Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's been ages since I have last posted. It's not without anything to say. Many things have been happening. It is Atticus' birthday today, January 28. A year he was been here. Has it already been a year? Has that passed? What a strange thing. Yesterday after picking up Atticus I headed to work because I had to kill time until Gabrielle finished with volleyball practice. Getting there I gently extricated him from his car seat. Walking to the building he was so tired, exhausted that I could feel the weight of him on me, his hands and legs dangling down. I thought, I love this. I love that I am carrying you. Right now at this exact moment in time my whole responsibility is to carry you to the door, carry you upstairs. My whole responsibility, my whole purpose is for you. And then suddenly it made sense, after so many years, after a lifetime it finally made sense. This is what it means. Good or bad, when you have the responsibility of another human being this is what it means. I have lived this life, not to sound so dramatic or general, so irresponsibly that remembering his birth I was so happy that day. I was so happy to get two hours of sleep at a time in the hospital and wake up. I realized that at that moment I had purpose. And then two seconds later I realized two more things: that I could use that purpose as a crutch to forgo my own path (if that makes sense) and that one day I would not be here, that I would die. That by far struck me the most, like I suddenly realized that yes, I am mortal. Not that I ever thought I was immortal but rather I always had this sense of specialness, everyone does. It is this delicate barrier, yet surprisingly solid and tough, that can get shattered when you are, let's say, mugged, or when you realize you are going to die. You realize suddenly that oh my god I am a human being. I looked at my newborn son that day and felt that. I was sitting in my car a weeks ago looking at film of my PET Scan feeling the same thing. Except this time I was scared. And I started to cry. Not yet, I kept thinking, not yet. And then, pushing its way into my mouth, I haven't even done anything yet. And then I thought of my laziness, my inaction. I thought of that moment when he was born. And then I thought of Gabrielle. I never had that moment with you and yet I love you and am so very paternal. I came into your life and never had that moment, I just showed up one day and here we are. I have seen you grow. And now I realize. I love this. I love that I am carrying you.

And the tests are ok so far. It's early. And Gabrielle started volleyball and is more excited about it than I have ever seen her excited about anything. Purpose. And it was my and Irene's anniversary yesterday (the day we had our first date not that day we got married) and today Atticus was born. And I picked up a tire from the alley wanting to paint it and Gabrielle made fun of me. And my aunt was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer and is full of life and sarcastic through and through. And we move. Just move.

And it goes and goes. Tears, sweat, again, shifting the world so much I can feel it in my bones, the kitchen is a mess, the house feels the effects. Super 8 movie reels of childhood in our heads. Screen printed. Hand painted. Washed. Sewn canvas. The Art of Losing isn't hard to master Write It! Blood test. Missing money. Missed days. Iron injections. Steroids. Pot brownies. Eating a burger instead. Gradeschool heartbreak and this too shall pass. Riding of the back of a motorcycle and finally holding on.

better late than never.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

To: The Eagle
From: Hilesh

Happy Birthday to my favorite magician.

I've heard it said that proclaiming "Ricky Jay does card tricks" is like saying "Sonny Rollins plays tenor saxophone."

Meaning, of course, your passion and skill can't claim a name. But we see it. We reflect it like mirrors.

Much love.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

a bad scan of the upper left of a painting

I have a CT Scan tomorrow. I have to drink Barium this evening and tomorrow before the test. It's no so bad. My dad told me not to worry. My mom told me to carry an icon in my pocket. I told this to my sister and she laughed. Of course, she said.

from the site Radiology Info

What is CT Scanning of the Body?

CT (computed tomography), sometimes called CAT scan, uses special x-ray equipment to obtain image data from different angles around the body and then uses computer processing of the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs.

CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue—lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels—with great clarity. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

How does the procedure work?

CAT scan: liver
CT scan showing the liver.

CAT scan: abdominal
CT slice through the mid abdomen showing multiple normal appearing organs which are labeled.

CAT scan: appendix
CT scan of a normal appendix in the right lower abdomen. The appendix normally connects with the right colon and contains air- this appears black on the scan. Air in the appendix excludes appendicitis since this means that the appendix is not obstructed or inflamed.

Appendicitis: The appendix is distended and inflamed. In this patient the appendix has not yet ruptured.

In many ways CT scanning works very much like other x-ray examinations. Very small, controlled amounts of x-ray radiation are passed through the body and different tissues absorb radiation at different rates. With plain radiology, an image of the inside of the body is captured when special film is exposed to the absorbed x-rays. With CT the film is replaced by an array of detectors that measure the x-ray profile.

Inside the CT scanner is a rotating gantry that has an x-ray tube mounted on one side and an arc-shaped detector mounted on the opposite side. An x-ray beam is emitted in a fan shape as the rotating frame spins the x-ray tube and detector around the patient. Each time the x-ray tube and detector make a 360-degree rotation and the x-ray passes through the patient's body, the image of a thin section is acquired. During each rotation the detector records about 1,000 images (profiles) of the expanded x-ray beam. Each profile is then reconstructed by a dedicated computer into a two-dimensional image of the section that was scanned. Multiple computers are typically used to control the entire CT system.

You might think of it as a loaf of bread cut into thin slices. When the image slices are reassembled by computer, the result is a very detailed, multidimensional view of the body's interior.

A relatively new technique, spiral (helical) CT has improved the accuracy of CT for many diseases. A new vascular imaging technique, called spiral CT angiography, is noninvasive and less expensive than conventional angiography and allows doctors to see blood vessels without the need for more invasive procedures.

The term "spiral CT" comes from the shape of the path taken by the x-ray beam during scanning. The examination table advances at a constant rate through the scanner gantry while the x-ray tube rotates continuously around the patient, tracing a spiral path through the patient. This spiral path gathers continuous data with no gaps between images.

With spiral CT, refinements in detector technology support faster, higher-quality image acquisition with less radiation exposure. The current spiral CT scans are called multidetector CT and are most commonly four- or 16-slice systems. CT scanners with 64 detectors are now available. These instruments should provide either faster scanning or higher resolution images. Using 16-slice scanner systems the radiologist can acquire 32 image slices per second. A spiral scan can usually be obtained during a single breath hold. This allows scanning of the chest or abdomen in 10 seconds or less. Such speed is beneficial in all patients but especially in elderly, pediatric or critically ill patients, populations in whom the length of scanning was often problematic. The multidetector CT also allows applications like CT angiography to be more successful.

With conventional CT, small lesions may go undetected when a patient breathes differently on consecutive scans because lesions may be missed by unequal spacing between scans. The speed of spiral scanning and a single breath hold increase the rate of lesion detection.

Wil: So how come we never met before now?

Vivian Shing: We did meet. Nineteen years ago. I was 8, you were 9. Outside the temple.

Wil: I don't remember.

Vivian Shing: The Wong boys were taunting me about my parents' divorce. You beat the crap out of them. You were wearing a Kristy McNichol t-shirt, tan cords and a pageboy. You spilled your mom's groceries. We scooped them into a bag.

Wil: That's right, and then...

Vivian Shing: And then I kissed you on the nose. And you ran.


I saw an utterly charming movie called Saving Face. It has been sitting with me for quite a few days. It works in the tradition of old screwball comedies but with a gentle touch. And a lot of heart. To say it's a love story is so narrow in its description. It is what my friends Lisa and Shari would call a Hilesh movie.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

It's about 6:20 on Sunday and this is the official start of a new year. There seems a lot of hullabaloo about the transition but where as before I didn't like New Years Eve and tried best in all my wannabe punk post adolescent fury to hate it, I kind of liked it this year. It was hard on me physically but I did actually make it to about 12:15 before fatigue set in and 12:56 before I gave up and went to bed. It's not the weight of the new year or all the dreams and hopes that are bundled up and sadly weighted on this new entity's shoulders that I am thinking about. There were moments as a child I would wake up in the middle of the night and watch car lights come through the square box of my window and slowly dash across the ceiling. Unable to go to sleep I would gaze at the red glowing numbers of the clock and wait until it turned to the next minute. And wait. And wait. And it turned. And I said, there, I did it.

That's what I am thinking this morning. Billions of tiny little beings, in Delhi, Rome, in small warm rooms in Bloomington Illinois in towns in England in the cold open air of Kashmir, everyone is staring at the clock. Intently.


There. We did it.
Like children.
Collectively we watch the clock.
One. Two. Three. (hold breath)

I did it.
I am here.

Fade to black.

Wake up.

I am going back to sleep.