Dear Santa, I need an extension

Okay, I’m not talking hair here. I’m talking deadlines. And I’m one of those people who hits deadlines for a living. But this one is so unfair. It snuck up on me and everyone else in the free world. Can’t we just put a filler week in there? Christmas cards? Not happening. Gifts arriving on time to East Coast grandparents? Uh. No. Gifts arriving for kids? Sure hope so. This means you, Amazon. Liv and I went on a wild run through the most lame Target ever last night. Then, I had to bribe her with lip gloss to go to Tuesday Morning, a store universally despised by all children. To finish off the holiday spirit, we watched the original Sound of Music. Normally, that’s the feel-good escape movie of the year, except how do you explain Nazi to a nine-year-old? I tried. Her only takeaway was: “They really like that ‘hills are alive’ song.”

THREE POSITIVES:

1- Here’s why it’s the most wonderful time of the year: FRIENDS! We crammed as many as we could in our house for a cheesy Polynesian Christmas and appetizer competition. Check out my pal Beto. He’s appearing with me in WAITING FOR THE BRAZILIAN…COMEDY FOR THE CURE, my comedy show at Harvey’s Comedy Club Feb. 4th (MARK IT!)

2- Looking back to this time last year makes me want to take up running. It was a Chemo Christmas. So so appreciative to be on the other side. But at the same time, my heart goes out to all the women who didn’t get to survive.

3- Best for last: My sister’s little girl is doing much better recovering at home! I’ve been so in awe of my sister’s love for her kids. What an awesome mom.

From giving thanks to giving the finger?

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It’s snowing in my office.

Some people must have gotten the wrong end of the turkey over the holiday. By Monday, they were in full road-rage mode. First, I pulled across a lane I thought was one way. An older “gentleman” in a Camry was far enough away to not hit me. Yet, he reacted like I sunk his battleship. Then, he took both hands off the wheel and gave me two, one-finger salutes. Really? One’s good. When I went to meet my client, he came in flustered after calling 911 because some dude jumped out of his car and came after him, fists flying. Whaa? In my mind, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays through the drama. I’m staying in my office today. Forget that.

THREE POSITIVES:

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1- Yesterday morning, Liv sobbed in the car: “You’re different since cancer. I miss you.” Holy crap, what do I do with that? Yeah, I’m different. Maybe you didn’t get upset during cancer and you’re getting upset now, I said. “That’s because I didn’t want you to DIE!” she screamed. Maybe it’s safer for her to cry about it now that I’m okay? I quickly slipped into Man Mode. “Let’s fix this,” I said. “We’ll have one mommy-daughter date every week.” She lightened up. To show her I meant it, I bought movie tickets and left a handmade card in her room expressing that we are going to do that starting this week. How is this a positive? Look what she drew on the card.

2- My friend Nicole, who is part of the Abernethy Cancer Mom Dream Team, is going in for surgery this week. So she’s one surgery away from finished! Please send positive her way. She’s a total spitfire, but still! Every positive thought helps.

3- I am looking so hot right now. I’ve got pink eye and a sinus infection. Hot AND sexy. After hitting the disease lottery, this is such small change it almost feels like a relief. Hot damn, I’m getting normal stuff now.

 

 

 

 

Caution for weekend: Don’t drink science

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Planning on binge drinking some serious science this weekend? Looks like you might be able eat science, too. Hope you all have a marv weekend of consuming things that are edible.

THREE POSITIVES:

1- Liv and I had the best date last night. We (gasp) went shopping. I hate shopping, but I needed jeans. When I looked down, Liv was wearing shredded shoes. So I bought her new shoes because yay, I’m working again. That’s how it is with freelance. One client check is the difference between shoes or no shoes. Groceries or no groceries. Livvie was so thrilled, she even said thank you. This morning, she told me she had the best time last night. That will keep my heart toasty for a long time.

2- We have a date for a comedy show about cancer called “Waiting for the Brazilian” to benefit Komen Oregon. Tuesday night, Feb. 4th at Harvey’s Comedy Club. Mark it down. It’s Tuesday because I’m not famous, yo. Stay tuned for details.

3- It’s the weekend! Have a good one.

 

 

Tribute Thursday goes to Barrett Rudich

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Funny how some mistakes just aren’t. I dialed a wrong number 14 years ago, and Barrett Rudich answered. I thought I was dialing Portfolio, an agency that staffs creatives. But instead, I reached Portfolio Productions, Barrett’s creative services company. “What kind of job are you looking for?” he said. “Copywriter,” I said. “I hire copywriters!” Okay, this guy is either psycho or it’s my luckiest day ever. We arranged a meeting in his Flanders studio in a couple of weeks when I’d be in Portland. One warm handshake with Barrett confirmed that calling the wrong number really was my luckiest day ever.

Portland had already sold itself to me. But Barrett convinced me I would find work in Portland, which gave us more confidence to move. Since then, I’ve worked with Barrett on everything from being an extra to writing a massive Red Cross video project. I love working with Barrett; but above all, love knowing Barrett. When I called him to tell him I had cancer, his reaction was electric disbelief soon grounded by deep concern. The first thing he did was run to Cacao, and buy me chocolate. His spirit raced alongside me at every step. His partner, Ret, was right there with him. As I was making my way through cancer muck, Barrett took on the project of a lifetime: his first feature documentary film. It’s been accepted at several film festivals, so I thought now would be a good time to express my profound admiration for a man who, despite being alien levels of busy all the time as a creative director, director, photographer and mega “Cranny” (creative AND anal), found time to help me. When Trina organized the auction, Barrett selflessly jumped in.

I’m thrilled to tell you how much I love his film, A Place of Truth. It follows a young woman who decides to on couch-hop across the country and set up shop as a street poet. Three screenings are coming right up. From what I remember, I’m pretty sure it’s a safe film to take kids. Here’s to wishing Barrett all the best on his new film and profound appreciation for caring about me so much.

Get tickets here.

THREE POSITIVES:

1- Best. Positive. Ever. I got a CT scan today because they saw some spots on my lungs last year. It’s CLEAR. CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR. Thank you, Universe, friends, modern medicine and Chris Stopa for helping me with the energy part of healing. I’m convinced it had everything to do with CLEAR. To top it off, the tech was the funniest one ever. Who else says: “Okay, now you’re going to feel like you peed your pants. And that’s why ya come here! We don’t disappoint.”

2- Refer to positive #1.

3- Still gloating on #1.

 

It’s hot mess Wednesday

Was there a random weirdo moon out last night? We all woke up out of sorts. Brian and I jumped Steven’s case over his lackluster lunch-eating skills. Liv woke up whimpering and dissolved in a steady string of tears over the same subject. I started to get jumped up about the morning until I saw a bicyclist had been hit by a FedEx truck on Broadway. Suddenly, any problem I thought I had disappeared. All day, I’ve been hoping both people are okay. I would be devastated if I hurt someone in a car or any other way really. Deep breath. Keep moving.

THREE POSITIVES:

1- Doctor #1: All clear. Everything looks good. Awesome.

2- Doctor #2: What do you mean you’re not taking that medication? I’m going to light up Doctor #3. But still, everything looks good.

3- While at Doctor #2, I ran into Doctor #1’s business partner/surgeon, who is apparently going through treatment. Cancer will pick anyone anytime, even a professional who helps people defeat cancer daily. She looked fab. Suck it, Weird Cancer Guy.

4- Bonus positive: This guy walks up to the table next to be at Starbucks. It’s empty except for some trash the lady before him left. He looks at me and says: “Is this table reserved, or did somebody just leave a mess?” That’s my new line to use at the kitchen table from now on. Feel free to baffle your children with restaurant words in a home environment.

The best birthday ever

Thanks to the medical staff, modern medicine and the swell of friends who lifted us up and over cancer that lurked under the water, I got to have another bday.

THREE POSITIVES:

1- I am seriously happy to have another birthday. Not sure why bday cards are so whiny. No one gave me one of those.

2- I get to say: Clean your room! A lot.

3- I get to keep going.

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Things are moving fast

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You know how you’re going along, then suddenly hit warp speed. That’s what today felt like. I think it’s because we finally got to watch Breaking Bad last night. Best ride ever. I don’t think I breathed once. Today went just as fast with appointments jumping around the week, Steven’s soccer schedule, school stuff, blah blah. Still no breathing. Meanwhile, check out Lazy Dog. Her breathing is pure snoring. Get a job, Lazy Dog!

THREE POSITIVES:

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1- There are such good people in the world. Brian’s dad’s friend Astra, who doesn’t know me, made me this beautiful angel. I’m going to keep it in the kitchen window to watch over me. Really hoping it keeps me out of M&M’s. Thank you, Astra!

2- Speaking of getting jobs, I got some new work – a rad contract job. Thank you, Mathys + Potestio! Really excited about it.

3- One cool thing about finishing treatment is you can make plans again. My plan is to honor the people who helped me get through cancer. It might take me a while, but I’m excited to write about the people who helped us.

The countdown begins

Just FOUR more sessions of radiation. I was cruising along thinking I could beat the radiation system and escape with just burns. After five weeks, my skin broke down all at once. Nothing prepared me for what that would feel and look like (an audition for Walking Dead). The nurses at Good Sam have tried everything. The radiation techs even felt bad seeing me in that much pain. My deepest appreciation goes out to them for helping me. It’s better now, thanks to some new medical pads they got me. Everyone keeps asking what we will do to celebrate. I have no idea. I’d just really like a six pack of new skin cells.

THREE POSITIVES:

1- Got some new cancer jokes for ya:

2- Narcotics make back-to-school shopping much more tolerable. Check it out, Livvie kicked me out of her dressing room at Old Navy. One minute later, another mom got the boot. Good thing there’s a reject-mom bench at Old Navy. And, good thing Brian was driving that day. Geez, I look like a stoner.

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This is shopping…on drugs.

3- It’s almost over. I think. I hope.

Talk squawky to me

I love a bitch fest as much as the next guy. So why am I not feeling the phone vibrating my ear drums as I hear about another less-than-cranial move by a husband? Where’s all the talk about parenting angst and general unhappiness? And what about the searing deception when movie boyfriends suddenly get married? I’m talking about you, Daniel Craig. I’ll tell you where all the hardcore bitching is – it’s nowhere is where it is. Because my friends are PROTECTING ME. They think having cancer trumps anything they’re going through. But it isn’t true. I swear! No wonder my summer is so quiet. I feel so peaceful, I almost watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane again, for crying out loud. I’m getting ZERO service again at coffee houses, which resets my over-40 status to invisible. No more special cancer treatment for me. So bring it on, ladies. Make me want to eat chocolate and swill martinis. I can take it!

THREE POSITIVES:

1- Here’s one cool thing about radiation. I come home wiped out and get to take a nap while Brian makes dinner.

2- Got to hang out with Steven at a cafe just in time for a mime with a guitar and like 200 toddlers. Singing “You are my sunshine” as an alien trapped underwater ROCKED.

3- Had coffee with my pal Mary, who refreshed my senses with a full download of a truly crappy day.  I needed that!