Monday, February 12, 2007

Party Squared--alternatively titled Having a (Size 5) Ball


Last Monday's clinic brought us the decent news all around. Erin's blood counts looked solid in every category, except hemoglobin. For you economists out there, hemoglobin is a "lagging" variable. It reflects the past two or three months of blood health, so Erin's hemoglobin count is still hovering a point or two below where it was before she got sick around last Thanksgiving. Given her overall improvement in health we ought to see that number climb slowly up as spring dawns. I see this surge as essential to support Erin's plans for herself, which involve soccer, softball, horse back riding, church music, and the newly inaugurated piano lessons. The other bit of clinic news was that Erin could have her next physical and full labs here in the microplex with her pediatrician, Jesse Parr. Dr. Russell gave Erin a pass since we had a complicated schedule that week with the side note that joked "
Erin has been so stable. We have to keep her on the meds just so you don't forget us." I would gladly put a portrait of Heidi Russell and her whole NB team in my living room and build a little memorial around it to remember them if it would let Erin go off of meds and leave the world of neuroblastoma behind.

Davis and Brian Benjamin joined Erin and I for dinner Monday evening, and as I had hoped we had an unremarkable evening. The boys had a lot to say about "Fun Fun" math (Calculus IV) and "Imaginary" math (Complex Analysis), but the big topic of conversation was "Orgo" (Organic Chemistry). Both Brian and Davis were preparing for an 8-hour orgo day on Tuesday, with a one hour class, a four hour lab, and then in the evening, a three hour exam. On the whole, they seemed to have a pretty good attitude about it. Brian, one of the PPR day rule breakers, also seemed sanguine about taking his punishments. Davis had chosen a fellow Will Ricer, known only as Niceville, to arbitrate and pass judgment on the punishment definitions, to make sure the rule breakers received just punishment.

Erin had the delight of watching those amazing Harlem Globetrotters on Wednesday night at the invitation of her buddy Jackson. I sent her along with a $20, so she could buy souvenirs for herself and Jackson. She brought home what I used to call a whirly gig and no change. I was okay with the no change part until Thursday, when Erin's souvenir became a "willie gig," a pricey chew toy that had lost it ability to fly without frequent flier miles.

The weekend took the Buengers in four different directions. I am on a need-to-know basis about Davis and can not report his whereabouts, but I know he wasn't with me, Erin, or Walter. Walter had to attend to secret church business most of the weekend (no, he's not in a cult--just the opposite--we're Presbyterian). Erin and I had a tough call to make. We were invited to birthday parties--one in Sachse (Emma's Big Number Two!)

and one here at home (Terriana's First Annual Super Girlie-Girl Party).

I opted to let Erin stay in town to be with her friends and avoid the long car trip. Thankfully, Erin's friends treated her like a progressive dinner and just passed her along from house to house all weekend. Thank you ladies and gentlemen! Here is Erin on one of the beds she could have slept on.

I made it back to town on Sunday, just in time to suit up for my first soccer match of the season. The SMC United (Soccer Mom's Club) took the field against the Purple Haze in the newly formed Division V League. I swear what is about to follow is not pornography, but it does involve bare body parts and may shock many of you if you keep reading. So, STOP SCROLLING DOWN, if you want to avoid the image that I am going to publish below. I promise you will not miss any droll commentary or interesting Buenger tidbits.

This is my leg, the right one. What you see is not varicose veins. If you look carefully, you will see that it is an imprint of a size 5 soccer ball, taken twenty-four hours after the soccer ball struck my thigh. I am looking for a business suit with a mini skirt in my size. I figure if I teach tomorrow with this still showing on my leg, no student would dare cross Dr. Tough. I think I will limit my search to blue, purple, or maroon suits so that the bruising will just blend in like an accessory. You think I'm brave? You think I'm tough? It wasn't taking a ball on the leg to stop a certain goal that proves that. How many of you would publish a photo of your thigh for all the world to see?

Okay. So I lied. There was droll commentary and a little Buenger tidbit for those of you who kept scrolling down. Life is just like Forrest Gump promised. Truly, you never know what you are going to get.

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