Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Broken Hearts for Valentine's Day

got two more stories published on Osmosis Online, neither of which is a Dish-Interested piece. i don’t think i’ll be doing too many non-Dish pieces as i don’t have a ton of bandwidth lately, but these two were easy to repurpose and timely for Valentine’s Day.

first up is a modified version of the blog post i wrote recently about my dad’s heart surgery. big thank you to all who reached out and extended me their well wishes and support. the short update is that my pops is doing well after surgery. his three-week checkup confirmed that the stents are doing what they are supposed to do and his wound healed the way it was supposed to heal.

however, there is still an issue with one artery that couldn’t be opened during the angioplasty, which means there is a real possibility he’ll need another surgery in the future, so we’re not out of the woods just yet. the good news is that my pops is holding steady with the profound changes he needed to make to his diet. he even ate the soy-based meat substitute i bought him! small victories, folks. here’s the story that appeared in Osmosis to commemorate the soy-eating occasion:

Heart Strain

“You might want to sit down for this.”

These are words I never care to hear again, especially from my father, who called me the other week to say the above, adding “I went to the cardiologist and he said my heart has a clogged artery. I need to have surgery to open it.”

It’s a situation that’s hardly rare. Only today, President Clinton had a stent procedure. Turns out my father was basically on the verge of a heart attack, and had been for years, with a tightness in his chest that had been misdiagnosed as gas, as anxiety. An angioplasty was scheduled and, if it didn’t work, pops would have to be rushed into a bypass, an open-heart surgery that had risks that made my head spin and hands shake.

This was an impossible situation because my pops is a superhero and heart problems only plague mortals.

“Dad, I love you and...

the next story is the story of my valentine’s day six years ago when i was newly single, freshly heartbroken and attending a Match.com singles mixer in Hollywood with a former beauty queen. i do not recommend spending your valentine’s day in the same way.

truth is that i’m mortified i’m still publishing this story — which appeared on MillaTimes four years ago — as it involves an ex-boyfriend i no longer care for and a time in my life i no longer think about. but when i can suppress my gag reflex and fool myself into thinking that the story is not about pathetic me, i do like it as a piece of prose — one that will likely be the opening essay in my hopefully-one-day-but-probably-never-published collection of personal essays titled “Everything Sucks and So Can I.” here it is:

Valentine’s Day. I find myself suddenly single again after four years off the market. It doesn’t bother me much that I’m alone on Valentine’s Day, but it seems to bother other people, who insist I join them for the evening. I tell them I’m too busy unpacking boxes, having just moved into a new place following the sudden split, but Zahra is damn persistent.

“Girl, I got us on the list for the Match.com party in Hollywood,” she says in her Jamaican accent.

“Ah, the coveted Los Angeles list,” I remark.

“Yeah, as in we don’t have to pay $25 at the door.”

It’s Saturday. I’ve been single exactly three weeks, and she’s insisting I dive headfirst into what’s sure to be the largest and saddest meat marketing event of the year.

“Match.com, that online dating service, is throwing a party in Hollywood on Valentine’s Day? It’ll be full of losers—”

“— And us,” she quips.

So we go. It’s my first foray into L.A.’s treacherous bar scene as a solo artist, and I commemorate the event by wearing high heels, a dangerously low-cut top and a push-up bra that thrusts...

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