Pablo and I were snapped by a professional cycling photog at the stage 7 finish line of the Tour of California at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. He took a whole series of us. We had no idea until he waved at us to get our attention. He needed our names. The guy gave me his card—he's from Broussard, Louisiana. Figures he was from Jo Ann's homeland—more fate. Another thread of too-strange-to-be-true-ness: the woman who pulled us up on the wheel chair platform worked for Amgen—she runs the manufacturing for the Neulasta and Neupogen, the two Amgen shots Pablo gets all the time. Just amazing. I gave her a giant hug and told her she was a saint and a celebrity in our household. Amgen is the marquee sponsor of the ToC, so I could have walked up to everyone in their VIP tent giving hugs to everyone. This sweet woman and her two children let us share the back half of the platform. The front half was for her husband, a CHP officer and cyclist, was hit at the side of a car while on duty last year.
In the middle of the race, a very 'VIP' celebrity-type guy (I mean, he was pretty fit, and well-dressed and groomed) hastily tapped our host on her leg. She ignored him at first, eventually kneeling down on the platform, which was about three feet high, to address the tapping buff man. I heard him shout at her, 'Hey, why do you get to be up there?' She stood up, shocked, and looked at me. Pablo was watching the race and out of earshot. I took my turn to kneel down and answer the celebutant's f***ing insane question. 'Can't you tell?,' I said. 'We won the lottery. Her husband is paralyzed and my son has cancer.'
Punching the guy every-which-way-but-loose style would have been a better option from the guy's perspective. As my response traveled from his earlobes to his frontal lobe, and his eyes saw the wheel chair and Pablo's bald head, his face went blank and his jaw dropped. And somehow, I felt like it was the clearest communication I'd ever had in my life. Or at least one of the quickest.
Anyway, I'm going to frame one of these pics—or small versions of all five—for my office, and for home. Little Pablo with his cowbell (a traditional noisemaker at cycling races), and elbows on his Papa's head, and his 'Mike And The Bike' cap. What a cool look he has!
Here's an update on our Monday: Jo Ann is still crazy sick. She feels worse than she did on day one, Saturday. A trip to Dr Nasseri's office in Beverly Hills got her a shot of a powerful antibiotic in her butt. This med is extreme stuff. The doc told her to stay in bed for the balance of the week, and not to lift anything heavier than her arm. Dang. But it sounds like the exact kinda thing she needs to kick what she's got.
Meantime, Pablo and I are on night three in Grady's bed. G is with his dad for what looks to be another long stay. We miss Grady like hell when he's away for so long. But it's best that he keeps his health intact. Plus, with Jo Ann out of commission, there's no way we could keep up with getting him to school and all that. As it is, Polly is working overtime so I can work and Jo Ann can rest. She brought Pablo to the office today for lunch, and then again at 6. He watched 'Willy Wonka' on the receptionist computer while I finished my final meeting of the day. Then we hit $1 taco night at Malo. And we say Polly and her massive crew of friends across the restaurant.
Tomorrow brings yet another twist to our lives: I have to report for jury duty at 7:45 a.m. I'm all for showing up to do my civic duty. But, I gotta say, I'm not looking forward to gettin governmental tomorrow. First of all, it means I can't ride in the morning. That p**ses me off. Second, Jo Ann can't go near Pablo, and Polly doesn't get here til later in the morning. Not sure how that is going to play out. By the way, I'm out of get-out-of-jury-free cards with the J Comm. In early August Dr M wrote a letter asking that I be excused until after P's treatment. In early August we thought Pablo's diagnosis was going to be favorable across the board (remember waaaay back then?) and we'd be done after he healed from surgery. Had that been the case, I'd be jumping for joy to sit in some cell-free freek zone all day tomorrow. Definitely not the case in the cold hard light of today. I am at the absolute most busy, make-or-break time of my career.
Alas, I will go to the nut, er, courthouse tomorrow, park at the Disney Concert Hall, and do my best to find an appropriate way to get excused. I'm going in armed with Dr M's original letter, some current medical bills (I actually want to start laughing right now—we have no less than 300 white Blue Cross envelopes sitting in Jo Ann's office) and some itemized invoices from the medical supply delivery service that drops Pablo's shots every week. Whatever I need to prove that P is still in treatment, I'm doing it.
If that doesn't work, this potential crinimal justice court juror is gonna have to tell them the truth: I don't trust cops. Ask my dad why.