Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to Haiku

So the Locals Say

Only 5.4
on the Richter scale? That's a 
hiccup, not a quake.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well Then

Someone I work with in my new job recently offered to introduce me to a fellow breast-cancer veteran.

I'm so accustomed to having seniority in this realm that I just assumed I'd be the one offering advice and counsel, that my experience would be the more intense and complex of the two.

I just don't meet that many people who've had breast cancer twice, or who've had it young—let alone both—and I usually find myself occupying the role of instant mentor in these encounters.

Things were different when I was in active treatment—then I'd meet plenty of women with more tortured histories than mine. But they were usually hooked up to an IV bag at the time, or marking time in a doctor's waiting room, not out and about and looking like a million bucks, which this woman was.

We exchanged small talk for a few minutes before moving onto medical histories. I gave the short version of mine, then waited to hear hers.

When she said "Stage IV," I felt my mind turn back on itself, as if I'd calculated how much change I should get back from a twenty-dollar bill and then heard the cashier announce an entirely different figure.

Wait, my brain said to itself.

Go back. This can't be right.

But it was.

This lovely, vivacious woman had Stage IV breast cancer.

And she was as matter-of-fact as could be about the whole thing.

Not to mention smart, funny, beautiful, energetic, enthusiastic, kind, and generous.

So now I have a new friend.

And a whole new picture of what Stage IV breast cancer looks like.

It's a life sentence, yes, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence.

And what a life it can be.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Where I've Been

The thing about a sewer backup is that it's not exactly the kind of thing you want to write about.

Or talk about.

Or think about.

Especially when it's a bad sewer backup.

One that requires environmental remediation.

To the tune of $3,000.

(We didn't have to pay for it, but still. Three thousand dollars.)

It was not the way I'd hoped to kick things off on this coast.

As a start, it was anything but fresh.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Eleven years ago, when we moved to the Bay Area, things didn't begin too well, either.

I was mugged less than two weeks after I arrived.

In broad daylight.

In my driveway.

By a woman wielding the biggest wrench I've ever seen in my life. (And her accomplice, a classy dude who threatened me before speeding the two of them—and my stuff—off in the getaway car he was driving.)

It took me a good long while to get over that experience.

New home + violation = trauma.

So here I am, traumatized all over again.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

One Month In

Zach and I touched down at LAX a month ago today. Within the first week, we'd found a place to live, signed the lease, and moved in.

Oh, and I started my new job and went on my first business trip.

We were running so fast I don't even think we hit the ground first.

After 10 very full days on this coast, Zach reversed course and returned to New York, first to film a couple of commercials and then to begin the arduous process of packing up our lives, which we had left pretty much in medias res.

So I've been here, camping out amid rented and borrowed furniture, finding my way around a new home and a new city and a new job, waiting for Zach and the cats and our stuff to arrive.

And he's been there, doing all the literal and metaphorical heavy lifting—sorting possessions and filling boxes and hauling junk and making repairs and selling furniture and finding tenants and serving moral support on tap.

This is it, folks: Équipe Knowèr.