I'm Still Here...
Wow… It’s been a long time. From my last day of work up until today so much has happened it’s hard to find a good place to start.
My first couple of days of unemployment were spent on “ride along” with my wife as she carried on with her normal weekly routine. After three days of that one thing is perfectly clear to me now: I’ve got to get back to work soon because Mrs. Alva’s schedule is far too grueling for me. My wife gets more done in the couple of hours after dropping Katie off at school and picking her up in the early afternoon than most people do in a week’s time. On Wednesday, my third day of shadowing her, I fell onto the couch and began griping that my feet hurt. God forbid she‘s got things to do after school. I’m grateful for never having dissed any stay at home mom about their workload. I can now fully appreciate the efforts of Mrs. Alva and all the others in her profession after my experience. Booyacasha, much respect…
During the latter part of that first week, Mrs. Alva was suffering from some pains in her upper abdominal area which finally got severe enough for her to make the trip to the GP for some remedy. The GP quickly sent her to a specialist and BAM! By Friday she was diagnosed with a gall bladder ailment for which surgical removal was the only option. Turns out that the unsuccessful IVF cycle we attempted this past fall included a pile of hormone based meds which took it’s toll on this small organ which sits between the liver and stomach (a one two punch: no baby AND lose a gall bladder in the process of trying, nice). To make matters worse, the surgeon wanted to do it right away which meant having to postpone our greatly anticipated trip back to NJ/NY to see her family and many of our friends this week. She was more bummed about this than having to go under the knife. While I was bummed about having to rework our travel plans, I was enormously relieved to hear it wasn’t anything worse. I simply could not live without her.
So, Friday in she went and by 10:30 AM I was called into the surgeon’s consult room and told by the guy who operated on her that everything went very well and she’d be back to her old self in short order. I asked, “Well, when can that be because there is NO way I can carry her load and the stuff I’ve got to get done. What does she need, a day or two? Couldn’t you have at least thrown in a breast enhancement while you were in there? C’mon man, help a brother out!” Actually Mrs. Alva is recovering quite rapidly and I think I’ve done an adequate job of keeping our abode running smoothly in the interim if I do say so myself.
Mrs. Alva felt good enough to attend Katie’s Christmas pageant with me at her school Monday. If ever there was a reason to have kids this is it. All these painfully cute kids dressed up in nativity costumes singing carols off key. I was blubbering like a baby. I asked one of the little dudes dressed in traditional Arab garb if he wouldn’t mind making an appeal to his friends back in the ME to perhaps give us a break on the price of crude during the holidays. He looked up at me and then kicked me in the shin. Merry Christmas to you too pal.
Since our travel plans were put off until after Christmas, I let the folks at Our Lady of Mercy know that I would be attending the alumni performance of their Taize chant choir and asked if they’d be interested in having me record it for them. You may recall that we made a record with them two years ago and they sold quite few copies. They were ecstatic about the idea since this would be the largest gathering of current members and alumni ever assembled. They are indescribably good. I briefed Jackson on the project and forewarned him that he and Chrispy may have some mastering work coming their way. Apparently Jackson briefed Chrispy on the technical aspects of my plan and I took a conference call from the two of them the next night during which Chrispy guilted me into pulling all my good gear out of my studio’s rack, including my HD-24 and doing this recording justice vs. replicating my last effort with an old 16 bit ADAT blackface recorder. Of course he was right, besides what could I say? I don’t have the time to do all that? I got nothing but time. I’ve got it all packed up to make the trip down to the South side of town tomorrow afternoon. If anybody wants to hear some earth moving choral music and get into the Christmas spirit, make it down to Old Lady of Mercy at 7:00 PM. It will be a night to remember.
So here I am. Me and my crew battling back to full strength as we head into the meat of the Christmas holiday to try to make it as fun as we had originally planned. We were successful in changing our flights to put us in the NY metro area over New Years holiday and Mrs. Alva and I will be joining Jackson, his brother, and a cast of locals along with their most lovely ladies for a NYC New Years eve celebration. If we can pull that off I think that’ll make up a great deal for all the recent setbacks.
Unemployment, failed IVF attempt, and gall bladder surgery. A tough second half of the year for the Alva’s to be sure, but were still alive and kickin’ with our spirits high. There are many far worse off than us and we are truly grateful for everything we have. I’ll keep the posts coming throughout the holidays and you guys check in and let me know what’s going too.