Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Appparently Disorganization Breeds Disorganization (And Bad Exam Scores?)

I have spent at least the last 12 hours working on a study sheet for my U of Ghana final exam tomorrow (which is the only grade for the entire semester!) in Politics of International Economic Relations.

It is the most disorganized study sheet I have ever made, and probably the most disorganized study sheet in the history of the world. Ever. And why is this? (You might be thinking it's me, but I make a mean study sheet when push comes to shove, and push is definitely coming to shove right now and for the next week. And the foreseeable future.) It is because the entire class - the readings, the lectures, the past exam questions - is disorganized. The entire class lacked any sense of coherency or a common train of thought.

Most importantly, the exam is tomorrow at 7:30am. I'm just going to let the prospect (read: horror) of taking an exam at 7:30am sit with you for a while.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An Open Letter To All Ghanaian Muggers and People Who Harass and/or Laugh At Us

We actually don't need your extra efforts in ruining this semester. Seriously, thanks for all the hard work and overtime you've been putting in, but we can manage just fine.

We have 32 people (most of whom are shockingly inconsiderate, overly-dramatic, immature and socially isolated here - myself included, lose the high horse, we've all regressed here) living in a very confined setting and population. Also, we have a study abroad program that is just getting off the ground and still has some major kinks (by which I mean complete disconnects) that need to be worked out before the students can begin truly enjoying ourselves. Therefore, we can fuck shit up on our own. Without your help.

Leave the stealing to kids on our own compound, at least then we would be bitching about each other instead of about Ghanaians.

How clueless do you think we are? We may be foreign, but we can still tell when someone is laughing at us or talking about us, even if they are doing it in a foreign language. At the very least, wait until I am past you. Do it with a straight face, and no finger pointing.

Also, foreign women (and, from what I can tell, Ghanaian women) don't particularly like being hissed at, or having you make kissing noises at them. Nor do they appreciate you staring, slack-jawed, at them when they walk by. Believe it or not, they don't appreciate being grabbed or touched by strangers. Period. (If they haven't given you explicit permission, then it is unwarranted and inappropriate). Foreign women will not marry you just because you asked. And, hopefully, Ghanaian women won't either. Nor will foreign women tell you where they live. We are from New York, we are not (for the most part) naive or foolish enough to give potential stalkers our local address.

While on the topic of addresses, ladies will not give you their address in the states, their true email address or their phone number in the states just because you did the "I'd-like-to-fuck-you" handshake and called her your wife. And, even if she did become your wife, it would not be because she wanted to have "half-caste children" with you. So, I might not use that as a pick-up-line/proposition next time - lord knows it has never worked for me.

Being obnoxious is kind of an American forte, so we don't need you to show us your pointers. If you need some entertainment or something, just watch us destroy ourselves from the inside out - we have enough shit stolen, enough trash talked and inappropriate behavior amongst ourselves. Let us destroy our experience for ourselves. Leave well enough alone and just go back to being nice and welcoming like you were when we first got here, it was a much better color on you.

Because I Didn't Look Enough Like A Sixteen-Year-Old Already

I seem to have lost weight. Which is fairly upsetting because I definitely don't need to.

What is even more upsetting (besides the hate mail I'm going to get from female friends back home (who will also be bitter about my December tan)) is that it appears to be my (already scant) musculature that is suffering, as opposed to natural body fat (which is actually a good thing, considering I'm going to be in North American winter in three weeks).

I don't know if it's malnutrition due to the steady diet I have of eating only one large meal of fried food and carbohydrates once a day or if they are atrophying due to lack of use. Either way, my legs have never been weaker or skinnier and, despite the tan, I'm not happy.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Fuck You, You Fucking Fucks

Another girl on our program got mugged last night. She was on her bike and a car drove by, one of the passengers grabbed her bag, and when she tried to hit him she got knocked off the bike and fell, hitting the back of her head, sustaining a nasty cut. She didn't have anything terribly important: credit cards, which can be cancelled, some cash, her headphones (no ipod, high five.) and her U of Ghana ID (which sucks because replacing that is going to be a huge bitch and she needs it to take her final next week).

As she said, the whole situation would be sitting better if it were just a random mugging, but it's not. Some group has realized that there is a group of foreign students in this neighborhood that shuttle from residence to academic center on foot and bike at all hours of the day and evening. So they're targeting us. She was attacked right outside the gate of our academic center, despite the fact that there are people and guards around ours and the surrounding compounds.

She had just had an amazing weekend in Cape Coast with a Ghanaian who, she said, restores her faith in all Ghanaians and then a couple of guys with a car go and fuck everything up, leaving her truly shaken.

What is especially upsetting about these people targeting us (albeit out of need/desperation - though, if they have a white mercedez wagon, you're probably not as desperate as some) is that they keep picking girls who have really made an effort to be a part of the local community. It's not like they're getting the people on our program who were unhappy here from day one and made no effort to be happy, or the people who never go anywhere or do anything. They keep getting the ones who have made the most effort to be comfortable here.

So fuck you, you fucking fucks, for upsetting S, stealing her bags, ruining her weekend and ruining (at least for the time being) her experience in Ghana. (And, selfishly, for putting yet another bad taste in the mouths of everyone else on the program). Was it really worth the $30 and the headphones?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

On Thanksgiving and Embarassment

A Baptist church here in Accra threw a potluck-style Thanksgiving dinner for all "Americans and their friends" on Thursday night. Upon arrival, I was a bit concerned that the missionaries had missed the memo that there were Americans in Ghana sans bible. It was like being on the set of Saved! - except with a much, much less attractive cast (good thing god doesn't have a bathing suit contest when deciding one's place in eternity).

The organizer, an adorable though slightly frumpy woman, opened with an explanation of what Thanksgiving is and why we celebrate it. It included the words, "our good Indian friends," "by the grace of god" and "seeking religious freedom." We think that our snickering wasn't audible. She then asked that "our Canadian friends" go through the line first because they had to prepare for the presentation (they get to go first, despite this NOT being their holiday!?). Then the pastor (or whatever he's called) blessed the food. In the words of Stewie Griffin, "I leave more personality in tightly coiled piles on the lawn." 'Nough said. Though he did include a moment of silence for "all the men protecting our country so that we can be here tonight." No moment of silence for the women protecting our country.

While I was waiting in line, a missionary was explaining to the poor Ghanaian woman in front of me that "someone is always watching, trust [him]." Shit.

The dinner consisted of approximately 30 different bowls of mashed potatoes (all of which tasted like mashed potatoes and NOTHING ELSE - no garlic, no pepper, no cheese, no cream, no salt), one small dish of stuffing (which was empty by the time I got to it), watery gravy, a pasta salad, three pans of turkey (one bbq) and wheat bread. No cranberry sauce of any kind. Not even from the can. I actually topped my mashed potatoes with more potatoes, and I piled that on top of wheat Wonderbread.

Half-way through my dinner I was interrupted by loud, obnoxious screeching blaring from large speakers surrounding the outdoor basketball court on which we were eating. The presentation had started. It was a presentation by Kids Town (though, it may have been cleverly spelled, "Kidz Town") and it was, for the kids. Of which there were 10, max. Out of a crowd of around 200.

I am all for kids shows and the people that entertain kids because I know that I can't do it and when I have children I am going to be spending a lot of money on having someone else entertain my children. But sweet jesus this was terrible. It included a puppet show, a unicycle (and a guy pretending he didn't know how to ride it, clever, never been done before), a bad juggler and a sing- and dance-along, one of the lyrics of which was: "sing a song and praise the lord." I cannot do justice to the associated motions, but you should know that "sing a song" was the gesture we Americans use when asking for another beer and "praise the lord" was on par with "raise the roof." The ADD leader of this Canadian embarassment, was really pumped to see the college-aged adults partaking so actively. If only he knew that we were desperately hoping that someone knew the sign for "bring me a drink, for god sakes!"

We left when they were trying to get us to participate again, in fact, half the basketball court participated in a mass migration for the exit.

Despite the fact that the food all tasted the same (bland), I ate too much and had a cramp for the rest of the night. I'm talking physical pain.

I'll tell you about yesterday's class later, but I'm going to go try to do some work (read: take a break from wasting time on this god-forsaken (if not before, then definitely now) blog).

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Hopefully you're not spending it like me: sweating in shorts, sitting through a tedious and painful class, studying cooped up in a library and eating dinner at a potluck style dinner at a baptist church hoping that the ex-pats who show up are decent cooks. Enjoy your family (or loved ones), the food and, well, your family and the food.

Things I am thankful for:

- Pink toes after showering.

- Scent of honeysuckle (especially on trash day in a country that didn't smell all that great to begin with).

- My FamSquad and our health.

- Cool, crisp air (that's more of a hypothetical).

- My tan.

I could come up with a much longer list of things I'm jealous of (car trips to vermont, seeing the fall, visits from significant others, seeing the FamSquad on Thanksgiving, etc.) but I won't. 'Cause apparently that's not in the spirit of the holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ha!

Everyone should go to Google and search for "failure"

Look at the first entry and laugh.

Poonbags And Why I Hate Them

I currently live in a gated community of four town homes. There are 32 people living in this Compound. One of the 32 people ate my brownies (unless it was our Ghanaian cleaning guy, David, but I highly, highly doubt that because he's nice, too honest, doesn't realize how good brownies are because he's never had one and too skinny). Yesterday I asked if anyone had eaten them.

Everyone said no. Some people (including certain people who live in my room or are there regularly) feigned ignorance of the fact that I had brownies.

Well, I would just like to say that, because you can't even own up to the fact that you stole brownies from someone while we are living (together!) in Africa - the land of no brownies - then you are officially a poonbag. And "poonbag" is a really nice way of saying something much meaner, less p.c. and as my lady friends continue to remind me, derogatory. So I don't know if you had balls at some point in the last week (assuming you did because you opened an new bag of brownies from the States and ate most if it) and have recently suffered a castration. Or, if you never had balls, then you also have my sympathy. But if you are going to have the audacity to violate someone's personal space and steal a lot of shit from them then you should have the balls to admit it.

Even though I don't know for sure who did it because no one admitted it (nor did anyone rat anyone else out, which sucks) I am still judging you as a person. And let me just tell you that, as a human being, you suck.

You fucking fucktard poonbag.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

...Like Donkey Kong

When I returned from the states last week, I brought back two bags of two-bite brownies - one was opened on the plane and finished the Monday after I got back, the other was kept unopened sitting on my desk so that I could cheer myself up sometime when I was especially cranky or bitter that other people are going home before me or freaking out about a final or anything. Point is, I was saving it. Unopened.

Last night, my friend, G, was in my room and she asked, "Oh, is this the bag of brownies you're saving?"

"Yeah."

G picks up the bag, "Uh, good job saving it."

"What do you mean?"

G shows me the bag. It is open and mostly gone. There are precisely four brownies left...!!!

Note that this bag of brownies was sitting on my desk, in my room, the door of which is almost always closed and, considering I have the most asocial room on the Compound, not many people wander in. The bag was not downstairs in the kitchen. It did not have a sign on it that said, "Here guys, I brought these back for you. Enjoy!" I did not make an announcement that anything on my desk was fair game for anyone in the Compound. Nor did I tell anyone in the Compound to go eat my brownies.

'Cause if any of those had been the case, I could totally get over the theft of my brownies. And the violation of my personal space/stuff.

But they are not the case. Some selfish fucking poonbag fucktard in the Compound (of 32 fucking people) stole my fucking brownies. And they knew it was a shitty thing they were doing because they carefully closed the bag and put it back in the same spot, facing the same direction in an effort to hide it from me, so they knew what they were doing was wrong.

What is especially irksome (read: infuriating you fucking fuck) is that if anyone on the compound had asked for a brownie (yes, even those people that I hate) I would have given them one. After I opened the bag.

And, if it is a case of someone getting the post-smoking-up munchies, then normally I would be pretty damn sympathetic. But, a) you didn't offer to smoke me up (stingy potheads are the worst), b) you didn't ask, nor did you leave a note, c) you opened an unopened bag and ate almost the entire thing, d) you left four, realizing that what you had done was wrong and therefore you were not high enough to justify the initial bag-opening.

I am so angry I am having trouble breathing, cannot see straight and I can feel my heart racing. This is probably taking years off my life as I write.

I realize that it is just a bag of brownies and you're probably thinking, "Sack up and get over it. It's just a bag of brownies." And normally I would agree with you. But I'm in fucking Africa and a bag of brownies from the states is basically irreplaceable here (much like french toast, clean feet and cancer-free skin).

It. Is. On.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Imagine Me In Flip-Flops

I don't really have anything specific to talk about, but I was starting to feel bad for you guys, having been abandoned to the cold, dark wasteland that is work avoidance and internet surfing sans the ray of sunshine that is me. So I'll just fill you in on the mundane things I've been doing, so that you can compare them to the mundane things you're probably doing and be jealous because at least I'm getting tan instead of watching my tan fade away like the leaves from the tree. (Poetic much? No, much too much).

So, I ate a hamburger this weekend, it was a big night out on Saturday night. G and I walked into Osu and had an actual meal on a weekend. Too much mayo, but totally awesome! because it was a burger and not something disgusting. We felt that, because it was our big night out, we should be going to a movie or to the mall or something. But we weren't. We just walked home.

Sunday night I went with J and got Indian food, and it was awesome. I had chicken mahrani (awesome), she had tikka masala (super awesome), we had garlic naan (or, as E likes to call it, naan bread) and basmati rice. And I had pretty much the whole, large bottle of water. Spicy-food-poonbag.

I'm having trouble writing some of the many papers I have due in the next several days (read: tomorrow) which is pathetic when I consider how easy and tedious the papers are. Can you imagine if I was in New York and had to actually write respectable papers? Terrifying.

I have to give bick ups to my girl, L who is leaving us today, I'm sad to see her go, especially considering the circumstances, but that doesn't stop me from calling her a lucky bitch.

Speaking of lucky bitches, I hope y'all are enjoying or enjoyed your fall 'cause we ain't got shit here. Everything's still the same color it was in August. Enjoy the snow when it comes.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Upswing

I went to bed early last night, and slept pretty decently for respectable stretches of time.

I had an awesome egg sandwich this morning. Which put me in a good mood.

And, after months of complaining and being bored, today I start actually doing something worthwhile: I am going to teach a workshop on human rights to students in a Liberian Refugee Camp outside of Accra. I actually feel like a professor, collating handouts, brushing up on background, etc. So, hopefully it will go well and I'll have something interesting to post about tomorrow. (I almost typed fun, but I don't think talking to refugees about international humanitarian law and how and why it isn't enforced will be terribly fun).

Fingers crossed, things are on the upswing.

(I never really saw myself as the type of person who could be miserable in a place. But I have suddenly become that person. And I think that it is this realization, more than anything else, that has put me in such a foul mood this week. Because, honestly, it is bloody hot here, the food blows, I am a spectacle everywhere I go and having people stare or laugh at me is exhausting, my classes are boring, my professors repetitive, my work tedious and finals are looming on the not-too-distant horizon, threatening to kick my 'bruni ass, but all in all, I do like it here. And in the future, looking back, I will probably say, "I loved it.")

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Amazing Thing Is...

...after yet another bad night's sleep and being awoken by another shitty morning filled with my housemate's obnoxiously loud thumping music, I'm in an even worse mood than yesterday.

Fucking crankpot.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sorry No Posts, But...

I'm pretty cranky. So I don't really feel like writing anything. Especially not in an attempt to entertain someone else. If you were here I'd probably yell at you and tell you to entertain me.

If you're looking for a good laugh go find video or audio of Nick Swarsdon and/or Pablo Fransisco. I would provide links but I'm in a bad mood and don't feel like doing research that, quite frankly, you should be doing for yourself.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ghana Here I Come (Again)

I'm heading back across the pond. Back to sweltering heat. Back to air conditioning. Back to showers with weak water pressure and inconsistent temperature. Back to school and fucking finals. Back to the Compound. Back to good kids and nice locals. Back to haggling with vendors. Back to being a spectacle. Back to being whitey (a.k.a. obruni).

And, upsettingly, I'm leaving Colorado with its mountains and beautiful weather and my family - still whole and still mostly healthy.

You Know What Would Be Great?

- If you could post some missed connections about me.

- If I could go for 2 or 3 days sans shower without smelling shockingly foul.

- If the woman from NWA/KLM didn't tell me I didn't qualify for bereavement fare for my return trip to Africa because my father survived his heart attack.

- If the bank weren't closed on veteran's day.

- If there could be slightly fewer people of the white trash persuasion in my home suburb, so that I had less reason to be embarassed. (Though, that embarassment pales in comparisson to my hardcore Colorado pride).

- If there could be more people of the white trash persuasion in my home suburb, so that I had more to be entertained by/pass judgement on.

- If my nose could go for 20 minutes without gushing blood.

- If I could stop being so goddamn lazy and respond to a couple important emails, phone calls and assignments that would really further the cause of me functioning as a normal human being.

- If I could write like David Sedaris. Or Khaled Hosseini. I'd be pretty pumped either way.

- If I could sit down and write my goddamn rationale so that I could graduate next semester, instead of writing nonsense on a blog that (almost?) no one reads.

- If people would stop asking, "how was Africa?" (as though I have experienced the entire continent, all of its people, culture, languages and locales in 3 months).

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

I don't know if you got the memo, but Colorado is fucking beautiful. New York was beautiful last week when I stopped by, and even the colors in New Jersey were nice to fly over in the approach to Newark, but nothing compares to Colorado in the fall. It was close to 70 degrees today, the air is crisp and everything is pretty much perfect. I've been watching the sun set over the mountains and that's lovely. We had a bit of frost in the foothills the other night that made for a beautiful morning - without all the bother of a full-on-snow in Denver.

Also, it's beautiful because dad continues doing better and better. He passed all of his physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy tests today, his oxygen levels are good, he's walking around, doing stairs, eating solid foods, drinking thin liquids, coherent, is starting to get some of his memory back (though it was never all that spectacular to begin with so we can only ask for so much), cracking jokes, I helped him take a shower this morning (awkward but a bit touching, not gonna lie), so he doesn't smell too bad any more (which is a big win for everyone), his rash is starting to clear up, and his color is still good. Except on his legs, he could use some sun on those puppies.

Speaking of pups, he's in the TCU (Transitional Care Unit) and he's in there with all the "young pups" as I like to call them because I don't think I saw anyone a day under "severly geriatric" in there, and while he may be getting on a bit in years, at 61 he looked a million times younger and better than everyone else in the unit. Except me, I look great.

We just finished yet another awesome meal that was donated by one of my mom's friends. We're actually going to have to start freezing meals because people have foisted so much awesome food on us. Which I'm pretty pumped about. Chicken and plantains? I think not. Pork loin and asparagus? Yes, please. Lasagna? Mm-hmm. Pumpkin muffins? I'll take 4. Banana bread? Yes, please again.

I have to give a major shout out to the Spicy Pickle which may well be the best sandwich place in the country, but definitely in Denver. Speaking of shout outs, thanks to all the staff at Saint Joseph's Hospital, especially the ER, the ICU and the ACU, y'all were amazing and took excellent care not only of my dad but the rest of my family as well. TCU? Y'all gave a pretty good effort, but you should know whether or not a patient is diabetic before you give him insulin. Heads up, dad's not diabetic.

Last, but certainly not least:

Dear 50,
Your appearance on the Today show today was HILarious. You're supposed to be this big tough guy, and I believe that you are tough, the whole "I've been shot and have the bullet holes to prove it" thing you've got going is pretty "gangsta" as the kids say nowadays. But stop this whole pandering to the white, upper-middle-class housewives who watch the Today show when it's convenient with your mansion in Connecticut. With your bullshit about "art imitates life" and "I curse sometimes" and "it's my choice as an artist" and "it's my job to scare people." Please. I'm no 50 expert, but I'm just going by the lyrics of the singles that I hear most often whether on the radio or that godforsaken bastardization of a t.v. channel, MTV, but here's a sampling of your lyrics, you tell me if you're scared:
"I'll take you to the candy shop, I'll let you lick the lollipop" - sexual innuendo be damned, that shit ain't scary.
"We gon' party like it's yo birthday, We gon sip Bacardi like it's your birthday And you know we don't give a fuck, It's not your birthday"
"A bitch can't get a dollar out of me, No Cadillac, no perms, you can't see that I'm a motherfucking P.I.M.P... She got a thing for that Gucci, that Fendi, that Prada..."
You may sing about having been shot in other parts of these songs, or in other songs on your albums, but singing about bitches and ho's, faggots and niggas, Gucci and Prada doesn't scare anybody. It's been done. People listen to your albums because your beats are hot and your rhymes are tight, not because they're scared.
And don't try to feed us a line about "some people think it's vulgar." You should embrace your vulgarity as you have your violence - it's done your record sales and you a world of good. "Ride you like in the rodeo" is obscene period. And I'm from Colorado, so I know a li'l somethin' about the rodeo.

Lord I hope this doesn't mean I have to start wearing a bullet proof vest. For safety, natch.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Paz Fuera ICU!

After a day of watching dad try to orient himself - "what happened?" "where am I?" "who is that?" "why are these beds so goddamn uncomfortable?" "how did that happen?" - they stood him up (with help), put him in a wheel chair and moved him out of the ICU. Paz Fuera!

He was a bit of a crank pot. He was pretty unhappy about not getting a steak dinner. Or salmon. Preferably with mashed potatoes and green beans. And vodka. Duh.

He is still pretty disoriented; not sure what year it is, he doesn't know who the president is, but he does know he doesn't like him (did the fall knock some sense into him!?) but he does know who is going to be the next president (write this down, he has connections) - Hillary Rodham Clinton (yikes.). He doesn't remember going to West Texas for a family wedding, but he thinks he's in Texas. Though, sometimes he thinks he's in Africa and he thinks someone should just go grab his suitcase because his pills, his quinine water and his glasses are in there. When told he was still in Denver and that his suitcase was at home he replied sensibly, "well that doesn't do me any damn good."

When told for the (approximately) eight hundredth time, that he had "a little heart attack" he asked, "how did I know I had a heart attack?" When told that mom had to take care of him, he was also interested to know how she knew he'd had a heart attack - um, when you froze and fell straight back, slamming your head onto the pavement, that was a pretty good indication of something gone awry. He is also very curious about how he got to the hospital (mom drove him, he had the heart attack in the hospital parking lot), how mom found out, and how the rest of us knew where he was (ah, the miracle of the modern telephone!).

We left him pretty early last night because some of us (me) are feeling a bit sluggish - the emotional roller coaster on top of the jetlag seems to be kicking my ass pretty effectively and I'm basically worthless. Though, he was also kicking us out telling us to go get a steak dinner (he would come, but they say it's bad for him), and go to a movie (he gave us all his money, that's all of it). He was going to feed himself (which is a very entertaining prospect). If they would just leave it up to him, he'd take care of things and check outta here - "just sign the damn papers."

Thanks to everyone who has been so amazing - my mom and sisters (for being so strong for dad, each other and me), the sisters' boyfriends (one who flew in from Cali and the other who has been stellar 24/7 all week), parents from high school and soccer, mothers who have brough delicious baked goods (upon which I have been gorging because Ghana don't do no kinda baked goods worth a damn), my best friend who is helping me stay on top of deadlines and rationales for graduating and sending support and buoyancy, the kids from the Compound for the occasional message of support and my touching send-off, S for being here and being so supportive, knowledgeable and positive, the nursing and doctor staff who havebeen spectacular and dedicated, dad's family for coming in from around the country, his co-workers, friends, spiritualist and homeopath. All of you have provided so much support and strength to my family, and we were able to pass it on to him, without which I truly don't believe he would have had such a speedy recovery, especially not from such a massive heart attack (two arteries in the heart completely blocked and they're calling him the miracle man - religiosity and prayer were never my strong points, but thank god!).

And my heart and thoughts go out to the families still in the ICU caring for their loved ones in their last days or as they pray for slow but sure recovery.

Paz Fuera ICU. See you on the 4th Floor.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Smile Like You Mean

I could not be happier to report that the bigguy is on the mend. His heart pump was taken out on tuesday evening - no problem. He was taken off of the sedatives thursday morning and it took him a lot longer to wake up than they expected - a testament to just how goddamn healthy he is because his body isn't used to processing drugs in any form; because if it isn't homeopathic, organic and partially-hydrogenated-oil free then he doesn't ingest it - except for the occasional vodka on the rocks, olive on the side. But this morning, he was up and responsive - squeezing hands, winking, furrowing his brow and smiling. The pulmonologist checked him out early this afternoon and said "looks good, let's go ahead and remove the tube." Much to the elation of my mother and I who happened to be in the room.

We left the room because I don't really do well with medical issues, but when we got back into the room (after the nurse called and told us he was asking for mom) he was looking like a million bucks - sans breathing tube. He was happy to see us, his eyes are twinkling and expressive and he just gets better and better. His first question was "what happened?"

I told him, "you just had a little heart attack on sunday night and now it's friday and you're doing so much better."

A couple minutes later he turned to my mom, frowned, furrowed his brow and said "how did that happen?" (Though, when he talks it is pretty much indecipherable and just a whisper).

I told him my best friend was glad to hear he was on the mend and he called her a sweetheart.

His most memorable quote so far: "Where is the alcohol?"

We've promised him Grey Goose just as soon as he can swallow.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thanks For The Good Vibes

I arrived in Denver safely (after close to 30 hours travelling) and went to the hospital with slightly less trepidation thani thought because I had been receiving positive updates from my sisters throughout the day while I was stuck in New York for a layover.

My dad looks better than I thought - but then, I'm a pessimist. My mom and sisters said that he looks much better than he has looked, which is just such good news, but also unnerving, because he didn't look good by any measure, and I am a bit thankful (selfishly) that I didn't have to see him earlier. He looks vulnerable. Which is discomforting because he is so young in my mind, and more importantly, he's my father and I have never really thought of him as vulnverable before. Nor fragile.

It is so nice to see and be with my family, I like to think that they are as happy to have me here as I am to be here, but regardless, I think it is powerful to have all of us together. Some might say we're vibing well.

It is really touching to hear all of the messages from people, friends and family, scattered around the country expressing solidarity, sympathy, hope and offers of assistance - if only as an ear to talk to or a dog walker. No one knows what to say, but the inarticulate-ness is something we all share, and that's as it should be, no one knows how to face something like this. Or, at least, no one should know.

Love You Bigguy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Senegal Was Good, Thanks For Asking

But I am more happy to report that I am going home. All flights out of Ghana are red-eyes so I am leaving tonight at 10pm and will arrive in Denver at 10:30pm the next day after an 8hour layover in NYC. I don't have any new information, and I am mostly just hoping that no news from home is good news right now. I've been keeping myself busy with little crap, laundry, throwing stuff away, organizing, trying not to think about anything except the practical stuff. Only one break down this morning in the bathroom, I don't even know what triggered it, just started crying, I guess I don't need anything specific to trigger me right now.

There's not much for me to write about because there's not much for me to think about besides my dad and my family. So the next several days will probably be more 'cathartic, personal journal' than 'semi-entertaining blog' but I don't feel bad about that. I'll keep you updated because that will make me feel better, just writing stuff down.

Thanks for the talks, the notes, the cookies and love.

love you bigguy.