Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009. A very fine vintage.

You remember the Keanu Reeves era? Now, you ladies will be loathe to admit it but many of you thought he was it. Until you realized he wasn't very smart. Okay, he was dumb. In the middle of his time in the Hollywood sun he did this chick movie where he loved this Mexican-American girl who's family owned a vineyard. The really chick moment came when he (or she. Frankly, I can't remember.) got to step into the vat of grapes and crushed them good. I'll bet my wife watched that movie and pretended she was the grapes and he was stepping on her. Or something like that. Anywho, Keanu was really happy at that moment of the movie. It was the crescendo of chickness where this beautiful, sort of effeminate man finally understood his woman and all her struggles of womaness without saying a word, all amongst a wooden crate of seedless fruit. 

Well I had a similar moment last Saturday. While I am not nearly as good looking as K, I am as dumb. My harvest was the stem cells. I had just spent two days sitting in front of a metal box that sucked my blood out, swished it around like wine and then plucked out the stem cells before sending it back into my body. I was supposed to get an average of 1 million cells a day and do it for five days, making 5 million. 

But my harvest was bountiful. I got 3.75 million the first day and 3.38 million the second. I passed up the required 5 million with three days to spare. The glorious euphoria of finally being able to do something right made me feel as light and airy as Keanu. Besides thinking that I am healthier than I thought, it also meant that I no longer had to take two shots a day that made all my bones and muscles ache. And it meant that I had a free weekend.

Even though my dad was there, he was the one who said I should go home to see my kids. So I did. He left, too. He liked the Rotary House but not so much that he wanted to stay there over the weekend with nobody to talk to.

So I surprised my family. And then McKenna surprised me. She cried. She wasn't supposed to do that. Conner, yeah. He's old enough to know what cancer is. He knows that nobody in their right mind would willingly spend months in Houston, Texas unless it was a matter of life and death. So he knows this is a struggle. But I didn't think Kenna was aware of this. Little girls aren't supposed to cry about cancer. They're supposed to cry about not getting cell phones. 

Still, I had a great weekend. We didn't do much. But I sucked in every boring moment the way the metal machine sucked in my blood. 

Now it's Monday. I'm back at the Rotary House. They're showing Mall Cops in the lobby. I have to replace my line in my chest with another, smaller line tomorrow. Deeper into my mid-section, my chest pains continue. My neck sill hurts and muscles are moving. I keep thinking back to the weekend and hoping to feel like Keanu Reeves in his grapes. Someday I will.


  1. Now I see what you mean about your head being foggy. Not only did you watch a Keanu Reeves movie, but now you are admitting to it in writing. I suggest you quickly retract your admission and explain to all the nice people that you were just a little out of your mind when wrote this post.

    Hopefully all goes well with the transplant and when you get home, you and I could go see Brokeback Mountain together.

  2. Though more healthy physically than you had thought (woo hoo), mentally a screw or two must be loose. A Walk in the Clouds? Eeeek. I feel lighter in my loafers already just by hearing the title. ["Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it." ~ from the epic saga Billy Madison.]

    A Walk in the Clouds. Hmmm. That's one of those movies on my unpublished list. You know The List. Unlike "The Sheet" from the Sting, which represents a bunch of good ones, this List consists of those movies for which will never my eyes grace. A Walk in the Clouds is one such movie. Ick. Just thinking of that movie is giving me the heebie jeebies. I'll have to watch a classic just to etch my brain back to normal. Maybe Jaws. Dirty Dozen. The Sting. You should watch The Great Escape to jolt your mind back on course.

    One last thing: should you and Todd have a Brokeback Mountain viewing, I strongly recommend inviting Schmidt or he'll never talk to you again.

    Glad to hear the good news about your bountiful harvest. Every small step in the right direction is still in the right direction and that was a good one. As Ellie Arroway's Dad continually told her "Small steps, Sparks. Small steps." [from the movie Contact. Awesome flick; hail to Carl Sagan]

  3. I need to defend Keanu here: While I admit that A Walk in the Clouds was unwatchable, I really liked him in that movie with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson that took place in the Hamptons (can't remember the name of it..) I also want to point out that in The Lake House, not only was Keanu a visionary architect, he stretched his emotional range from A all the way to B.
    On another note, and this might be too much information, but(hi Todd), you guys were always filled with good advice: my husband has been fly fishing with his "friend" for years and has never brought home a single fish, should I be worried?

  4. I just got stuck watching "Bride Wars". Of course I was 35,000 feet in the air, stuck in a plane with my brothers and Scott C. (coming back from golfing in AZ)

    "Bride Wars" is about two chicks fighting over a wedding date - yadda, yadda. Since my brain was already in crash position - I found myself hoping for a bird strike or an engine failure.