Sunday, April 30, 2006

Episode Three

Well. I've had another couple of episodes similar to the Birmingham hotel experience. I wonder if it could be an ulcer--I am under tremendous stress right now--more and more so, it seems, as hurricane season season simultaneously gets behinds me and approaches (June 1).

Grading the last set of essays for the semester I am feeling joy as I look ahead to the summer where my only plans are to play in the sandbox with my kids and finally get the Katrina pictures into an album.

The only other thing we have going on is a disney world trip (I'm a virgin) and we are getting an electrician to come out to fix our phone, which is now 8 months out of wack. We're also going to get the electician to get us generator ready so that in the event of the next big storm we won't have to stay away for three weeks waiting for the power to come on.

Bid storm last night. Water filled the streets and those pine trees danced around--I could have puked. This morning we woke up and noticed a leak. In our new roof. The water was dripping from the a/c intake valve . . . not sure what to make of this. B thinks he was able to get to the problem area in the attic and said it was nothing, that it could be easily fixed.

The other day I had a missed call on my cell phone--it was a Puerto Rico area code, but I'm pretty sure there's no one there that I know.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

At Home with Kids

I am home all this week and part of last with my children, who are off from school as am I. We are having fun, but it is a lot of work to entertain two little boys all day every day by yourself. If left to themselves for a moment--say we are outside and I run in to put a load of clothes in the wash, I am likely to return to them having a "pee pee race" off of their fort, or using plastic shovels to rearrange the dog poo in the corner of the yard.

Recently my husband made the foolish gesture of cutting down the wall of bamboo in our yard with hopes that the grass would grow. All that happened is the the bamboo sent out runners that grow I swear a foot a day--not only where the bamboo used to be, but also everywhere else all over the yard. So my kids get great enertainment snipping down the new shoots with various garden tools. They make windchimes with the wreckage.

Birds have had babies in the birdhouse we built a few years ago. It's a rudimentary birdhouse painted bright yellow and royal blue, with universe-themes stencils painted on. Sounds like a very happy home, as is mine, theough no poetry is happening for me, and I'd be telling a lie if I pretended to be anything other than freaked about it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thanks to all of my well wishers. I am fine, totally fine tho a bit shaky, and my arms are so bruised--I look like the world's worst IV drug user.

Today I am in list mode, so I feel like I am getting to the bottom of the work piled up on my desk.

I am past about ten deadlines, so if you are an editor or a colleague waiting on something from me, please be patient--it's on my list and I will get to it eventually.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Cardiac Event

I was in Birmingham on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week because I was supposed to be giving a reading and doing a talk as pert of the Red Mountain Review Reading series. When I met my guide the night before the reading he handed me a big fat check, and I sort of joked about it and said something like, you shouldn't pay me because I haven't done anything yet.

Well. As fate would have it, I ended up not giving my reading or meeting with students and faculty. Instead, I woke at 5:00 am with chest pains.

First I thought it was food poisoning. Then I thought maybe I was just nervous and stressed (my job has been a true pain in the ass these last few weeks.) Then I was sweating, hunched over, shaking, racked with spasms of pain in my chest, all while alternating between cold water running in the bathtub and the fetal position on the bathroom floor.

Long story short--I called 911. And they came--the firemen and paramedics--their sirens and equipment clogging up the street in front of the hotel. When they arrived I REALLY freaked out, as I hate doctirs and emergencies. My blood pressure was 200/110, I still couldn't breath or stop shaking, and they insisted that I was going to the hospital.

So I went. The docs didn't know what to do with me besides to take a few chest xrays (blood clot in the lung?) do blood work again and again (looking for cardiac enzymes) and hook me to an EKG machine.

I was like this all day. In the hosital, alone. I missed the reading. I missed the talk after the reading. I sat there remembering my father, who's life ended on December 8, 2001. He was alone in a Birmingham hospital.

So, my blood says I didn't have a "cardiac event." They turned me loose (fucking finally) at around 3:00 pm. There I was, walking the streets of downtown Birmingham in my pajamas and a pair of Birkenstocks, headed in the wrong direction. I found a cab, and that blessed and extremely fat man got me to the hotel in about three minutes.

I didn't take a shower or make a phone call. I brushed my teeth, threw my shit in my bag, and got in my car so I could get home to my people who were worried sick and in the planning stages of a rescue operation.

I drove in warp speed, stopping once at the Waffle House for three cups of coffee, a pecan waffle, hashbrowns scattered, smothered, and covered, and a bowl of cheese grits. I think it was the cheese grits that saved me.