Dashing Through The Snow

What a weekend. Everything started off so great – but things rapidly deteriorated beginning on Saturday. But first – the good stuff.

I met up with Kirk Friday night (somebody I met on-line and have been emailing with the past few weeks). Anyway, we hung out all night and went into the North End to join the Feast. The neighborhood was packed with people. It seemed that every few minutes another parade was taking place with marching bands and those bizarre religious things being carried on people’s shoulders with dollar bills pinned to them.

Of course, in the middle of Endicott Street there is always the stage/shrine with this watch covered religious figure.

But the most fun is the tacky stage where performers play old Italian love songs or Big Band music. I prefer the Big Band as it gets all of the little old ladies and gentleman dancing in the street.

However, before going out Friday night, I called my brother to chat and found out that they were taking my niece back to the hospital in Boston because her face was inexplicably swelling up. This is where things started to turn south.

On Saturday, I got  call from Kirk asking if I wanted to go to the movies (since I told him on Friday that I was thinking of doing that before visiting my niece). We decided to go see The Aristocrats. I liked it…but not as much as I thought I would. It’s amazing how quickly you can get desensitized to incest, bestiality, bodily fluids, and liberal use of the F-word. Still, I love Phyllis Diller – and Carrie Fisher talking about her mom (Debbie Reynolds) being a golden showers pig was worth the admission alone.

Anyway, after the movie I went to the hospital to visit my niece. She looked worse than I’d seen all year (and she’s been in the hospital almost all year). Her face was so swollen her eyes could barely open. She was lethargic and when the nurses tried to switch her crib, she tried screaming but nothing could come out. It was heart-wrenching.

When I got home, my mother called to say that she and my father were coming to Boston to visit my niece in the hospital. Since they’re afraid of driving in the city (they’re in their mid 70’s) I agreed to get up early on Sunday and take the subway south to Braintree to meet them, drive them to the hospital, then take the car (and dog) to my apartment. Miracle of miracles, I found free street parking in the West End.

Meanwhile, Dusty was a pain in the ass. She was so excited to be in a different place that all she wanted to do was bark and chase my feet around the apartment. Rich was with me so we took her for a long walk through the North End/Waterfront to exhaust her. Then my parents called to say that my nieces face had swollen so badly that her eyes were forced shut. They decided to do emergency surgery on her to remove the feeding tube installed just a week ago. It was relocated to her groin area thinking that perhaps the old tube location was preventing blood from leaving her head (causing the swelling).

I picked up my parents, got them to the highway out of the city, went to a market in Chinatown for some groceries and then at 10PM at night when I was finally ready to get some rest, one of the Feast parades ventured down my street.

Now, I live on a short, narrow dead end street in the North End. It’s called a court, although my friend, Chris, affectionately refers to it as an alley. Anyway, this band (and also that bizarre religious thing being carried on people’s shoulders with dollar bills pinned to it) comes down my street after 10PM playing their trombones and drums. My floors were shaking. Being a dead end street, there was nowhere to go but to stop right outside my window and perform.

But then they started performing Jingle Bells. Seriously – Jingle Bells…in August…while it’s 70+ degrees and humid. I don’t get it. I suppose it was a quirky distraction to get my mind off things. But once they left (leaving a heaping trail of confetti), the fireworks began. I think I finally made it to bed around 11:30 (which is late for me on a school night).

So – that was my weekend. The good, the bad and the ugly.


*Note to self: learn how to take pictures at night.



  1. Comment by karyn on August 29, 2005 12:57 pm

    Did Dusty pee all over your apartment? Stick a diaper on her little doggie behind. The nighttime pictures look fine to me. Jingle Bells… now I have to tell you, I can explain a lot of the Italian culture but not Jingle Bells in August unless they were just being facetious or celebrating X number of days until Christmas.

    The big thing is – how is your niece doing? I realize the answer will never be “Great!” but she and your brother are on my mind more than I can tell you.

  2. Comment by David on August 29, 2005 3:10 pm

    Sorry about your niece Karl…….
    And all those Italians, in such a little cramped space, playing Jingle bells in August……..
    Hey, I just noticed, Karyn cured her double postings.

  3. Comment by Robert on August 29, 2005 3:35 pm

    I hope your niece gets better soon. Real soon!

  4. Comment by Brad on August 29, 2005 5:31 pm

    And I just noticed that Karyn was talking about peeing all over the place . . . does that mean she’s into golden showers, too. <wicked smile>

  5. Comment by Brad on August 29, 2005 5:32 pm

    And next time I’ll ask the band to play a good ole version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”. That should put you in the mood.

  6. Comment by karyn on August 29, 2005 6:53 pm

    You know? Your friends are as savagely smartass as you are. David, the Doublemint Plague has ended as suddenly as it began. No idea how or why, just glad it went away!
    Brad, I was talking about DUSTY the dog who suffers from excitement induced incontinence! Not recreational peeing! Sheesh! Don’t make me come over there. Thwack! 🙂

  7. Comment by chrispy on August 30, 2005 11:41 am

    this blog commentary is turning into an episode of Knots Landing….i LOVE it

  8. Comment by Brad on August 30, 2005 12:17 pm

    Ooooh! Karyn is threatening to hit me! I MUST meet this woman!

  9. Comment by Gaane on September 17, 2005 8:20 am

    Your blog is realy very interesting.

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