Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yesterday (no, not the Paul McCartney tune)

Yesterday I heard my baby's heartbeat again. While it's true that even before going into the exam room I was already feeling a little emotional (actually, I was thinking about my mom, and wondering when we're going to hear from the doctor about her CT scan results; yes, I have called him and left messages but I guess he's busy. I will try again today), so when my doctor (OK, she's actually the mid-wife, and I love her) lubed up her little belly listener and almost instantly found the baby's heartbeat, I pretty much also instantly started to cry.

My mid-wife (her name is Lucy) told me that everything sounds great and the heartbeat is nice and strong, and that I look fine (I've been wondering), so I felt a hundred times better when I walked out than when I walked in.

As I wrote on Facebook yesterday, this whole thing is awesome and exciting and amazing and I can't believe I have a child inside of me. How do people do this? It's totally... insane. Patrick has a co-worker who (lovingly...?) referred to her baby (before it was born) as "The Parasite." I keep thinking of my baby as an alien baby. I hopefully will be able to refine this mental image tomorrow, when we have the ultrasound that tells us, among other things, if our baby will be a boy or a girl (or Europan). I have no preference but would like to remind you of the dream I had where I had a boy (and also that John Larroquette was parking cars). Really, I'm fine either way.

It know it's cliche to say so but it really is a miracle. My body is making a person. Tell me that's not straight out of science fiction. Anyway, after all the blubbering, I described the sound of the baby's heartbeat (also on FB) to Patrick as "a teeny tiny very hungry washing machine." As a drummer (and we recently re-watched the movie "Contact") he totally understood that comparison. My vocal demonstration brought it home. Jodie Foster would also understand the reference, being a mother herself. Ooh, I finally have something in common with Jodie Foster! Oh, and also Kate Gosselin. OK, well, whatever, forget that.

After the doctor's appointment, I ended up running a bunch of errands, which included a visit to the Apple store in the Cerritos Mall to see what they could tell me about a goofy problem I'm having with my iPhone: I no longer see the cute little red ball with a number in it when I get a voicemail message. This has apparently been going on for three weeks (the 21 messages in my inbox confirmed this). I could see that someone had called me, but without the other little red dot, I assumed they hadn't left a message. No, it really didn't alarm me that 21 people had called me and just hung up: I really don't like leaving messages, either. And often I will just call someone later if I see that they called. It wasn't really a problem except for one call from Carolyn Nussbaum in reference to my headjoint that I had considered having her sell for me at the flute convention (which was two weeks ago). Oops, she probably thinks I'm a flake, which is a shame, because she is a nice person who remembers me (which I think is amazing) and an excellent businesswoman and you should check out her online shop.

Anyway, the other night at home I looked up a few things to see if I could fix it myself, got some advice from a couple of tech savvy friends and my brother who had the same problem, did a restore, and called myself from the house phone about 5 times in a row. I left the same message each time: "Message message message message." My phone registered the call, accepted the message, but continues to refuse to tell me about it. I may have to start calling it "HAL."

So anyway, I went to Cerritos to the Apple Store where an... interestingly bearded young man told me that I needed to see an Apple Genius, and that his store's soonest appointment wasn't until Monday. Then he helpfully suggested that I go to either the Brea or South Coast Plaza stores, which both had appointments available today. Brea had an earlier appointment time available (and I hate the 405 north in the late afternoon from South Coast... it's worse between there and home than it is between home and west LA), so I grabbed it. Also, I was not appropriately attired for the South Coast Plaza (my fur is at the cleaners; the only labels I was wearing were Gap and Haviana).

I've never been to the Brea Mall, but it was just a short 18 miles away (on three freeways). The Apple guy booked my appointment using his iPad and made sure I found the directions on my (incredibly slow) iPhone map application before I left, and after a quick look at the shoes in the Nine West window, I was on my way.

I was a bit early, and luckily there was a Borders on the way, so I stopped in for a copy of Arthur C. Clarke's 2010 (I just re-read 2001 a couple of weeks ago; I read both books probably 20 years ago. Maybe more). While I was pulling into the parking lot, I happened to have KUSC (91.5 FM) on the radio.

Now, it's rare that I choose to listen to classical music. My familiarity with classical music is pretty limited to what I've played (and often I don't remember these by title) and a few pieces that have caught my attention over the years. Yes, this is a shame, as I am a musician. Fine. Bad me. If I were in a rock band, maybe, maybe I'd have an excuse. The truth is that I like what I like and I'm usually in the mood for other things. Once in awhile (usually when shuttling my mom home from chemotherapy, though those listening moments are marred by the fact that we're usually talking or thinking quietly to ourselves... or my mom is criticizing my driving) I do listen. And once in awhile I am struck dumb by the beauty of the music.

While sitting in the parking lot, I heard a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol," and it was gorgeous. I found out later that this piece is famous and something I should know already but whatever, I didn't. I fell in love. I'm sure in flute choir we've played arrangements of other examples of Rimsky-Korsakov's music and if I consulted our member Michael, who keeps detailed reports on what we played, when, I could find out (and I'm telling you, there's a story that I'm sure you would truly enjoy), but that's not the point. This piece (I'm not sure who performed it... ah, a look at KUSC's playlist says it was the Rotterdam Orchestra. Whoever the flutists were - they were excellent. Those flutes were as sharp as knives, and I'm not talking about being in tune) just knocked me out. So sitting in the super hot Borders Brea parking lot, I learned something and heard a beautiful piece of music, and later, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

When I got to the Brea Mall and to the Apple store, I was about 20 minutes early, so I updated my Twitter and Facebook statuses (shut up, I don't care what the plural of "status" is) with snarky comments about the fact that these people are called "Genius." Here's a sample:

"The area of the Apple store where they ask you to wait for your Genius is full of the least interesting products these people sell. Somebody buy me an iPad."

"I wonder if my Genius will be as smart as Stephen Hawking? Come on, let's do some time traveling today!"

"My Apple Genius is late. He or she better bring the time machine. Also, why does it smell like French fries in here?"

My Genius (who was only a few minutes late) turned out to be another young guy with curious facial hair (and gorgeous blue or blue-green eyes). He was actually unfamiliar with the issue I was having (which surprised me), and we joked about the "Genius" appellation (which he said "sets us up to fail"). I thought his attitude about being a Genius was pretty cool (self-deprecation is always attractive to me), and I made him laugh with a time machine comment (yeah, I know Apple has a thing called "Time Machine" but I was talking about actual time travel, and he seemed to get it). He went away and ran some sort of diagnostic test on my phone, came back and quizzed me about what I had done to remedy the problem, and then, in the midst of suggesting I do another restore (!), he apparently changed his mind and announced that because my phone is still under warranty (but just barely), he would get me a replacement phone.

Unfortunately that store didn't have my phone in stock (and I didn't think to enquire about the chances of upgrading to the new one), so I'll have to trek all the way back out to Brea in a few days to pick it up, but still, all in all, I was pretty well satisfied.

I subsequently posted: "My Genius is getting me a new phone. Better than time travel."

And this time, it was.

When I got home I purchased on iTunes a recording of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" and "Capriccio Espagnol" (performed, I think by the London Philharmonic), dragged one of the butterfly chairs out into the front yard under the tree, and curled up with 2010, a totally silly book that in my opinion, doesn't live up to, at all, 2001. I put the Rimsky-Korsakov on the stereo, turned it up nice and loud (the mailman loved it), and hung out, read, watched the cars go by, and tried to stay cool. For once I think I succeeded.

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