Monday, October 22, 2007

Twelve Days in Hell

Crossing my fingers that my brother may finally be released from the hospital tomorrow. I've spent a lot of time in his Austin hospital room and sleeping on a convertible chair thingie beside his bed because, quite frankly, we didn't know what was wrong with him. Neither did doctors. The best they could do was drain his lungs and keep him drugged. Medicine is not an exact science.

So, we had plenty of time to talk about unimportant things like how Paul Winchell did the best voices in some of our favorite kids' shows like Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines and The Banana Splits and how nobody we know has ever heard of the Speed Buggy cartoon that we loved so much. We also watched old movies and new releases on a portable DVD player propped up on his serving tray while I told him about the Austin Film Festival and why I left my job and he told me what life is like working as a restaurant manager and how his ex-wife is breeding Bassett Hounds.

Often, while my brother was in a drug induced sleep, I'd sit in the recliner and write and write and write or take my laptop downstairs where there was internet access.

When families get together at holidays, it's all about who can take off work on which days and what to buy our kids and who is cooking what meal and who sleeps where. If my brother hadn't gotten so sick, there's no way we'd have ever both put our lives on hold just to hang out and be a brother and sister again.


Unk said...

Good stuff. Hope he gets well soon.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

Thanks, Unk, regardless what happens from this point on, we're putting the past twelve days in the win column.

Grubber said...

Sorry to hear he was crook Maryan but glad that he is on the way up.

It's good to put life on a hold for a while sometimes. Pity that the pause button can be a bastard.

Best of luck to your brother!
PS were you polishing that Aquawoman script? :)

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Yes, actually, an Aquawoman pitch was part of the marathon but not the way you think.

Anonymous said...

so you did leave that job... get well soon wishes to him

Grubber said...

I meant to ask the same question as Todd. Did you leave the one that had forced you to return to study, etc?
PS just catching up on your other posts.....I am thinking you could definitely classify a blog as a form of diary :)

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Yeah. That's the job although that had nothing to do with why I left. Truth is that going through that re-education process will help me in future jobs if I decide to stay in local government. Not all cities will require me to do that but I'll do it anyway because it can only help me.

Difficult as that job was, I actually loved it and left for other reasons - I was put in a position below my skill level and my city manager who was the finest guy I had ever worked for left to go to another city. We have some fine City Council members and yet I still had some no-win ethical and political dilemmas after manager left.

I'll tell you this much though. There are people in this world - a very few - who genuinely serve the public. They get up in the morning and report to work and when a citizen walks in the door, they drop what they're doing and find a way to solve that person's problem. Public information is a priority to these people. They genuinely believe the public has a right to know what the law says they have a right to know. Integrity is not a buzz word to them but a way of life and they believe that they are stewards of the public trust.

These people may seem silly or idealistic or a big fat joke to the public servants who have become jaded and bruised and world weary but they are the ones who lose sleep over the minutiae of following the letter of the law.

They are the ones that will never be caught with their pants down, never be found embarrassing the public, never be overheard insulting somebody's race or religion or sexual orientation, never cheat on an expense report, never misuse taxpayer's money, never lie or cover up for somebody who is not doing their job and never be seen making an obscene gesture behind somebody's back because they have too much respect for the public they serve and the job they do to abuse the citizens' trust that way.

They will, however, tattle on those people who do and take all kinds of crap for doing it.

And that's about all I have to say about that.