Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Not yet!

Well, that was scary.
Last night was game night--not the night we play at our place but the night I go and game with a few of our friends. We’ve been playing D&D (3.5) at our friend Jon’s in Manhattan. I went to HomeDepot after work (ah, the bastion and curse of all homeowners!), picked up a few things, and then met up with Lois to catch a train to Jon’s. Took a while--we love the E. really we do--but we finally got there. Just as we’re walking toward his place my wife calls me, very upset. She’s having contractions.
"You can’t be having contractions," I tell her. "It’s only September."
Yes, that’s me, Mr. Sensitive.
I call her back a few minutes later (she hung up to call her sister for advice). She’s checking some things online and will call me within half an hour to let me know what’s going. Fifteen minutes later she calls back. There are six signs of pre-term labor. She’s showing four of them. She called her OB/GYN and told her about it and the doctor said "get thee to a hospital."
So I hop in a cab and head for home.
Unfortunately, the hospital the doctor told her to go to was LIJ, Long Island Jewish. Not surprisingly, that’s out on Long Island. We have a hospital much much closer to us, the one where our daughter was born, but they don’t have pre-term labor facilities apparently. Only LIJ does. So we call a car (the cabbie who drove me home had no idea how to get to LIJ and neither did I), wait for it to arrive, get in it, and spend the next hour or more in rush-hour traffic.
Finally get out to LIJ around 8:30 or so. The people in Labor & Delivery are very nice and very efficient and bring my wife in right away. My daughter and I sit out in the hall.
After almost two hours they let us go in and sit with her. Everything’s fine, the baby’s healthy, she’s not in labor yet. They don’t know what it was but she’s okay now.
Her doctor, meanwhile, has driven out after her own office hours ended, so we wind up waiting another half hour thinking the doctors there were calling her, only to be surprised when she walks in! She tells my wife to take it easy as much as possible--because that’s really easy when you’re minding a toddler!--and rest and relax and stay off her feet whenever she can and she’ll be fine.
Then we go downstairs, call a car again (get the same guy, who was very nice), and go home. Our daughter fell asleep in the car--no surprise, since it’s 11:30 already.
Get home, straighten up, get my wife water and her vitamins and some Tylenol, go upstairs, collapse.
I’ve called in a personal day and I’m home today so my wife can relax and recover without having to mind our daughter by herself. We’re both really glad it turned out okay, because having the baby three to four months early isn’t something we were ready for. But not surprisingly we’re both a little jittery right now.
Our daughter, on the other hand, had a great time. She got to ride in a car, see a new place, meet lots of interesting people (who all wore the same color clothing and all smiled at her) and drink juice and have a cookie. And she got to stay up late.
I’ve told her not to get used to it.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Slightly belated but . . .

Happy Birthday, [info]dochyel. Hope you had an awesome day Tuesday!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Strange street exchanges

My friend Mark and I were walking to lunch today (we went to a really good Indian wrap place on 46th between 6th and 7th). As we were approaching one building I noticed two women standing out front, between the building and the sidewalk proper, chatting. They looked like they were talking about—and laughing a little about—a man right in front of them. He was wearing dark clothes and a bike helmet and was kneeling to pull something out of a bike messenger-style bag. What he pulled out was a plastic bag, the kind you get for groceries or take-out—it had a symbol or logo on the side (not the usual smiley face or “I [heart] NY” or “Have a Nice Day!”) but I couldn’t make it out. As he stood up a woman walked toward us down the sidewalk, toward the man. She veered toward him, an ice cream cone in one hand and a wad of cash in the other. She thrust the cash at him and he handed her the bag. Neither of them said a word. She kept going, past him, while he shouldered his bag and pocketed the cash. Then we were past them.
Very odd, but a great scene. If I ever resume my Heller-esque novel Quagmire I plan to include it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Of half-bloods and half-wits

I finished the latest Harry Potter book (Number 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) last night—by finished I mean I reached the last page, since the book doesn’t so much end as just not continue. Ugh.
Yet again, Harry is a moron. And, for the second time in as many books, so is one of the adults. And this one’s supposed to be a genius! At least he didn’t put something there and forget about it—instead he sees something and makes a stupid and dangerous decision when he has a lot of other options. I saw at least four other things he could have done there to avoid imbibing (and no, none of them were “give it to Harry,” though that would have been pretty funny—“yes, this is why I brought you along—drink this.” Still smart, though, since one of them might be able to remove the effects afterward and it isn’t Potter) but he didn’t even consider, just started guzzling. Excuse me?
This book had an additional problem, which was the title and the related subject—which had nothing to do with the plot! In every other book, the title has indicated an object (or, for the fifth, an organization) integral to events. In this one, it indicated a pointless mystery whose revelation added nothing and whose central topic meant little more than good grades and a chance to show up Hermione. Argh!
As usual, the characters are pleasant once you get past Harry’s sheer stupidity. Good take on teenagers. Too bad Rowling is losing touch with creating sensible adult characters in the process. I certainly know what I’d like the next book to be—Harry Potter and the Hard-Ass Editor. Not that it’ll happen, since it hasn’t yet, but I keep hoping.