March 22, 2002
Change in Diet

I know, I know. I've been feeding us all a pretty steady diet of grim and depressing for the past couple of days.

(No wonder we all look so wan and malnourished.)

That's not the way I want to end the week, journalwise. I never like to leave *FootNotes* on a note of gloom and doom for the weekend. Unfortunately I don't have the time tonight (or the energy, or the inclination, frankly) to whip up a seven-course meal of cheerful and optimistic -- there is a pastrami sandwich, the new issue of "Us Weekly" and a pair of Happy Pants in the other room, calling my name -- but I do have time to serve you a big gloppy nourishing spoonful of good news.

  • Big Gloppy Spoonful of Good News #1:

    David's brother Chris may not have cancer after all.

    He went in for a second opinion, week before last, and now they're saying that although there is still a one in five chance that the initial diagnosis was correct -- and he may still lose the eye, no matter what -- the odds are still a HELLUVA lot better than we were originally led to believe. He'll know for sure in a few weeks.

    In the meantime, David is still perfecting his Maniacal Older Brother routine:

    David: You'll have to start buying wash-and-wear shirts, y'know.
    Oh yeah? Why's that?
    Well ... you're going to be a pirate, right? Parrots poop a lot.

         *     *     *     *     *     *

  • Big Gloppy Spoonful of Good News #2:

    The Tots are coming to visit next month!

    Two of them, anyway: Daughter #1, during the first weekend in April, and then Son #Only (who I haven't seen since the wedding last summer) the weekend after that. I made their airline reservations a few days ago: now all we have to do is fumigate the apartment, set out the ant traps, repair the brakes on the Subaru, have Upstairs Neighbor Guy evicted, take out a bank loan, chase the ducks out of the swimming pool, make a couple of annoying riding-around-town mix tapes (I'm thinking: ABBA meets Flipper), charge the digital camera batteries, stock up on ridiculously overpriced junk food and trendy shampoo ... and then go pick them up at the airport.

    To say that I am ready for a Tot-fix would be the understatement of the millenium.

    As for Daughter #2: last night I stood outside of a Mexican restaurant in San Leandro, with my cell phone in hand, and sang a heartfelt chorus of "Happy Birthday" to her from a thousand miles away. When I was finished singing, I reminded her that there is an airline ticket with her name on it whenever she's ready, willing ... and able to travel.

         *     *     *     *     *     *

  • Not A Big Gloppy Spoonful of Good News, Exactly ... But Something Fun To Chew On.

    I did my first-ever thirty mile ride last Saturday, a fifteen-mile stretch of the Iron Horse Trail and back.

    We actually didn't mean to go as far as we did -- the original plan was just a quick ride before the rain clouds blew in -- but the storm never happened, and they've expanded the trail since the last time we rode there, and we kept saying "Let's ride just a little more and see how far it goes."

    The next thing I knew: thirty miles had gone by.

    It was long, tough, cold, painful, grueling -- most of the return trip was me pushing uphill into 25 mile per hour winds (and this was before we bought the groovy, light-as-a-feather new bike) -- and utterly exhausting.

    And of course I can't wait to go out and do it again.

         *     *     *     *     *     *

  • And Something Sweet For Dessert:

    In my dream, a strange annoying woman is standing directly behind me, blowing a whistle into my ear: short, rhythmic blasts, one right after another.

    Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep!

    I keep moving around, trying to get away from her ... but no matter where I go, she finds me.

    Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep!

    I am just about to turn around and cram that stoopid whistle of hers straight up her ass ... but at that moment I wake up and realize that the whistling noise is coming out of me.

    Specifically: it's coming out of my clogged left nostril.

    Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep! Tweeeeeep!

    This year, for some reason, my allergies are BEATING. ME. UP.  I fumble around in the darkness for a moment, looking for the Kleenex and nasal spray. After a good healthy honk -- followed by a good healthy squirt -- I settle back down into bed, ready to drift off again.

    Suddenly a disembodied voice comes floating out of the darkness from the other side of the bed.

    "I love Secra," the disembodied voice says quietly. "Secra is the love of my life. Secra is the center of my universe. I think about Secra when I wake up in the morning, and I think about Secra when I go to sleep at night. I love Secra more than tuna noodle casserole. I love Secra more than cheese. I love Secra more than pudding. In fact I love Secra more than anything."

    And then silence descends, and within moments we are both sound asleep again.

There. That should be enough syrup, sentiment and *sugar molecules* to last us for a couple of days, don't you think?

Have a great weekend, everybody!

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