Monday, October 29, 2007


This is it - the first picture ever taken of me.

I was born somewhere around two and a half months early. I weighed a little more than two pounds. It was 1970, and it was a small-town hospital, and I was so tiny that all of the doctors and most of the nurses thought I would die within hours. They gently told my mom to go home and wait for the call.

She did get a call, but it wasn't the one she was expecting. One of the nurses phoned and said, "I drew the short straw to call you, but I don't think this is right. I can tell that she wants to live!" Through some clandestine manueuvers, the two of them worked to get me transferred to the larger hospital in the next town.

I spent the next two months in an incubator, not because there was anything wrong with my lungs, or because I wasn't well. I was just small, and they didn't know what else to do with me.

This is the first picture that I have where I'm not behind plastic. I have no idea how old I am here. Maybe four months? My dad looks like a giant holding me in his enormous hands. I'm taller than he is now, but his hands still envelope mine completely.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Classic

How I Get From There to Here - Moving Edition

My brother Big Guy's truck. Oh, where to start?

Big Guy lent us his truck for the next couple of months so that we can move supplies and boxes to our new house. The truck, a GMC Sierra Classic stepside, has already helped us out by allowing us to purchase and move a dishwasher, six sheets of drywall, a ladder and a few boxes. We plan to load it up again tonight and move some smaller furniture over so that we don't have to cram it into the 24' truck on Saturday. The Classic? Proving its worth.

On the downside, The Classic has little-to-no weatherstripping around the windows. That incident with the ankle socks in the window a couple of weeks ago? Yep, that was in The Classic. The rear window is limo-tinted, and because this means you can't see out of it anyway, there's been no hurry to replace the rearview mirror. The doors have to be slammed shut with great force, throwing the side mirrors out of alignment. You cannot roll down the windows to adjust them, because the windows will not necessarily roll back up again. Open door, fix mirror, close door, knock mirror to an angle where all you can see is the door handle or the ground. The result is that, most of the time, Accountant Boy is driving blind. We asked Big Guy about these things, and he said, "I'm all about looking ahead. I don't look back, man." He chuckled good-naturedly, only half-kidding.

Why is A.B. the only one driving The Classic? That'd be on account of the steering, which is, let's euphemistically say, liberal. "It's like I'm pretend driving, like a Fisher-Price car!" he said as he turned the wheel twenty degrees in either direction while rolling straight down the road. "By the way, honey, you cannot EVER drive this truck. I love you too much to let you do it."

It also spews noxious exhaust fumes, long after the engine is turned off. We parked it in the garage to unload some stuff without disturbing our neighbors, and I went inside for a few minutes. When I opened the utility room door, I was assaulted by the smell.

"Honey, the garage door!"


"OPEN the garage door and MOVE THE TRUCK before you inadvertently kill yourself!"


For all of its faults, The Classic really has been great this week. Without it, we'd be struggling to rent the Home Depot trucks, or coordinating deliveries of every single thing that we've bought that can't be shoved through the rear door of our 2002 VW Passats. It has a new stereo, and when we're driving slowly enough to hear it over the wind noise, it's a rockin' system. We only keep one CD in it - a disc Big Guy labeled 'Pete's Mix'. Of everyone we know, only my brothers and his own family call Accountant Boy 'Pete'. Nobody else does, just like nobody ever shortens my name to Sue. He never corrects them, maybe because he doesn't want to upset the sense of brotherly camaraderie. Anyway, 'Pete's Mix' - it's got some old Black Sabbath, a Godsmack song, and Rush's '2112'.

"I think he got confused when we were burning CD's. This one's his."

"Oh, c'mon, Pete. You know you love Geddy Lee. Sing along! 'Weee aaahrre the prieests...'"

"I can't. I might pull something important and dear to me."

FamilyBanana's going through a rough patch right now. DaddyBanana isn't doing well, and Big Guy's taking it pretty hard. I like to think that A.B. and I taking The Classic on an extended road trip makes him happy when he thinks about it.

On that topic, we've got a lot going on in SuzannaBananaLand right now. We're moving for the first time in almost a decade, DaddyBanana's health is failing, my job is...weird, and I feel like everything in my life has been thrown into disarray, like a deck of cards hurled into the air. There is more than a slight possibility that I'll miss some blogstalk posts over the next couple of months. We'll see how the cards fall.