I had been working on a list for graduation for several weeks. In the end we had the largest crowd of family and friends at graduation - 14 - which I know meant a lot to him. Rain was forecast which sorely disappointed the boy; he had so much wanted to run in cadence with his brother and his friend William. There was also a whole PT thing that got canceled.

There were only 10 chairs per table and being the rebellious lot were were, we broke some protocol by stealing chairs and place settings from another table. We all wanted to sit together. It worked, our table was the most fun. The Long Island Iced Tea didn't hurt. We were regaled with stories about his War Spoon, and methods used by the Marine Drill Instructors to whip the soon-to-be-officers into shape. Adam is a wonderful storyteller - something he gets from his Dad. He had us laughing all evening.

When we got a look at Adam's DI, everyone at the table started saying, "Mayo! I want you D.O.R.!" "I got no place else to gooooooooo....I got....nuthin'!" We are not very original, but we are fun. The DI did make the class do push ups while yelling, (down) "When the mind fails to comprehend! (up) The body must be punished!" The class loved it. They loved him. Though I suspect that if they met him as a civilian on the street, even outranking him, they will never be able to look him in the eye.

It was the night I realized that not much else awaits me but grandchildren and death. Here I was - my kids and their friends all wanted me to go out drinking with them. How many parents get that compliment? And how I wanted to - but I had a dog doped up in my hotel room and bless me, I was just tired. Blah blah appendicitis blah blah drove 9 hours blah blah let the kids have fun blaaaaahhhhh blahhhhhh I should have gone.

I learned the next day that the kids headed to some bar where Eddie Money was apparently playing - time hasn't been particularly kind to Eddie, so I'm told. But what the hell? Me either. Adam was enjoying the attentions of some Eddie groupies; one who could rival Hallmark's "Maxine" for crusty nicotine throat and the other younger one - well, let's just say that Adam's brother tore him away before he needed a layered course of antibiotics for the rest of his life.

The kids had fun, got in early (about 11:30 pm I'd say; not late at all). We all got a good night sleep.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kingdom of the Winds - Shout Out

I'm up to Episode 10 of Kingdom of the Winds starring my favorite Song Il Guk. I'm still waiting for the magic to hit - it's only OK so far. To be fair, it usually takes me a while to invest in the characters.

Gotta say that I'm having a hard time separating some of the actors from previous characters they have played. There are several Jumong alumni in KotW as well as a few from Emperor of the Sea.

My hot little pocket Park Jung Hak is back as Sagu. He played the loyal General Kho in "Legend" and Madame Jami's bodyguard in Emperor of the Sea. I like him better with a beard and moustache, but it's good to see him. Sagu's a nasty character in KotW, and PJH is doing a great job. He's so slimy.

Kim Byung Gi is cast as the Judas Sangga. He played Soseno's dad Yeontal in Jumong - such a likable character there. I can't tell you how THAT's messing me up.

grieving over Daeso though. Kim Seung Soo played Daeso to great effect in Jumong and positively sizzled - I thought he and Soseono had more chemistry on screen than Jumong and Soseono. His intensity burned through the screen. Daeso was nasty, but he was a hot nasty and I enjoyed the character.

Daeso 20 years or more later - not so much. I know he's supposed to be a blustery narcissist, fat and barren, but there is something missing in the performance. Maybe I just miss Kim Seung Soo - how cool it would have been if he had been given the opportunity to play Daeso 20 years older in this. Could have been such a fabulous tie in to Jumong - and imagine how fans of that show would have flocked to the screen to see Jumong's grandson exact revenge.

So, as usual, my expectations and hopes for the show cloud the series overall. My bad. (BTW - this scene where Muhyul finds out that Haemyeong is dead? Exquisite.)

There have been some remarkable performances so far - episode 7 in particular. **SPOILER ALERT** When Haemyeong dies in Yuri's arms. Haemyeong has the balls to mock Daeso's inability to sire sons, hitting Daeso in his balls. Yuri arrives at the last moment to try to save his son, but Haemyeong still takes his own life to sacrifice for his Father and King and his people. It's a powerful scene and really well done.

It's not my favorite scene though. If you follow Song Il Guk on soompi and know who I am, you will be familiar with a particular thread of which I am not altogether proud. My more mature colleagues and I made attempts to couch the language so that it might go over the heads of some participants and not get us booted out of the forum altogether. There was much conjecture and some ribald comments did sneak out. It really was all said in fun and the more obscure the comments, the more fun we had.

Episode 7 offered we fans on Soompi a bone, in a manner of speaking. I am convinced that SIG or someone in his management circle reads the forum and offered us a shout out.

Naked, gratuitous foot.

Road Trip - Ensign

With all the belly-drama the week before, concern had been expressed by friends and neighbors about the wisdom of driving 9 hours to see my son graduate from Officer Candidate School. I wasn't going to miss this - would have gone there crawling if I had to.

I had planned on driving up Wednesday - graduation ceremonies were on Friday - but Dame Fate smote me with appendicitis forcing me to use up the remainder of my meager sick AND vacation allowance. I decided to leave Thursday.

I had it all planned out; Monday I would start to straighten the house. Tuesday; laundry. Wednesday; pack the car. Thursday; leave at 4am getting into Newport at 1pm. On your mark; get set; PARTY.

You remember Monday was my first day back in the office after the appendix fest. Crashed. Too tired and in too much pain to breathe. Well I still had Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday I got slammed at work, I was just as exhausted when I got home, but I had no choice - if I didn't start prepping now there would be no way I would be ready to leave Thursday morning. I got home and started to walk Buddy and began thinking

to-do-it-and-whythehelldid-I just-come-home-Monday-night-and-do-nothing
and-Meg-was so-busy-and-I couldn't-aska-her-and-I-didn't-know

Meggie pulled in from play rehearsals and started her typical jabberjabberjabber about school. She noted my wired face and offered to clean the whole apartment that night.

I burst into tears. Meg looked on in horror.
Neither of us was expecting that.

What can I say - I was tired.

Anyway, Meg got it all done. So much and so well that all I had to do was throw in some laundry. She's a good girl and I am blessed.

Every road trip, I plan on packing the car the night before. Every road trip, I leave everything until the last minute and am usually still looking for clothes to wash. Every road trip, I leave 1.5 hours behind schedule.

This time, we packed the car completely Wednesday night, went to bed at 10pm, vowed to get up at 4am and hit the road.

4:20 am broke silent and condemning. F******************CK! Up I jump, wake up Meg, tell her to walk the dog while I get dressed and ensure everything is packed and ready to go. Something to be said for racing around at the last minute - the adrenaline sure flows.

To our credit, we were on the road by 4:34 am. We turned on the borrowed GPS system, which was amusingly programmed to the Korean language, thank you Guest Blogger and as is our tradition, we turned on Sirius Radio Classics and enjoyed "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon" and a drama called "The Empty Chair" that starred Agnes Moorehead.

The ride was perfect. We stopped in PA to stretch ourselves and Buddy and enjoyed the crisp cooler air of the north. We reached RI by 2pm - found our hotel with some difficulty. Adam came out to meet us in his dress whites.

I choked up. It wasn't going to be the last time I did that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Belly Drama - Day 3 and beyond

Sorry about the lapse in case anyone cares...whoever my muse is and with whomever she sits, its just not on my shoulder these days and I have had no desire to write. At any rate, following surgery:

I recovered.

I went home 11 hours after being wheeled into my hospital room. I shared this with Angela, a nice lady who had a great deal of mobility considering she had been in the hospital for 2 weeks. She was a fan of the "Judge" shows that pepper early morning television - Judge Wopner, Judge Judy, Judge Joe, you know what I mean.

They are nearly as insipid as soap operas. Not quite, but nearly.

Called my boss to tell him what was going on. My throat still all croaky from the tube. I must have sounded a mess. And sh*t, I was using a load of sick time and vacation (4 days in the end, not so much, but it irritated me.) Hot Doc came in to see me; told me that the appendix had definitely been infected, good thing we took it, blabbity blah, "Here's my card, I'm a plastic surgeon." "What, you couldn't suck any fat out while you were in there?"

Apparently not.

My last pain killer was juiced into me at 6am and I was determined to "see how bad it was"; maybe I could "manage the pain". Worked for a while. By the time Starbuck came to bring me home, I was getting sore. A sore that was starting to consume me, so Starbuck ran out to get my Vicodin. I called my Mom. No matter how old you get, when sick or in rough straits, if you still got your Mom, you want to call your Mom. There is comfort in it.

The timeline, when you think about it, was remarkably short:

Monday: 3pm, ooooooooooo stomach hurts; curse Mexico and its beans
evening: first ER visit, introduced to the delights of morphine and contrast
Wednesday: f/u doctor visit, Dr. McDreamy's second opinion, a demand for nakedness satisfied
Thursday: 1am; surgery, Angela and Judge Joe later in the morning, home in the afternoon, Lord Vicodin my closest companion
Friday: the lost day
Saturday/Sunday: weaning from Vicodin, feeling good, grossing out at bruises
Monday: back to work

Yeah, that was a mistake. Too soon, but who knew? I had used all my sick time and was eating into vacation, I had planned vacation at the end of the week to go to my son's graduation from OCS, I couldn't take more time off. I crashed around 11:30 am and was pretty useless by 3:00 pm. Stuck it out though.

Stopped taking pain meds Monday night. Was crabby with a major detox headache on Tuesday, but felt more clear on Wednesday and was glad I had done it. I was only mildly sore by that time and was feeling good.

Couldn't risk taking it for the drive to Newport, Rhode Island.

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