Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthdays.

Today was Carol's birthday and Saturday is Gayle's 20th. And she says that makes her feel old. Puh-leeez!!! Bad timing on my part to put a little brain surgery in between them, but so be it. Tonight we went out for sushi again at our favorite local spot to celebrate. We came home and had one last chance to relax on the deck before we head to San Francisco tomorrow. Then the mosquitoes chased us back inside... The fireworks are from July 4th, of course, but are used here in celebration of two important birthdays.

I didn't know what to get Carol for her birthday this year, and frankly, it's been hard to focus on anything other than Friday lately. So, on impulse, I got her an iPad. I blame my Apple-loving buddies for egging me on. It is a fun little indulgence and I just hope she grows to like it. If not, I guess it'll be my new iPad...

Since I've not had time or opportunity to shop for Gayle, she's going to get one of my cool old film cameras for her birthday. She's been having fun going retro this summer - vinyl records and film cameras.

These gifts that we give are fun tokens to remind us of our love and connections with those we care about. But, and I risk falling into a deep cliche, the only real gift we have to share is our time together. And you find out who loves you most and who really cares when times are hard. For me, times have never been harder than now. On one hand, I know several people who have been through much tougher challenges in their lives than mine, so I feel like I should just suck it up. On the other hand, what's coming frightens me like nothing else in my life. There, I said it. I'm fucking scared. In about 30 hours from now, somebody's going to cut open my head and try to fix what's wrong and sew me back up again. I've put my trust in people who I barely know based on their education and experience, and I can only hope that that's enough. And yes, I am fucking scared.

One of my friends told me that there are lessons to be learned from hard times, and she is right. This ordeal has definitely brought Carol and I closer together than we've been in a long time for that I am only grateful. Another friend said that it's times like this that you find our who your true friends are because they will stand beside you.  And I've discovered that I have friends standing beside me all over the world who honestly care and are sending their prayers, Karma, good thoughts and best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery. I am humbled every day as messages come in from  people I know well and people I haven't heard from in years. I've tried my best to thank each one of you directly, but let me say thank you again to all of you now. Believe me, it helps more than you know. As I said in my first post, I am a lucky man.

So, tomorrow afternoon we head to San Francisco where we are planning to catch the Birth of the Impressionists exhibit at the DeYoung Museum. Then we will have dinner with some great friends who have offered their home for us to stay through the duration. Carol's sister Joyce is coming up from Atascadero for some moral support in the waiting room on Friday. She will drop us off at the hospital at 6 am, then come back to keep Carol company when my procedure starts at 7:30. I should be into recovery by noon. My surgeon said that if all goes well, I should be ready to go home in  two or three days, so I hope to be back in Hangtown by Monday. 

At least that's the plan as I know it tonight. One of us will post something to the blog on Friday afternoon or evening. Perhaps Carol will do it with her new iPad.



  1. Kerik,

    Good luck, and try not piss off the doctors until after the surgery. My best thoughts are with you.

    Robert GRAPHIXGOD Godwin

  2. Good luck K. Thoughts will be with you.

  3. John Scott (thebanana)July 8, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    I'm pulling for you, bud. All the best.

  4. All of us who know and love you are standing together, holding hands, and enveloping you in one big hug, keeping you safe and taking you through this journey. Talk to you soon, Kerik.

  5. Kerik, sending all the good thoughts I have your way. Like banana man we're pulling for you. Speak with you soon, my friend.

    - Thomas

  6. Kerik-

    I know you'll come through this just fine. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts all day tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing a lot more of your amazing collodion work in the near future. If nothing else, look at this as an opportunity to do a really cool self-portrait with half your head shaved!


  7. you'll be feeling better after this is behind you ; )


  8. It's 8:46 am Friday here in cowtown (so 6:46 am your time), so guessing you are getting lots of attention right about now, lots of questions about different things - stripped of everything (they gonna give you a cool haircut?).

    Kerik, prayers and good thoughts your way right now buddy and look forward to update(s) from Carol later today, you can ask for pictures later of the whole thing..

  9. Sending good thoughts for a successful operation and speedy recovery...


  10. I'm sending positive thoughts for a successful operation and speedy recovery...


  11. Hey, Kerik, been thinking of you and following your blog. By now you're through with the stress of impending skull carpentry and just have a bit of recuperation to deal with. And of course, you get to keep all of the wisdom and love that this ordeal has brought with it (along with a set or two of hospital slippers, if the hospital is like Marshall).

    I've had surgery a few times. The most significant was in my 20s, when the surgeon spent a few hours more than expected rooting around in my neck, and I had a hell of an anesthesia hangover--but they're a lot better with anesthesia these days, so I'm hoping your anesthesia hangover will be minor. At this point I pretty much see surgery as a chance to let someone else fix a problem of mine while I sleep through the hard work. I hope that you're feeling similarly about surgery now, or will be soon.

    Thanks for the blog, one more example of the deeply engaged and generous way you live your life.

    Cheers to the Kouklis women!

    Best -- Mark Howell

  12. You have support and love from a wonderful woman whom we love very much. Stay strong!!! and get well!!