Friday, 30 November 2001 :)
A simply amazing day.... I am exhausted.
Shawn and Trever came to work with me in New York. After a brief meeting in the office we went to the Empire State Building... then to the former site of the World Trade Center towers.... They wanted to ride the subway so we did... when we emerged at the Fulton Street exit and climbed the stairs we were faced directly at what’s left of those magnificent buildings... “Ground Zero”..... a torn remnant that looks cathedral like amidst the rubble... still smoldering.... still..... I was momentarily stunned into silence... I knew what I would see, I just didn’t account for the effect that being right there would have... It is sad beyond words... The buildings in the area are black from the fire’s soot.... a small group are there to offer prayers for you, they refuse donations, they just want to pray... to bond.... life goes on.
I took the boys to the New York Stock Exchange and a roam around Wall Street, rubbed the Bull’s horn at Bowling Green... then meandered through Soho and the Village and lunched on sushi in China Town. I learned something about these guys - they like to shop! Every little store that we passed by had to be investigated, missing only a few. Then they decided that they wanted to do some interesting stores....
First stop was Bloomingdales, what fun, we ran into a dear friend, Sebastian Sosnowski, a handsome kid who looks like Freddy Prince Jr., and is currently performing in an off Broadway comic drama, ”Real Live Sex On Stage”, and I promised that Ian and I would try our best to come and see him.... next on the list was FAO Schwarz, a store you could live in, then onto Bergdorf’s... *whew*... a pit stop at Dean & Deluca and on to Saks and the Tree at Rockefeller Center... then off to Times Square, stopping at countless stores along the way... For all the physical trouble I might have to deal with tomorrow... today was worth all of it... these guys were fantastic, tomorrow they turn seventeen.... WOW.... Seventeen years old. When the hell did that happen? Who’s in charge? I want NAMES!
Just imagine... one day we may actually work together.... hmmmm.... that could be very cool.
Thursday, 29 November 2001 :)
I had planned to so see Aunt Rusty, but decided against it... still feel stuffy... got a very big day tomorrow with the twins in the city.... figured there was no sense in pushing the envelope... I wanted to see Linda before she heads back to Key West, but it just didn’t happen this trip.
Aunt Toni-Ann, Aunt Pam and Jenna stopped over for a visit today... that was great fun to visit with them, always is.
Please say a prayer for Linda.... she’s got a lot going on and could use the strength.
Wednesday, 28 November 2001 :)
Thank you for the prayers.... Colleen came home from the hospital today... and Aunt Rusty is feeling a little better.... they can both use some more.
Seems that Friday is a ‘Shadow Day’ at the boy’s school. They decide what field they are interested in and the school tries to arrange it so that they spend the day with someone in that field... ya ready?....They wanna work with me! Isn’t that the neatest thing? I am so touched that they chose to hang with me... both of them... So, right after I called the school to make sure that there really was a ‘Shadow Day’ - just checkin’... I made plans to take them to the office and the NYSE... I’ll plan other things too. I’m really excited about the whole thing. Who knows one day I might be able to work with these guys... now I gotta sell the idea to my Kristopher.
PISANO & SON’S.... it’s got a ring to it!
Tuesday, 27 November 2001 :\
Oh, please say a prayer for Colleen F., she’s in the hospital with emphysema and need’s all the prayers we can send her way.... Aunt Rusty does too... Mom and Aunt Pam went to visit her.
In preparation for my schlep to the city this morning I took six Imodium.... can’t afford a mishap. I had a meeting with John that was very productive. We discussed all the different options that are available to get my career up to speed.... continuing education meetings are critical and the suggestion to transfer to an office in the country where they’d be more convenient made good sense..... *sigh*..... I was a bit conflicted.... I love New York, my friends are here. The best thing about friends is that they are friends... distance doesn’t change stuff like that. And hey, after I’m one hundred percent and the guys are in Penn State.... or the ‘State Pen’.... (there’s a coin toss).... maybe Ian and I will move back.... We’ll see... To be absolutely sure my return trip was as uneventful I took two more Imodium... hrmn.... paying for that decision.... now I know how the Pakistani-Afghan border feels!
Monday, 26 November 2001 :\
I felt a hundred percent better today. I was able to do phone work and set up appointments. Tomorrow I plan on going into New York... ugh... it’s such a strain to go that far at this point, but I hope that it won’t be for long... I’m getting stronger and stronger.
Sunday, 25 November 2001 :/
I’m feeling better than yesterday... a blur to me.... but now Ian is going through it.... it’s tea and soup with a Nyquil chaser around here I’m afraid.
Saturday, 24 November 2001 :/
Friday, 23 November 2001 :)
Today was a blend of picture perfect and punky. I woke up sick as a dog.... cold symptoms... dizzy, achy, runny nose, just yukky. The boys that stayed over didn’t start to stir until midday and when they did there was pancakes ready... all five of them were thrilled.... later Ian’s Mom came over and visited for a while.
Ian’s cousin Kristen became engaged to Mike, what a sharp couple these two make... young, in love and a perfect match. He’s a romantic too, took her to Mohonk, down on one knee, the ring... but not before asking her father for her hand.... that’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
Meanwhile.... the boys are having their friends stay over to night too... they met some girls and now there’s a mini party happening... kinda neat.
Thursday, 22 November 2001 :)
I want to thank You..... for all the love and the prayers that you so generously share, your letters, your emails, your friendship... I love each one of you. Happy Thanksgiving Day!
The dinner preparations were all done yesterday.... I did the cooking, (with my Mom’s guidance). Funny thing was that I had placed both the turkeys in the oven and set them to start cooking at 7:00 AM, at 350... so far so good... problem was that they’re supposed to be basted every twenty minutes or so... who knew... The first basting I did was a result of the smoke alarms going off at 10:30... woke me right up - I called Mom who mentioned about adding water and basting... hrmn.... but, both the birds turned out perfectly... How? I have no idea.
Mari and Robbie came over before heading to Robbie’s Mom’s.... Kris and Melanie were at her family’s place in Maine, we’ll see them afterward... aaaahh, what a great day..... as a kid I wasn’t crazy about Thanksgiving... a lot of housework and more housework all set around a dinner... just a dinner... then comes more cleanup.... forget it - I was a die-hard Christmas fan, (as if you had to pick between the two). Now... finally I understand... it has absolutely nothing to do with the dinner... the food is just a smoke screen, (literally in my case)... it’s really about being surrounded by the faces that you love and that love you back. An excuse to pull together - see who’s still here - and hug each other... huh... and all this time I thought this was a gift-less holiday!
Kissy was having the best time with Nuah.... he’s so adorable.... Aunt Toni-Ann and Mom shared stories... Corey was with us... the boys had fun, (later they had three pals come and stay over and they laughed and blasted songs and just had fun).... and Ian, my Ian, was happy....
I’ve heard it said that ‘You cook all day and it’s over in twenty minutes... but that’s not true.... it’s not about the food - it’s about the memories which will last a lifetime... uh.... unless you have Alzheimer’s, in which case twenty minutes is... well.... about right.
Wednesday, 21 November 2001 :)
A friend, Bob drove all the way up from New Jersey to pay a visit and took me out to lunch.... It was nice to catch up.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.... there is so much to be thankful for.... Ian and I are having Mom and Aunt Toni-Ann, Kissy, Ali and Nuah come and share... I ran into Corey at the grocers and invited him over too... he seemed more enthusiastic before he learned I was cooking.... hrmn... The boys were put into service polishing the silver and playing sous chef, (cleaning up after me basically)... Trever informed me that if I were a cook at his restaurant that he’d have to fire me.... *sheese*.... but he can’t ‘cause I don’t work for him... hmmm... that’s a good one to add to my list of ‘Things I’m Grateful For’.
Tuesday, 20 November 2001 :)
Ian and I woke real early and got ready for the trip to Vassar hospital. What a yucky place, dirty and worn in appearance. The nurses were new to me and the unfamiliarity combined with the dingy decor was conspiring to make me get up and leave.... might sound silly, but when my instincts tell me one thing and my rational mind tell me another... well, let’s just say that ‘conflicted’ was my word-du-jour. Ian was cool, he calmed me right down. The operation went off without a hitch and the pictures of my esophagus are beautiful.... thank God.... Paul want’s me have the procedure redone in six weeks.... He’s the doctor that discovered the cancer.
I was on the radio today, I spoke on the Tom Martino Show, WABC in New York. We talked about how Delta Airlines refused to allow me to trade the eight hundred dollars worth of tickets to help Doug, a U.S. Marine, get home to see his Mom for the holidays... (almost triple what Doug’s ticket would cost) Tom was outraged as well and publicly offered to lend his support to the cause. I wonder what the hell the big deal is anyway. I think that as consumers we should be able to give the them to anybody we want - we bought the damn things. OK... we shouldn’t be allowed to scalp the tickets, but to gift them should be fine.... just like movie tickets! What possible care could they have who is sitting in the seat - so long as the seat is PAID for.... morons!
Monday, 19 November 2001 :)
Tomorrow I’m scheduled to have another Esophageal Dilatation, but Paul changed the hospital’s from St. Francis to Vassar.... Oh well, just rollin’ with the punches.
Dropped Critter, (Ian’s VW bug) off to the shop for a once over.
Sunday, 18 November 2001 :)
Ian and I have been together for seven years and seven months today.... pretty neat.
Today was also Aunt Toni-Ann’s Birthday. Kristen had a get together to celebrate. Aunt Toni-Ann, Kristen, Nuah, Jenna, Aunt Pam and I met at Aunt Toni’s and had fun time laughing and sharing stories. Serita and Gill came by too, and later so did Ali. One neat thing... I tripped across a silver baby spoon that turned out to be Kristin’s... now she can feed her Nuah with the same spoon that her Mom and Dad fed her with.... hmmm.... Life really is too short.... unless, of course, they’re teenagers.
Saturday, 17 November 2001 :)
Mom wasn’t feeling well so I went over to see her, get her medicine and stuff. She has a cold all right... poor thing.
There is a big meteor shower happening tonight... Eyoko called and invited us to join her and some friends. She was planning on driving here from New York, seeing the shower, and driving back... and that we could expect them anytime after four in the morning.... yikes.... sure enough.... at four they were all here and we bundled up and schlepped to the mountains to witness the spectacle... surprisingly, so did a hundred others, so we went to a farmers field.... it was beautiful. and no matter which direction you looked in there was a falling star to wish on.... that was cool. When it was over, around five thirty, they headed back to the city.
Friday, 16 November 2001 :)
Went into New York today..... God must love schmucks - ‘cause he sure made enough of them!
Mom’s train got in early and boy was she glad to be home! Aunt Pam gets in tomorrow and my cousin Lynda is coming up from Key West too.
Thursday, 15 November 2001 :)
Our Hero met his attorney this morning.... the fellow that I had known and respected.... an upstanding fellow who was able to adequately convey the gravity of the situation to him. The fact the Trever is paying for it himself, (thankx to a loan from Mari and Robbie that he must pay back) helped to keep him upright and interested. The attorney didn’t trivialize the affair, as the other one had... he didn’t paint Trever with the victim’s brush, (so self-destructive), instead he offered hope, told Trever a story of a friend he had grown up with who had been in a very similar position... who now is a successful optometrist with a thriving business, living in a great big home on Long Island and raising a beautiful family... very cool... he put Our Hero squarely in the drivers seat... “You see Trever, There’s a life after all this is over. Just what kind of life will depend totally upon you and the choices you decide to make.”.... YES... I really think he’s gonna be all right.
Later on, Steve, Ian and I had planed to go out and see a friend do his act at the club, I had to bail.... I’ve gotta be in New York in the morning and need to be well rested. So it was agreed that Ian and Steve would go without me.... I asked Steve to ‘keep him out of trouble’... Then Ian appeared wearing skin tight black plastic pants, a gray tee that looked spray painted, topped with a perforated black suede Armani shirt, boots and spiked hair.... ok.... Steve and I just looked at each other... yeah.... I told him not to bother... that outfit should take care of it.... hehe....(He really looked adorable.... uncomfortable - maybe.... but adorable) Before they left Ian was complaining that something was stuck in his eye.... (my guess was his spleen).
Wednesday, 14 November 2001 :/
I went to visit my older brother Phil. We had a chance to have expresso and chat. He showed me some of the projects he’s up to but the most exciting thing was a painting of Jessica, his daughter, that was amazing. I wanna meet the artist... Lynn.
Mari and I took Our Hero to see Katz.....not the play... the Judge.... Trever’s case was adjourned until December. We have an appointment to see a better lawyer tomorrow morning.
Trever was a bit perturbed when I informed him that he was grounded until the hearing.... and that he would be repaying the attorney’s fee... he was shocked. He looked me scornfully, and slowly turning his head from side to side said, “I’m surprised you can sleep.”.... Huh?.... No, I didn’t laugh out loud, but I realised that what he may lack in cerebral mass he more than makes up for in testicular girth... “Then we’re even ‘cause I’m surprised you can walk!”... hrmn...
Tuesday, 13 November 2001 :/
I took Mom to catch the train to Maryland to visit with Fran.... She looked so pretty, all dressed up and ready. I stayed with her until the train came and she was aboard... I knew she was homesick... I hate that feeling... having to ‘be brave’ about something that you know shouldn’t require that kind of effort... but feeling it anyway.
I took Trever to meet with an attorney... I didn’t care for the guy... kept giving Trever the message that he was a victim, that things were happening TO him.... that the police lied and were not to be trusted... but that he shouldn’t worry - for the sum of $3,500 the situation will be “handled”. This wasn’t exactly a ‘wake-up call’.... not the message I wanted my son to get.... I asked him if he had children - he did - I asked him if he would give them the same lesson he was giving mine... “Well, no,” he admitted, “but....“ ENNNNNTTTT.... GAME OVER... Thank you for playing... we left! It just felt to me like he was planting seeds of discontent and entitlement in Trever in the hopes that they might grow into more business down the road... I felt like a shower...
I had a long talk with Trever about the smarmy lawyer and about my expectations... he really want’s to do the right thing, he just gets stymied sometimes, then frustrated... growing up is hard.
Monday, 12 November 2001 :/
A Strange little day..... First thing this morning as I was getting ready to leave for the hospital, they called. There had been a mistake in the scheduling and we had to change the date for the Dilatation until the 20th.... no problem. Then another ‘American Airlines’ jet crashes in New York.... This is so unacceptable. It’s my understanding that no terrorists were responsible... just shoddy maintenance.... like that’s better?... Either no one’s looking at who’s getting ON the plane... OR no one’s looking AT the plane... have your pick. Looks like a pattern of fuck-ups with that company. My Aunt Pam was planning on flying back from Florida but decided, (wisely), to take the train... My Mom is heading off to Washington on Amtrak tomorrow... I’ll take her to catch it.
Ian and I went to Newburgh to meet up with Mom and Aunt Toni-Ann, Kissy and little Nuah. That was fun we all had lunch together. Later Ian and I watched Ab-Fab.... sorta like the old days.
Sunday, 11 November 2001 :)
My Mother is heading off to her friend Fran’s house near Washington DC on Wednesday... I gotta go see her tomorrow after the surgery... I’m having the Esophageal Dilatation in the morning... then I’ll be able to swallow much better.
Trever and Shawn made the long sleepy ride home on the train... I went to meet them at the Poughkeepsie station.... but they weren’t on time... seemed that their train had broken down en route and they switched to an Amtrak.... they showed up at their Grandmother’s home, who lives nearby... I was there waiting for them.
Once home life returned to it’s normal ‘Drive-you-nuts-with-the-arguing’... when they tip off to college Ian and I are joining the Parents Protection Program.... we’re gonna change our names and move.
Saturday, 10 November 2001 :)
I took Trever and Shawn to the train this morning. They rode by themselves it to Yonkers and Kris picked them up to bring them to Stamford. They’ll be back Sunday. It seemed odd to let them go on their own, but it was important for me and them that they did.
Ian and I had been invited to Michael and David’s for dinner... it was great fun. We met Doug and Vinnie, both friendly and they make a handsome couple. The house sits high upon the bluff with the view of the Hudson as the backdrop. Michael is a talented decorator and the house is beautiful, gracious and comfortable. The evening went by far too fast... what fun.
We were going to go out but couldn’t seem to make up our minds as to where... why do we get these mental blocks on the odd occasion that we are kid-less?..... WHY?.... Fuck-it.... we ended up with the dreaded ‘Blockbuster Night’.... we saw ’Freddy Got Fingered - HYSTERICAL!
Friday, 9 November 2001 :)
The surgery day for the Endoscopy and Esophageal Dilatation is set for Monday... yea... it’s been so long that since I had the last one.... I set a real record here. Everything is set.
There so much that has to be dealt with for Trever’s situation. He’s got such a good heart... it his head that needs to be reached. Please say a prayer for the guy... he really does mean well... he just doesn’t get it sometimes. Kristopher called and want’s to take the boys for the weekend... isn’t that sweet.... he’s talk with his brothers... they’re so lucky to have a brother like him.
I had a great long talk with my friend Rick Wernon... we’ll talk more next week.
Aunt Pam is having fun in Florida... she told me that she loves looking out at the water from her lanai in Cape Coral... very cool.
Thursday, 8 November 2001 :/
Robbie came over after work... that was nice to have him stop by for coffee and stuff. Ha and I talked to the boys, both grounded... Our Hero for.... ya know... and his trusty, dusty side kick for not telling me.
I wasn’t designed for parenthood... I don’t excel at it.... it’s not my shtick, I know that now. Oh well, onward onward... just won’t make anymore of those... and the doctors I talked with have assured me that Ian and I can’t have any.
Wednesday, 7 November 2001 :(
Today stared out OK... taking the boys to school.... keeping up with the needs of my clients.... taking care of the daily living stuff... then I got the call....
Trever had been arrested on a suspicion of selling pot. He was being held in the count jail, and in his best ‘This-is-your-son-Trever’ voice asked me to please come and ‘bail him out’.... huh.... (nobody’s ever asked me to ‘bail them out of jail’ before)... I get the feeling that this kid’s just not going to be satisfied until we’re regulars on ’Springer’. Ian and I wrestled with it and decided it to leave him there, at least over night. But after talking with Kris I called the jail and spoke with the officer there. I told him that I wanted Trever to learn something from the experience.... he assured me he would. I just wanted to know that he would be safe there... “I can’t guarantee that... this is jail... fights do happen. If this is his first time with us he’s probably got the message. If he were mine I’d pick him up and break his ass at home.” .... wow.... that’s when I decided to go get him. Trever later told me that he was handcuffed when he was arrested (still sounds bizarre) strip searched and made to wear an orange jump suit.... Ugh.... I expected him to be mortified, relieved, humbled.... he wasn’t... he was just Trever, only pissed. I hope to hell I made the right decision, but I’m not so sure..... Ah, the joys of parenthood... For Christmas I’m thinking of getting Our Hero neutered... it did wonders for the cat.... Jerry... Jerry... Jerry... J
Tuesday, 6 November 2001 :)
The boys decided that since there was no school today they would sleep over at their Mom’s.... great idea except there WAS school today... ugh.
Please say a prayer for little Treasure, Aunt Rusty’s dog... he’s having some health problems and he means the world to Aunt Rusty... ‘course since you’re praying anyway you might as well say one for Aunt Rusty too.... she’s going in for more tests tomorrow to help find out why she’s always in such pain.
A very busy day. I went to see Dr. Jeff Stewart, the oncologist in Middletown that also checks on me. He was delighted with the results that he got too. We talked and he told me that he was opening another office and asked me for my opinion as to the layout and the design.... you know I shared my thoughts. On the way back home I stopped off and saw Mom.
Later on Mariann and Robbie came over and had dinner with us... it was a great time and they brought some videos that they shot in Alaska.... that was neat.
Monday, 5 November 2001 :)
Steve came over for a visit and while he was here Corey came over too. That was cool... to have two friends pop over. We talked and then went on a caffeine jihad to ‘Bigbucks’ for some coffee. Corey is in the beginning of a new relationship.... at the magic hour when it’s just lovemaking and laughter. Seems his paramour had kept him busy..... “four times in the last eight hours”... *sigh*.... we just kept him hydrated.
Later on Ian and I decided to go out for sushi ..... leave it to the Japanese to invent restaurants where you don’t have to cook.
Mari took the boys to stay over at her house..... *Sweet*
Sunday, 4 November 2001 :)
What a wonderful day. The weather was flawless.... cool and clear.
Aunt Pam and Uncle Bill were going to head to their Florida condo.... decided to wait until tomorrow ‘cause of the hurricane... good idea.
Ian and I were invited to Robert’s house for dinner... what a dinner party that was. Twelve interesting and super friendly people sharing thoughts and laughs at Robert’s weekend home that sits on side of a lake.... stunning.... Piano music, a roaring fire and a lavender sky... which I have never seen before... actually lavender... unreal. Robert and his buddy Steve sure know how to throw a dinner party... the hors d’oeuvres were delicious, the tomato-nutmeg soup was heaven, the salad was accented with walnuts that were caramelized and mixed with cyan pepper, Veal cutlets baked in a sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella was the main course, a side of angel hair and something that turned out to be spinach mixed with ricotta cheese that had been poached and baked was served with it (superb). For dessert there were two decedent cakes each more amazing than the other and all homemade.... what a blast!
Robert has offered to teach me how to cook..... I’m going to let him..... YES!
Saturday, 3 November 2001 :(
Shit hit the fan today.... I had seen Trever get into a strange car last night, (not allowed) and later learned that the driver had been smoking pot. I tried to explain the danger that a decision like that represented and was rebuffed.... ok... I grounded him, (as was the punishment for riding with a non approved person) and was told that he was going to a party tonight anyway and that there was nothing I could say to change that.... really.... That’s when I invited him to leave. If I can’t change his mind and I can’t change his attitude then changing his address is about the only option left...... enough is enough already.
I left Trever to pack, insisting that he take everything that was his and that he wanted, and made plans for Ian and I to go to dinner. It was about forty minutes later that Trever made a new decision and agreed that he would be the son and allow me to be the Father..... guess that makes me the lucky one.
Ian went to the Sunoco station to buy cigarettes... AND GOT PROOFED.... he’s delighted.... hrmn.... oh well, so much for quitting.
Friday, 2 November 2001 :)
New York was sunny and clear... just beautiful. On the ride back and forth I read, ‘The Satanic Verses’.... boy what a great book!
So, I understand that the Taliban announced they’re willing to hand over Osama - as long as we show them proof and stop the bombing.... I’m glad to see that they still have a sense of humor.
The right reverend Al Sharpton wants to go over and talk with the eight Christians still in Afghanistan - he just wants a guarantee that he’ll be safe.... Oh all right.... I’ll guarantee your safety Al... heh.... No problem... You work for God right? OK!.... then what’s the hold up?.... go on now - shoo... Let’s not keep the Taliban waiting... that’s it... Bye-bye.
Thursday, 1 November 2001 :)
I spoke with Aunt Rusty early this morning. She was feeling really punky... had a hellish night and didn’t have the medicine that she needed with her. I brought some to her.... Stephanie ended up coming to pick her up and take her home. Please keep her in your prayers.
What a beautiful day... colourful, cool and cold at night. Tomorrow I head into New York... the fact that there’s more mail testing positive is unsettling. I understand that radiation kills the anthrax spores.... OK... so why not bring the mail to the hospitals in the evening and use their radiation rooms all night long to purify the stuff.... it could be fun to get an electric bill that actually glows.