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10/23/2008

Thursday Random Stuff

Just a few random things.

I am so much better today than yesterday. I am normally a fairly healthy person. I get a cold every couple of years or so and I've had the flu once in my life. It almost killed me - but I survived and I haven't had the flu since. I was 17. Anyway, it will be a while before I revisit Chinese food, I think.

Three years and 5 days ago I had a stent put in my heart. I had been having a strange pain in my neck that didn't seem to want to resolve itself so I went to my Doctor and she examined me. There wasn't anything obviously wrong, so on a hunch she gave me a nitro tab under my tongue and I felt better. I was ready to go home - but she said, "Do you want to go to the hospital in the fast ambulance or the slow ambulance?" I said I didn't want to go at all, but she was insistent. The Fire Department ambulance came and took me away. Two days and many tests later they found a blockage in the left circumflex artery in my heart. It was hard to find because it was round the backside of my heart. But find it they did - a 95% blockage. Everything else was (and is) fine. They inserted the stent through the artery in my right thigh. Pretty darn cool. And I continue to be fine.

I bought my first 'good' camera in 1978. A Konica T4. Along with several good lenses. There was a time when that camera put food on the table and a roof over our heads. I had started a business called 'Picture This' and I took in-home portraits and group photos. I still have the portable backdrops and studio equipment I used.

I am an Artist. A little over a year ago I started taking a class in Drawing and Sketching, the idea behind that being that if I learned something of Art and Composition it would help make me a better photographer. That class led me into an Oil painting class and I found I had a voice in me that wanted expression through paint. I am learning how to give that voice an outlet.

I am a writer. The writing, I have have found, is an expression of the same voice that wants to be heard in paint. Only now I'm learning to paint with words. The styles it seems, are similar. Sparse, leaving the imagination of the reader/viewer to fill in the details. Why did I wait until now?

I love my new Mac. This operating system is as stable as a rock. And I am finding lots of good application software to do the things I want to do. I may have to bite the bullet somewhere down the road and actually buy an upgrade to my Photoshop CS2, which runs in Windoze, but get the upgrade for the Mac. I have found an open source piece of software called Celtx which I am using to prepare the movie treatment of 'The Kid', along with the screen play. And I cannot believe I just said that. That is so far beyond anything I have ever expected to do.

Some have wondered at the time I have to spend on this stuff I do - painting, writing, blogging - while working a full time job and getting stuff done around the house. Well, Annie provides child care for two little boys, ages 6 and 8. She's been with them almost daily for the last four years. For the last two years, their Dad has been on his own. M is my best friend. K, their Mom, used to be Annie's best friend. The four of us were very close. K left M to become a practicing Lesbian. She has the boys every other weekend. M works a job where he has two days off during the week. The rest of the time, the boys are with Annie. She comes home in the evening exhausted from dealing with two little boys - who are BOYS. Her condition (EDS) makes it difficult for her beyond what it really should be. Thus the nightly back rubs - and hands and feet and whatever else hurts. But she is gone a lot. So I have time on my hands.

I had thought, originally, to do a 'Thursday Thirteen'. But I'm out of gas, for the moment. I need to eat something and then want to work on 'Sarah'. Speaking of Sarah, I have a question. When I did 'The Kid', the story was serialized, and each segment was tight - it had a beginning, middle and end. Each segment sort of stood alone. But 'Sarah' is a much bigger story and the 'scenes' in the story are going to vary greatly in size - the opening 'scene' is 3300 words, 3 times the average episode in 'The Kid'. Are y'all going to want to read scenes of 3300 words? Will you have the patience for that? Will you tolerate short scenes when that's all there is for a week? And what if the story isn't a 'weekly'? What if I have to skip a week - or two - in order to get the next segment ready? Will that be okay? I need to know how you want me to do this. What will you stick with me for?

After all, push come to shove, I write for you, to see, to look at, to tell me what I have done pleases you. Without you, the audience, an audience, MY audience, I may as well spit in the wind, tug on Superman's cape or pull the mask off the Lone Ranger. Without you, there is no point. You help me make a difference. You make me feel as though I am contributing something to the world. It has been said on someone's blog, recently, that "Human beings are happiest when they are active and creative; when they feel they are contributing something to the world." You make me happy.

You give me ...

Peace.

29 comments:

maggie's mind said...

I'm catching up, glad you are feeling better, love all of the different ways artist oozes out of you and am now craving Chinese and will read Sarah however you put her out there.

Jientje said...

That must be scary if they take you to the hospital without notice, but I'm glad they found the blockage.
Chances are we would never have met you if they hadn't!
I'm glad you're feeling better, getting sick from something you ate really sucks!
I for one would LOVE to see some pictures you made/make from time to time?
However you present "Sarah's story" is fine by me, as long as you leave the links in the sidebar so that we can catch up if we want to? But I think I'd rather have you wait a couple of weeks longer before you put the story on your blog, than to interrupt for a week or more, what do you think?

Shadow said...

i'm happy to hear you are feeling better. i'm like you. if i get sick eating x, i'll avoid x for mooonths afterwards. association...

i must thank your doctor for 'fixing' you. wouldn't want anything to happen to you now! you're such a wonderful person and writer and artist. i like having you around!

and as for sarah... i'm looking forward to reading it. be it 300 words or 3000 words. if you post a long one, i'd print it and read it at my leisure, if a short one, i'd read it on-screen. i'd read it either way...

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad that you took the time to go the dr and that she gave you the nitro and then the ride the to hospital and all... b/c if not then who knows... i don't want to think about that... but i'm just very appreciative that you are here, and I've had the priveledge to get to know you.

your wife, Annie, is a complete saint. What a sweet friend she is to help out with the boys like that. :)

i knew you were amazing, but you sure do have a lot of talent. photographer, artist, writer, husband, father, friend... is there anything you can't do??

i would love to be able to read anything you wrote... and hopefully once we are officially moved in to the new house i'll have some more time than I do now to read more.

have a great day, enjoy every minute!!

xoxoxoxo

www.ayewonder.com said...

Glad you are feeling better, Lou.

Piece of advice - write it and they will come.

Michael said...

I have been feeling a bit icky these last few days, my heads all over the place and I keep vomiting, I reckon its stress from all the changes at work.
I could do with a really expensive camera, mine is getting a bit old, but then again so is all my stuff.
I have never painted but my AA sponsor does and it looks a interesting hobby, but has you know I love writing, here u gotta tell me what u think of "Leaving The Jungle" my latest attempt at writing my memoirs, I could never write fiction though like you and your storys are fantastic.
Which probably explains my audience only just outnumbers me

Christy said...

Glad you are better, and man, that post was chocked full of info!

The good thing about a blog is being able to choose the speed you read anything....so don't worry!

Tash said...

Sorry you were so ill.

We'll take Sarah as we get her. However and whenever you publish we'll read. Don't worry about it too much. We're always pleased.

witchypoo said...

You sure know how to take an idea and run with it. I love it that the characters are dictating the story to you.
I'll read it however you present it.

calicobebop said...

Glad you're feeling better! And damn - that heart stent must have been scary! Kudos to your doc!

Momisodes said...

I am SO glad your Dr was insistent on you heading to the hospital. Glad all is fine now. A stent/cardiac cath was the very first procedure I watched as a nursing student. The patient crashed, and there was a moment of chaos. It was one of the key moments that sold me on becoming a nurse.

You are, by far, one of the most multifaceted artists I know.

I had no idea Annie watched 2 boys. She is such a sweetheart. I can only imagine how exhausting it is with 2 BOYS.

As for Sarah, I'm sure the process will need some feeling out at first. But any way you present it will be fine. Any chance you could break up the 3300 words into separate posts?

Cat said...

I feel as if you were talking to me, a stranger at your blog and i felt welcomed - this quote you shared made me happy today - I had never heard it before - but I will be sure to remember it and pass it along: "Human beings are happiest when they are active and creative; when they feel they are contributing something to the world." how true it is!
Cat

Colleen said...

I'm glad I found your blog!! You are a great writer!

Theresa said...

Glad you are feeling better!

Employee No. 3699 said...

Lou, I'll take your stories any way I can get them. Long, short, scheduled or sporadic.

I'm glad your tummy is feeling better.

Toodles~

redchair said...

Hi Lou,
I think releasing your Sarah segments every few weeks or when ever is fine. For me (as with the Art Challenges) we put them out when we can. It’s actually makes it better because we’re not under pressure or releasing them before we’ve polished what we want to show.

I love that you mentioned you have stint. People don’t release what a major impact the stint had on so many heart patients lives… to be able to live. Have you seen the movie about the ‘creation’ of the stint and the blue baby? It’s a HBO movie, “Something the Lord Made.” Cannot watch it without sobbing.

Vikki

Patsy said...

You question us, your loyal readers, about when, what and how to publish. We will take whatever you give us whenever. Personally I'm just so ready to start reading Sarah's story-- long, short whatever, every week, every other week whenever.

I enjoyed learning a little more about your and Annie. I have more questions about this amazing woman who is your wife. But I will wait for you to reveal them in your own time.

Five years and three days with a healthier heart. I'm glad you had a doctor who wanted to know if you wanted the fast or slow ambulance. That made me smile.

And a photographer (professional yet). #1 daughter has worked in photography for several years. She still does for extra money. She get frustrated because she is working in one of those *canned* shots studios. They serve a purpose, but do stiffle creativity.

Hyphen Mama said...

Glad you're feeling better.

You've had the flu once? You lucky, lucky dog!!

Any time you want to do a post with photos you've taken...I'd LOVE to see more of them. I loved your stuff of London --hey everybody, go back and see the pictures Lou took in London!! Gorgeous and seen through the eye of a real artist!!

Myst_72 said...

Lou ~ I'd be happy to read Sarah however it comes out - long, short, weekly, fortnightly, monthly....!

I'm so pleased you are feeling better.

And very glad you had a good/astute doctor that found the problem with your heart before anything happened.

G
xx

LceeL said...

Maggies mind: Just watch out for that General's chicken, Maggie.

Jientje: Given where I am in the story, and where I think it's going to go, I am at least 6 months away from being done with Sarah - and that's if I can maintain the pace of 5000 words a week. I'm only 6000 words into hte story now, and its been a struggle to get this far - although it is starting to get a bit easier.

Shadow: Thank you. I like having you around, as well. And Sarah just needs a little head start and she'll be off and running.

Jennifer: The only thing I can't do is make myself 30 years younger.

Ayewonder: Thanks, Mike. Knowing that send chills up and down my spine.

Michael: I'll look at 'Leaving the Jungle" this evening.

Christy: Thanks, Christy. I'm glad I feel better, too.

Tash: Thank you, Tash. Those are encouraging words.

Witchypoo: Yes, they are telling me the story, and I'm just following along.

Calicobebop: What was scary was all the tests they ran that DIDN'T find anything - but my Doctor was persistent. She likes me.

Momisodes: I'm thinking, actually, that maybe I'll put a widget on my page that will announce the date for the next segment. So y'all know in advance - but I won't have a strict weekly schedule to keep.

Cat: You felt welcome here because you ARE welcome. I'm glad you've come and please DO come back. There's something here every day - at least until the end of the year.

Colleen: I'm glad you found my blog, too. Could you say that last bit again - just a little louder?

Theresa: Thank you, my Exiled Island Girl.

Employee: Welcome home, Linda. And thank you.

Redchair: No, Vikki, I have not seen that movie - but I'll look for it.

Patsy: Then she came back into the exam room and said, "The slow ambulance is busy - so we called the Fire Department." They came in the door right behind her and whisked me away.

Hyphen Mama: Thank you, Jenny, you are too kind.

Myst_72: Her name is Dr. Farah Turk and I owe her my life.

Kelley said...

Fast or slow ambulance? I want a doc with a sense of humour like that!

Can you do static pages on your blog (like along the top of my header on mine)? Cause then you could post the story up there and a quick 'Sarah updated' in a blog post and people can read where they left off or start from the beginning. That way the whole story is together.

Joyce-Anne said...

I can't help but think that you had a moment of - shall I say - divine intervention when you went to the doctor and there was no way she was going to take *no* for an answer. You were going to the hospital on that particular day to have the stent put in.

The story will take as long as it takes. While I am not a writer, I think some parts will write themselves while others will require a little more patience. Meanwhile, please take it one day at a time. If you skip a week or two, I will still wait patiently for I know that good things come to those who wait. :-)

Lady Language said...

I'll read it no matter when it is posted, scheduled or not, every week or every 10 days. You know I am usually late anyways and play catch up most of the time :-) I did enjoy the kid very much and you help me become a better writer.

Siobhan said...

In his last job, my husband the microbiologist used to test stents and other nifty medical devices for microbial blah blah blah and other some such. I am glad modern day technology is available and that you're still doing great.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm an artist too? I don't think I have -- here or my blog.

Your wife is remarkable, but you don't need me to tell you that.

Present Sarah however you see fit. It sounds exciting just reading about reading it! I enjoy your work and look forward to seeing what you've done with this new character. Don't feel obligated to post regularly, just post it when it's appropriate.

Eric S. said...

Lou, I'm glad your feeling better. I like your doc, she sounds cool, and if she saved ya, she has some serious fans.

As to Sarah, it sounds to me like you have only one choice, Just post it and they will come. I think I heard that somewhere down the line here.

nicole said...

Some more tidbits of your Life I didn't know about - thanks :)
I take the Sarah story however it suits you.
I am lagging behind anyway in reading your blog, so for me it's alright however it suits you.
(Now, when can I buy the Kid book???)

Nan said...

If we don't have time to read the long bits of the story on the days they're posted, we will be sure to come back and catch up when we DO have time. You are wonderful, Lou, and your stories are totally excellent. By the way, Witchypoo has posted her ghost story for halloween. Where's yours? :)

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Such talent! That's cool to hear about your photography, which I hadn't known about before.

Velvet Verbosity said...

I've been so wrapped up in my own stuff that I haven't been reading anyone's blogs. Today is the first day I did. I'm glad to hear that all went well with your procedure, but dang, that must have been scary!

Stay well