Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday is here. Tuesday is coming.

Glenn very very good. His wife Jan says that he tells all the neighbors that his "American girlfriend" is coming. To which I say, "Won't they be surprised when the Chinese mail order bride arrives?" We three had a long ol' chat on the phone the other day, and his brain is just in the process of "resetting." The wee stroke was his wake up call to get his blood pressure under control and to get fit. Not bad goals.

I have been having a hell of a time sleeping. Too much adrenaline. Last night, I stayed awake for four hours AFTER going to bed with an ambien. I did have a scare with Wyatt after I put my head down - his blood sugars were a little low going into the night, and it took ages to try to rouse him for some juice. I got scared then angry. Poor little buggar, all he wanted was sleep.

Every one has been so lovely. My folks don't object to my going. My in-laws are lovely. They gave me a card with some cash and told me to have fun. They said to say "hi" to Mel, the stalker in the Flight of the Conchords show. Funny people.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's 2 in the morning and I was awake anyway

Wyatt: (sound of disturbed sleep) Mommy...Daddy!
Mommy: Hi Wyatt. What's wrong?
Wyatt: (clear as a bell) Nothing. I just wanted to say "hi."

He's been sleeping on a cot at the foot of our bed since his numbers started going haywire. It's comforting to be there for him when he's scared, when he's sick. Makes up for all our crabbiness during the day, when daylight is burning, when there is work to be done, when somebody is being stroppy, when there are the distractions that make you forget where you fit in the grand scheme of things.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A million thoughts to Glenn Parker

he's my tomato partner in crime in New Plymouth, New Zealand. He has had what his daughter termed a "small" stroke, but I know those Parkers. They tend to sandbag these things. I was supposed to stay with Glenn and his wife Jan around the 4th of March and of course, the note I got tonight said, "Dad and Mum still say you are very welcomed to stay." Just like them.

I have been friends with Glenn and lovely Jan for someodd 8 or so years now. We email eachother so regularly, that I get to feeling that something is amiss in the universe when two weeks goes by without a note. We compare the things falling off our bodies, getting fat, getting fit, politics, what's growing in the garden in general, and of course, tomatoes.

Glenn introduced the Kosovo tomato commercially. It is everyone's favorite - as it should be.

I do hope that it was a small stroke and that he's on his way to recovery.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The daunting Glucagon

So, when Wyatt had the gastro, his numbers plummeted, and one night, they just wouldn't go back into range. Between 100-200 is optimal for a kid. Below 80 requires active intervention with carbohydrates. He was 54, which was getting dangerous. I pumped him with 45 grams of carbohydrates in the form of juice over 90 minutes. Normally, this would have skyrocketed Wyatt well past 200, but he started to drop even more.

I remembered something Matty read out loud from the big reference book about using glucagon in times of stomach flus and thought we'd better use it, even if Wyatt wasn't passed out. Normally, glucagon is reserved for when diabetics can't swallow and/or are in a hypoglycemic coma.

I woke Matty up to do the conversion math at about 2am. We decided on the minidosing regimen for which there were heaps of abstracts of studies and general instructions online. Trouble was, half the instructions were in volumes by weight and the other half were in units on a syringe. We bickered a bit. It helped to see on the glucagon instructions a box indicating that it was impossible to overadminister it. Bless Matty the Mathlete (yes, he was a high school mathlete), because he sussed it out, and we were able to use the normal small syringe we use for everything and not the large animal issue that comes in the glucagon kit (see above).

With our wee minidose, Wyatt's liver dumped sugars into his bloodstream, and he started to metabolize sugar again. We'd been prepared that glucagon could cause vomiting, so I had the boy sleep on his stomach. Sure enough, he barfed about two hours later. Oh, and he sponteneously crapped, too. After a clean up, we got to bed by 4.

I am grateful that Susan, our pharmacist kept giving us glucagon kits to leave around the house because we'd met our deductible and at that point, they were free. I am glad that the kit was not too hard to use in the end (that instruction sheet you see is double sided). The kit also saved us a 911 call or a trip to the emergency room.

Diabetes is the disease that keeps parents on their toes. As soon as the gastro ended, the boy caught a cold and his sugars have been very high.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yet another New Zealand music geek out post, but this time, I'm Aotearoa bound

After much hmming and hahhhing and talking it over with the powers that be, I've decided to go to New Zealand for a week and a half with Bibi. Bibi is my New Zealand music partner in crime. We met over the Mutton Birds. She taught me about the Flying Nun back catalog, and I introduced her to the Phoenix Foundation and SJD.

I owe Matty, my dear friend and boss Diane, and various friends and family heaps of thanks for making this possible. I owe United Mileage Plus for getting me there (I needed 80,000 miles I had just attained the balance of 80,040).

I owe a fella I haven't yet met heaps of thanks for hosting private a Humphreys and Keen gig in Auckland for his birthday. I owe Ian Henderson, a penfriend of several years, heaps of thanks for giving me the heads up that the Puddle, a band he drums for, would be opening for Humphreys and Keen.

So, in the week and a half, I hope to (no particular order):
See Humphreys and Keen, opened by the Puddle, and Matthew Bannister in Auckland
See Over the Atlantic (the wonderful fellas who played our living room last spring) in AKL
See SJD (purveyor of thinking person's dance music and some of my favorite songs) in Wellington, at a beerfestival where I also hope to see past Bar Bodega owner Fraser McInnes
See Dan Adams (a composer and performer we saw at the 2004 NZ Arts Festival. We have kept in touch over the years since) in WLG
See Luke Buda, opened by Black Swan/White Swan, and Cassette in AKL the night before I fly home
Stay with Rodney, my best mate from uni, and his wife Carla in WLG. I will be bearing ungodly amounts of corn tortillas, pickled jalepenos, and green salsa (Carla is Mexican) and DVDs.
Spend the night with Glenn and Jan Parker, my tomato partners in crime in New Plymouth
Say "hi" to Liam Luff, the Radio Active DJ who turned me onto the Phoenix Foundation back in 2002, and who has provided invaluable advice along the way.
Say "hi" to Steve Dean, a penfriend from the Mutton Birds' list and sender of fine packages, in WLG
See Enaj, the girl I grew up with in the Valley, in Wanganui
Drink Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, my fav of all-time, in Martinborough (I have had the 02, 03, 04 vintages)
Meet Walter, a fella who is a friend of Lesley's here in Bishop and an old coworker of Luke Buda's, who does improvisational drama and will have a poster by Mat Hunkin, an artist I quite like, for me.
Buy a wee Pohutukawa painting from a fellow Phoenix Foundation fan.

This will be the first trip in five that I don't go to the South Island. Strange.

I have written the draft of a letter I will leave for Babbo. I am a worrier and wonder what it would be like if I died over there. My writing the letter is my acknowledgment that all things are possible. The letter itself is my acknowledgment that for all my disciplining, I am incredibly proud of Wyatt and quite love his very open personality. I have every intention of coming home on time, ready for loving and parenting. I do need this break, though.

I hope to ditch my humorless harpy somewhere over the Pacific.

In other NZ Music news, I had asked around re: the opening lyrics to the Able Tasmans' song "Angry Martyr" and got around to asking its singer and lyricist Peter Keen. To my surprise, he told me. Apparently, it'd been the subject of many a conjecture over the years, and he'd never got around to telling. I don't know how I feel about being the latecomer to the party, but the first to find out. Honored is one thing, but was I worthy?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

30 Albums That Changed Your Life

(from a Facebook exercise)
Doing this list, I realized I was more suited to making mixtapes. I'm a singles woman in the end.
Thank you to Karen O' Leary for laying down the gauntlet. It was hard and fun.
There are a few embarrassing things, and many would not be desert island disc candidates now.
I would love to read others' lists.

1) The Lark, Soundtrack to a 1960s Shaw Brothers' film. In Mandarin. Haven't the foggiest idea what they're on about.
2) West Side Story, Soundtrack, Film. Because when you're a jet, you're a jet all the way. Or, maybe it's because the Sharks were hot in the orange face paint?
3)The Carpenters, Singles 1969 -1973. Every whoa oh oh. My first or second LP.
4) The Singing Detective, Soundtrack, Television.
5) Jean Redpath, Song of the Seals. Celtic songs about chicks who ruin their families' honor and get the silver dagger treatment from their pissed off fathers/brothers/mothers floated my boat and formed my opinions on love when I was 16.
6) Shirley Bassey, Love is a Many Splendored Thing.
7) Linda and Richard Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights. A primer on how to have the world's ugliest divorce.
8) Fairport Convention, Unhalfbricking.
9) Squeeze, East Side Story. Pure pop confection.
10) Elvis Costello, Imperial Bedroom.
11) Ella Fitzgerald, Live in Rome. "I Loves You Porgy" has a note in it that Ella bends and makes me shiver.
12) Roberta Flack, First Take. The woman could sing her ass off. This was her first release, and she sings Leonard Cohen's "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye." When I was 14, a boy I loved said he would probably try drugs, and I spent a whole weekend listening to this damn song and crying like an idiot because he was going to die - DIE I TELLS YA! He didn't die. We are still friends, even if we both have fewer brain cells.
13) Sam Cooke, Night Beat. Horny and sad Sam Cooke. Probably the same one who got himself killed in that fleabag motel.
14) Crowded House, Together Alone. It reminds me of living in Truckee, California under a million feet of snow and among exploding homebrew bottles. Matty and I set up our first house to it.
15) Nat "King" Cole, Nat King Cole Story.
16) Van Morrison, Moondance. The album that heralded my impending adolescence.
17) Humphreys and Keen, The Overflow. My romantic notion for adulthood. The album I keep pimping, I know. Sorry Karen O'.
18) The Phoenix Foundation, Horsepower. God damned, I love these boys so very much.
19) The Phoenix Foundation, Happy Ending. I love them so very much that I am skipping over the Front Lawn and SJD and Paul Kelly to have two of their releases on this list. Sorry Sean (but you would rule my mixtapes).
20) Topless Women Talk About Their Lives, Soundtrack. Quite a few of the mighty Flying Nun stable are well represented.
21) The Mutton Birds, Nature. What precipitated falling off the deep end over New Zealand pop. It's Hong Kong 1995, and I'm sweaty and delirious with the flu, with this on repeat for 14 hours at a time.
22) The Mutton Birds, Envy of Angels.
23) X, Los Angeles. Punk where there was no punk before.
24) Radiohead, The Bends.
25) Aztec Camera, High Land, Hard Rain. I was an impressionable teen and 18 year old Roddy Frame was a genius. This could be interchanged with Prefab Sprout's Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good. You decide.
26) Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Any greatest hits compilation with "Dusty Skies." Reminds me of driving aimlessly and eating too many molten meat pies around New Zealand.
27) Pulp, A Different Class.
28) Aimee Mann, I'm with Stupid. I learned to garden to this.
29) Glenn Gould, The Goldberg Variations, the later one when he's all humming all the time.
30) Beatles, Hard Day's Night Soundtrack

Saturday, February 07, 2009

poker and potluck babies and pies

NB: the tin of Missouri Spudmaster chips the size of Matt and Zach's heads.

New fathers

Getting to the last of the Pinos Pies :(

Babbo holding Wayland and super psyched about it.

The Bacon Explosion v. 1 aka Vegetarians, Avert Your Eyes!

the basketweave

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