Tuesday, March 29, 2016

With Love, To Nicky Eff and Max

I fell in love with her online.  Nicky and I seemed to have lived in a parallel universe in many ways.

Exactly what drew me to her, i am not even sure.  But I knew her and she knew me.  I was so thrilled when she told me that she and her son, Max, were coming to visit me in 2012.

Alex and I drove to the airport and were very excited to meet them both.  We had brought snacks for Max and could not wait to see them in person.  Even before the plane had landed, we had checked a hundred times to be sure we would be there on time.

Finally, the plane had landed, and I insisted that Alex drive up to the terminal level to see if they were outside.  My first sighting of Nicky was a young woman with beautiful alabaster legs standing on the  curb wearing a pair of shorts and high heels, smoking a cig as a lovely boy ran in circles around her knees while she spoke on a cell phone.  She was the most glorious woman I had ever seen.

Five minutes later, Nicky and Max were in our car heading home to our house in Alameda, California.Max was curious about every thing he saw.  He was such a smart little guy!  His introduction to our crazy pit bull Zoe worried him a bit, but he soon got more relaxed with her.  Max was more comfortable with staid and reserved Harry, deeming him to be a "good boy".  He told us very seriously in English that ZoZo was "not a good boy".

Max spoke very little English, but that did not stop him from bonding with us.  His fluent French and Alex's fluent English was enough to make a firm friendship between them.  He was the most beautiful little guy I had seen in years.  Alex and Max spent many hours playing chess, and I was pleased to see that Max actually won several games.

Max and Nicky and JP got on Face Time a couple of times a day and I was lucky enough to walk in on some of their online visits. JP was so happy to see his gorgeous wife and boy child.  JP was a handsome and sexy man.  He and Nicky flirted obviously delighted with each other for an hour every day while they were here.  I was so happy seeing that kind of affection. 

We drove to San Francisco and on the ride I spilled Diet Coke on Alex accidentally.  He was not pleased.  Alex's displeasure caused me and Nicky to start laughing.  The more we tried to stop laughing, the worse it got with snorts and snickers.  Soon Max and Alex joined in the absurd giggles.  Nicky and I also managed to get locked in our parked car after setting off the alarm.  Panic ensued!  It was getting hot in the car and we couldn't open doors or windows.  I finally called Alex and he told us how to shut it down.  We looked at each other after the horrid siren had quit screeching and simply cracked up.  Neither of us was really good at dealing with a crisis.

To say I will miss Nicky isn't really true.  She is in my heart and always will be right there.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Roller Coaster Rides

Three days before Christmas, I was sitting at my kitchen table watching CNN News, and drinking coffee.  A white cloud came down over my right eye and rendered me blind in that eye.  To say I was terrified is not an overstatement. 

Within 5 or 10 minutes, my sight slowly came back.  Fortunately, Alex was home and took me to the hospital emergency room where I would have about 10 hours worth of tests, pokes, prods, and so on.  It was determined that I had experienced something called "Amaurosis Fugax", also sometimes called a TIA or mini-stroke. The ER doctor coordinated with my primary care doctor and I was set to meet with him the Monday after Christmas.

I waited to see if the weird stuff would happen again after I got home from the day of ER tests.  I was feeling stressed and frightened.  Christmas came and went without incident, but I couldn't get past the fear of "what comes next".  It didn't help that multiple people started telling me about somebody they knew who "had exactly the same thing and then they died".  Worse, even, I watched the movie, "Legends of the Fall" with Brad Pitt and Sir Anthony Hopkins, which depicts Hopkins after a supposed stroke struggling to walk, unable to talk, walking around with a tablet to write on, while he drooled and slobbered constantly.  Oy vey!

The doctor appointment on Monday was fairly low keyed.  My doctor is a calm person and I trust him completely.  He told me I would have to have more tests, visit an eye physician and surgeon, and a neurologist, and perhaps a vascular surgeon in the next few days.  At least there was a plan.  I had a CT Scan, Angiogram, with contrast dye which was fairly quick by also fairly scary because I was told I would feel "warm" from the dye injection.  I actually felt my womb and ovaries heat up like they had been zapped in a microwave oven.  Warm?  Hah!

The eye doctor explained to me that Amaursis Fugax is not a diagnosis, but a description of what happened.  He also said that it could have been caused by an ocular migrane or a wide range of other undetermined factors.  Further good news, he told me that my eyeballs are healthy and I have very good vision.  I was feeling better by the moment.

Two days later, I visited a neurologist.  It was a strange doctor's visit.  First thing, the guy shares offices with two OB/GYNs.  They actually all share one office and one exam room, and play musical chairs with each other to see patients.  While the doc and I were discussing what had occurred with my "episode", people in the waiting room could hear every word with said as clearly as if they were in the same room with us.  I'm just glad I wasn't there to see the OB/GYN about STDs.

My next appointment was with a vascular surgeon.  Long story short.  I'm okay.  I do not need surgery, or anything except a low dose aspirin every day.  Then, of all things, David Bowie died at age 69.  Two days later, the actor from Harry Potter died at age 69.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  My mother was a whimsical creature.  She identified with actresses Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe.  Harlow died at age 26, and Monroe died at 36.  My mother announced that she knew she would die at 46.  (No, she died at age 81.)  But all at once, I started feeling like I was turning into my mother.

I waited up until midnight the last night of my 69th year waiting for the grim reaper to come and get me.  I also made Alex stay up with me.  I was so relieved when midnight came and went and I was still breathing.

I never expected it would feel so damn marvelous to turn 70!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Yes. Feed The Ugly Ones To The Lions."

I may or may not have uttered those words to my friend Jim, 25 years ago or so.

He may or may not have commented on the attractiveness of my children in order to elicit such a response from me.

Who remembers?

I lost touch with Jim for many years, but it was such fun before he disappeared off the face of the planet.  We were friends.  We were co-conspirators.  We were cohorts in crime.  And then he was gone.

I was instrumental in hiring Jim at the engineering firm where I worked.  He was young, brash and handsome.  Oh, and he was very smart as well. Jim was charming and appealing, and too many of the young women at work started vying a little too hard for his attention.  I had to fire a couple of them when the catfights got too noisy to ignore.

I would say that Jim was innocent and blameless in all of these shenanigans, but that would not be the truth.  He was neither innocent, nor blameless.  I never really saw him in the light that the younger women did.  To me, Jim was smart, funny, and incorrigible and I like that in a guy. But as a red-haired white boy, let's just say, he was never my cuppa tea.

Jim had a preference for nubile young blonds.  (Don't all men?) I think he was close to 30, but dated 18 and 19 year old girls almost exclusively.  He even moved some of them into his apartment.  Jim promptly asked them to leave if they left bra's on his door knobs.  (Why else did God make door knobs?).

I loved him.  And he found me after 25 years on this site.  There is a god.