Jelly, jelly so fine

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Monday Musing

Today has been a pretty crappy day. Perhaps better skipped next time on the calendar.  Nothing earth shattering - except a really bad chest cold.

My doctor was very careful during my surgery to order a lot of extra respiratory work, I'm not sure why. He did say that the kidney cavity, the spleen cavity and the chest cavity are all sort of terminated at the place where he placed his fancy stitch and it would be difficult to get a good seal.  I have been fully congested ever since.

Of course an allergist last year let me know that I was now deeply allergic to cats. I told him that I planned to be doing a lot of sneezing in the future.  So my body is leaden and each step is a chore.  I had to drive into town this morning to give a painting to my Slovakian restorer, Andre. I took in a bag of household trash to throw away in my large bin behind the shop and realized a few minutes later that I had thrown my blackberry into the trash.  Of course I couldn't reach it, even with an implement, so I got a ladder and climbed in.  Had that certain smell ever since.

The Hawks are getting so big they almost can't quite fit in the nest.  Took a lot of shots this morning.  The weather in our area has really been stellar all year.  Warm but lots of cool breezes. Perfect.

Yesterday I did the car show with my buddy Tony.  Tony is one of the most solid people in my life and also really knows his cars.  We drove down in his 1936 Dodge truck.  We judged two classes, an original hot rod class and a modified class.  I let Tony do the talking and tried to nod my head at the appropriate times.  Tony disqualified a bunch of cars for being out of class or inappropriately modified.   I  probably wouldn't have had the balls.

Tony has been living with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) for over 20 years. Unfortunately, it has recently morphed into lymphoma.  Tony has a 17p chromosomal deletion as well as an 11q.  It's not a good thing.  He is with the top doctor in the field, a Dr. Kipps, who has created a  very revolutionary designer vaccine to kick start his immune system.  I was part of a similar BCG study over 20 years ago.  I wish the best for my friend.  I wonder if I picked up the flu they induced in him.  Probably not but paranoia strikes deep as they say...

I summoned up the strength to plant sunflowers and hollyhocks and spread wildflower seed. My wonderful wife made matzoh ball soup. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow.  I, like most americans, am afraid to check my bank balance but can already sniff the fumes in the empty tank.  I will spend the rest of my day reading a depressing book, The Constant Gardener by Le Carre, or watching a depressing movie, the original Manchurian Candidate. I am about a third through, never saw the remake but had the idle thought that today, it would probably be our government playing the manipulation game instead of the communist overlords.  A moviemaker couldn't make that film in 1961 or whenever it was made.

China and Russia and the United States and John Bolton are gnashing their teeth about Korea and the new detonation.  Now there are 9 members of the nuclear club (now that South Africa voluntarily disarmed) and I don't get the indignant reaction.  Sure, they are bad actors but so is Russia, so is China, in some eyes, so are we.  Depends which side your bread is buttered.  Why do the haves sound so shocked? Either we all demilitarize or we expect everyone else to eventually join the club. The only cogent thing I heard was from the South Korean political scientist, who had expected it and was nonplussed.  He figured it was a way for Jong to curry favor with the hard line one million man strong military.  

It's funny, people like the North Koreans get their jollies from being adversarial.  I read something recently about the Cubans being deathly afraid of overtures from the Obama administration.  If we lower the volume, they lose the dynamic  of alienation and paranoia that has held them together.  Now they may have to actually reform.  The North Koreans are lunatics but in the long run are controlled by China and China alone.  We can blow until we are blue in the face, I don't get the feeling that they really care. Same thing with Burma.  These dictatorships have a sweet deal going for the ruling party and generals. Especially with foreign corporations like Shell constantly feeding and replenishing their coffers. 

My buddy Pete had an extra fourth row ticket for the Allman and Doobie Brothers the other night at Harrah's Casino. Small venue - outside, it was really nice.  I was surprised how much fun the Doobies were, their tunes are ingrained in our collective noggins. Tommy Johnston is a good funk rhythm player (not easy) and the band has been together for ever. Sorry I missed the beginning of their set. I used to put them down, perhaps I am maturing.

The Allmans sounded really good as well.  I saw them with Duane, when no one had ever heard of them.  It's like a family band, with nephews and young ins, but not a dysfunctional family, a working family.  Greg looked and sounded great. He has slimmed down and delivered his vocals perfectly. I really liked Derek Trucks technique, Susan Tedeschi, his wife, came out and joined him on Dylan's Don't think twice.  She sounded great. He clapped for her when she finished. I am less a fan of Warren, the whole repetitive jam band idiom is a little worn for me but he was very good and I was cool.  Derek is just unbelievably gifted. As they mature, they will get even better. The guy next to me offered me a joint and told me I needed to loosen up and I declined with a stern look of parental disapproval. Neat light show.  Pat Simmons from the Doobies came out and joined them on Southbound. A tall 60 year old guy kept screaming for Whipping Post throughout the encore. Made sixty bucks at the blackjack table and got my ass home at two a.m.

Speaking of the Allmans, my peaches are ripe enough to eat today.  Really good year.  Apricots in a week.  I discovered a new deep purple pluot at the grocery last week and told too many people.  It sold out.  Never tasted anything like it.  Deep purple and fuzzy. No. 3162.  Incredibly sweet.  They say they might not get any more in. Darn.

I put a link to Science Daily on the blog. Some really great articles.  I have been reading a lot of science journals lately. Saw today that the chinese had solved the genetic mystery of the bearded lady, a condition sometimes called werewolfism, that is actually a chromosomal aberration that occurs more often in China.  Women covered in hair. Hirsute hairsuits. I thought back to distant childhood, when my parent's best friends had six little daughters in a tiny house on University Blvd. in San Diego. The daughter that was my age was gorgeous and sweet.  But she had a rare disease where sunlight made her grow hair all over her body and had to stay in the dark all the time. One of a handful of people in the world. What a way to live your life on this planet.  Most of us are so lucky and we don't even realize it.

Light a memory candle for someone that has left the building and have a great week.

No comments: