Friday, August 31, 2007

One Of Those Life Moments That Scares The Living Shit Out Of You

This evening my wife and I had run up to the in-laws (my in-laws her parents) to enjoy this three day weekend (and someone's birthday... I think one of the sister in laws...)


So were sitting there tonight. Grandma, Elijah, Uncle David, DW and myself. They were all enjoying Chinese food. I was enjoying a Manhattan and some burritos. I hate Chinese food. Can't digest the taste for some reason.

Then in one moment it all changed.

Elijah looked up at the ceiling fan and started shaking, like he was frightened of it. Shaking and shaking with Chow Mein all over his bib. At first we thought he was choking but there was no food in his mouth.

Shaking more... convulsions.

Time... moved in slow motion. DW pulled him out of his high chair. Elijah continued to shake. I ran around the table. Grandma was at Elijah's side. David bless his heart started clearing the dishes.

"Call 911" DW says.

I froze... My first thought was, hey maybe it isn't that bad. I just didn't react fast to run to the phone. Elijah was now blue...

I called 911. Keep in mind, Murphys is miles from a big city hospital. I mean, there are people here but hospitals are a good 20-30 miles away. Decent ones are further. But it's an area full of good people. I cry thinking about them... good people...

The dispatcher asked me his age, what was going on, where he was, where we were at. She dispatched the ambulance and paramedic team. I fumbled with the address, phone number, the cross streets, my name... It was tough. I was in a place I did not want to be but could not ever leave.

About 3 minutes into it, Elijah was still blue and stiff... like his arms and legs were out like Frankenstein. He was breathing the whole time. DW had stripped his clothes off and cuddled him on the floor. I am still on the phone... 911 didn't want me to leave.

Elijah was still blue on the floor but he was now screaming a little. Still convulsing... DW, being the good mother that she is, was calm and right by his side making sure he didn't hurt himself. The first fire truck arrived. These guys were like the first team before the ambulance.

About five of them came in the door. One guy went in to give Elijah some oxygen. One guy helped. The look on the other three, who could not be older than 25 was like, "Oh Fuck, man... It's a Baby." I just turned around into the dining room and cried. Why was this happening, was my first thought... I said a little prayer... cried a little more and turned the corner and walked back into the kitchen where my family was.

Then the ambulance came with two paramedics. They took over and they were ready to go. They assessed Elijah and got DW and him into the ambulance. I ran and got DW's bag. Our dog Trisha was barking in the closet. Grandma had shoved her in there during all the commotion.

The ambulance then left to Sonora Regional Hospital. I stood there in the driveway asking for directions. I opened the door to the Porsche. I then ran and got my computer bag in the house because it had all my shit. Like my financial stuff... my phone chargers and iPod in case I was in for the night. I envisioned my son hooked up to tubes and shit inside a clear plastic box. I had no idea...

My mother in law, bless her heart, calm as can be offered me a ride to the hospital. I declined because I'd feel better driving myself. At least behind the wheel of my Porsche I'd be in control.

I headed out with the rights and lefts from the instructions the paramedics gave me ingrained in my head. I believe the ambulance had maybe 5 minutes on me. Maybe 7. Who knows? I caught them 2/3's up the way up Parrot's Ferry Rd. The whole time, Free Bird was blaring on the stereo. No cellphone service to call my parents. I was in shit... until I caught up with the ambulance.

At first I was puzzled why the ambulance wasn't flying 80 miles an hour with the sirens blaring. I caught up to them quickly (but hey man, it's a Porsche... that's what they are for). We hit the town of Sonora. I looked into the back window of the ambulance and my wife was in there giving me thumbs up... Elijah must be okay...

He was checked into the hospital. He had what is called a febrile seizure. It's caused by a rapid rise in body temperature. After the fact, my mom and my mother in law both noticed he felt hot today. We noticed he was kind of lethargic in the back seat of the car when we were heading up the hill. But it was like 105 today with like 60% humidity. It was warm. He had played all day. He got his photos taken for Grandma and Grandpas anniversary gift. He ran around the mall. He looked fine.

His temperature was 103.5 at the hospital. He had all of his color back when I got into the emergency room. I had the "gate keeper" ask me about 500 questions before I got back. Elijah was crying when I got there. But he looked like Elijah again. Big blue eyes and radiant skin. I got him to smile so that cleared one amateur neurological test for me. Then I got him to laugh which was another. Then he signed for milk which summed it all up for me. I knew the dude was back. They gave him some Tylenol that brought his temp down to 100. He's got these mysterious rashes on him that appeared after the fever that the doctors are puzzle on so we got to bring him back if they are there in the morning. But they think they are unrelated. I'll update you folks then.

Nothing scares you more than watching your little son get into an ambulance. Nothing!

Thank God he is going to be fine...

I am changing my Windows colors on the tool bars because I do not want to see that shade of blue again.

Ponder Why...

A quick post for the weekend.

One of my favorite things I like to do when I drive and I just did 20 minutes ago usually occurs at a 4 way stop.

When I stop and someone clearly has the right of way, I of course wait my turn. No matter what that person does, I wait. They wave me on, I wait. Any motion... a flash of headlights... I wait. I wait because they had the right of way. I had this lady going for 20 seconds, waving frantically. I just sit, stone cold, face forward... hands at 10 and 2. Waiting.

It's just freaking hilarious.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Am Watching Super Size Me Right Now


Two words: We're Screwed!!!

(My God!!!)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Dana Carvey SNL Gerald Ford Is Dead - Watch more free videos

I had the opportunity to witness one of Tom Brokaw's public speeches today in Denver. It was a bit interesting. One of the things I pulled out of it was how American's no longer communicate with each other. With this whole internet world that even I am totally hooked on, he pointed out how America is just polarizing itself with this whole liberal/conservative thing. How the elections is just bought by the politicians and the money they raise. And how we don't get anything done because we don't communicate in a common language. Baby Boomers and their parents don't talk to young people the same way they talk to each other. It's all text pages, Blackberry's, cellphones and blogs with the youngsters and no stories about how the generation did it after World War II. How we sit and fight over the war and never realize that the people fighting it volunteered to do it. How America only works if we accept that we are centrists and not these crazy ideologies.

He backed it up with his stories of sleeping in a cargo container in Pakistan to cover the big earthquake they had a couple of years back. Or how he walked on Normandy with the soldiers who fought there on the 40th anniversary. He made me wonder why I tuned my grandmother out when she babbled on with her stories about the 1930's and 1940's. Or how we are short of Vietnam with the current war situation because were not yet hating our troops for fighting over there.

He was so right with everything he said.

I just turned my back and said, "Damn." when he was done. I had the nerve to answer my cellphone a few minutes later.

Where are we going in this world?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

ATM's and Assholes

A CAT Product destroys more historic memories in Downtown Denver

So I am now in downtown for a few days. And I thought when I was out looking around about another blog story to tie into my theme this week. Sometimes it's tough but one jumped right in front of me.

I parked my stuff in my hotel and ran down to one of the many Starbucks that populate downtown. I got to tell you, there is a tremendous amount of eye candy walking around this warm muggy day. Huge...

Anyway, I got inside for a mid day Latte and I was third in line. Look, I am not going to comment necessarily on the cashiers sexual orientation but he was fem-boy with the way he talked. He dazzled the women in front of me with the way he ran their credit cards. Suddenly it was my turn and he ran card with no problem.

So I am like, "Hey... is their an ATM nearby?"

He tosses his hands up and says really sarcastically in his like squeaky voice, "Um... this is like downtown you know, and their banks all around us..."

And that was it!! There was like a pause like... "Hey are you going to tell me where the nearest one is now?"

But nothing!!

So.. I go.. "Well... there are assholes all over Starbucks, do you want to tell me where the nearest ATM is or do you want me to go first on pointing out the nearest asshole thing?"

The barrista just laughed!!! She knew I was right.

I got my directions...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Culture All Around Us...

I was driving today, in a Subaru no less, between Pueblo, CO and Colorado Springs. Off to my right, and damn me for not having a camera, on the side of the road was a dumped over Caterpillar "digger" of some sort. They had police, fire trucks, a crowd of people and a large tow truck trying to right the thing. (Poor fucking engineering if you ask me :) )...

I thought for a minute of the crap I see out on the road. Wrecks... disasters... homeless people begging for money in some far out places... Hotels with grown men who look like me walking from their rooms down to meetings or the Bennigan's down the street.

It's all sales reps.

Guys who fly, drive and teleconference to their customers on a daily basis.

There is a culture to it. Also lots and lots of patterns. For example... the flow of traffic threw an airport is an amazing thing to watch. Guys with their roller bags, with computer bag on top, sport jacket crumpled threw the handle. Walking and sometimes running like I did today when I ditched my wife hanging on the phone. "Gotta go!!! CLICK!!!" The train was moving man!! But the train threw airport is what's funny. The sales guys huddle near the exit of the train, where the vacationers are scattered. The sales guys walk up escalators. The vacationers stand and hold the rail. We got our place to go.

The hotel is interesting. You check in. Present your rewards cards. Nothing funnier than presenting your Hilton Card to Marriott property or vice versa. Pass the credit card, get your keys and head to the room. Coming down the elevator is a sales guy in his jogging shorts and wrinkled t-shirt either out for a run or for a bite to eat at the diner next door. As you pass the guy, you are like...that's me after I check email. Email can suck at this point. When you have been on the road all day, you have no idea if there is 10 emails or 50.

Rinse, lather, repeat... every week. It's really a culture. Dockers. Men's Wearhouse jackets. Eccos. Mid 30's to mid 50's. Road warriors in rental cars...

I cannot imagine what America spends to keep it's sales people on the road. It's cottage industry. Hotels, staff, laundry, cleaning supplies, food service, janitorial, and most importantly, the staff (again) who work menial jobs folding sheets, washing towels, checking you into the hotel, the management team... the shit goes on and on.

Power ball at $245 Million... I'm going to win.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Keep Moving Forward

I was thinking today of all the people you have ever seen or met. Ever seen anybody that just amazes the hell out of you? Everything they do is completely awesome. And in retrospect, they sort of knew it. They knew they were the shit but hey... they did not have the ego to rub it in? Like John Lennon or like Paul McCartney... or someone political like Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton. (Give Bill credit man... the dude has charisma). Or even some teacher or some guy in class that had it, could do no wrong and had it all going for him. (John Tucker Must Die!!!)

I sadly am not one of those people... I thought I could be back in high school or early college but the shit never really panned out. I haven't amazed anyone or myself the way I planned it all out to be. Truth be told however, I think it's the next five years of my life where it's going to really change either socially, economically or dare say it spiritually in one way or another. I got a hunch man... It's coming, but I don't know. Of course I have thought this way a lot throughout my life.

"What's next?" I tell myself.

I think outward and above a lot. But actually hardest thing for me is moving forward to the next step or level. It's the process of a challenge. Facing a fear and going through it. The twist of your gut. The shakes and cold sweat. Overcoming an obstacle to keep moving forward as one of my all-time film heroes says in the movie clip on top. A lot of my life nowadays comes down to big meetings and really big do or die situations. I don't do... I fail. But failure is not an option. I keep moving forward. The outcome I may seek on any given day may not be pleasurable or even self fulfilling. I may actually hate what I am walking into. But it's my life. And it's what I can control: To keep moving forward. Is it wrong to seek a win? Of course not... The seeking part is never hard.

Moving forward is never easy....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Close Your Eyes

I don't know what it is but after I am completely exhausted and I have a long sleep I wake up with the complete version of a song in my head. Front to back, every note, guitar riff, everything. It's not everyday but it's at least once or twice a week.

I woke up and immediately walk out the door with the DW and DS to walk our dog Trisha. As I was looking for my wallet, I was singing the above song. This is a totally random occurrence and slightly funny as hell if you think about it. Where does this guy, who's favorite band is the complete antithesis of 80's Hair Band Ballad Era Music come up with this? I don't even own the song but I have the urge to go buy it off iTunes right now and probably will buy the end of the day.

The funniest part of the video above occurs at around 4:20. Tell me that Ozzy doesn't look like one of the old guys on the Muppet Show in the balcony on acid singing, "Close your eyes..." repeatedly like someone is spinning the record manually with their own hand. Also, Lita Ford when your 14 was like the shit. Any other chick play the guitar like that? I cannot even jam like that!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back When Reality Hit Me

On the right is Pico Blvd, on the left is Santa Monica Car Wash and right behind me was Gilbert's El Indio Restaurant... One of my favorite places on the planet.

I spent most of today in Santa Monica, CA (doing what I do for a living). And all I did that was remotely productive was rekindle relationships and tell stories. I ran into some guy I worked at a car wash with back during my "lost summer" of 1996. Amazing how different were back then and how we got to where we are now. I looked right at him as I walked down the lot, "Rudy?" I said. "Steve...que pasa?" Wow! He was just a line worker 11 years ago and now he was running the place.

In June of 1996, I packed up my little red Toyota truck with some of my belongings and about $400 cash and headed south to seek my fame and fortune and look for that pot of gold in the music business. Hell I had a degree in music so figured they'd all back the f--- up when I hit the scene. I cannot believe how stupid and unafraid I actually was. During the spring before graduation, I went down to have an interview with RCA Records for an internship. That was a cool experience... can't remember what I exactly did but after that interview I headed to a car wash I knew and applied for a job at a car wash. I needed to support myself while I worked for free at the record company after graduation. I mean, washing cars is what I did in college and high school. I was quite good at selling detail services and hand waxes at the washes I worked at so, I had no problem making a little cash fast on the weekends while I busted my ass during the week.

That is until I altered my plans midway...

See... I cruised through the summer, working at the car wash (ooh ya...:) ) and filing paper at RCA. I grew quite bored. I wanted that job right away. The one that paid you know, $20K annually and gave me fun shit to do on the weekends. And I grew bored with the car washing stuff because that wasn't going to get me anywhere in life. Anywhere... Car Washing was an absolute dead end with no future whatsoever. Seriously. I wanted it now. $10 bucks an hour in the Mail Room... Done!!! So when I prematurely vacated my much sought after internship they didn't have a job for me. So here I was a full time car washer. I joined a temp agency and discovered I could type 40 words a minute. Never tested before. But this was the agency of the stars, man. First job, filing papers at MCA Records. Second job, filing papers at Hanna Barbara. Third job, back at HB. Fourth job, and I seriously could make this a post in and of itself, installing electronic components into some studio across the street from NBC in Burbank. Then I got a long term assignment, Universal Studios (filing papers). I got too comfortable and started living large on the weekends, then poof! The job ended. Two weeks later, I had to decide between paying some credit card bills and eating while I waited to get hired on as holiday help at Macy's for 6 bucks an hour.

I took my last $20 out of the bank that day and went up to Gilbert's El Indio. Had two margaritas and two enchiladas. I had to move back home to Mom and Dad the next week. But Gilbert's was the best place to spend that last little bit that day. Best Cheap Mexican Food on the planet. It was really surreal standing there looking at this sign and I quickly grabbed my camera. I snapped this picture and then stared at the sign for like five minutes. I had parked in the same spot with red Toyota about 11 years ago having my last meal in LA.

Reality was a bitch back then... But I eventually grew to love her.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Birthday Mess

Yeah... Birthday Cake, a little water, it's all good! At least you all didn't get to clean up after him (and once again I avoided clean up for some reason too!).

Ahh... what a weekend. Swimming by the pool, alcohol was flowing, temperature in the upper 80's. It was swell. I was quite amazed that after a bit of wine tasting my sister in law polished off a bottle of wine all by herself even. And it was white wine!! (And that was for the unconventional sister in law so there is no confusion) And I myself bought white wine this weekend. What the hell was that? Surprised I didn't cry when we sang happy birthday to Elijah.

Elijah continues to amaze all. He drops his sippy cup here and says "Uh oh". My son's first words: "Uh oh" My first words: "I care". We're weird dudes.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Birth of Elijah

Last Year's Cake

Yeah, wouldn't this be his second birthday even though he is a year old? Greetings all. My son is one. Almost walking and talking little machine now. The year went by so fast. It's absolutely amazing how time has flown.

More pics to follow this weekend I am sure.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Elijah, Part IV: The Day of Amazing Things

Darling Wife is seen here holding Elijah as he comes out of the pool.

Not only does Elijah, stand up today... He took a few steps across the room. Forever linked to Barry Bonds hitting 756, who Daddy watched this evening via SlingBox. I had a hunch my son was connected with greatness and when I saw him walk, I knew Barry would hit it tonight. It just felt that way this evening. As a boy not much older than Elijah, I began being infatuated with statistics. I know a little bit a something about everything when it comes to stats. I always looked at the back of baseball cards and wondered who had the chance to beat Hank Aaron. Little did I know, I'd one day see it.

Say what you want about Barry, three grand juries have not indicted him yet so I am with the innocent until proven guilty crowd.

Typical Giants fan...
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Monday, August 06, 2007

Elijah, Part III

Elijah and me

Elijah is like 4 months here. He and I were laying down and he was flapping around having a good ole time with his mobile. He just started smiling here. We were having fun. Really liked the camera so we were snapping all kinds of pictures. I think this was Thanksgiving weekend. The "eccentric" "less conventional" sister in law snapped this picture.

Elijah, Part II

Elijah with his uncle...

No more words needed!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Elijah, Part I

Elijah after a day of boating, sunshine and lots of love.

All my posts this week will be dedicated to the fine son, who turns 1 on Friday. The "more refined" sister in law took this picture up in Tahoe last month. Elijah really brightened everyone's day on that trip.

Having a child is still the scariest of things I have ever encountered in my life. Forget those tough tests in school or selling that big client who can shape my entire economic existence. I've actually never been afraid of people my whole life. But I was afraid a year ago when Elijah came to us. I was very afraid. I am still very afraid. It's really hard to explain. I fear him in some ways you'd think were quite odd. I fear him having pain. I fear him being uncomfortable. I fear his cries. His cries when he won't stop crying. You may not know it, but my whole life I have been a selfish person. (A quick, "Duh!" will be heard repeatedly around my family and friends who read this post) Fear does not help a selfishness. Everyday I try... Babies don't come with an "off" switch.

I guess the best part now is seeing what's coming out of Elijah as he has gotten a little older. His smiles. His laughter at things that he sees as new, like the cat jumping off the couch or the snap of your fingers. His attempts at saying, "Ball" and "Uh Oh" are not quite there but you really want to help by repeating it over and over. "Daddy" is going to be a bit more complicated to say... I'll keep waiting though. So many words... so much time. As long as he doesn't pick up my frequent use of one-syllable words we're all good.

He stood today. All on his own. No support... Each day brings a new milestone, a new chapter, a new phase. We'll forever for the day he goes to school, or gets that first "A" on his report card or for the day when he rips the diaper off and smears it along the walls. We'll wait for those days... I just want to enjoy those simple things that are new to him now. I can't wait to see him walking or running ahead to the park.

Just a darling son...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Okay Everyone Look Closely Now...

This is why we are at war. And this is what happens when Barak Obama opens his mouth and talks about it. See... A liberal can incite civil unrest too. It ain't gonna get any better if you elect a Democrat. Got it?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Maps to Hell

Really great new album from these guys above rocking out in their 40's. Greg looks a bit hot and pissed to be there and his voice sounds like shit but I guess if you your day job is a professor at UCLA and your night job is rocking out in your legendary punk rock band, you gotta commend him for laying down some killer words.

Oh... not only is the new Bad Religion titled "New Maps to Hell" ... it is also the pseudonym for the YearlyKos event happening in Chicago. (I know I am such a paradox going from a hard left band to bashing a liberal group) but seriously... Do we really need a bunch of bloggers sitting in a big room rehashing old shot gun jokes about Cheney and calling Bush stupid. Bush is stupid... and? what else?

See... that's where today's liberalism just stops. The ideas stop there... oh and then bring the troops home... leaving the poor bastards who have been in Korea for the past 50 years or the guys in Germany who have been there for 60 years keeping the piece. (Has Germany gone apeshit on France lately? I think not) But bring the troops out of Iraq where there is a huge cesspool of decay and corruption that will just destroy the world economy. I can go on for hours.

Fred Thompson for President. Peace!