Saturday, November 21, 2009

One Ringy-Dingy...

Here are three things that you should know about me:

1. I like making lists.

2. I think raisins were put on Earth to ruin perfectly good desserts.

3. I love my family, because we are all crazy. But in a good way.

When I was growing up, my father called his father every morning from work. He and George would have a short conversation about the weather, about which son sent him the dried fruits dipped in chocolate, and about his need to buy a new clock radio the next time we visited.

My grandfather passed away in 2006 just short of 99 years old. Which is when I carried on the tradition – I started calling my father every morning from work. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Now I’m used to it, and I look forward to my morning call with my father.

But my parents took a cruise recently, and I needed something to blog about, so here are our conversations from the three days we didn’t speak.

While You Were in Bermuda,
Here is What We Talked About

November 9, 2009

Hi Dad,

It’s Monday at 9:45 a.m., which is when I would usually be calling you. We didn’t chat yesterday, which was no big deal because it was a weekend. But today is a work day, and my routine includes our morning call. So darn you for taking a vacation and ruining my routine!

(Don’t ever die, because then my routine would be really interrupted. I’d have to start calling Josh every morning, and he would never forgive you for allowing that to happen.)

So, in your absence, you and I discussed the following:

1. why hopping is so great;

2. how soon you can send me $4;

3. the fact that Mom is evil, but we love her anyway; and

4. anything that includes the phrase, “or as I like to call it…”

Good talk! See you tomorrow.


To: Mom
From: Nancy
Date: November 9, 2009 at 11 a.m.
Re: Howdy!

I asked how you were doing, if you had fun last night at your concert/movie/dinner/meeting, and how your bedroom renovations are going.

You told me that you had fun but are super tired. You made a very strong cup of tea (with two tea bags) in order to stay awake, but it’s not really working.

I proceeded to inform you that I have now decided what to name my future kidlets (Cinnamon Toast for a girl, Radiator SteamHeat for a boy). Which prompts you to ask if I’ve even looked at eHarmony lately.

Wow, I have so much work to do! Gotta go!

November 10, 2009

Hi Dad,

Our conversation this morning was somewhat contentious. After I called mustard “God’s favorite condiment,” you reminded me that a) I am an atheist and that b) only people fighting in Satan’s army would choose mustard over ketchup. But I reminded you that we both love ducks, and all was quickly forgiven.

Afterwards, I told you about a funny dream. You started fake snoring, so I drew out the rest of the story in order to torture you. Then, you told me about your plans for the day. I started fake snoring, but you didn’t realize it because you were too busy concentrating on Tetris.

You got another call. You said, “Hold on for a second,” and then proceeded to hang up on me. I still think it might have been on purpose.


Nancy: (11:30 p.m.) Hey Mom, we didn’t e-mail today. Instead, you called me at 5:40 p.m., when you knew I would be on the subway. I called you back on my way home, but you were already shopping at Trader Joe’s, so we had a quick IM around 11:30 p.m.

We’re both night owls, so even when we stop instant messaging we both start posting on Facebook around midnight. This is when I send you another IM: “Hey, I thought you were going to bed!


November 11, 2009

Hi Dad,

This is what you told me you would do today: go to the You (aka “the gym” or “the Jim”); pick up groceries at Wegmans; play guitar with your brother; play pool with Ed, and then start dinner. Retirement agrees with you, I think.

I told you about last night’s dream, in which you had renovated your entire house. Your bathroom had an amazing cherry wood floor, a claw foot bathtub, a sauna, bidet, towel warmers and personal valet.

You responded by begging me not to tell Mom about my dream, for fear she would be inspired.

I agreed, but only on the condition that over Thanksgiving you let me fill in some answers in your New York Times crossword puzzles in PEN, with no moaning, groaning, or gnashing of teeth. You reluctantly accepted my deal.

Nancy, FTW!


To: Mom
From: Nancy
Date: November 11, 2009 at 2 p.m.
Re: Hola!

Hi Mom,

I told you all about my dream. You were inspired, so I blew my deal with Dad. However, I like redecorating with other people’s money more than I like crossword puzzles, so it was totally worth it.

Then I mentioned the dead body I saw last night on the way home from work. There was a fire truck, paramedics and a crowd of onlookers. He was slumped against a building, eyes open, being poked by a paramedic.

I said how this reminded me of the time you and I walked into an office building in New York and saw a dead body being dragged out of an elevator, a trail of blood dripping in its wake. You told me that I was only 5 or 6 years old, and was greatly exaggerating what happened. You also told me that when I was 5 years old I believed in flying spiders. I reminded you that while flying spiders may not be real (they totally are! I know it!), I definitely saw a trail of blood in an office building.

At this point you signed off to go home. I worked another half hour, contemplating the reliability of childhood memories.


Welcome home, guys!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So the theme of this week is: I am confused and I am on the loose in New York City with a crummy mobile phone camera.

I was walking home from work the other day and saw this:

The first person who tells me what this means gets a great prize (or a nice shout-out on the blog). Here's what I came up with:
  1. Nerve Supply
  2. Nerves Apply
Ok, I didn't get too far. I know this means something, but what?

Also intriguing was this scribbled message, which I saw in a public garden downtown:

Let me first say that no rolly-bugs were harmed in the making of this picture. At least, none that I know of. Frankly, some rolly-bugs may have been harmed, since I don't really know what they are. Don't they sound adorable, though?

If this is a regional term, like when southerners refer to soda as "pop" (which is ridiculous), please clue me in.

In conclusion, I am confused and I desperately need your help.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Down the Hatch

Last Friday I was informed by my doctor that I have a duodenum and an esophageal junction.

No worries, though. Apparently they're lurking within all of us. I found this out following my endoscopy. Considering a colonoscopy is actually in your, um, end, I think an endoscopy, which involves a camera down your throat, should be called an other-end-oscopy.

Here is what I learned from pictures of the procedure: I am very pink inside. On a side note, I also learned that my stupid veins will explode spontaneously, leading the anesthesiologist to have to stick me FIVE TIMES before we found a successful vein. (By the by, oh-my-god-sweet-jesus that hurt.) And I learned that I do not like anesthesia. I was fine right afterward (although thanks to those damned Yankees and their ticker-tape parade, I was forced to take the subway home -- the bridge-and-tunnel crowd stole all my taxis!) and stopped at the Union Square Greenmarket for a fresh cup of steaming hot apple cider. I went home, took a brief nap, during which I was convinced I was sleeping on a bed of velvet. But once the anesthesia wore off I was jumpy and incapable of sleep.

Cue me at 4 a.m., waiting for slumber and considering some heavy subjects, including why I didn't know Veteran's Day was coming up, but I could give you the date of Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th); what kind of reviews Fantasy Island would get on Expedia, since it never actually fulfilled anyone's fantasy; and why you would name a medication Aciphex, when it clearly sounds like "Ass Effects."

It's almost a week later, and this Friday I go in for my IVIG treatment, which I get every four weeks. I can tell when I'm due for treatment depending on how I'm feeling. The first week I'm a little tired and then slowly perk up. Week two I feel much better. Week three starts out well, but by the end I'm getting a little tired. And by week four I'm ready to go in again. I call it my "monthly cycle." Which, in retrospect, might have another meaning.

My endoscopy took 10 minutes. The IVIG infusion takes several long, Benadryl-filled hours. But I'll take IVIG over another endoscopy any day.

Never saw that coming.