Sunday, February 15, 2009

Outerspace Saturday

Saturday was a gift from the chemo gods. Pablo and I went on an afternoon. We stopped at our new office. I wanted to show Pablo the progress that was made this week on the finish work. He loved it. We sat at my desk and reviewed a budget. He was completely enveloped in reading the numbers. He saw a $2,500 line item and said, 'two five hundred.' Then he said, 'Papa, what if you owed me $1,800? You'd have to make a lot of money to pay that.'

We continued on our way, winding up Sunset Boulevard a mile, and up to Los Feliz a few blocks north. We went to see Peter and Brie and baby Lennon (he was napping), and Brie's parents and a bunch of their friends from the Bay area who are here for the weekend. Then made our way over to the Griffith Park Observatory for lunch and some planet hopping. On the way there, Pablo named a bunch of planets (this is an exact quote): 'Pluto, Mars...and Pennsylvania.' One of these days I'm actually going to get pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving when P drops a line that. I'm sure my laugh-based loss of control behind the wheel looks the same to the cops. It has been raining off/on for two weeks, and we saw all the way to the ocean.

While we were lost in space, Jo Ann and Grady had a much-needed rendezvous of their own. They had lunch in China Town, and, based on the pile of bags I see in the hallway, went to Urban Outfitters, Target and a bunch of other shoppes. They had dinner at the #2 best sushi spot in LA (next to Nozawa), Sushi Park, and then checked out revolutionary skater Stacy Peralta's Gangland documentary 'Crips And Bloods' at the Sunset 5 theater. I say much-needed cos Grady had been with Jimmy for nearly three weeks: one week while Pablo did his last in-patient treatment, and then another chunk of time cos he was sick with a virus. We missed him immensely. Just another little chunk of emotional toughness that comes with cancer treatment in a post-nuclear family.

When I got home from my ride Saturday morning, Grady and Pablo were watching YouTube clips on TV via AppleTV. Grady loves Lil Wayne, and was watching LW's interview with Katie Couric. He asked me to sit down and watch it. I was blown away by LW's clarity and focus. At one point he said, 'Ms Katie, I love to work.' At another, he said, 'I am music'—a reference to the words tattooed on his face. I love Lil Wayne's singles, and I knew he was from New Orleans and went to high school across the street from where Jo Ann went. But I knew very little about him prior to watching 12 minutes of clips of his Couric interview. I also now see why Grady is so into him: he's a real artist in every sense. His answers were proclamations. He did not pause or hesitate when speaking. He was believable. From the heart. Real. Not concerned with what others think. At one point, on the inevitable 'role model' question that every celeb musician gets asked, LW said, 'If you need me as a role model, you shouldn't be alive. I am a role model for two people, my kids, and nobody else.' I wish we had more artists were so straight up. Culture would get a lot more respect if the people making it actually knew themselves and weren't hiding or ducking from the world.

After the video clips were over, Jo Ann, Grady, Pablo and I sat and talked about how we felt about what we'd just watched. I was filled with warmth to see Grady so passionate about Lil Wayne. He knows everything—I mean everything—about him. That is incredibly powerful to me. I mean, I'm 36 and I still get a kick out of riding past David Lee Roth's mansion in Pasadena, hoping that one day I'll see him. Music, books, art, architecture carried me out of a basement in Milwaukee. When I was his age, those things were all I cared about. When Grady's passion for Green Day waned over the past year, Jo Ann and I were worried. Being music people, we wanted G to be passionate about something artistic. We didn't pressure him or anything, but we talked many times—even with Jimmy—about this. Turns out Green Day were a path to Lil Wayne and a complete obsession with an artist, his art, how he does what he does and why.

Can you tell that we're actually elated that Pablo's platelet count wasn't high enough for treatment on Thursday? If his chemo had gone down this week, we'd have been home-bound for the weekend.

Here are some pics from our Saturday at the top of Griffith Park:

Do you believe they put a man on the Moon?
That double vision
Man...or Astroman?
Standing on Peter and Papa's desk. This dude means bizzznessss....
At the Observatory dining room.
Pablo on the glass at the office. He did that without prompting from me. Seriously.

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