Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's Called Spellcheck--Look Into It

In the best news I've heard since, well, ever, it turns out my heart will go on...and on and on. My doctor called yesterday. Apparently, the whole plaqued-up heart thing was just a big mistake! They started to wonder when my carotid ultrasound came back showing the most perfect, flawless carotid arteries to ever grace a sonogram. Apparently my carotids are the Brangelina of the cardiovascular world.

Anyway, my cholesterol level and my totally excellent blood vessels prompted my doc and her associates to check out that original aortal ultrasound. And guess what? The whole diagnosis stemmed from a TYPO on the initial report of the reading. I don't think "Oops" begins to cover it in this case. Not to mention, I'm not sure how one typo could turn a diagnosis from "You're healthy as a horse" into "Dick Cheney called and he wants his heart back." But I'm no doctor! (For one thing, I can spell and write legibly.)

The important thing is: I'm healthy. Super healthy. Always was, and hopefully will be for a long time. You're not going to get rid of me that easily. I"m going out for a chicken-fried steak to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

JetBlue, You're My Hero

JetBlue Airlines proves once again that they rule. In response to my email to them, in which I said, "Flight 93--You might want to change that number, morons," I got the following email this morning:

Dear Ms. Polito,

Thank you for your email regarding JetBlue's flight numbers. We apologize for the uneasy feelingyou experienced when you booked your upcoming flight and discovered that it was numbered 93. We have passed along your suggestion that we eliminate this flight number to our Leadership Team for consideration.

If you would feel more comfortable changing to another flight, JetBlue does have two direct flights from JFK to Oakland which depart soon after flight #93. Please give us a call at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583), or visit our website and click the "manage your flights" button if you would like to make a change.

We thank you for choosing JetBlue and look forward to the opportunity to serve you.


Customer Commitment Crew
JetBlue Airways
Crewmember 25784

A speedy response, giving more or less the right answer. Seeing as how if I got home any later on Tuesday I would be buried under a pile of my own guilt, I'm sticking with Flight 93. But here's hoping for long-term change. Besides, if you address the bad juju head on, you eliminate the possibility of bad luck. Or so I say. Now I'm off to rub my rabbit's foot and knock three times on my wooden desk. Not that I'm superstitious or anything. Not me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Be Careful Out There

I was devastated to learn that an acquaintance from an online bike forum was killed Sunday by a motorist, during the first weekend of a cross-country ride.

It was seriously a few days ago that he was saying goodbye, off to do his dream ride on his recumbent. And now he's gone. I just can't believe it.

I did not know Phil well, but I did know his rides, his stories, and his amazing devotion to his teenage son. He is the second person within a year I've known who has died on his bike. I really hope he's the last. There are enough assholes in the world, we can't afford to lose any more good guys.

When we all go out riding, it's getting harder to take for granted that we'll all come back in one piece. Share the road, people, share the road.

Here's to Phil, who took chances and lived his life, up until the very end. Peace.

Bicyclist dies in fatal collision near Davenport

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Hello? Jet Blue? Is This Thing On?

Let's say you're me. You are booking a round-trip flight on Jet Blue to and from the NYC tri-state area for the first all-girl pajama party getaway you've had since, ever. We're talking serious party! Wine! Beach! No sign of Nick Jr! Dogs and cats living together! You get the idea.

Still, five days away from the family. Flying across country when we hate flying. To New York, no less, where we know, we know in our rational brain planes fly back and forth every day without incident. Yet, 5 years ago, a little something happened to a plane bound from NY to SF. In fact, a very nice guy from the 'hood named Mark Bingham was on board. Anyway. Rational Brain has a grip, but Lizard Brain thinks about it, especially when already feeling guilty already for ditching the kids with dad for hedonistic selfish purposes. Damn you, Lizard Brain.

But--Rational Brain gets a grip in the end and books the flight. I am bound for NY and back in late August. Times and dates: check! Enter credit card number for nice people at JetBlue: check! Pick a nice comfy window seat: checkaroonie. Confirmation! Ms. Polito, you are confirmed both ways: arriving JFK on Thursday, returning Tuesday to OAK on...wait for it...


Are you fucking kidding me? Hey JetBlue, been to the movies lately? Watched the news since 9/11/2001? Believe even the tiniest bit in superstition? I mean, I believe the only the tiniest bit in superstition and more than a tiny bit in karma and out of the infinite bazillions of numbers you can assign to a cross-country flight originating in NY, I would not choose, oh, ANY ONE BUT THAT ONE. Please to be changing that number.

It's a sign. I'm a delinquent mom. But in August, I'll be a delinquent mom with a tan and a new outfit from Barney's.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bad Boy Bad Boy, Whatcha Gonna Do?

Gianni had his first brush with The Man today. Rick and G were riding to school on the tagalong bike. They were cruising along the streets of San Francisco when they heard behind them: BEuwwwwUP! The unmistakable sound of the police siren.

Rick's first thought, aside from the instinctive "where do I hide my weed?" (ha ha, just kidding, mom) was that he was riding too far into traffic. Or, that the cop just wanted to give him shit because he was on a bike and, you know, cops do that sort of thing sometimes.

But, the cop came up to Gianni and said, and I paraphrase: You were dragging your feet on the ground instead of pedaling. And that, young man, is not safe. He did not issue a ticket or lock up our young blond perp in the clink. But Officer Friendly gave G a stern warning and put the fear of God into him.

Rick told me that Gianni got pulled over, and I thought he was totally kidding! But it happened! Frankly, I think it's good for him to get a little scare--scoff at Mom and Dad if you will, but are you gonna fuck with the Five-O?

Our son, Down by Law, fingered by the cops at age 5. I hope we're still laughing in 20 years, and not reminiscing about Gianni's first pinch on our way to Visiting Day at San Quentin.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Old at Heart

Update on the ongoing bizarre saga of my crusty old blood vessels: today I had an ultrasound of my carotid arteries. It is weird indeed to go under the wand for something other than pregnancy--no one gasps with excitement when your arteries appear onscreen.

My Carotid Artery--A Dramatization

For those who are uninitiated to my weird luck, an ultrasound tech scanning for an unrelated condition a few months back noticed that I had calcification of my aorta. This is common in people who a. have high blood pressure and cholesterol readings and b. are old. I am neither.

Still, despite my rock-bottom cholesterol and BP, they thought it was best to be safe and brought me back in to look at my carotids. Apparently, with the carotids so close to the surface of the skin, it's really easy to see if they're junked up at all. And if they are, that means there's probably something to this whole atherosclerosis thing. If not, whatever is hanging out in my aorta is just a fluke, or a misdiagnosis. Or something.

Anyway, today the nice people at UCSF Mount Zion checked out my circulatory system up close and personal. It took an hour of poking things into my neck and clicking keys. I was getting fidgety, but the ultrasound tech told me that I was the easiest case she'd ever had--all of the other patients who undergo this reading are so old that they have humps on their backs and can't lay straight, and can't move their necks at all.

Should I feel better, or worse? I'm not sure.

But hopefully we will have good results and years of fun with the old ticker, and I won't have to revisit Mount Zion until I have my requisite back hump in place.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Whole Tooth...

Is gone! Gianni finally lost the front tooth that's been dangling in place for weeks. He was starting to look like Ollie from Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. Now, he is simply adorable and three dollars richer. (Thanks, tooth fairy!)

Let's review....

Tough and Ruthless
Rough and Toothless

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

4 out of 5 Doctors Agree: You're a Crappy Mom

Hey moms, just in case you're not insecure and scared enough about that new tiny human you're supposed to keep alive, here's a little more pressure!

Now public health officials are joining the breastfeeding dogma-pile and telling moms that not breastfeeding until six months of age can be harmful to your children. Bottle-fed babes are more susceptible to colds, flu, ear infections, obesity, and serious chronic diseases later in life. That's right ladies, you just didn't try hard enough. It all goes back to something you did. As you can see, the DHH is dedicated to providing even-handed information to new moms:

"A two-year national breast-feeding awareness campaign that culminated this spring ran television announcements showing a pregnant woman clutching her belly as she was thrown off a mechanical bull during ladies' night at a bar — and compared the behavior to failing to breast-feed.

"You wouldn't take risks before your baby's born," the advertisement says. "Why start after?"

This just in! Baby formula is made of half Jack Daniels, and half ground puppies! I mean, jeezus, people. How about a little subtlety?

Let me be clear here: I breastfed both of my kids, each one for a year. Breastfeeding is great. But it can also be a pain in the ass, and undoable for some people. And let's not forget that I was at home, unlike the millions of women who go back to work early because family benefits suck ass in this country. If we care so damned much about health in this country, how about we start by supporting our moms, 99 percent of whom are doing the best they can with what they've got?

Put that on a warning label, Tom Harkin.

NY Times: Breast-Feed or Else

Monday, June 12, 2006

Everyone else is doing it

And if everyone else jumped off a cliff, I would, too. Thus we begin.