Proceeded To Pound Beers

Sarah and I just had the longest four days of our lives.

Last Thursday, Owen woke up with a weird bruise on his head. We assumed he’d just racked himself on his bed while taking a nap. The next day more bruises appeared, as well as some weird red spots. We called the doctor and they guessed it was just an allergic reaction, and that we should just keep an eye on it. Saturday morning the red spots and bruises were all over, and he had a dark spot on his tongue.

We took him to the urgent care clinic. They didn’t know what to make of it, so we were sent to the emergency room at UCLA Santa Monica. We were there for hours and hours, during which time four of us had to pin him down for 15 straight minutes as he screamed and cried during an IV insertion. After getting some initial bloodwork back, the doctor informed us that it was probably not leukemia (which exhibits similar symptoms). I felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. He guessed that it was something called ITP, a rare disease in which a foreign body (such as a virus/bacteria or something) tricks your body into destroying its own blood platelets. They couldn’t be sure, however, and wanted to send Owen to the UCLA Westwood facility via ambulance.

We arrived at Westwood and remained in the emergency room for hours. We were told that Owen’s platelet count was dangerously low, and that we must ensure that he not hit his head on anything or they might not be able to control the bleeding. Owen was feeling fine, so he was climbing, jumping and thrashing as per usual, as we tried to keep him restrained in a room just slightly bigger than most bathrooms.

He was finally admitted late Saturday night, and Sarah stayed the night with him as they gave him the first of two platelet infusions. Mike and Jeff helped out immensely by babysitting Stew on super-short notice.

The next day was a “waiting” day, spent trying to contain Owen in a small hospital bed. That night they did the second platelet drip.

Monday morning they checked his blood levels. Still very low. Not enough to be released. The only other solution would be to give him steroids, but in order to do so, they’d have to take a bone marrow sample to 100% eliminate the possibility of leukemia.

Owen woke up and wanted food, but we couldn’t give him any. Had to have an empty stomach for the procedure. We walked him into the operating room and saw that one of the doctors was playing GameCube. Sadly, this put me immediately at ease. We held his hand as he went under, then went back to his room to pace nervously. Twenty minutes later he was all done. We took him back to the room, gave him some french fries and watched The Wiggles.

They told us that we’d have results in by 3 or 4pm. The wait was honestly the worst few hours of my life. My whole body was shaking and my heart was beating in a full-on panic attack, as I imagined worst-case scenarios. I felt like I was truly about to have a heart attack.

At 4:30 the doctor come in. “All good news,” he said, and Sarah and I could finally breathe. It was most definitely not leukemia, but looked like a clear case of acute ITP. His platelets had jumped from 7,000 to 55,000 and he was getting back on track. We learned that healthy people typically have at least 150,000 platelets at a given time. 100,000 is a cause for concern. 50,000 is dangerous. 10,000 is critical. When Owen was admitted he had 2,000.

We were free to take him home right then and there, and were told that it’s extremely unlikely that this will ever happen again, but if it does, we now know what we’re dealing with, and which drugs can set things right.

My mom cried when she heard the good news. Our families let out a collective sigh. We packed everything up, thanked the nurses and headed out. Owen and Stew were reunited a few hours later, and their parents proceeded to pound beers.

I’d Like to Thank…Your Mom!

Sarah and I went to the Hollywood Movie Awards on Monday night. It was definitely an experience. After scurrying around for an ATM (since we only had three bucks on us and credit cards evidently aren’t “the rage” at the Beverly Hilton), I grabbed a Long Island and we headed in. Here are some impressions/highlights/snippets:

-Mary Hart and Mark Steines from Entertainment Tonight hosted. I’ll just leave it at that. Simply typing “Mary Hart” makes me angry.

-Sarah ran into Heather Graham as she was heading out of the bathroom.

-We saw Drusilla from Buffy hanging around with the common folk.

-Kate Beckinsale was (as expected) super hot and Jamie Foxx’s acceptance speech was the best of the night.

-Quentin Tarantino took a verbal swipe at Chris Columbus. The Q-Man was just as spastic and weird as he is on all of his interviews.

-Frank Darabont (director of Shawshank and…yeah…we won’t mention the others) reminded me a bit of Elliot from Just Shoot Me (and he’s now on Veronica Mars). Yeah, f*** you, Krogmann. Veronica Mars. Drink it in.

-Keira Knightley was NOT sporting the best haircut of her life.

-Robert Downey, Jr. was hilarious, but obviously trashed out of his mind. I can only guess he did a line or two before he came out.

-Harrison Ford seriously looked like he was about to die on stage. Please don’t do Indy 4, Harrison. I beg you. It’ll end up looking like Weekend at Bernie’s.

-Jake Gyllenhaal was sassy and dynamic!

-Scarlett Johansson, like Kate Beckinsale, was super hot, though she seemed a little dazed. And by dazed I mean drunk. High five!

-Greg Kinnear was jovial!

-Stan Lee made some weak Spider-Man jokes. “Isn’t that the guy from Mallrats?” Sarah asked.

-Keanu Reeves was no Ted Theodore Logan.

-John C. Reilly was offbeat and quirky!

-Will and Jada Pinkett Smith bantered back and forth. One family. Two huge talents! Only in Hollywood, California!

Fahrenheit 9/11 won Best Picture, and Sarah refrained from making a negative Michael Moore comment as the announcement was made. This worked out well, since one of the film’s producers was sitting right next to us.

-A Reebok representative went on a ten-minute tangent about human rights violations, at which point most of the audience headed to the bar.

-A filmmaker made a comment about how the Dalai Lama isn’t getting any younger, and that he’s currently 69. Sarah blurted out “SIXTY NINE! Ha ha ha!” and I felt our marriage grow a bit stronger.

-John Travolta didn’t say anything about Battlefield Earth, but did acknowledge that Michael was actually released. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

-Leonardo “Did I mention that The Aviator is coming out soon?” DiCaprio acted like Growing Pains never happened.

-Mel Gibson charmed his way into my heart.

Smiling and Wearing Sunglasses

It still amazes me, but I was at FOX for four years. Though I had many bizarre “moment of zen”-like experiences throughout the course of my employment, I’ve picked the following list as my all-time top ten. So, without further ado…

Kyle’s Top 10 FOX Moments:

10) Watching the always-confident Buzz Rodell crumble in the face of Rachel Bilson during this year’s O.C. finale party.

9) Watching Ben Stiller work his magic on the set of the Undeclared finale. He emerged from wardrobe wearing “Hammer” pants, a ridiculous tank-top and a tattoo of the Alcoholics Anonymous mantra. He then proceeded to pound Red Bulls and have someone “spot” him on a Bowflex.

8) Going to Andy Richter’s house to shoot an interview, but being so ill-prepared that Andy had to go inside and loan us his personal tripod.

7) Shooting an interview with Michael McKean, thanking him, then opening the camera (while he was still there) and watching the tape get completely eaten and spit out. Note: this also happened with Joss Whedon.

6) Watching Sir Richard Branson fly around the Times Square Virgin Megastore on a fake jetpack.

5) Being informed that News Digital (a former News Corp. spin-off division in charge of before control was returned to FOX Broadcasting Company) was being dissolved, and that for the remainder of our time there, we’d have to be crammed in the back of the building because they were going to shoot a pilot. Watching said pilot being filmed (while bitterly finishing our last few weeks of work) and audibly mocking the leading man’s attempt at being an action hero, then being “shushed” by the director because our whispering was loud enough to ruin the take. The show and actor? 24 with Kiefer Sutherland.

4) Stopping by the set of A Minute with Stan Hooper to do some interviews, then witnessing a 15-minute free improv session led by Fred Willard (!) with a special appearance by Bob Saget.

3) Hearing a cellphone go off on the set of The X-Files, and wondering what poor son of a bitch was going to take the fall for ruining the take. Looking around frantically only to see that the phone belonged to Chris Carter (the show’s creator).

2) Interviewing both Joey Buttafuoco and Vanilla Ice on the same day (for Celebrity Boxing). Then interviewing both William “The Refrigerator” Perry and Screech on the same day (for Celebrity Boxing II).

1) Interviewing Burt Reynolds in his hotel room (for the final season of The X-Files). We walked in and there was the legend himself, sitting on his bed smiling and wearing sunglasses.