Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dad's Brain Surgery 2010

Dad is scheduled for a "left frontal temporal awake craniotomy" at 7:40 a.m. tomorrow. I will update when he gets out.

Update: Surgery went well though it seems it was extremely unpleasant for dad.  He's in ICU for now being observed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dad Back in the Hospital 2010

Mom and I were concerned about Dad's progress after the Thursday seizure.  He wasn't regaining his speech and his right side was getting worse so we called his doctors and decided to admit him on Sunday.  We went straight to the hospital from Vermont.  They did a ct-scan that shows swelling.  I feel awful because I know he hates the hospital, but if he can get back to where he was on Wednesday, I know he'll be much happier.  Seriously, I know I said this already but visit your parents, hug them, and don't argue about unimportant things.

Update: Dad is getting an MRI today to determine whether he will need traditional brain surgery.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aubree and Patrick's Wedding 2010

Kevin and I went to Vermont, just for the day, to see Aubree and Patrick get married. What a great-looking couple. I've known Aubree since we started working together in DC in September 2002, though we started bonding in 2003. Their wedding was at Sugarbush Resort on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and evening. Aubree looked stunning, and Patrick looked like he might float away with happiness. Congratulations!

Phillips Wedding 2010
Aubree smiles at her mom after the ceremony

Phillips Wedding 2010
Notice the guy on the zip line at cocktail hour?

Phillips Wedding 2010
Too awesome.

Phillips Wedding 2010
Aubree's high school friends/bachelorette party buddies

Phillips Wedding 2010
First dance

Phillips Wedding 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

SERA 2010

Our friend Sarah started her own clothing line! What a fabulously big deal! Go check out her website and blog and buy something:

SERA 2010



Friday, August 27, 2010

Dad's Seizure 2010

Dad had a seizure on Thursday that set back his progress with his speech and the use of his right side.  It's possible that his antiseizure medication was set too low.  It's frustrating, because things like this we can't even check or double guess.  Kevin and I were at my parents yesterday and today, and dad seems better today than yesterday, so hopefully with the medication adjustment, it won't happen again.  Hug your parents!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chrissy's Mother Maureen 2010

Maureen Kaulfers
On Monday my friend Chrissy's mother passed away from adrenal cancer. I am incredibly sad for Chrissy and her family. I am sad for everyone who knew Maureen. As a teen I spent a lot of time over their house.  She fed me dinner on countless nights.  I used to travel and sit with Maureen and her husband and watch Chrissy perform in concerts.  She even co-hosted my Sweet Sixteen party.  She was a wonderful person, not just to me, but to everyone who knew her, and we will all miss her deeply.

Update: Her wake and funeral were beautiful and touching. Hundreds of friends and family came.You could feel how loved she and her family are.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jaime Visits 2010

My friend Jaime loves the beach so we planned for her to come up this summer so we could hit a local Long Island beach.  Briggs came with us to the beach, and later we BBQed with Jaime, Briggs, and Jon.  Dinner of course had to involve debate over the future of newspapers. Because that's fun.  Jaime and I managed to sneak away for a little while and have dessert at Friendly's.  A pretty nice visit.

Jones Beach 2010
Me and Jaime

Jones Beach 2010
Jones Beach

Jones Beach 2010
Kevin and Briggs

Jones Beach 2010
Summer fun!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dad's Embolization 2010

Dad is back in the hospital with metastasis in his leg and arm. Apparently they only scanned his torso and head before instead of a full-body scan. What? If any of your family members go through this, know that you are responsible for their care. You cannot just trust what the doctors and nurses are doing.

Update: One of the leg tumors was embolized providing pain relief and lessening the danger of rupture. Other tumors will be treated with the same kidney cancer drug (Sutent) as the other tumors that we already knew about.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sonoma 2010

Jeff and Inga's wedding was in Sonoma wine country so we got to look around a bit before the wedding. We saw some vineyards, went to lunch somewhere yummy, and enjoyed their preparty bar of choice.

Sonoma, CA 2010
In a vineyard

Sonoma, CA 2010
Vineyard art

Sonoma, CA 2010
More sculptures and pretty gardening

Sonoma, CA 2010
Brady trying to use this "knife"

Sonoma, CA 2010
Preparty bar

Sonoma 2010
Pre-celebrating: Briggs, Brady, Robin

Sonoma, CA 2010
Cory and Kevin

Sonoma, CA 2010
When in Sonoma...

Sonoma, CA 2010

Sonoma, CA 2010
Cory is having too much fun maybe?

Monday, August 16, 2010

San Francisco 2010

Our friends were getting married in Sonoma, so Kevin and I went a few days early to enjoy San Francisco. I had never been before and Kevin hadn't been since he was a kid.  We were in San Francisco from Wednesday to Friday.

We took the trolley from Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf.  The trolley was a long wait, crowded, and somewhat lacking in views or entertainment, so skip it.  Fisherman's Wharf was worth it just for the sour dough and clam chowder. Unbelievably good.  We walked around the Port of San Francisco and hit some bars with Briggs who was also there early because of the wedding.

San Francisco, CA 2010
The trolley is silly, skip it.

The San Francisco Giant's AT and T Park is awesome because it faces the water. So beautiful. And the garlic fries are delicious! I really wanted one of the Panda Bear hats because they're cute and reference one of the baseball players on the Giants, but also because San Francisco was cold and foggy and I figured I could just wear the hat around.  Kevin wasn't thrilled with that idea, but in any case, I couldn't find a good hat so he won by default.

San Francisco, CA 2010
The San Francisco Giant's AT and T Park

San Francisco, CA 2010
Andrea and Neil live in SF and came to the game with us

We did some emergency shopping for the wedding in Union Square (probably Kevin's favorite part of the trip).  Chinatown was lots of fun as well, and I did a little shopping there as well.  We went to the famous City Lights bookstore, where I saw my friend Ghita's book Displaced Persons on sale in the front of the store! We ate dim sum at a sketchy place.

San Francisco, CA 2010
Chinatown gate

San Francisco, CA 2010
I heart Chinatown!

San Francisco, CA 2010
My spirit animal.

San Francisco, CA 2010
A nice view of the city

We walked around the Lombard Street Area, and took pictures. And at my request, went to Pier 39 to see the sea lions. I never did adjust to California time so I crashed one night and the boys had a late boys night of pizza and beer.  We had some legitimate Mexican food in the Mission.  And then we had to dash out of town so that Briggs wouldn't miss the wedding rehearsal. Find out if he made it to the wedding in the next post!

San Francisco, CA 2010
The Sea Lions at Pier 39

San Francisco, CA 2010
Kevin, Brady, and Briggs hanging out in The Mission neighborhood

San Francisco, CA 2010
Kevin and I with the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, CA 2010
Brady too!

And then off to Sonoma...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things My Husband Complains About #2

Kevin documented our ride home from California. Reposted here from his Customer Service Circle of Hell blog:

They Call It Hotlanta Because It Is in Hell
The last two times I’ve flown, I’ve spent an unscheduled night in a city unrelated to my destination. My first impression of Atlanta was that a disproportionate number of people there wear shirts with unintelligible mottoes like “If you are giving one hundred percent, give ten percent more!” or “I look like I care but I don’t.” My theory is that these shirts are designed for the Rapture, so the Divine has clear instructions on whom to take, and who can stay.

Of course, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to conduct this sociological experiment had my Airtran flight not landed fifteen minutes after my connecting flight departed. A wise man once told me that it’s important to fly early, so you can take a later flight if your scheduled one is delayed. Unfortunately, on Airtran, the noon flight is the last of the day.

When the delay first snuck onto the screen, I scuttled to a checkout counter, where a woman informed me that the weather was not Airtran’s fault (indisputable) and, accordingly, Airtran had no responsibility to get me to my destination that day (disputable). Time: 11:00 a.m. Post-wedding hangover: violent to very violent. When I asked if there was anyone else I might speak to, she told me I could wait for her manager, a man whose plan was to first avoid me, then avoid eye contact, and ultimately intimate that I was lucky to be speaking to him at all. But I did not feel lucky.

Still, I might have made my connection had Airtran not spent so much time ushering people onto the plane who did not, in fact, have seats. Or, more accurately, people who had the same seat. The man next to me, for example, had the same seat as another man. They were both large men and had never met each other and, as progressive as San Francisco is, it seemed unlikely they would share a seat for five hours. Nevertheless, they were better off than my wife, who did not actually have a seat. Instead, she had a hole where a seat was supposed to be (see above). The first flight attendant greeted my wife’s request for a seat as though this was wholly unreasonable, but the second flight attendant helpfully ripped a cushion off someone else’s seat.

San Francisco, CA 2010
Airline seat without seat part

In Hotlanta, a kind but painfully slow man confirmed that the next flight left in the morning, but not before a little comedy routine with the other kind but slow people at the counter. This is how the routine went: my program won’t refresh, and we can’t make reservations—wait, just kidding, the program doesn’t have a refresh function! This routine was so funny, he called in his boss to get in on the joke, who agreed that suggesting the program could refresh was outrageous. Then there was some light banter about how cold the fan was. Then he told me he couldn’t offer a hotel on account of the weather—airtight Airtran logic—but he could give me a phone number, where I could talk to somebody who would give me a reduced rate.

Atlanta Airport 2010
Customer Damnation in Atlanta

I called the number, spoke to a human being, and hoped against reason this would work. This did not work. I walked to the busy area where shuttles arrive. The first driver with Comfort Suites painted on his van assured me that he was not going to Comfort Suites and, in retrospect, I should have taken this as a dark omen, as my wife did, who was convinced the driver had no idea where he was taking his van. I had a good feeling about the second van with Comfort Suites painted on it, even after the driver was assaulted by a man in one of those people movers that only GOB from Arrested Development uses. Alas, this driver was also not driving to Comfort Suites. At this point, I called the hotel and asked what, exactly, was painted on his driver’s van. He said, unsurprisingly, Comfort Suites. After asking each arriving driver where his van was going, I finally identified the correct van. This is what was painted on his van: Econo Lodge, Ramada Inn, Country Inn.

Comfort Suites is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s difficult to feel comfortable when you’re using every last bit of energy not to attack the man who doesn’t know what is painted on his own van, and it’s sort of a stretch to call a room a suite when it’s made entirely of bathroom tile. I don’t recommend staying there, or flying Airtran, or flying, but I do recommend Jeff and Inga, whose beautiful wedding made the trip well worth it.

Jeff and Inga's Wedding 2010

So the reason we went out to California in the first place was to see Jeff and Inga get married and to celebrate how awesome they are. Their wedding was held in a vineyard in Wine Country, and the weather was so beautiful that they had the whole thing outside without a tent. The lights strung from treetop to treetop were magical. Briggs performed the ceremony and did such an outstanding job that I cried and so did the bride.

Michalowski Wedding 2010
Inga and Jeff after tying the knot

Michalowski Wedding 2010
Their first (second?) married dance

Jeff and Kevin went to undergrad at UVA together and we had an awesome table at the wedding made up of all the fun UVA people.

Michalowski Wedding 2010
UVA people and spouses

They had the best beer and wine I've tasted in a long time, and a fabulous DJ that kept the songs short and interesting. That combination resulted in crazy sexy fun like this:

Michalowski Wedding 2010
4-person dance train

Well done, Inga and Jeff!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dad's Brain Radiosurgery 2010

Kevin and I are at my parents, helping out a little and having dinner. It has been almost three weeks since we found out about dad's cancer and a lot of stuff has changed since then. It might sound odd to those of you who don't know much about cancer, but what he has in his brain is kidney cancer. Tomorrow he gets brain radiosurgery, a non-invasive treatment for tumors (outpatient even, welcome to the future). It operates by directing highly focused beams of ionizing radiation with high precision. He qualifies for this because the tumor in his brain is relatively small. Everyone is very confident that the procedure will go well. Please keep dad in your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Baby Eleanor 2010!

Yes, there was something in the water nine months ago or so... (Perhaps our wedding inspired not only marriages but also babies?) Rachel and Tim have had their second baby, this time a girl. Congratulations, Tim, Rachel, and big brother Isaac!

Eleanor 2010
Baby Eleanor

Eleanor 2010
Eleanor, Rachel, and Tim

Dennis Family 2010
Whole family!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Baby Oliver 2010!

The Soward family, whom we just got back from visiting last weekend, just had a baby boy! His name is Oliver and check out how cute he is here. Congratulations, Casey, Victoria, and big sister Laurel!

Oliver 2010
Victoria and Oliver

Oliver 2010
Casey and Oliver

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Visiting Casey, Victoria, and Laurel 2010

We swung by Marblehead to visit our friends Casey and Victoria and their lovely energetic daughter Laurel. Victoria is expecting a baby boy by tomorrow at the latest, so stay tuned!

We went to Fort Sewall, at the western edge of the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. The view from Fort Sewall is beautiful, add to that the fresh sea air and it's heaven. Laurel seemed to enjoy it too as she spent the entire time running from one end of the park to the other. It wasn't just her, there were other young kids at the park and they all seemed equally enthusiastic. I don't really understand how just two people are supposed to keep up with a two-year-old. A marathon team seems more up to the task.

Then we had delicious lobster rolls from The Muffin Shop and had a picnic. Sounds like an unlikely place to get a lobster roll but it was pretty great. We had a fabulous time, thank you, Soward family!

Visiting the Soward Family 2010
The Soward family plus one more on the way!

Marblehead, MA 2010
Me and Kevin in Marblehead, MA

Visiting the Soward Family 2010
Laurel makes Kevin her slave

Visiting the Soward Family 2010
Laurel slamdunking her Carebear- swoosh!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Visiting Allison, Dan, and Coco 2010

We planned a trip to visit my friends Allison, Dan, and their puppy Coco a while ago before we knew about my dad's cancer. It turns out my parents don't want us visiting them every single weekend, and my dad's treatments haven't started yet, so we decided to keep our date in Boston.

We had a lovely low-key weekend. Allison made us fruit crepes for breakfast. Then we strolled through Boston Common-- Coco's first time there! We ate all our meals in Brookline. We had the best tacos ever at Dorado's for lunch, and a nice quiet dinner at American Craft, followed by my favorite- ice cream. Kevin and I also took a little drive around while our hosts were resting up. During the drive we went to the Allston neighborhood and to The Sevens, a bar on Beacon Hill where many of Kevin's friends behaved badly before I met him. I know, all my trips lately are all about friends and food and almost nothing else, but I promise that we did tons of walking around and enjoying the sunshine and wonderful cool weather.

Visiting Allison and Dan 2010
In Boston Common with Coco's family

Boston 2010
Me and Kevin in Boston Common, four years since we met!

Boston 2010
Boston Common
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