Sunday, March 27, 2011

A birthday party with the Chicago Bulls

The first teenager is in the family. So how did we celebrate Brady's 13th birthday? Road trip to Milwaukee. I'm no fan of the NBA but we all know who plays for the Bulls. He's the kid I saw play against Warren a few years ago. And now former Simeon High School star Derrick Rose is an NBA star.
Brady invited three of his friends for the ride to Milwaukee. I also invited the GPS for the ride North. OK, I screwed up by getting off on the wrong road but I don't want some strange woman telling me to pull U-Turns every five minutes.

We got there in plenty of time. I looked up the pizza place online and ordered the largest pizza on the menu. The boys and I finished if off. And then we were off for the two-minute walk to the Bradley Center. We had plenty of time to watch warmups. The game was interesting because the upstart Bucks led virtually all the way before the aformentioned Rose took the game over.
I paid no attention to the GPS on the way home and breezed back.

Happy Birthday, Brady. I remember the moment you were born.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

H-Man comes to Lake Zurich

H-Man, the dentist does get to the Chicago area for dental talk a few times a year. He arrived on St. Pat's Day and I must be getting old because I didn't want to drive on drunken driving night. So, I decided to pick him up in Chicago on rainy Sunday. I didn't mind the drive since it allowed me to crank tunes. The IPOD sounds great at times in my old car.

H was still trying to arrange a flight while I parked on the street awaiting him.

It rained some more on the way to Lake Zurich. No matter, we told jokes and had a blast. He was in the shrine for awhile. He saw a picture of himself in the shrine while he had a beard. He had no memory of it. Of course the photo was taken 27 years ago.

A reggae song came on in the shrine. It brought back memories when I lived in his DC house. I was playing reggae on my record player when H-Man came home. He seemed to getting into the music when he turned and uttered, "I'm listening for the scratches."

He then came upstairs for some good shrimp. That's where I stir up the shrimp and then drop it into special spices that light up your mouth.

I then took him to Ohare for his flight home.

Seems like a lot of driving but having a friend for life makes it no big deal. Oh, on the H-Man wife search subject, he has a few girlfriends out there. That may good enough. His life is pretty good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Did this disease really die?

I broke my collarbone when I was a toddler but have no memory of it. I had mono in sixth grade but it was mostly fun. As Grandma said if you have your health, you have everything. And I had my health.
That is until my days at the University of Maryland came to a close. I got sick to my stomach. I tried Pepto Bismol but it didn't work. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.
What did that mean? There was no internet to look it up. My friend Crazy Tommy wanted to know if I was going to die.
They gave me some pills and I got better. And then I got sick again. I was going to have this disease for the rest of my life.
I can recall vividly one colonoscopy at Georgetown University in DC. I was the subject of a big study because there were 30 students checking me out. I was in a dreamlike state but in no pain. And then one of the female student blared out, "Cover yourself up, that's disgusting."
I didn't know what to think and then went back to sleep. She repeated it. I barked out, "Don't look. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I have this disease."
And then the doctor threw her out of the room. Another nurse grabbed my hand and smiled at me.
It was a disease that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. One my coaches had his colon out because of it and told me that no one knows what you have have to go through.
And in better news, the damn disease has gone away. Credit to this medicine called Remicade. It blocks the infection. I have been disease-free for more than a year. And I know it's never coming back. When I get my injections, I sit with folks who still have this misery.
I wonder what my life would have been if I didn't have this disease for so long. Maybe it taught me a lesson or two about humility and the suffering of others. Or maybe it was that there really is some hell here on Earth.
I still haven't popped the champagne bottle yet celebrating victory. I wonder why.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just imagine: 50 years of marriage

Let's see now if I would be married to Eileen for 50 years, I would be....Oh, never mind.

This weekend was set aside for the 50th wedding anniversary of Betty and Marty Maloney. Naturally, these folks came along when I married their daughter. The Maloneys of Libertyville had 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls). I really took to Marty as he was a sports fan and later became my golfing partner for the Foursome Golf Tournament that I did for years. Betty is truly into her family life and such a decent person.
Betty gave me some insight recently in how Marty reacted when she was sick with those pregnancies. Let's put it this way, it probably wouldn't work today.
But with all the distractions and up and downs, making it to 50 years in a marriage is something incredible.
The festivities started in the church Eileen and I married in 14 years ago. They brought in a priest from the Dominican Order. He made his speech and I wanted to give him a standing ovation. If every religious character was like him, the world would be a great place. So instead of applauding, I gave him a hearty slap to his robe afterwards.
We then took off to the Marriott Lincolnshire for a big brunch. There were pictures taken and then we feasted.
Congrats to the fine Maloney couple.