Good Friday, a Rattlesnake and Game Boy


At times, I feel uncomfortable being of the Buddhist faith.  Perhaps I am not as devout as my grandfather was reported to be but my family is Buddhist.  I guess I feel uncomfortable because so many of you – my friends – are of the Christian faith and cherish it grandly.

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My bud Don during the dedication of the new “ambo” (?) at his church. He is participating in a Good Friday play as I type.

Because I am Buddhist, it is difficult to fathom the importance religiously of today, Good Friday.  One of my most trusted friends of old, Don, partakes in a play each Good Friday at his Catholic church of which he is a most faithful member.  I feel some sadness as I am unable to grasp the deepness of his love for his God or the significance of this day.

But each Good Friday, my mind races back to the Good Friday of 1992.

My oldest daughter was home as there was no school.  She was nine at that time

Playing in her bare feet, she was bitten by a rattler in the front yard of my home.

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My first daughter about six hours after the anti-venom was administered, with her intensely pained left foot resting on a pillow.

Yes, my memory is not all that accurate, Robyn, but it was late morning.  I was working in Downtown LA that day when a call came into my office.

When I picked up the phone, it was her mom.  You have to understand her to appreciate this but she said pretty calmly, “I think Robyn got bit on her foot by a snake.”

“Huh?  Whaaat?  Where?  Are there puncture marks?”

“Ummm…  Let me go see,” she calmly says.  Yes, she did.  OMG!  Didn’t she check already?

After a minute, she comes back and matter-of-factly says, “Umm, yes, there’s two little holes on her toe…”  It was as if she was telling me Robyn got straight A’s again.  Very routine for Robyn.

“Call 911!” I said quite loudly then hung up.  I ran to my boss’ office and said yelled, “I think my daughter got bit by a rattlesnake!  Bye!”

Did I mention I was the opposite of my ex-wife?  I got pretty “animated”.  It was different than being told she got straight A’s again.

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Remembering this was before inexpensive cell phones, I raced home.  It took about an hour to drive the 25 miles, even back then.  When I got there, no one was there.  But a neighbor told me the paramedics took her to Brea Community Hospital.  “Huh?  Brea Community?  Where’s that?!”  No Google Maps, either.

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After the anti-venom drip is started, the waiting begins. Her mom brought along her favorite yellow blankie.

If I recall correctly, I got to the hospital about two hours after the call.  Apparently, the paramedics were going to medivac her when they located this hospital with anti-venom in the neighboring county.

It was the darnedest sight.  Here were these two pretty rugged-looking paramedics in Emergency, rubbing their huge hands together like if they were outside in the snow.  Briefly, her mom explained yes, it was a rattler.  The doctor wasn’t sure what anti-venom to administer at first but after calling a specialist in Arizona, they decided on the anti-venom.  However, the anti-venom coagulates at the top of a suspension liquid in these tiny glass tubes.  The paramedics were rolling these tubes in their hands to warm and melt/dissolve the anti-venom into the liquid.

My daughter, a pretty tough kid, was just laying on the gurney quite bravely.  She didn’t whimper, complain or show fear.  She would be that way for the rest of the night – well, except for a split second.  In fact, the only time she would show emotion was when she pummeled her younger brother – frequently.  He apparently deserved it.

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I believe this was taken nearing midnight. Those faint lines going up her ankle were drawn by the nurse at certain times to mark the spread of the toxins and swelling. You can see the effects of the snake bite; it was really purple.

There was cause for alarm, however.  The first responders were able to locate the snake in the strawberry plants then lopped off its head with a shovel.  But it was a baby rattler.  For those of you who don’t know, baby rattlers are unpredictable in how much venom they would inject for a kill.  Luckily, it had killed Mickey Mouse a bit earlier (or maybe it was Minnie), thereby somewhat depleting its venom supply; you could see the bulge in its body from the mouse (Yes, they put it into a glass jar to show the doctor.  Yes, we kept in the freezer for awhile as a souvenir.  I even took it to show my boss.  Who would believe a nutsy story like this?).  Plus, Robyn was a small girl.  Smart, but small.

They began the drip as soon as possible… but by around 11 pm, you could clearly see the toxins marching its way up her leg, discoloring her skin as it spread.  The swelling got real bad, too.

Then, the news.  The nurse said if the swelling doesn’t subside by around midnight, the doctor will have to make an incision in her calf to relieve the swelling.  Further, they did not know if there would be any permanent tissue or nerve damage.

Talk about feeling helpless…  All we could do was wait.  By this time, her skin began to turn an ugly shade of grey.

Then for the first time that day, Robyn understandably let out a tear or two.

So did I.

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Fortunately, about an hour afterwards, the toxins stopped its march up her leg.  The anti-venom was finally taking effect.  Soon thereafter, the swelling began to subside, slowly but surely.

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Robyn in the morning chowing down on one of her favorite foods at that time – bacon. Mine are much better, of course, fried up perfectly.

By late morning – and while the skin was still an ugly shade of grey – a physical therapist came in.  Oddly, she was the owner of an interior decorating store at the base of our hill; she had sold us all our new furniture and interior stuff like wallpaper and window treatments five years earlier.

She had Robyn get out of bed then try to walk.  Although she had a bad limp from the pain and tenderness, the therapist said there was no nerve or tissue damage to her foot or leg.  Whew.

And the Game Boy?

I thought she earned it for being a tough kid so I got her one.  She got pretty good at it, too.

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The new Game Boy… the start of endless fighting between her and her younger brother who she beat up all the time… and who now benches 400 pounds.

Oh…  Although Robyn’s name wasn’t mentioned, her mom told me later that she made the news on KFWB news radio.

They didn’t mention her new Game Boy, though, or how brave she was.

Darned media.

Just Have To…


Obama-Deal-copy

I just have to…  Sorry.

It is beyond me as to why Obama would make such an effort to “come to an agreement” with Iran..?

That piece of paper equals the folly of Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement of 1938.  Redux.

However, as to why, consider some of his past umgwalla-gwalla decisions and actions:

  1. He is the only president who would celebrate in the Rose Garden with the parents of a deserter – a deserter that cost the lives of six additional young American soldiers that were sent out to “rescue” him.  (Mark my words: Obama will ensure Bergdahl gets off.)
  2. Help spark civil unrest by describing a young thug who was killed as “he could have been my son”…then doing nothing to quell the unrest.
  3. Legalizing illegal immigrants via Executive Order whose first act of being in the US was criminal.
  4. The “IRS” and Lerner.
  5. Afghanistan – he ended the war, right?
  6. Obamacare
  7. Putin
  8. Downgrading terror attacks on our own soil.
  9. Allowing Hillary to use “private email”.
  10. Treatment of our glorious veterans and the VA cover-ups.
  11. BENGHAZI
  12. ISIS

Well, I do have an reply:

What difference, at this point, does it make?

She’s Killing Me #5


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My Little Cake Boss on the right as her friend snaps a selfie. They’re looking into a mirror in the Lancome cosmetics section in Macy’s.

She’s killing me, I tell ya.

Big time.

This time, my Little Cake Boss literally left me holding the bag(s)… for over an hour.

My knees crumbled under the weight.

Two vertebrae were crushed.

But I persevered.  I mentally made myself to be one of our heroic Marines, carrying a wounded buddy to safety… while on the receiving end of an enemy barrage.

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I had the kids for ten days this time; I’m guessing their mother got another invitation to travel with a certain “somebody”.  The fact she didn’t take my son to piano tells me it must’ve been some trip.  She didn’t even tell her own kids where she would be going.  Unbelievable.

Maybe it was court ordered community service.

Nah.  Wishful thinking.

But the Little Cake Boss had been asking me for over a couple of weeks if I could take her shopping with her friends.  She said she was loaded with greenbacks and gift cards.  She even remembered how much she got from whom.

See.  Women never forget.

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So I often asked her during those ten days, “When?  Saturday or Sunday?”

Forget even asking what time.  She uses an hour glass that she forgets to turnover.

Or even the logistics.  “How many of you are going?” “When am I to pick them up…and from where?” LOL

And when I ask again, she gets mad…again.

Well, I guess I should be happy she asked me and not her mom.

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So Friday evening comes…and OMG.  She has a plan…kinda.

“Can you take us on Sunday, Papa?” she asks.

“Sure, Bu-chan (my nickname for her).  Who and at what time?”

“I don’t know yet,” she says.

Double OMG.

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The Three Musketeers soon after arrival.  Notice their hands are empty…

Long story short, I end up picking up one of her BFF’s, “N”, at her house on Sunday at 10:45 am…  and this is after the plans changed once again that morning.  Her other BFF, “A”, is now having her mother drop her off at the mall at 11:00 “in front of Nordstrom’s”.  She tells me this as we near the mall.  (Never mind I was forced to clean the WHOLE house Saturday as “A’s” mother was supposed to be dropping her off at my house… Grrr…)

“In front of Nordstrom’s, Bu-chan?” I ask.

“Yessssss,” she annoying answers as I apparently interrupted the two girls I am chapperoning.  They are the paying customers, you know.

“Bu-chan…  I think there are five entrances to Nordstrom’s…” says I.

She doesn’t answer.  Cha-ching.  Got her.  Finally.  “Have her meet us in front of Lazy Dog Cafe then,” I say.

She still doesn’t really answer because her old man got her.  She hates that because she’s the Boss.  I can see her hurriedly texting “A”.  She’s a text queen, you know.

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Anyways, I can’t remember how many stores they hit… Translation: how many HOURS… and while she knew I would have to tag along, she “hinted” I didn’t have to stand “close” to them.  Sheesh.

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They were in there for a month, you know…  Well, actually, about five minutes.  How can three girls spend five minutes in there taking a selfie???
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…and she wouldn’t let me see the pictures. Hmmpph.
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Reaching for her first Rolex at Tiffany’s.
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Their hands are filling up.
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Can’t run low on sugar.
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Still whippin’ out that cash. Aren’t they tired yet? Isn’t it time to call it a day???

Then, the 1-1/2 hour nightmare…   It’s the equivalent of a woman having to stand for hours on end in the Craftsman Tool section at Sears while the man drools…

They hit the cosmetics section.

Lancome, even.  Criminy.

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Lancome?? I didn’t deserve this.

I didn’t know twelve year old girls could get so giddy.

They were crazed.  I think their brains stopped working.  They went from “thing” to another “thing” in there.  I have no frickin’ idea what the stuff they slathered on their faces were called.  There were just a bazillion colors.  They would put it on then wipe it off.  They used a bazillion black or white sticks with stiff little bristles at the end that they took to their eyes while standing millimeters away from the mirror…all whilst contorting their faces.  They stood so close, they blocked out the sun standing in front of those full-length mirrors.

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If a girl is confused, imagine how her dad felt.

Oh…and don’t forget…  I indeed got stuck holding the bag(s)…

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They were so heavy, my fingers went numb.

But I persevered… for over six hours.

Think about it.  I could have flown from JFK to LAX on the Spirit of St. Louis in less time…and stopped to refuel.

Oh…  They went back to the opposite end of the mall afterwards… to hit Sephora.

That’s another makeup place for you guys.

Ewww.