What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Years of public schooling taught me that all summer vacations should be followed by a 500-word essay telling the world what I did.

First, I went to Miami to attend my son’s second graduation from law school. He received an LLM in Taxation from the University of Miami, which has a very fine graduate tax program. I did not enjoy the experience – largely because I am destined to be miserable at all graduation ceremonies. In the past, this was due to my bad back (now surgically repaired). This time … well, I have to go back a little in time.

The night before, we enjoyed an excellent pre-graduation meal at a Miami restaurant called the Captain’s Tavern. I had crab cakes and an extraordinary banana cream pie. My son’s friend, who is half Egyptian, half Irish Catholic, was with us, and we enjoyed the evening. (He put “African American” on his college applications and so received monumental scholarships. Egypt is unquestionably a part of Africa, you know.)

That night, I was sick on my stomach – my body having decided to produce prodigious amounts of gas. And there’s just no socially acceptable way to deal with such an event. I figured it was the food, but I’d not overeaten (much). And most disconcertingly, I had this sharp pain in my gut, which I figured was a product of the gas and – like all things gaseous – I thought surely this too shall pass.

I ate very little the next morning. We walked to the graduation, the gas was gone, and the pain was worse. Not a good sign.

So the graduation had a brass ensemble playing graduation music. And they gave Laurence Tribe an honorary degree for – the best I can tell – holding the same political views as the president of the university: Donna Schalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton. Tribe, in gratitude, proceeded to make a 50-minute talk about all the injustice in this country and how President Obama had put him on staff to end all injustice – not that he’d actually ended any injustice yet, but he’s working on it.

And the pain got worse. So we took the obligatory post-graduation pictures and went looking for a doctor’s office open at 4:30 on Sunday. After all, we were scheduled to leave on a cruise the next morning. I had to get well and get well fast.

Fortunately, we found that the Baptist Hospital has a walk in clinic, which is staffed by some very good folks. I was truly impressed. After some poking around to see whether it hurts right here (YES, IT HURTS!), an x-ray, and peeing in a cup, I was diagnosed with diverticulitis, and was told in the most strident terms that if I didn’t take my medicine, my intestine would perforate, the nasty contents of my intestines would leak out into my innards, and then bad things would start to happen.

So I’m taking massive doses of antibiotics, took a pain killer for a day, and am much better, although still a bit worn down.

Oh, and I went on a cruise.

When I got back, I had (no kidding) 1,300 email messages and 700 spam comments on the blog to check and delete. It’ll take a little time to respond to the comments.


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