Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Taking a Breather

Gumpa's been slaving away again today in the yard, and it's looking pretty spiffy. I've put one coat of varnish on the dining room chairs (will do the rest next week), and the inside of the house is looking somewhat more respectable. Dad even took a load of stuff to Salvation Army, so things are moving in the right direction, at least.

David went to Mercy Hospital for his MRIs this afternoon, and he'll get a phone call from the doctor about the results in the morning before he goes to chemotherapy.

Tried on the wedding dress again (whew, it still fits), and saw my veil for the first time (it was made in Vancouver after I got here).

A part of me still finds it hard to believe we're getting married in just a few days. I wrote my vows the other night, and we went over the program order with the minister this evening.

I have some cleaning yet to do, then it's up early to go to New York to pick up Lucy from JFK. Melissa and GMP arrive by car sometime in the evening, so we'll have a full house tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Everybody's Tired

Gumpa and Hugh crash on the floor for an afternoon snooze.

Hugh's taken a real shine to Dad. When Dad's sitting on the couch, he tries to climb on his lap. When Dad's in the dining room, Hugh's there, too. Awww...

David's 10th and last radiation treatment to his spine was this morning, and Dr. B says he'll monitor David weekly hereafter. The schedule for this week is for two MRIs tomorrow -- brain and pelvis -- at Mercy Hospital and chemotherapy at the clinic on Thursday.

Hopefully David's nausea and fatigue will subside tomorrow now that this round of radiation to his lower back is finished.

Dad is sore from a full day of landscaping, and I'm a little stiff from varnishing furniture.

What a sad lot we are in the House of Fielding. Time for some rest!


When Melissa and Michael were toddlers, they couldn't say "Grandpa", they could only manage "Gumpa", and the name stuck.

My father is closing in on 70 -- but before you say anything like "No way, José!", let me tell you first that he is not above a little vanity-induced hair colouring... shhhhhh....

"C'mon, Dad, it's not like we don't notice!"

It's times like this I'm glad they don't air those 'Grecian Formula' commercials anymore, because he'd buy into it (again) and not only would his hair be an unnatural shade of brown, it would be greasy, too.

But Gumpa's been helping me here in Pennyslvania since the minute he arrived, and for that I am eternally grateful. I've dragged the poor man all over Wyoming Valley. He:
  • assisted in changing the car headlight bulbs in the parking lot of Pep Boys, trying to stay dry in a light drizzle
  • spent far too long at the hardware store trying to find the right switch and outlet plates for the house
  • patiently pushed the shopping cart around the garden centre while I inspected tropical plants
  • was marched off to browse footwear while I made a last-ditch effort to find lingerie that fit under my wedding dress (oh how I hate shopping for lingerie, it was my final kick at the can after trips to all the other department stores in the area, so far be it from me to subject my father to the torture that is 'intimate apparel')
  • rummaged through racks of little girls' clothing to help me find a sweater for Melissa
  • and the list goes on...
Tonight Gumpa finally met Mona, David's mom, and the four of us shot the breeze at a local restaurant which was later descended upon by a coachful of Canadians. Ever the friendly Pharmacare card-carrying Canadian, my dad turned around and introduced himself to those within earshot, proudly informing them that he hailed from BC. I don't know when it started, but sometime in his advancing years, my father took it upon himself to be The Canadian Ambassador to the World. If you think I'm exaggerating, ask him a question about his Canadian Experience and you'll swear the anthem is ringing in your ears while he's speaking, he is just that patriotic.

What visit to Mom's would be complete without discussion of online Scrabble? Gumpa marvelled at how tech-savvy she was (everything is relative, people), and took a run at her WebTV (MSN/TV) keyboard. He was very excited about the fact that, unlike a computer, it's impossible to "break" WebTV, and to that end I'll have another look at whether WebTV is available in Canada....

OK, I just checked, and it's not. He's going to be disappointed. Well, maybe I'll have to introduce him to a Mac, which is far less "breakable" and possibly easier to learn than a PC. (See end of this post.) Then again, I haven't been able to convince him to use an ATM. First things first.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

AviatorDave and His Cronies

I am happy to announce that after nearly three months of being grounded, AviatorDave took to the air once again!

Dave's Logbook: Like Riding a Bike Unless You Fall Off

Hopefully this trend will continue, and David will feel well enough to fly without the need for a co-pilot. The state of his health changes from hour to hour sometimes; having a co-pilot is more for peace of mind in the air.

Something Smells Fishy On the Internet

Two of my favourite writers recently lamented -- as older-generation internet users tend to do -- on the decrepit state of literacy on the world wide web.

If you've never read any of Socar's journal, mouse-click over there right now, before you read anything else. If her post titled "The Other Side of the Internet" doesn't win you over (although I wouldn't recommend reading it at work), I'll start lamenting about my own readership. The thought did occur to me to ask her to write my vows, but that would not only be in alarmingly poor taste (gauche, even), but just a bad idea all 'round. I'm a little stuck on the vow-writing, while David is starting to wonder if I really know why I'm marrying him.

I would certainly be remiss and a poor nearly-spouse if I didn't send you over to AviatorDave's Logbook, where he wrote "Critiquing the critics" the other day. A post that anyone with any internet-surfing experience might appreciate.

It's not merely word snobbery (more on that in a moment) that prompts such posts, even though we all play Scrabble online. Though I should mention that you don't necessarily require an extensive vocabulary to do well Scrabble, since professional players depend on memorisation rather than full word/definition comprehension.

At the risk of subjecting you to more of's horrendous consumer reviews (though I doubt there'd be any at this particular item), the book Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis inspired a 2002 documentary called Word Wars. We watched it via Netflix last week, and I can assure you that high-ranking Scrabble players -- or, at least those who try to do this for a living -- are no strangers to, um, strangeness.

For example, one of the top seeded players is GI Joel Sherman, a New Yorker thin of hair and body who slugs Maalox throughout every Scrabble game and in Word Wars states with alacrity that he has no other marketable skills. The 'GI' stands for 'gastro-intestinal'. (I recommend both the book and film, by the way.) It should come as no surprise that people obsessed with a board game get pinned with labels of 'idiosyncratic' or even 'nutty', but GI Joel is especially endearing (at least to me) because he plays the piano and sings The Beatles' "Across the Universe" with a forlorn charm.

See, what I'm talking about when I say it's not merely word snobbery is my contention that every time a reader encounters Netspeak or internet lingo, misspelled words, terrible grammar, butchered semantics, et cetera, the brain has to de-code it... which is... MORE WORK! Yes, more work than if it were spelled correctly/the right word/flowed better. I've read more than enough arguments about the so-called decline of language and not enough scientific explanation why it bothers people in the first place. Maybe it's because I'm more of a visual person that I depend on matching the word housed in my brain with the word on the screen or in print. When it doesn't match, my mind catches on it like a snagged sweater. A whole paragraph of Netspeak means a sweater full of snags that my mind spent far too long trying to unsnarl, and would prefer to throw away.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Words to Live By

words to live by
As seen on the front of a church in New York City.

I slept in today. I really needed it. Saturdays are good days for us, as I've mentioned before, because it's a break from radiation. David's suffering from chronic fatigue because of his therapies, while I'm feeling fatigued from domestic activity and wedding preparations. Houseguests are arriving in the next week or so, and it feels like I've been cleaning this house since I arrived on August 6. Seriously, looking after two levels of house plus an attic and basement and yard on all sides, an ill person and an incontinent cat is more than one healthy person can handle. When I see the older people at the radiation clinic every day, I wonder how they do it. But I suppose after all, when you've passed your 60's and are finished raising kids and seen your share of trials and tribulations, you know what it's like to carry on, despite everything. For younger people who lack this type of life experience, we're (relatively speaking) more easily fazed by crises to our well-being.

Boy, is my dad in for some work when he gets here. I've even made a list, and tried to save the work he might find 'fun' for when he gets here, i.e, yard work. If I had a choice between yard work and housework, I'd choose yardwork EVERY TIME. Compared to David, I'm a clean freak, but the truth is I like the results, not the actual process of cleaning.

Returning to the quotation, it's a small reminder for me to shut up now, get showered and take David to Cherry Ridge Airport, where the Tri-Pacer is stored. I suggested to him that we head to the airport and hang out at the restaurant, see if any of his flying buddies are there, and see if David feels up for a spin. He hasn't flown for nearly three months, which is a record since he first learned to fly many moons ago. I'm hoping the airport atmosphere alone (if he doesn't fly) will be a nice break from all this fatigue.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friendly Donkeys

Courtesy of Cat Faery's photostream:
"These donkeys live on the outskirts of our town. When we go to visit them, they come running as soon as we get out of the car. They're so friendly!"
Shari lives in Southern California and doesn't think her photos are 'that great', but I beg to differ! Go check out her photostream and you'll see what I mean.

Jewish marriage contract (Ketubah)

Jewish marriage contract (Ketubah)

[photo by gail on the web]
Water colour and ink on vellum
Jerusalem or Istanbul, dated 1793-94 (Hebrew calendar 5554)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

A Jewish marriage requires a written contract stating the obligations of the husband toward his wife. It also gives the amount of money due to the wife in the event of a divorce.

This contract states the conditions in the left-hand panel. Both sides were signed by the same three witnesses, using unusual cryptic designs as signatures which could not be imitated easily. One takes the form of a quadruped.

I took this photo back in early July when I was in Toronto. At the time I was thinking of doing some research on Jewish wedding traditions to see if we could incorporate some elements into our wedding. There was a small exhibit in the Royal Ontario Museum dedicated to Jewish culture, but the lighting made photography more than a little challenging, so I took only a few photos.

This afternoon our officiating minister and his wife came by to discuss the ceremony and do some planning. David and I had been tossing ideas back and forth last night about our vows that would tie in our original theme (Art Nouveau), and we wanted to run them by Bob and Sue. Maybe I shouldn't get too detailed at this point -- we want to keep it a surprise and some attendees will be reading this -- but suffice to say the spirit of conventional wedding vows remains intact, but the form they take will differ. Vague, I know, but I'll publish the vows after the wedding and all will be revealed. I've never seen anyone do it this way, but as soon as the idea materialised in my head I knew I wanted to do it.

This afternoon's meeting was very productive: we formulated a basic order of proceedings, timing, etc. There will only be 16 people attending in total, so the atmosphere will be much more intimate than with the original numbers of guests.

Today I spoke to my dad and he said their flight yesterday went smoothly, so all's well on the home front in Maine. Dad and Melissa flew from Vancouver shortly after 8am, stopped for a few hours in Minneapolis, and arrived in Boston, where they were greeted by GMP (Jean), the one-lady welcoming committee. A little birdie told me Dad drove part of the way home because he wanted to test drive the PT Cruiser. Shameless!

I'll see my dad on Sunday night, when he arrives in Scranton nearly 12 hours after leaving Maine. It sounds rather cruel to subject him to such a long bus ride after a long flight from Vancouver to Boston, but my objective was to send him point-to-point. Best to keep things simple, especially when everything else... isn't.

Sunshine for the Hospital

Some flowers for Mona (David's mom) at CMC. She was admitted on Tuesday for stroke-like symptoms, but they had to run tests on her to know for sure. The diagnosis turned out to be TIA (transient ischemic attack), or commonly referred to as a mini-stroke.

She was released today (Thursday), and is back home with her cat Penny and playing online Scrabble again... as addicted as ever! Go Mom!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

No, really?

We saw this on the side of a truck at the gas station yesterday and I had David take the picture as I drove by.

Click on the pic to enlarge -- there are also lots of comments.

What we didn't know until afterwards was that it's part of a jokey ad campaign that Budget is showing on the sides of their moving trucks.

This is Moving Tip #24, which begs the question -- what other advice is Budget giving?? One of my Flickr contacts, thelastminute, gave me some links:

Moving Tip #48
Moving Tip #12
Moving Tip #28

On their website, Budget also has a little driving game that you can play -- with more tips, of course.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Which end is which? Rudy the Therapy Dog

AviatorDave & Rudy the Therapy Dog
Therapy can come in all forms, sometimes with four paws. It's Wednesday, and I remembered to take along my cameras to the radiation clinic so I could try to capture the essence of Rudy the Therapy Dog. He passed his therapy doggie exams a few weeks ago, so I've been told. I have no idea what this entails, but it sounds like an entitlement for him to be spoiled rotten in an institutional setting, I'm guessing, without running the risk of biting the cancer patients.

It's hard to resist his little Ewok-ian face, although without that handkerchief it's not very easy to tell which end is which. His fountain-like tail reminds me of a short-haired version of Cousin Itt from The Addams Family. This morning I followed Rudy down the hallways with my digicam, trying to get a clear shot of him in action. Ever try to take a photo of a pet with dark fur? A blob is what you get most of the time. Dr. B (our radiologist) gave me the best tip:

"Send Rudy running down the hallway, then while he's at full speed call his name. When he tries to stop, he looks like a mop!"

I'm skittish around animals I'm not familiar with, but David takes to all animals very easily, and they love him. He makes them feel calm. He has that same effect on people, too.

David himself has been very calm these days, in contrast to my puddle of anxiety. I may not look anxious, but inside I'm a maelstrom. Category 5. Our friends have been very supportive and helping us deal with our situation, but there are all sorts of limitations -- proximity, mostly -- that can't easily be overcome. My dear chums have taken great pains in the past couple of days to help me find my sense of humour, which I'd lost for far too long... to that point where I didn't think I could find it again. It took much phoning and bandwidth -- Skyping and photo uploading -- to warm up Ye Olde Funnybone, that other form of therapy I sometimes find rather elusive. I'll get it all back, I know -- it's just... very rusty at the moment. I'm generally a sanguine melancholic in times of crisis, but lately my inner melancholic has become my epidermis.

Meanwhile, a ray of light made its way in: David reported getting out of bed this morning involved less pain. This means the higher intensity of radiation he's been receiving is finally working (he's halfway through his 10 sessions of spine treatment), combined with the new chemotherapies he took in yesterday. Prior to yesterday, there seemed to be no end to the increasing pain to David's back and bones due to metastasis; with each passing day he seemed to be getting worse. Both the radiologist and oncologist expressed their concern and informed us yesterday of new strategies to deal with the spreading which involve new drugs and frequent monitoring, but we accept there's a certain amount of experimentation involved and responses to treatment vary by individual. Needless to say, we'll do whatever it takes to gain improvement -- any at all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I've come to dread Tuesdays. Why? Because we've been given bad news three Tuesdays out of the past six. I don't want any more bad news, but I can't prevent it any more than I can stop Tuesday from happening.

Tonight I've been going over my photo library, uploading random shots from the past few months into Flickr. It's a welcome distraction from today's news, coupled with yesterday's scare. I do what I can, which is frustratingly little in the face of things.

I took this photo back in July, in Vancouver's English Bay. There's a spit of land that juts out into the ocean, and people often sit on the benches or rocks to watch the sun set over the mountains and ocean of West Vancouver.

When I first moved to Beach Avenue, I used to eat dinner by the balcony and watch the sun set almost every day in the late spring and summer. I never tired of it. I lived in that apartment for nearly seven years, and took many sunset photos from that balcony after buying my first digital camera in 2002.

If there's one thing a person can count on, if nothing else, it's a sunset.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sailing to Earth

sailing to earth
Waymart, Pennsylvania

This photo made me think of Krisanne.

I took this photo at the Waymart Wings model airplane show and fly-in on September 10, where David brought the Curtiss Jenny biplane he designed himself, and hung out with his cronies. A good day all 'round.

David wasn't feeling up to going out this past weekend, but at least we had good weather when we've been able to enjoy it. I think this is the first time ever the car has sat in the garage both Saturday and Sunday. If you're a longtime reader of this site, you'll know we like to go places as much as possible.

We had some friends visit over the weekend, so it was more pleasant than it might've been otherwise. Visitors on Saturday and Sunday, with food! Chocolate chip cookies, lasagna, coffee, cupcakes, and a tin of chocolate chip cookies arriving by mail on Saturday! Now, all I have to do is help David to get over his nausea so he can eat it.

Trump International Hotel and Tower

Trump International Hotel and Tower
[photo by gail on the web]
One Central Park West, New York City

I like the way the tower seems to disappear into the clouds.

So Martha Stewart is having her own version of The Apprentice on Wednesdays, in addition to Donald Trump's version on Thursdays. Are people still interested in Martha Stewart? I never watched her show outside the panning it took on Saturday Night Live, although I thought Ana Gasteyer's send-up of Stewart was hilarious.

I find the whole 'perfect hostess' image disturbing. It's so... 1950s.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Speaking of Random...

I use a free web stats service, so I can't cross-reference referrers with search words. If I could, you can bet your bottom dollar I'd want to know how NASA Googlers ended up here.

What normal, red-blooded, internet user wouldn't? Is it the aviation references, Hugh the cat photos, scathing criticism of American Idol contestants, finding funny spelling errors at the Smithsonian, or what???

The world wide web seems so random, but thanks (or no thanks) to search engines, anyone with a web presence will be linked in some way to something somehow. The more you write, the higher the statistical probability of association -- good or bad.

The other increased incidence is the statistical probability of being 'found'. If you truly want anonymity, don't have a listed phone number, a listed address, join any news groups, forums, networking sites, online clubs, or participate in anything with your real name. However, I believe in privacy management, not acting paranoid. There are some positive examples of internet presence. For example, last weekend an old friend from back in my penpal writing days (age 9 through high school) got in touch with me last weekend through this very site.

Other Googling examples (positive to neutral):
  • last year, another old friend from my penpal writing days found me; we'd lost in touch during my itinerant years
  • an old friend of my cousin from Montreal put the cousin's name in a search engine, found it on this site, and contacted him by writing to me
  • a guy whose cat had chylothorax wrote to me looking for advice because my friend's cat had it
  • a bus company representative wrote, looking for a review of a tour I'd taken
  • a man in Bulgaria was interested in my duck and pig race video clips from a trip to the Vancouver Pacific National Exposition in '02 (yeah!)

Our Kitchen is Now Free of the Colour Orange!

We can't take any of the credit, though. Our friend Les and his son Dan did all the work this morning, bringing us one step further into the 21st century. No more Brady Bunch colours!

They don't have time to finish the cupboards before our wedding guests show up, but at least the hideous orange is gone. We're covering up the brown cupboard doors with a lighter-coloured finish and ditching the hardware, leaving a plain front. After all the previously clashing mixtures of patterns, colours, and textures, a more monochrome look is what we're aiming for, then accenting it with plants and framed photos.

More Coney Island Lunch

Coney Island Lunch counter Americana fries with gravy

Pure Americana. A follow-up of this post.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hairy Dave

I caught up with housework this afternoon, so I'm FINALLY getting around to scanning the stacks of prints I've been accumulating for the past three weeks or so.

Here's one of David that I took around the last week of August, before all of his hair fell out. Hairy guy, huh? But it's one of my favourites. I'm loving the film camera for portraits -- it's got a depth of field my digital camera doesn't come close to.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Machine

(Pink Floyd reference...)

I'm sure there's a proper name for the radiation machine, but I haven't asked (yet).

David lies down on the table, which raises up about halfway to the ceiling, and The Machine rotates around him. We've been told it houses about 100 motors, which is why it requires such high maintenance.

I've been curious as to what it looked like, but it runs on a tight schedule of 65-75 patients per day, so I've been too shy to ask someone to stop the press for the sole purpose of indulging my curiosities...

... so I had David ask.

The nurse came and fetched me, saying it was alright for me to go have a look. I took a quick snap (after permission) and scooted out right away, but not before blurting out: "It looks like a coffeemaker!" The radiation nurse said they think it resembles a telephone handset.

Maybe I can get David to write more about it later, since he's spent so much time underneath it: 18 frames per day, from 9 positions (lower spine). Prior to yesterday, he was getting shot 3 frames x 3 positions, twice per day (lung).

ADDITION: Saturday, Sep 17

David's made an entry about it (and I've made the subsequent edits to my numbers above):

Dave's Logbook: The Machine

Waiting Room

Patient lounge at the radiation clinic. We're here every day, Monday to Friday, so I know this room all too well.

The angles in the photo seem off-kilter, but given the situation this seems appropriate.

It's the first time I've taken my camera to the clinic. I've thought of it since Day 1, just to occupy myself since the televisions are all tuned into CNN and the magazines are not really up my alley (Field and Stream, Good Housekeeping, you get my drift?).

I thought it would be too intrusive to bring a camera along to a waiting room, since some people are sitting in hospital gowns, some are wearing wigs, and there's an air of anxiety. But we've been regulars there for a month now, much of that time twice a day. The faces are becoming familiar, and perhaps now people would be more comfortable with the idea that a camera is in their midst because we're there so often.

On Wednesdays Rudy the therapy dog comes to the radiation clinic, and each Wednesday I kick myself for not bringing along my camera. He's a real character, smaller than Hugh, and with a fluffy, fountainlike tail that's as large as his head. Probably a very willing photo subject, and you can never have too many of those!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

High Fuel Price Humo(u)r

Thanks muchly to dear Lana for her buoyant e-mail messages and sending jokes my way.

I thought I'd post 'em periodically here as an online tickle of sorts...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Licensed to Wed

Civil War Monument
Courthouse Square, Scranton

After David's first modified radiation treatment this morning, we took care of the most important errand of the day: getting our marriage license. (Or licence, if I were still in BC.)

We parked at Courthouse Square, which was buzzing with lunchtime activity. Inside, after a security check, we found the Marriage Licensing office on the third floor amidst what appeared to be ongoing renovation -- cables were hanging out of the ceiling.

All our paperwork was in order, but it took the clerk twice as long to enter my information versus David's... I had to spell everything out:

Birthplace: Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines

She couldn't get that to fit in one field. The other fields, which included my parents' birthplaces and occupations, were equally long and had to be spelled out.

Then there was the section on previous marriages, which gave pause. Click, click, click.

But the one question the clerk asked that really stopped the show was:

"Are you related in any way?"

We had to laugh! She looked a bit sheepish asking us after entering in data from the Philippines and Canada, but we knew she was required by law to ask the question.

"What's the restriction for relation, anyway?" I asked.

"You can't marry your first cousin, but second cousin is OK," she responded. "It's different in every state. In New York, for example, you can marry your first cousin."

We were incredulous. "Really!"

"Oh yes, there are all sorts of combinations... they should really use a family tree to make it easier to show instead of having to read it all out."

David and I were discussing this prospect when I turned to the clerk and asked her if close relatives actually come in to try to get a marriage license.

"Oh yes," she said earnestly. "All the time!"

*cue music from Deliverance*

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dreaded Developments

I haven't written for a few days, because things have taken a turn for the worse.

Dave's Logbook: A Setback

We got the news today, after a good weekend, and a hellish Monday. I hope we never have a repeat of yesterday, although it's not a situation we have any contol over.

David's handling today's news better than I am. I know I have to try harder to engage myself, to keep it together for what's to come (the rigour of more cancer therapy). I just had a Skype conference call with some friends and feel an inch closer to normal. This afternoon we ran some errands that took us out of town, and my goals for the rest of the day included obtaining a marriage license from the local courthouse and mowing the lawn. We were too wiped out after getting home to do anything but fall asleep, but I did manage to get our ancient and finicky lawnmower out of the garage around 5:30 and start it up with David's help. Yesterday I broke a piece off and couldn't get it going, so today I attacked the lawn for more than two hours because I NEEDED to finish it before I broke something else.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

For Tanya: Foster's Coach House Tavern

When we were at Rhinebeck last weekend, we stopped in for dinner at this tavern along the main drag of the village.

The town itself is very old -- settled in 1686 -- and the tavern is a converted coach house complete with riding gear adorning the walls and equestrian stalls for... stalls! (Of the sanitation kind.)

Anyway, standing outside I saw the neon sign and my first thought was to take a pic for Tanya.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Home From the Hospital

I picked David up from the hospital a little earlier. After three days of medical attention, he's happy to be sprung:

Dave's Logbook: Free Once Again

I didn't write much about the hospital exile because it was an endless cycle of:
  • nausea --- > medicate
  • pain -- > medicate
  • sleep deprivation -- > "I can't get any peace! Get me out of here!"
  • terrible hospital food -- > more terrible hospital food -- > nausea
I don't understand how Mercy Hospital's food services could be so inferior to CMC's, which is less than a mile away. David's just shuffled to bed, muttering: "I'm going to write a whole post on the state of the meatloaf..." (Seriously, it's enough to induce nausea by itself. I would've taken a photo, but I was given the unenviable task of its immediate deportation from the room.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Wedding Update

In case anyone is wondering, the wedding is still on for October 1, but scaled down and modified to make things easier for us.

I moved the venue from the Tripp House to the Radisson - Lackawanna Station.
- it's a beautiful and historic building
- it's near the house
- if David feels tired, he can rest upstairs (Tripp House doesn't have sleeping rooms)
- I don't have to deal with food & beverage vendors
- the restaurant (Carmen's) has a good reputation
- I don't have to decorate
We're only having a fraction of people we'd originally planned for -- David's immunity is too low. Some family members and friends in the wedding party, plus some friends from Europe who'd already made plans to come. Maybe 15 of us in total.
There will only be a short ceremony, followed immediately by a dinner. No reception, no formalwear, no wedding cake, no photographer. That will all be saved for next year, whenever David's feeling well again.
We're postponing our planned honeymoon to Europe until after next year's receptions. For now, I'm looking for something along the lines of a scenic rail trip on the East Coast. Historic. The autumn foliage would look fantastic from an old train, but I haven't found anything suitable yet. Suggestions/recommendations most welcome!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

David is Back at Mercy Hospital

His temperature shot up this morning after we got home from the first radiation treatment, so I took him to the ER at Mercy Hospital. David finally got a room in the evening, and was shuttled up there at 9pm. They've got his temperature down from 102F and will be monitoring him for the next couple of days.

He's in Room 921, across the hall from last time, if anyone wishes to phone. David's immunity is extremely low, so a phone call would be preferable to a visit.

It's discouraging to be back at the ER again, especially after David's best weekend in a long, long time. But I know he's in good hands there at the hospital.

(We've learned our lesson, though -- DON'T SEND ANYTHING TO MERCY HOSPITAL EXCEPT PEOPLE.)

Monday, September 05, 2005

AviatorDave & Bill King

AviatorDave & Bill KingAviatorDave & Bill KingAviatorDave & Bill KingAviatorDave & Bill King

AviatorDave & Bill King
Got home late from our Sunday with Mom, so I'm just going to point to David's post last night from our day at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

Dave's Logbook: The Best Medicine

Anybody who's ever met David knows he's the biggest aviation geek born after 1940. I say this only with the utmost fondness -- not just because I am terribly fond of David, but because he's the genuine romantic between us. If I could take us back in time to the period most true to his heart, it would be sometime between WWI and WWII.

"That's a good guess," he says. (I just asked him.)

David would probably have been a barnstormer, taking people for rides, charging only the adults but taking the kids for free. He might've wooed me into his plane with a perfectly polite invitation, written with a fountain pen, sealed with his initials and a tiny airplane logo in wax that he'd crafted himself. He'd be wearing those British aviator's goggles in the photo above, the leather helmet, and the silk scarf that he stores in an antique-style wooden box. I'd imagine he might even take my hand as I disembark his plane, as he does now*, and his one flirtation would be to plant a kiss on it before I took it back.

If I could have one wish, it would be to take this photo again in another 40 years, except he'd be the old aviator on the right... still flying and smiling in his gear at 76.

* except in our Tri-Pacer, because with one door in the front I have to get out before he does!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

AviatorDave at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

We just arrived home from a full day at Rhinebeck Aerodrome:

218 photos (incl. some videos) off the Canon A80
101 photos (2 videos) off the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1
4 rolls x 24 frames from the Pentax K-1000

I got to ride in a biplane! Woo-hoo!!

I just had a quick peek at the images as they were downloaded and I'm really excited at how they turned out. Can't wait to get the film developed!

But for now, it's nearly midnight and I drove us there and back (2 hrs each way) and I'm BEAT. We're going to relax tomorrow, so I'll upload the other images then.

Good night!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Master Tinkerer

Blogger's buggy for me at the moment, so I'll just post a link to David's journal entry for now:

Dave's Logbook: Back in the Saddle

We were too tired this morning to go to Rhinebeck Aerodrome (2 hours north, in upstate NY), so we'll try again in the morning. It's David's favourite place, and I'm looking forward to flying in a 1929 biplane!

Hangin' Out at Cherry Ridge

Cherry Ridge Airport, N30
I took both cameras to Cherry Ridge Airport today and spent some time fiddling with the 80-200mm lens on the Pentax K-1000. The airport has some great scenes of machinery oxidation and old abandoned cars on the property but we were running out of light. I can't wait to return earlier in the day with the SLR to capture more, it's a goldmine of photographic subjects.

rusty Roll-O-Matic

Friday, September 02, 2005

Central Park

A pic I took last weekend in New York.

Some VERY BIZARRE things happened today -- not to me, but are events related to me. I know this sounds extremely vague and cryptic, but to fully appreciate the explanation I'll need an afternoon to tell you. An afternoon in person, because there's no short version to the story, and it will allow me to gesture wildly when necessary.

My brain has been on overdrive at times lately, and last weekend's photographic jaunt around Central Park's Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir provided a welcome respite. All I needed to do was stick to the path, find the right settings for my camera, hold very still while shooting, and sidestep the overgrown New York rats and underfed raccoons.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Love from Joseph, 7

My godson, Joseph, celebrated his 7th birthday not long ago.

Happy belated birthday Joe!

He sent David this lovely drawing through the post from England of his recent adventures on holiday in Greece.

The photo was taken last year at the rehearsal for his mum's wedding. The cutie with dimples is Rachel from Ireland, whose uncle was the groom. Joseph was the ring bearer, and Rachel was the flower girl. Aren't they sweet!