Monday, April 21, 2008

-4, +5

A beautiful day for a marathon! Of course, before you think I did any of the running, think again -- I'm lucky if I can run to the mailbox. But lots of other people did -- including Arnie, who ran to raise money for Children's Hospital with Vampboy as his patient partner. He certainly made it look easy, and Vampboy enjoyed screaming "Run, Arnie, Run!" to everyone who passed by.

The other runner we watched out for and cheered on was Othergirl's mom -- and it dawns on me that I hadn't updated my readers with how she's doing after her relapse. I am happy to share that, after a grueling round of outrageously intense chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, Othergirl is home and cancer-free. Also doing well is Princess, who is awaiting the results of a radiostatic surgery to hopefully confirm "free of disease" status.

That leaves "4" - the young girl we met towards the end of our treatment time. We sadly discovered this weekend that she passed away a little over a week ago. Her situation was far more challenging at the start than the rest of us, but it doesn't make the news any easier to hear. Our hearts and minds are with her parents and family these days.

In other news, to quote Yoda who said "there is another", we met "5" this past weekend. We heard about them a couple of weeks ago through Eliza, and while we were in Boston for a pre-marathon party we decided to stop by the hospital and introduce ourselves. The new patient is 15 months old (Vampboy's age when he was diagnosed). Her parents are friendly and outgoing and, like any other family on the planet, they don't deserve this. But, they are ready to fight and glad to know they can lean on someone who's been there.

It's like the first day you called in sick to elementary school, and were shocked to learn that the day went on without you. Now that we're not in treatment, it feels as though that should be the end of anyone having to go through it. Sadly, life doesn't work like that -- and neither does cancer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Notes from the Observation Deck

Here, for your pleasure, is a smattering of the thoughts in my head these days. And note they all exist free of any substance use!

1. Robert Smith is dating my Ipod. As my days at work of late have been spent hunkered down at the computer writing the perfect grant, I've enjoyed ample time with my Ipod on "shuffle" mode. After awhile you can't help but notice some eerie and potentially conspiracy-laden patterns. For instance, why the hell does my Ipod randomly play more songs by The Cure than anybody else? I know there's a lot of Cure on there, but I've got more Tori Amos or Bjork, and I don't hear them very often -- or the other artists who make up the 8,000+ songs on there at the moment. Perhaps Steve Jobs has a special deal with Smith. I'll have to look into it in my spare time. Oh, look -- it's "Lovesong" again!

2. I Give Good Facebook. Yes, I took the plunge and put myself on Facebook. Admittedly I've reconnected with some folks from my college days, including my roommate for the latter half of my undergraduate experience, who is taking the 'net by storm in her role as a sword-wielding Elf in the Zelda Trailer. But I think I still prefer socializing with friends in person. (That said, though -- if you're on there, find me!)

3. Registration Begins at 10am. My dear friend Mumma Boo tagged me for thoughts on the course selections I wished schools made available. As I am embarking on a new role as an "adjunct professor" and a local college this fall, my thoughts are on this very issue. I wonder what the Dean of the department I'll be teaching in would say if I suggested that we scrap my course and go with one of these:

Self-Reflective Rhetorical Theory. This course will examine the answer to why bad things always happen to you. Students will examine their own shortcomings and misery to arrive at their thesis. Course grades will be determined based on final "pity-party" presentation.

M.O. Theory and Practice. Alphabetical by artist -- chronological by release date -- this course will examine prevailing concepts behind Music Organization Theory. Evidence-based practice in storage of vinyl, tape or compact disc collections to be highlighted. This course is a prerequisite course for M.O. Theory and Practice II: Zune Sucks.

The Ant in Cinema. Course will look at the ant as a cinematic archetype. Various horror movies in addition to recent computer-animated children's films will be screened. Students will be asked to synthesize cultural contexts and modern themes to better understand the insect race that will one day dominate the planet.

Playing the Role. Most people have no idea what they're talking about. This course will provide students the opportunity to learn methods of illusion with an eye towards career advancement. Famous idiots in positions of wealth and power will be examined.

The Complete Baking Soda Inventory. Is there any problem that can't be solved with Baking Soda? This course will provide students with an opportunity to delve into the many understandings and uses of the "white stuff". Final project to consist of students' achieving world peace, setting up a post-apocalyptic society, or curing Ebola with nothing more than a half-pound box of Arm & Hammer.

4. Wacky Wednesday! In an attempt at "preschool spirit week", VB's classroom had a "wear wacky clothes day" today. VB opted to pay homage to the glam rockers of the late 70's with his ensemble. David Bowie would be proud.

"He was a young American...."

5. Blogiversary.
I've been so busy observing the world that I didn't even notice that the Vampdaddy blog has turned two! Who would have thought (and I mean that on so many levels). Thanks for sticking around!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A True Sign We're in a Recession

Today we were in the car after visiting my father, who is recovering from a collapsed lung at the local hospital. Serious, yes -- but all seems to be on the mend, and as we pointed out the day he was admitted -- "Hey, it's not a brain tumor."

Anyway, as we were leaving the hospital for the evening, Vampboy asked is we could go out to "lunch" before going home.

"No, son," I reply. "First off, it's time for dinner and not lunch. But anyway, we can't go out to eat, as mommy and I are poor."

Vampboy thinks for a minute. "Daddy -- don't you have your wallet?"

At this point, Vampmommy is trying to hide her laughter. I answer straight away. "I do, but there's no money in it. Sorry."

"Oh." Another pause, then: "Mommy, do you have YOUR wallet?"

VM contains her laughter and responds as I did. Vampboy thinks long and hard.

"I don't HAVE a wallet. I should go buy one with Mommy."

Yes, if only he had a wallet. That would solve everything!