Thursday, April 01, 2004


You’re supposed to take Riluzole either one hour before eating or two hours after, to improve absorption. I finally moved into that mode on March 13, the day before we left for Hawaii. And I had no problem with it, and have been doing it ever since. But when you think about it, it is hard to schedule the pill-taking around your meals. Let’s say you get up at 8:00 and are starving. If you take the pill you have to wait until 9:00 to eat. If you eat and get done by 8:30, then you have to wait until 10:30 to take the pill. But the thing is, 10:30 is prime snack time for me. So, skip the snack, or impair the pill?

Plus, I have been ravenous since we got back from Hawaii. Maybe the sparse eating afforded by the plane trip caused a little deficit that my stomach is trying to make up for. Every time I turn around I am hungry, and start worrying about when to take the pill. I have decided on a policy: Try to space the pill as best you can, but eat when you are hungry.

Being tired doesn’t help. (Do I hear a groan from the audience?) Yes, that’s right, the toddler girl (she’s 15 months old now), was throwing a fit last night for two hours, at about 2 AM onwards. We think her molars coming in is waking her up. Yes, we gave her Motrin. And the, at 7 AM sharp, my wife jumps out of bed and says: “Maytag is here!” (We had called them to repair our dishwasher). I practically had an infarction, since the old corpus was in deep slumber mode. I staggered down there and let the chap in. He appears to have fixed it.

Yesterday and today I fought the weeds. They got a bit uppity while we were away for two weeks. Did you know that dandelions can reproduce both sexually and asexually? They don’t let’s just say, need a date. They don’t even need to flower. However, my approach, which seems to be working, is to dig them up whenever they flower or put up a seed pod.

Then there is the ivy. I hate it. You love it? Be gone with you. Ivy, it turns out, can spread itself on virgin ground by using seeds or spores or some danged thing. It does not need to send out creepers. I was dismayed to learn this, and I go around my yard constantly plucking the little sprouts out of the ground. Let’s hope they’re not like dandelions and able to regrow when you pluck them.

This is what is was like in my back yard today: gentle spring breezes and a warm, soft sun caressing my epidermis, the scent of blossoms in the air, lush leaves of temperate green plants bobbing. In short, paradise. And oh by the way, no mosquitos biting me.

Those of you who love Hawaii, run screaming from the room now. This ain’t going to be pretty. Aloha, I love you, and Hawaii is a special place. So beautiful. And the bright, clear colors (5 shades of blue?) in the tropical waters - amazing! And the perfect sand of the beaches... the stunning tropical fish wherever you look - fantastic! The majesty of the volcanic mountains ... the exotic plants ... the amusing birds ... all wonderful.

But basically the place is an armpit. The sun is a searing enemy. The humidity is oppressive. Mosquitos attack you when you walk out of the house. I really get annoyed by having to put on sunscreen and bug repellant twice a day. There are roaches. Plus, it rained 7 of the 14 days we were there. When I say days I mean days; It rained every single night. I would rather be in Prague with snow on the ground then be in Hawaii. Actually, Prague tried to kill me with air pollution and viruses, so I’ll just stay home.

Because I live in paradise.

Now, if you are a Hawaii lover, or a travel lover, or our hosts Ronolulu and Bananny, you may be shocked and hurt that I have said mean things about Hawaii. Please understand that I thought the trip was well worth it. The highlight for me was the snorkeling. It was like being in another world. I absolutely adored swimming after the cute little fish. And travel is, a priori, good. And it was great to see Ronolulu and his swee, kind wife. Ronolulu has been beset by so many medical problems, for so many years, and we came at the wrong time, because when we saw him, he was either sick or so jacked down on meds that he was practically not there. Or he had to work really hard to catch up with the time he missed while sick. But he perked up a little at the end, and generously took a day off to be with us, so it was good. We just picked a bad time. And the rain picked a bad time.

Don’t get me wrong: I respect Hawaii and I am grateful to our hosts for hosting us. They were incredibly generous. And the main thing that kept us apart was our need to constantly take care of the kids. Napping, feeding, pooping, entertaining, sleeping, dressing, haggling, bargaining, begging....

Even though I had fun, when I came home, I was so very impressed by the amazingly perfect place we live.

There’s no place like home.
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