A cat by any other name

The late-night waltz



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Meow to me

A few months ago, a small horde of us descended upon San Francisco, and after a rather fattening and laugh-saturated lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, we went to see Stomp. I loved it. A bunch of folks dancing and slapping and stomping and banging and making music on all sorts of bizarre things like kitchen sinks and newspapers, trash bags and license plates. It was marvelous. Kinda fun to try to imagine what sort of things might have inspired the creator to come up with some of his or her compositions.

I haven't gotten a lot of sleep in the past few days. Ended up staying up way past midnight every night this weekend. Last night's jaunt into wee-hours-of-the-night territory taught me that those folks from Stomp have left out one incredible site of inspiration. Perhaps they should incorporate it into their next tour. Really. There's nothing quite so inspiring as sitting in a hospital, listening to the melodic harmony of the buzz of the portable x-ray machine intermingled with the occasional cough or snort from one of the other residents of the emergency room, the incessant beep of the whatever-they-were-monitoring boxes, and through it all, the underlying and steady hiss of the device they'd hooked Richard up to so he could breathe normally again. In between trying to figure out exactly on which part of the body they were operating on the woman in the bed across the room from us (she had blue nail polish on her toes. At least I hope it was nail polish. I do not even want to begin contemplating why else her toes were that color), and shortly before I started to doze off on the edge of his bed, I started bopping along to the rhythm til we were both giggling. Anything to make the time pass quicker.

Earlier yesterday evening, he came up to me as we were cleaning house and asked me if I was ready to try something new. He'd been short of breath for most of the day, and it was getting worse. I knew this was going to happen eventually but I guess I still wasn't quite prepared for it. I drove him to the hospital and managed to muddle through about half the questions they asked in order to fill out their paperwork before I had to break down and go snag his Palm Pilot so I could get the rest of the info. At least now I know what sort of little spiffy facts I need to keep in a memo in my Palm, so I'm all set for next time. It was an odd little introduction to the darker side of asthma. There was someone else there with a bad asthma attack - a little boy carried in by his mother, the rest of the family in tow. I overheard his mom asking the nurse if they could remove the nasal tube because he's much more used to the mask. I peeked in as we walked out. He seemed far too young to be 'used' to anything quite like that. I can't imagine being that little boy's mother.

At least the other two reasons why I didn't get much sleep this weekend were a little more sedate. We went to see Pay It Forward Saturday night, after spending the day at the mall, getting an early start on Christmas shopping. Don't worry - I'm not really all this with it; it's just that my little sis is coming down for Thanksgiving, but not for Christmas, so we're doing the exchanges between the whole family and her family then. That means I've got one month less to get their presents than I do anyone else....and it also means that of course we didn't actually get anything for *them* while we were out. But it was a start. And the movie was good - a little bit of a tear-jerker at the end. Yes occasionally I'm just a sentimental sap. Give me an emotional movie - oh heck, even one of those sappy commercials they like to show around the holidays - and I'm sniffling into a Kleenex by the end.

Friday night's reason was another one of those hours and hours sort of affairs, but at least this one was a bit more on the good side of excitement instead of the 'let's go see what the inside of the emergency room looks like' type. We traded in Richard's Geo Metro (the beer can on wheels, as he once so affectionately termed it) for a much nicer car. By the time we were filling out the financial paperwork, it was after 11pm, and both of us and the financial guy were trying desperately to pretend that we weren't yawning our faces in two. But in the end, it was all good - Richard's car has a new green coat, with four doors, all of which can be opened from the inside as well as the outside; air conditioning; windows that roll down; and best of all, it all comes without the miffed mouse sound that's been singing merrily in his old Metro these past few months. And I'll have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by the entire evening. We went to three different car dealerships and not one of the salesmen we talked to tried to push us into buying a car. I'm not sure if we were just incredibly lucky, or if this is a sign that perchance car salespeople are starting to catch a clue, but whatever the reason, it made what ended up a much longer evening than expected a little nicer than expected too.

And now, a bit of ER-inspired music as you go.

Beep beep snork sssssss creak. Wheeze hack. achoo!

Can't you just see the crowd going wild when they dance to *that*?