Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pandemic Diaries April 17, 2020

 

mark@marktreble.com

 

The Pandemic Diaries April 17, 2020

Logan here. Tommy promised you’d learn about how we, two white guys, got a black aunt. I’ve asked my brother, Antoine, to join me since he lives in the same building. See, Antoine Jackson moved to our hometown four years ago from New York. He had been in Special Education classes there, not learning much. His Dad’s sister, Kamesha Jackson, told Robert (that’s Antoine’s father) to bring him to Florida, she had some ideas about how to help him. Aunt Kamesha’s a Nurse Practitioner, kind of like a doctor but nicer and less stuck-up.

 So, the first thing she did was test his hearing. He was almost deaf; how was he supposed to learn if he couldn’t hear? Then she got her special friend, Dr. Gil, to test him. Dr. Gil is a shrink and said Antoine was dyslexic. He can’t make sense of written words because the letters get all jumbled up. Tommy and I met Antoine at the beginning of summer and invited him to play basketball with us. For those of you who aren’t still laughing uncontrollably, yes, he’s that Antoine Jackson, number one draft pick in the NBA last year from Duke. Best moves I’ve ever seen. So, Tommy and I got Dr. Gil’s brother, the basketball coach, out to see him.

Aunt Kamesha got an otolaryngology surgeon to fix his hearing, and Dr. Gil taught me and Tommy how to work with him on reading. By the end of the summer he’d gone from first grade level to fourth grade in reading and writing and math. I worked with him during the school year, and Coach had me and Tommy work with him on how our team played ball. By the end of ninth grade he was ahead of his classmates, and joined the basketball team for the rest of high school.

 Our senior year I walked out rather than deal with racist homophobic parents. I came out to them as I was leaving, and was told not to come back. Aunt Kamesha took me in, and said that if I was her nephew’s brother, then she was my aunt. A couple months later Tommy did the same thing. We’ve been family ever since.

 Antoine, you got anything to add?

 “Yeah. Aunt Kamesha likes you and Tommy better than me. I think it’s ‘cause you two help her for free in the clinic, Tommy doing physical therapy and you helping the patients with insurance companies. I guess it’s a good thing I’m better looking than either of you.

“Oww!! That hurts, Logan. See how you like it.”

 SOUNDS OF BREAKING FURNITURE AND GLASS. TWO YOUNG MEN WRESTLING ON THE FLOOR. EVENTUALLY TOMMY COMES IN AND TURNS OFF THE CAMERA.

 

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Pandemic Diaries April 10, 2020

mark@marktreble.com

 

The Pandemic Diaries April 10, 2020

 

It’s Tommy again. Logan forgot to look at the e-mail messages last week, so we’ve got a ton to go through. I printed them and will try to get them up on the screen. This first one is from Carly F. in Albuquerque. There, it’s up on the screen. She wants to know

 

STATIC, NO AUDIO, NO VIDEO

 

I think from now on I’ll just read them. Carly, I can’t read this yours out loud. I’ll just say I’m taken, and if Logan and I ever do decide to try a four-way, no animals will be allowed. The next one is from Jorge Q. in New York City. He wants to know what I’m giving Logan for our first anniversary. Well, Jorge, it’s a secret, so I can’t tell you. I will tell you that it will be unwrapped completely, and warm. Very warm. OK, who else do we have? It’s from Poppinseed in Washington, D.C. I know you! Good to hear from you. Yes, folks, it’s that Poppinseed, the man who sat out his first year after graduation rather than play anywhere but Washington. He says his brother came home the day lockdown started in D.C., which is a good thing because Poppinseed can’t leave the apartment except for medical visits and to buy food, and his brother has to help him carry home the groceries. Seems they’ve got the cheerleading squad from an NFL team in the apartment with him and it’s taking lots of groceries.

 

He attached a picture of his little brother, who’s only six-foot-two standing next to our friend, and looks like a shrimp. He’s got another picture of the living room in the apartment. Ah, I’m gonna need to spend some time in Photoshop pixillating before I can show anybody that photo. We’re doing fine, thanks for asking, and we aren’t bored yet. I’m busier than I was before the lockdown. I’m leading daily exercise sessions for the boys we work with, plus the team, and do at least two massages a day because somebody got bored and stupid. Here’s an example from this past week and a word of warning: don’t try doing pull-ups on your shower bar with your girlfriend upside down holding onto your butt. If he hadn’t lived directly above us, we might never have heard him. As it was, the player – whose name won’t be mentioned – is in the market for a new and less-embarrassed girlfriend.

Last e-mail is from Aunt Kamesha. I promised that we’d explain how two dumb-ass white boys got a black-as-night aunt, and Logan will do that next week. Anyway, she’s wishing us well and wants to know what we want for Christmas. She seems to think that the lockdown is gonna last until then. No chance, it will all be over shortly according to Governor Einstein.

 

Tree is learning to play the piano during lockdown. There’s a picture of him drawn by building manager’s husband’s teenage daughter from a previous marriage. Probably too much information, hunh? Anyway, he hopes to get good at the piano before the season starts. He’d better hurry.






Supposed to be Tree, except he has a buzzcut and is a bazillion feet tall


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Confession

mark@marktreble.com

I've had two bouts of cancer, one heart attack, two strokes, one cardiac arrest, bypass surgery, partial complex seizures and a variety of other life-shortening illnesses and events. I was a heavy-smoker for sixty years, haven't smoked in seventeen months, but that's not going to help much. I have Stage Three COPD. There is no cure.

I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, type 1, left side, aboout 33 years ago. It rarely strikes nowadays, but when it does it is crippling. I was diagnosed earlier this year with trigeminal neuralgia type 2 on the right side. It has only struck once, and is merely exceedingly painful, not crippling. My neurologist has also diagnosed a migraine-like headache.

In late 2018 I was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, which is incurable. It is a one-way ticket to non-Alzheimer's dementia. I'm still smarter than the average bear, but I have no sense of balance and must use a walker or a wheelchair. I do not leave the house usually. I voluntarily transferred all of my clients to another of the half-dozen former top-tier global management consultant who prefers to work with smaller businesses, and Joan has been a wonder. I did this because my clients don't come to me to help them fix small problems. They come to me with existential questions about their businesses, and I do not know when I will be compromised, nor if I'll recognize it.

My own estimation is that I'll survive until about Thanksgiving 2021. I have no crystal ball, it could be earlier or later. The bottom line is that I'm not a good prospect for life insurance salesmen. I'll do my best to keep you up to date.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Pandemic Diaries, Week three: April 3, 2020

mark@marktreble.com

 

The pandemic diaries Chapter3

 

April 3, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                               

Logan again here.  We’ve got a new option on the menu at the bottom of your screen. Click on the green MSG button and send us a message. We might even read it. Don’t send pictures unless you’re OK with having them shared with everybody on the call. We’re working on other features, such as voting. You might see Vote Now appear on your screen, and you can select one. For example.

 

Vote Now

Pick One:

Who is better looking:    Logan      or         Logan

That was easy.

 

We’re going kind of stir-crazy with being locked up. Governor Einstein (that’s what we call him in mixed company) announced that the lockdown will go on at least until April 15. That doesn’t make any sense. This stuff was supposed to be gone by now, and I don’t believe the April 15 date either. It doesn’t seem to be based on anything solid. The list of things that are allowed and others not allowed can’t possibly be based on science. Why is it safe to have fifteen people in a liquor store but not in a church? If Aunt Kamesha was here she’d give the man a piece of her mind.

 

Last week we began matching old computer owners to younger students without resources. Schools are trying to do all instruction on line, which can’t work for a student who has no line. The two ride-share companies do the pickup and delivery, and we pay them. Yesterday they delivered 51. Our goal is 500 a week until every child in the city is able to go online.

 

We had our Friday get-together last week and everybody showed up, including Deanna. Turns out she’s a nurse-practitioner the club hired to keep the players healthy and advise corporate about the pandemic. She talked with all of us at the party and had some sobering news. First, don’t let Mister Jake, Aunt Kamesha, or anybody else in that age range physically attend the wedding. I mean, that’s two months away, and the pandemic will be gone by then. She stared at me and I got the message.

 

 

She asked Tommy if he wanted team baseline temps in Celsius or Fahrenheit. He asked her for both so he didn’t have to waste time translating. I think he puts on the dumb-jock act. He said he’d take temps for every training session and make sure she got them. Yes, he knows how to do orthostatics and will add those if she wishes.

 

Some of the ball players from Dual Carolina University skyped in from a party off-campus. The freshmen were all making fools of themselves, just like we did. They had a game of truth or dare going on, and we finally disconnected. I never did figure out if it was maturity or jealousy on our part. We were all feeling pretty down, what with deaths being reported. Deanna asked if any of us had relatives in nursing homes. Tree has a grandmother in a nursing home, so Deanna got with him and they talked for a while.

 

I talked with Tree later, and it seems that Deanna is going to contact every long-term care facility with a relative of anyone with the team and track the relatives and their conditions and prognosis. I met with her on Wednesday and offered to sit in on phone calls. My job is to take notes and have legal references handy for when the home tried to excuse something by saying it was required by law. By today she’s arranged for court orders removing two elderly relatives to other places.

 

Tommy’s calling from the bedroom, and I recognize the tone and what it means. It’s become part of our pre-gathering ritual. A very pleasant part of the ritual. Now, I’m gonna say goodbye before I embarrass myself.