Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Warning: Depressing Cancer Post

Cancer is probably the worst thing that can happen to a person. I keep trying to imagine what my mom's heart and mind go through on a daily basis, but I don't think I really can. If I were her, I think I would just be frightened all the time. I would feel like I was staring at death from the other end of a looooooooong hallway. Death waits for all of us at the end of a long hallway, but most of us are usually pretty unaware of it. I saw her last Friday, per the usual. She was a little tired. By Sunday, she was on the couch all day. She apparently picked up the flu and was totally down for the count (chemo kills all of your white blood cells). I popped in to drop something off and she was sleeping peacefully without her wig. It was hot and muggy, so she just had a t-shirt on. She has little patches of hair left, her eyebrows are almost completely gone. I just lost it. Watching someone go through this is second only to going through it yourself. I've dealt with my father's sudden death and the dismantling of my first marriage. Those things were difficult, but nothing compares to the utter helplessness and gut-wrenching pain you feel when someone you love so much is facing something this horrible, painful and cruel. I pray for at least one remission. Or just ONE FUCKING DAY for her to feel normal again. I wonder what we did to deserve this. But, then I have to remind myself that it's a disease. It isn't personal. There is no rhyme or reason. It just happens. Everyday. To thousands of people. You just feel like you're being thrown all over the place by this huge enemy you can't see. I'm always on edge. I'm always waiting for scary news.

I spoke to her this morning, briefly. She was at the clinic getting her blood drawn. She said that she was feeling much better. This gave me some relief.

I think I need a support group or something.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

And in "Women Rock" News ...

Check it out!

Candace Parker slam dunks!

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George Carlin Dies at 71

This completely sucks. Rest in peace, George.


Saturday, June 21, 2008


We went to see Iron Maiden last night. Very enjoyable show - Dickinson still has it. Major pipes. The band was very tight. Their performance made up for the opening band, which was beyond horrible. You remember what Cassandra's band from Wayne's World sounded like? Same crap, but worse because it is obvious that they are serious about themselves.

It also rained and thundered for a good portion of the show, mostly at the beginning. We had lawn seats, so I am now convinced that we are all going to get some kind of fungus. The youngesters throwing themselves down the mudslide didn't seem to care. I was so mad at these little punks, I nearly made one of them eat my shoes.

My only disappointment was that Maiden didn't play Flight Of Icarus. I was so ready for it!

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House Update

First and foremost - CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOSTON CELTICS! That was beyond exciting! I wish I had been able to go to the parade, but since paring down to a 4-day workweek, I try not to ask for more than I need from my employer.

Secondly, we are inching ever so closely to buying the house, but it isn't easy. Is it ever? We had a mold specialist come into the home yesterday to take samples from the basement where there are 2 distinct patches of mold. One of the patches contains a number of different types of mold, and a small amount of it is toxic. This is not good news. It means that the basement must undergo a remediation. And the question now becomes: Who is going to pay for it? It's a small area, which is good, but all mold remediations are expensive. They start at $1000. We've already negotiated with the seller to absorb full closing costs and he's come down a considerable amount since his initial asking price. We've asked him to deal with some electrical and plumbing issues that our inspector identified. We are wondering how much further he's going to be pushed.

It's in his best interest to take care of the mold because if he refuses and we back out of the deal, the mold must be disclosed to all potential buyers and in this market, ain't nobody gonna select a home that has toxic mold in the basement, no matter how little.

It may also be in our interest to pay for the remediation, because we've already invested $1000 in testing and assessment. We would be able to retain our deposit (as toxic mold is a serious enough problem to merit our backing out of the deal), but we would lose all the upfront $$$.

I am thinking that if he refuses to deal with the problem, we can ask if he would go in for half. Or possible a full/partial credit at the closing.

Either which way, the mold is outta there before August 14th. My agent is working up an extension right now for the final Purchase and Sale.


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Monday, June 16, 2008

To Do the Laundry and Clean Up My Room

I find this to be appalling. In this day and age, it is truly offensive to me that we are still looking to the future first lady for a cookie recipe. And somehow the success of their respective husbands hangs in the balance until the winner of the cookie recipe is determined. The idea that wives belong in the kitchen and that said wives are judged, not on their character or abilities, but on whether or not they can follow a cookie recipe is outdated and dangerous.

Stay in the kitchen! Make me some cookies! But, don't eat them yourself.

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Game 5 Pooper

Well, it's too bad about the game last night. I had a feeling that the Lakers would show up with everything they had. The series now stands: Celtics: 3, Lakers: 2. It was nice to see Matt Damon courtside. There has to be an answer for Jack Nicholson, who obviously thinks that he has some control over the outcome of these games. What a jackass.

The good part about this, of course, is that the C's might win it right here at home tomorrow. I will boycott WEEI until then. Today and tomorrow will probably be filled with nothing but harsh criticism from fans who think they can do a better job than the Celtics.

In home buying news, we had the inspection on Saturday. There are some repairs that need to be addressed (some are safety concerns, others are structural), but over time, it should be pretty easy to get them all done. The next step is figuring out which ones we need the seller to do vs. which ones we can live with until we get around to them. The whole process of a home inspection is so nerve-racking. I feel like we're taking a test and every time the inspector finds something, we're inching toward failure.

Oh - and I hope all of you dads had a great Father's Day! I would like to once again thank my late father for teaching me about the important things in life: Rock and roll, illegal fireworks, motorcycles, sticking it to the man, and amusement parks. Miss you, Dad!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Game Five

Wouldn't it be amazing if the Celtics won the championship in five games? Given that it's Garnett's number, I think that would blow my mind.

We will be taking in the game at our friend Anne's house on Sunday. I am incredibly pumped.

The home inspection is today - wish us luck!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rajon Rondo: He'll Holla!

Check out Rondo's blog. He's pretty consistent with posting, too, considering how busy he is right now. He's been icing the ankle and taking it easy. I've got a good feeling about this game. I think that KG and Pierce are going to bring it. I hope they do it in front of grumpy, old Jack Nicholson. God, that man gets under my skin (save for The Shining and The Witches of Eastwick).

I am wondering if maybe Bill Russell can fly to L.A. for extra motivation. I'm not joking.

In house news: We are getting the house inspected on Saturday. My mom and Bill will be coming along for the fun. Whippee! Three hours of the 3 Ps: poking, prodding and praying that we don't find termites.

In sunburn news: I'm peeling like a mofo. I'm hideous.

And congratulations to David Ortiz for becoming a United States citizen!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bearded Baked Beans

Here is an interesting ad our friend Ilene told us about, then ultimately sent us via email. I had no idea that B & M baked beans had the budget to hire a baseball superstar to advertise for them.

Kevin's expression here is priceless. Is he angry at the beans? Is he angry at the viewer for watching him eat the beans? Is he angry because they are forcing him to wear that hat? And why would he eat the beans straight out of a can? We joked that this ad was the reason that Manny and Youk got into it last week.

We'll never know.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We've Got a House!

In theory, anyway. Lots of paperwork still needs to be processed (and looked over by an attorney), but we accepted the counter-offer, with a few conditions. The deposit is in! Soon, we will be "Pawtucketites." "Rhode Islanders." "People who live in a very small state." Wait, we are already people who live in a very small state.

Word to the wise: Don't buy spray on sun screen. It doesn't work all that well. My lobster burn today is proof. And Jere's little nephew (one of the family members we spent yesterday with on his parents' beach) came running into their condo at the end of the day screaming about the sunburn on his back. He then looked at us and said, "I'm gonna take a tub!" He is so adorable. By the way, the sunburn was the only drawback to yesterday's fun. We had such a blast hanging out with everyone, including Jere's cousin Kara, her husband Ben and their super cute daughter, Lanie. It was the first real summer day. I think we checked every box - kayak, float, ocean, swimming pool, beach, picnic. Good times!

Speaking of good times, I should also mention that we went to Manny's big 500 home run game in Baltimore last weekend! Special thanks to Taylor and Kathie for treating us and letting us stay at their place in Philadelphia after the game. Loved the waffles! It was nice to get a real crab cake, too. I know New England offers kickass seafood, but nobody makes a crab cake like the fine people of Baltimore. And I am a big fan of it.

Mom update: She's doing well, though I could punch that old E.R. doctor in the head. After more scans by her oncologist, she was told that there is still cancer in the lungs. And everywhere else. Bu the good news is that it hasn't gotten worse or metastasized any further. They changed up her chemo, so her side affects won't be so bad. This one just gives her an intolerance to cold temperatures (she likens drinking cold beverages to swallowing shards of glass) and messes around with her jaw when she chews. Other than that, it seems to be better for her. She prefers this to vomiting.

I will be spending this sweltering day indoors making soap and other bath products to prepare for a pretty big Stella Marie spa party on Friday. It is best for me to stay out of the sun for a while. Besides, game 2 of the NBA finals is on tonight. Not to be missed!

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Red Sox and Celtics - Holy Crap!

For the Boston fan, last night was a real pleaser. We attended the Rays-Red Sox brawl of a game and, besides the fact that it cut into game 1 of the Celtics-Lakers finals, it was pretty awesome. I arrived a little after 6 (They started the game early so that folks wouldn't have to miss the Celtics, but I think all players were in agreement that they weren't going to let the C's determine the length of their game.) and waited in what I thought was the left field pavilion, where our standing room seats were (it was actually one level above where I was). I was scanning the crowd, looking for my peeps, when all of a sudden I heard a huge roar. When I got a good view of the field, it wasn't clear exactly what had happened. My first thought was that an unruly fan dashed out onto the field. The last name I remember being announced was Coco Crisp. Surely, Coco wasn't involved in a brawl. I had to get bits and pieces of information from the people who actually did see this play out and I was pretty shocked. Even after watching the replays. I guess Coco used to box - this was evident when you see the way he avoids James Shields' swing. It was pretty wild and, of course, amusing. I hope Coco doesn't get suspended for too long. I agree that he should have let that mofo have it, but he is pretty key right now, particularly in the absence of Papi. Then, Jacoby came out of the game with a wrist injury after making a diving catch (it's going to be day-to-day) and Manny and Youk were fighting in the dug out. There is some speculation that Youk was pissed at Manny for not being more prompt in clearing the dugout to defend Coco. Nice night - and this was only the first half of the evening. We did move up to seats right near the Red Sox dugout in the 8th, as folks were clearing out to go home and watch the Celtics. Occasionally, the Fenway people put the Celtics score up on one of their MANY screens in the park. I guess they thought that leaving the score up would have been overkill or something. I was so mad. There was one screen that read: GO CELTICS, BEAT L.A.! Could they not have used this screen for something a little more important, like, saaaaaaaay, the score?

I must tell you, too, that on my way to the park, I saw at least 5 ambulances. Several of them were parked next to the river (alongside the Pike, in the Heminway area). The water is particularly filthy there, always foul-smelling. I don't know what was going on, but I could feel it coming in the air last night. Oh, Lord.

(photo at left: Senator John Kerry Governer Deval Patrick were among the important people at the Garden last night. Check out this gallery for more.) We watched the 2nd half of the Celtics game at home. By half time, the Lakers had a 5 point lead. The announcers were calling the Celtics "lucky" to have only been trailing by 5. Little did they know ... the C's were about to take the roof off the sucka. I was really scared when Pierce went down. He looked like he was in a lot of pain and at the point of his injury, he was on fire. What was worse, he fell because his legs somehow got caught up in Perkins' legs. As Jere said - can't even blame the Lakers for it. But remarkably, Pierce, with a nicely wrapped knee, came back in the game after seeking quick medical attention. And he was a machine, to boot. Now, let's talk about the Celtics amazing point guard - Rajon Rondo. This guy has been dazzling me all year. Aside from the fact that he is cute as a darned button (he's only 6' 1"), he is spot on. He was a rookie just last year, but he's been playing like a seasoned pro from game 1 of the regular season.

Garnett was his usual awesome self, shooting 24 points. And Ray Allen finally found his game!

I don't know if we'll see Eddie House or Big Baby in the finals. Eh, you never know. But probably not.

What a crazy, glorious night. Kobe is an unbelievable player and this is by no means in the bag.

*all photos from Boston.com

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