Jul. 9th, 2009 07:25 pm
fictional: (dr. who family)
Today, for the first time, my dad fell asleep right in the middle of our conversation. At first I thought he was just joking around, but no. He wasn't.

I realize now, and again -- it doesn't seem to matter how many times I do it, the realization still feels fresh and new -- that this is not going to get easier. I will not wake up one day and get to go back to the way things used to be.

Never. Never. Never.
fictional: (doctor and jack through glass)
Title: The God from the Machine (1/1)
Pairing: gen
Characters: Ten, some minor characters from TW: CoE, Ianto, mentions of Jack, Rose.
Author: [ profile] kalichan
Rating/Warning: all ages
Summary: A deus ex machina (pronounced /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkinə/ or /ˈdiː.əs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/) is a plot device in which a person or thing appears "out of the blue" to help a character to overcome a seemingly insolvable difficulty.
Spoilers Written after Children of Earth: Days 1 & 2; a small amount of unspoiled speculation for the rest of CoE
Wordcount: 818 words
Author's Notes: Have we learned nothing from cannibals, Ianto?

'Oi! Get out of that!' )
fictional: (palin master)
So... courtesy of [ profile] faris_nallaneen, I see that Sarah Palin has resigned??? I can see four possibilities, all of which are bad.

Possibility 1: Lots (okay, two. But still) of top Alaskan health officials resigned recently. Is Alaska about to experience some form of plague that will eventually take over the planet? Is swine flu really polar bear flu? (Plague = bad. ETA: At least it's an island. SON OF ETA: Er...No. I am just terminally stupid. And I know no geography. Hey, I'm from New York! Cut me some slack.)

Possibility 2: Some horrible sex/drugs/embezzlement scandal about to surface, and Palin thinks she will preemptively kill the story by resigning now. (If this works = MIGHT BE REALLY BAD, because we'll never hear what happened! Inquiring minds want to know!)

Possibility 3: THERE IS NO PLAN and her dipshittery just finally escaped all bonds. (If this is true, we'll never find out if it was really 1 or 2 = definitely really bad.)

Possibility 4: This is the beginning of what Fox News seems to think will be an unfettered run at the presidency - in which case, world: watch out. Swine flu may be as nothing compared to this.

Okay, I'm going back to this &*%$%#@ chapter now. Once it is done, perhaps I can come back to TRULY IMPORTANT STUFF like fic writing/reading, these radio plays that everyone is so excited for and NEW TORCHWOOD. Also talking to real live people. I miss you guys! Yay! And a review of the spectacular Coraline: the Musical.

I was really hoping I could retire this icon. Alas.
fictional: (Cowboy)
I just got back from Aerosmith at Jones Beach. With freaking ZZ Top as the opener. Yeah, it was a little time slip there.

When I was 13 -- almost exactly 15 years ago -- I'd just fallen in love with my first rock band. Oh yeah, I'd listened to Queen before that, but Freddie had just died then... Aerosmith was my first, living, OMG WANT band.

Embarrassing? Perhaps, but I'm not embarrassed. There's something pure and spectacular about first love, true love.

Anyway, so that summer, [ profile] magnetgirl and I went to our first rock show. We had orchestra tickets, and her parents drove us there... and we were totally blown away. That venue is the most gorgeous I've ever been to, still, and tonight, fifteen years later, it was still magical -- with the thunderstorms, and the lightning (oh, the lightning! when ZZtop invoked Jimi Hendrix, as they sang Foxy Lady, and the lightning arced and sparked in spiderwebs across the sky as if in response at the beginning and end of the song, as if Jimi was up there, playing along!) and the glorious sunset that seemed as if it were off of some alien twin sunned world, and the light sparkling on the water, and the spots in gleaming beams all the way down to the stage...

So there we were again, the two of us. (Plus boys. The last time I was at an Aerosmith concert, I thought I would never, ever have anyone like me. like-like me. You know.) Anyway, I think they knew we were there.

They didn't sing a single song post 1993. Not one. And they played every song off Toys in the Attic. It was like going back in time to 1975 -- there was even a vworp-vworpy TARDIS sound, and suitable psychedelic imagery. (And although Steven Tyler's voice is now wrecked beyond repair, you could kind of imagine he was just really strung out on drugs!) And omg, I never realized it before, but the Toxic Twins must have imprinted hard on my burgeoning sexuality, (or my burgeoning sexuality picked them for a reason!) because jeez, they're really kinda gay. I mean, there's an OTP in there for sure. Watching this band with slash goggles firmly affixed is a whole new experience. (Ahhhh! Did I really start out in bandom??? Oh no. Say it ain't so!!)

ANYWAY, MOVING ON. They looked like they were having a great time tonight, and could've cared less about all the girls going, "but what happened to 'I don't wanna miss a thing!'" Nope, instead we're going to play things from Rocks and Get Your Wings. And you can fucking suck it! A little surreal to have them dedicating songs to their kids, and um, grandkids who I think were there (go see Grandpa shake his silver lamé ass!), but...I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

My very last Aerosmith concert, and it was...

fictional: (Default)
While I was napping, Michael Jackson died?


Could the world stop changing just when I've closed my eyes, thanks! More to say later, after I've washed my face and am convinced I didn't port dimensions in my sleep.
fictional: (dr. who family)
[ profile] rm gave me a gorgeous bracelet (at some point, I'll take a picture of it and post it -- IHNIIHBT fans will get a kick out of it, I think); [ profile] hofnarr, some awesome Whovian comics; Dave took me to see Chicago & Tam took me to see Le Corsaire.

I can't wait till the death trinkets begin to roll in! (Kidding. Obviously.)

But TONIGHT there was, courtesy of [ profile] faris_nallaneen the spectacular surprise of seeing Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Housingworks, where among other things, they read, sang, told stories, held hands and gazed adoringly at each other like total cuties (!!!) and finally came out of the closet and admitted that they are fucking dating. (All forms of punctuation appear to apply.)

It was the bit where they asked each other questions (supplied by audience) and Amanda says, "Ooh! I like this question... because I want to hear what you're going to say..."

And Neil says, "uh...."

And Amanda says, "So Neil, given that you and Amanda Palmer were naked in a bathtub together on twitter, are you going to admit that you're fucking dating or what?"

Then she blinked at him expectantly, and he stuttered, "Seriously???"

And then said very quietly, "yes, we've been dating for months."

And then Kali yelled said in a penetrating whisper, "Duh!" (I'd had a few glasses of wine by then.)

They gazed into each other's eyes some more, and then said: "AWKWARD!" and moved on. To Amanda auctioning off "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" + some used stockings for $1300. (!!!)

It was a great night.

There were also steamed clams with fennel and bacon, and an utterly divine caramel balsamic gelato. Mmmmmm.

I love Amanda Palmer. I want to buy all her albums.

TOMORROW THERE WILL BE FIC WRITING, OMG. I promise, you guys. (Especially Rach!)

Also, David Eddings is dead. Weird. I have a more contemplate-y post about authors and celebrity and memory, but that will wait for when I am not tired, achy, and soaked by incidental rainstorm.
fictional: (not sorry)
I'm supposed to be thesis-writing...
Which is why I'm posting.

I heard that TW-fandom has had a little poetical excitement re: John Barrowman while I was away in the Desert of the Real.

So... er... I decided to present y'all with a small sample of my *ahem* lyrical stylings.
[[ profile] rm dared me to post it at [ profile] dalekinthepond. I'm reposting here for those of y'all who don't read that ;-) ]

Title: He Walks In Beauty Like The Night
Rating: 13+
Pairing/Characters: John Barrowman, Captain Jack Harkness, OFC
Warning/Spoilers/Notes: So I was having a little conversation with [ profile] rm about fans, celebrity, and verse. This was the result. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Disclaimer: It's all true, baby. Except not.
Summary: ~I want a dream lover so I don't have to dre-e-am alone...~ )

Meanwhile: cancer continues on apace, but hopefully paces slower than the chemo. The lung tumor, is, we're told, shrinking -- but it seems unclear as to what that means in real life (or death?) terms. Insurance battle goes on, but is at this precise moment out of my hands -- and with the neurosurgeons who are appealing the decision -- they seem to think they'll have better success getting the 50 grand out of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield than they will out of us, which makes a certain amount of sense.

I've been pretty depressed lately.

But I seem to have had some social engagements here and there: Dave took me to see Chicago, he, D., Tam and I had a post show Bacchanalian Revel (I'm still a smidge hungover...). The sunrise was pretty. I haven't seen one from that end for a while. Tam's taking me to the ballet tomorrow night - it appears to be about pirates! (Le Corsaire from the Byron poem @ ABT which is extremely awesome.)

However, one assumes that I will get back to the internets SOMEDAY. To that end, I've got a dreamwidth account courtesy of [ profile] bentley who rocks like a rocking thing. I'm over there -- it's almost completely empty at this point, but at some point I'll make it all spiffy, so please do let me know if you're on there! At some point soon (for a given value of soon) I will begin cross posting etc.

Also, I got twitter -- that is, I registered a number of names.

[Poll #1405703]

I miss y'all like whoa.
fictional: (Default)
As a synonym for female genitalia, it leaves something to be desired, no? Oh spam filter, what would I do without you...

On another front, dreamwidth!!! I feel so out of the loop. This is definitely a sucktastic time to never be near the internets. It is impossible to perform the appropriate amounts of suck-up networking. Anyways, if any of you have an invite going spare... *bats eyelashes*

News from the cancer fields: Things mostly the same, except the bills have started coming in. I hate them. They are incomprehensible, the people you can reach by phone are, apparently, paid to be unhelpful, and it is infuriating. My parents continue to be remarkably incompetent for the educated, sensible people that they are, and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY. Last night, my dad had a fever. Does my mother call the doctor? No. Does she read the nice red, crab-decorated notebook that I have prepared where I write down everything that happens, all the instructions given, and all the doctor's contact info? No. She calls me. Whereupon I have to do all of this, over the phone, and then speak to the doctor, who recommends an antibiotic and calls it in -- then I have to come to their house to pick up the prescription card, run it to the all-night pharmacy, wait to get the prescription filled, run it back to the house. In the middle of the night. (D. [blessings be on his head] drives me around, so this is less aggravating than it could have been, and I'm happy to do the running, but what the fuck????)


Also, Eve Sedgwick has died. I was extremely fond of her, and will always be inexpressibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work & make things with her, if briefly. On my very first day at the Graduate Center, I met her... and was blown away in a wave of fangirliness -- and since I was already sort of nervous and freaked out with first day jitters, it was all sort of overwhelming. She gave me an enormous cuddly, comforting hug, and I've never forgotten it. It was always a shock to realize that such a fine, penetrating, incisive intellect was housed in such a... snuggly exterior. She was profoundly kind, and I will miss knowing that she is in the world. Sigh. Also, cancer. FUCK YOU.

Anyway. How are you guys doing?

Here is some cool stuff:

a video shown at a Sony executive conference earlier this year regarding the information age. I thought it was pretty neat.

And the Indonesian hobbit skeleton goes live today at SUNY Stonybrook for the first time.

Also, Trek Yourself! Cheezy goodness, sponsored (appropriately) by Cheeze-it. You haven't lived till you've seen yourself as a Vulcan. Live long and prosper, kids.
fictional: (whiskey tango foxtrot)
This has clearly been a poor time to not be on the internets! But alas. While I was otherwise occupied, it seems amazon has been, well, having epic fail. Which sucks, for many, many reasons but is also hugely irritating because I FUCKING LOVE BUYING BOOKS FROM AMAZON. And is also sad, because okay, evil, corporate, whateverthefuck, fine. I'm used to it. We're all freaking used to it, aren't we? But aside from being bigoted, it's also insane. Because it is not good business practice to try not to sell books if you're, you know, a book shop. And sex has been selling for a long time, my friends. And teh gay? ALSO DOING PRETTY WELL, especially of late. Also, James Baldwin? Come on.

And another thing, glaring incompetance at handling the internet from an internet company. This is web 2.0, folks. Did you think that if you just ignored it, people were just going to shut up and go away??? Um, no. This is the internet; being outraged is its hobby. Ditto writers, critics, fans, etc... and all of them have access to keys, and big, loud, cybervoices. Snuggling under easter eggs and hoping problem vanishes = no good. Sigh. Anyway, y'all have heard this already from a myriad of places that are not me, so I will stfu. But yeah. You know the drill, write email, sign the petition. Speak up!

Summing up my thoughts pretty successfully are the salon broadsheet and [ profile] bodlon's post, where he also discusses the bias implicit in the way queer stuff is considered more "adult" than equivalently explicit straight material.

In other news: my dad is bad-tempered, tired and discomposed by various bodily functions not quite operating via standard parameters. I'll just leave it at that.

Last weekend, we had the cousin-brother invasion. God, so many of my boys in one wee nyc apartment. It was insane, oldest + wife, another one + boyfriend, and the second to youngest. Plus me and D. of course. All the boys put to work moving sofas, dressers, chairs etc. D. was an enormous hit, as he is immensely handy, and also I think they all have little boy crushes on him. Some more platonic than others. The one with the boyfriend, the boyfriend and I did a fair amount of non-platonic heckling at any rate. Fun times.

My dad, of course, decided he wanted to also move things. And mop the floor. I became afraid he was going to have to be physically restrained, but instead after a few minutes of exertion, he simply fell asleep.

I tried to help with the moving of things, but was held back by a horrid pinched nerve or something in my back, which has been going on for a week now in what I can only describe as fluctuating between excruciating agony and bearable pain. I have an appointment with a chiropractor today. I've never been to one before, and am terribly nervous.

Last night I couldn't sleep and watched Bright Young Things. David Tennant plays unsympathetic really well, it's amazing. (I also am beginning to think that the Doctor is the sanest of his many roles. Frightening thought.) Anyway, it's a fun time, this flick, even with the too-hollywood romantic ending. And the actors! Spectacular, one and all.

Then I had terrible nightmares about byzantine intrigue and magical plots and wormholes surrounded by green and blue rubber bands. If the bands were cut: apocalypse. My father had the scissors, and cut them as I begged and pleaded with him not to.

My subconscious is terribly boring these days, don't you think?

catching up

Apr. 7th, 2009 11:13 am
fictional: (dr. who family)
It has been a while since my last post; frankly, it's all been pretty shitty 'round here, and I don't want to be one of those lj'ers -- you know the ones I mean.

But still, news is news, and ought to be recorded, and perhaps even shared. (I think?) So, for those of you following along at home, we now know my dad has lung cancer. Stage IV. Spread to brain, lymph and, as we discovered yesterday, spine. (Kind of like we're playing some sort of terrible game of reverse bingo; we keep getting squares that, well, do not want.) He starts chemo on Thursday.

He had one open brain surgery; and then a closed brain.... with a gamma knife. Does that not sound like some awesome light saber-y weapon? He's got a titanium plate in his head, and soon will be injected full of platinum. It's rather like living on the edge of sci fi, but not in a fun, happy way. Then I guess those novels never really are.

What else? I'm trying to write my dissertation, while spending as much time at my folks' as I can. This is... less successful than it could be, but I hope once we get into more of a routine, it will be better. It's interesting because while my concentration has (for some reason!) suffered, the urgency for finishing has... well, let's just say it's increased. A lot.

However, one can always distract oneself with tv. Supernatural, man. Metatastic episode for the win! (Better than metastastic, anyway. *g*) Seriously, I think having slash mentioned was awesome, I think the boys would react that way to Wincest, and I note they weren't freaked out by the gay, just by the brother-thing. Also, Cas for the win with his wink-wink-nudge-nudge. Yay. Also, CHUCK. I love it. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. Unfortunately, I am really dreading the next ep., but shall hope for the best.

I keep trying to like Dollhouse, and thus far am mostly failing. They had one good episode that I can recall, but even that was only good in comparison to the rest. It's glossy and badly paced and takes itself so seriously. It's so freaking earnest, which from the Joss, I kind of resent. No, actually there's no 'kind of'. I just resent it a whole lot.

Kings is pleasing. I'm not caught up -- have only seen the first two or three eps? But I'm enjoying it. Wrong!New York is gorgeous; I love the mythic adapation, and I'm waiting anxiously for my canon slash. Also, Ian McShane is amazing.

AND I am finally watching S3 of Friday Night Lights. Its 2nd season was SO dreadful; this season rocks SO HARD. It's made me and D. rise out of our chairs and pump the air on several occasions, and has on occasions too numerous to catalogue, turned us into spastic, twitching joygasms. I can't wait to go home tonight and watch more.

Then there's fic. I am still working on chap. 2 of Enough to Go By; it's my turn to send the next bit to Rach. But it is I am slow like molasses.

Anything more? We have cousins of all stripes descending on us this weekend, from London, from Rochester, NY, from New Delhi.

The world, it continues to suck. I continue to... not pay attention. I watched the coverage of the Binghamton shooting while waiting for my dad to get his bones scanned. I also saw a little kid wandering around with his chemo attached to him. He had a purple triceratops that he held by the tail. His dad followed him, board game under one arm; I can't describe to you the look on the dad's face.

Fun times. (Like Alison Bechdel says, we put the fun in funeral, no?)

If only...

Mar. 27th, 2009 11:10 pm
fictional: (doctor traveling)
I love google, my fandom, and Wales.

How much, but how much do I love that google punk'd Doctor Who/Torchwood fandom? With a Victorian ghost???? That is wearing a scarf??? SO FUCKING MUCH.

original story via [ profile] rm
fictional: (gwen/ianto)
Title: Enough To Go By (1/10)
Characters: Gwen, Jack, Ianto, Rhys
Pairing: canon + various permutations of Jack/Gwen/Ianto
Authors: [ profile] rm and [ profile] kalichan
Rating/Warning: NC-17, het, slash & poly
Summary: Everybody lies.
Wordcount: ~11,000
Authors' Notes: This is our poly curtains!fic. You have been warned! Title is from the song of the same name by Vienna Teng. Set post Series 2, so spoilers for all aired eps.

Gwen tried to wring the dampness from her hair as she skidded towards the Tourist Information Office, late as usual. )
fictional: (dr. who family)
OMG, so happy to be out of the hospital. AND on the internets again.

So first of all, my dad is now home! He is recovering from the brain surgery really well. Every day I see more improvement; he can now stand on one foot again (though still a little wobbly) and his cognition seems really close to normal, aside from a little forgetfulness. He has definitely lost some vision, but as he says, if that's the worst side effect, they can keep his peripheral vision as a present, gift wrapped.

We are now waiting to hear from the oncologist (regarding the mass they've found in the lung; we need to do some scans to see where else the cancer has metastasized to, and what stage it's at, etc. etc. and what the treatment should be). We also need see the neurosurgeon for follow up visits regarding the brain surgery. (Every time I type or think or say brain surgery, I keep expecting it to end in a joke/maxim/cliche of some kind. It's weird.)

We are also dealing with insurance related fuckery. [Yes, we have now been dumped into the toxic waters of the American Healthcare System; IT IS EXACTLY AS CRAPPY AS EVERYONE ALWAYS SAID. Try to avoid, if possible.] The social worker at the hospital, Victoria [called Vicky; when she says it, you can HEAR that it is spelled "Vicki" -- 'i' dotted with a little heart, natch], was remarkably unhelpful to me in negotiating the insurance stuff [she also proved deficient in many other respects, including consistently showing up after four hours when she kept telling me she'd be there in ten minutes.] However the lovely and amazing [ profile] faris_nallaneen who is a social worker of A Different Stripe Entirely spoke to her, and [because she is made of awesome] managed to uncover what she [Vicki] was refusing to tell us.

Vicki, you see, didn't want to explain things to me herself; she apparently thought it would be much better at this time for me to go to the social security office, and various other gov't offices to waste several days in hell, and get my answers there, in a much less clear fashion.

It turned out, as well, that she -- and many of the other hospital workers -- thought that we were a) indigent and desitute, b) could not speak English [even after speaking with all of us], and c) [because of these facts???] didn't need good quality care or assistance in navigating the system.
I mean, c'mon? Poor people? They don't deserve good care, right? It's just like natural selection, isn't it? [After I understood this, many previously unclear exchanges suddenly became comprehensible. For instance: Them: "You live in {area that is crappy/kinda ghetto/has govt. assisted housing projects}; Me: Um, no. My parents live in {neighborhood north of there; frankly kinda yuppified/gentrified}; Them: "Really? Are you sure?"; Me: "bzuh?!?!?!"1]

They assumed this apparently because we are a) BROWN and b) I spent most of my time at the hospital dressed with relative sloppiness [jeans & t-shirts etc.] This conclusion makes perfect sense because when you're spending nights in the hospital and your father has a BRAIN TUMOUR, you really feel the need to show up in heels and a suit. It's really comfortable when you're "sleeping" in a chair. Especially when there are catheters and blood gushing everywhere, and you're the one in the fucking barrel because you're an only child, and here you fucking are.


Let me not even start on the PASTORAL CARE people who would NOT leave us alone [her: "Hi... I speak... mostly English"; me (accentless for the record): "We speak English"; her: "Okay, I'll speeeeeak veeeereeeeyy sloooooowly. You're (looks me up and down) Catholic, right? You need (now loudly) A PRIEST? PRIEST? PADRE?"2] And the neuro ICU nurses, who I STILL want to stab in the brainpan, so they can experience their own care themselves and see how they fucking like it. Let's see how non-irritable they are. Charming!

HOWEVER it is not all terrible. My dad's neurosurgery team were AMAZING. Gorgeous hands, one and all, brilliant and thorough and quick and no nonsense, and all had good senses of humour. The resident at the first hospital, the one who rushed through the surgery, was so kind and so smart. (She was cute too, and Indian, and when I was dithering about going through with the surgery, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "if this were my father, this is what I would do." I believed her implicitly, and I'm so grateful.) The nurses in the regular neurology unit were so kind and competent and compassionate, that after the N-ICU people, I almost burst into tears at their awesomeness.

While I'm talking about awesomeness -- you guys! All your good wishes! I will reply to each and everyone, as soon as I have some more time; till then, please know I was touched to the heart by every single comment. Y'all rock so hard.

And as for the folks who've been going through this with me on this end, and helping so much, making food, helping me make decisions, doing driving and transport, communicating for me when I haven't been able to, taking time off from work, just chatting with me to keep my spirits up -- y'all know how much I love you.

Right now my dad's hovering over my shoulder, asking me if we can go on a walk to get him some potato chips. LOL. When I think of how he was on Thursday and Friday... it seems like a miracle. (An annoying, fiesty, curmudgeonly miracle who won't do what I tell him, and keeps trying to order me around and IS REALLY GETTING ON MY NERVES, but a miracle nevertheless.)

And now potato chips. Possibly also, (again as per his suggestion) a melon baller/ice cream scoop in case we need to scoop out any more defective head meat. Why hire other people to do what you can do yourself? Since we're going to be outside anyway.

1Yes. This really happened.
2This too. I kid you not.
fictional: (dr. who family)
Last night, I was sitting in a hospital room, gazing out at the Hudson River. The span of the George Washington bridge is framed perfectly in the window. Underneath there is a little lighthouse, still red, still working.

I had a book about it when I was small, about four or so, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. I read it over and over and over.

(Something about the Little Red Lighthouse and its low self-esteem must have resonated? I don't know.)

One day, my father seized me by the hand, and told me we were going for a walk. He wouldn't tell me where. That was pretty par for the course; he was always sweeping me off on some crazy walk or lunatic adventure -- it would seem entirely aimless at first, and then suddenly we were at the forgotten sunken bridge, or up in the Cloisters, or seeing the Strauss House, and being told the tale of the Titanic for the very first time. Or climbing rocks, and having a good hunt for mollusk shell imprints -- found a few too -- while he described the slow march of glaciers through all this space, and what speed they'd be moving at, painting me a picture with words that lived, with colors and sounds. Or pretending we were birds for a week, so we could figure out how they lived. Or turtles. Or telling me he was secretly a (very well-preserved) Leonardo DaVinci -- that's when I learned about aerodynamics, and the relationship between sculpture and anatomy, and mirror writing. Or mulberry picking, every August. Or taking me to a church, and a synagogue, and a mosque -- my dad is a militant atheist -- and sitting inside them for a while, just to get the feel of these things that move people to such great extremes. It was a long time before I realised every game was a lesson too. It didn't matter; they all came alive. Anyway, he'd never tell me where we were going before we got there; I just had to wait and see. (Maximum drama, don't you know.)

Anyway, on the day in question, we'd walked all the way from our house on 215th st. to the foot of the G.W. Bridge, and then sure enough --- there was a enormous grey bridge, and underneath it, a little red lighthouse, which at the time, you could even still climb up to the top of.

"There it is," he said to me. "From your book."

I stood in awe.

Stories, I had just discovered for the first time, were real.

You know those chicken-soup type stories about the one teacher you have that inspires you, is special, makes a mark, inspires you, et cetera, et cetera? I never had one. Never felt the lack either.

That's because my father has been the best teacher I have ever had. Brilliant and crazy, and so much fun. He taught me physics and calculus, how to kick a soccer ball, to recite poetry and plays, how to arch a single eyebrow, matrices and probablity and logic and base numbers. When I had trouble with math as kid -- fractions and word problems -- he took me home, sat me down, handed me a notebook and a pen, and told me to write down what he said. And he started at the beginning of the history of mathematics -- with cavemen, and learning to count. We started there and I filled at least a hundred notebooks, I think, just writing paragraph after paragraph as he dictated. We started with counting, and by the time we were done a couple of months later, I could differentiate and integrate. He made it into a story.

I was ten years old.

Four days ago, my father was in perfect health. Three days ago, he went to bed, woke up in sleeping in a different position than when he'd lain down. On the other side of the room was a broken vase. He had lacerations on his arm, and his glasses were twisted. He couldn't remember anything about what might have happened. He finally told me about it, and I forced him to go to the ER with me. After a billion hours, he was admitted to the hospital... with a brain tumour, and an (as yet) unidentfied mass in one lung. He had brain surgery on Friday the 13 (!!!); it has gone as well as could be expected.

Now, we are in for what looks to be a long haul.

This is all very hard. We don't yet know anything regarding prognosis. I will be online... not that much -- I'm spending most nights at the hospital, as he can't be left alone, and I want my mother to be able to sleep. All of my friends -- not really friends, more family -- have been incredible through this. You guys are all stars, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you, whom I only speak to online, I hope you're all doing well. I miss you, and hope to be back... soon. I know I'm missing moments in your lives, while I'm so busy with my own. It sucks. I hope to catch up with y'all soon.

I want to write another post later with more details, but I must get some sleep before I head back to the hospital.

I'll go back to that same room tonight, propped up on my chair, staring out the window at the flow of the Hudson, watching the little light atop the little red lighthouse flash. It's like a beacon.

Remember, I think, remember. Everything. Every moment. Horrible, petty, grand, small notes of grace and kindness, frustrated rage, fury. Everything. All terrible right now. All precious.



fictional: (Default)

August 2009

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