Tuesday, August 25, 2009

like the song says...like some forgotten dream

we still go visit mom every day. for me, it's getting more like these lyrics: "we don't talk much more" "she sits and stares" "what's new?" "like some forgotten dream" "nothing, what's with you?" "nothing much to do."

i guess that's why i take awol with me. that mutt has it down. in his own way he goes to every single person and says, "helloooo in there...hello."

i keep trying not to blog because i don't like to whine. at least not publicly. but the truth is it's been a trying few weeks, i guess. now that i have a relatively positive mom anecdote...i still feel the need to get it right, to put it in context, to be honest in the telling.

so maybe i'll just copy and paste a few "mom reports".

no. the family has already read those emails and responded. and this blog is essentially for them, anyway. no. i need to come up with a reason. some sort of universal truth, some epiphany to make it worthy, a literary device (a gouge... hahahhahahahha.)
i'm thinking of a deciduous tree. could that work? both the cause (mom's well-being) and the effect (my reluctance to write about her) are cyclical. deciduous.

yes. i'll work on that.

until we meet again...
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the good, the bad and the ugly

from today's news:

the good -
whether you like barack obama or not, i hope you will appreciate this story about his mother's character as revealed through her life's work. she's the good guy in this world of ours.

the bad -
this is actually mostly good news. i only call it "the bad" because it seems unconscionable to me that it took so damn long. it seems bad to me that industry; for reasons of either greed, ignorance, misplaced loyalty or all of the above, allowed themselves to go bankrupt, become 60% government owned and worst of all, create Massive unemployment and chaos while the technology now "suddenly in place" has really been damn near in place for decades.

the ugly -
in case you don't click and read the news stories here (highlighted in red), i'll tell you a bit more about this one. last week the courts awarded the recording industry a $675,000 judgement against a man for downloading and sharing 30 (thirty!) songs online.

now that's UGLY. in my opinion, i think the rule should read as follows: if a record label or artist has already made a million bucks, all their stuff is fair game for anyone savvy enough to share it for free. end of soapbox.

for more rant...

i'm pretty sure the following is all three, the good, bad and ugly , and includes TWOD (the word of the day). the word irredentist is new to me and can be found in the last sentence of the above article.

OH! & one more good!...
i gave away the last of awol's pups today.
the brown one with the paul newman eyes, the one most like awol now has a new home with one of the aides who works on mom's alzheimer unit. she will bring him to work with her. and THAT is a very very good good thing.

(i have pics, but i can't upload them on my connection, but i will as soon as i am able.)

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - IV, random pictures

i know...this post is way too fucking long, too convoluted and too full of my screwed up sense of humor. suck it, trebek. it's my blog.

on our roadtrip to and from amarillo, we took several sidetrips down obscure farm roads to see what we could see*. on one of the more profitable of those meandering excursions we saw the coolest thing. this low flying barn cresting a hill just the barest bit above the ground as it skimmed, star wars style, over a hay field.

who knew barns could fly?**

i took over 300 pictures on the trip to and from amarillo. i won't bore you with all of them, or all of my silly ramblings about them, but here are a few.

these next 3 were taken at a roadside strip mall just outside of henrietta, texas. it was a sunday and the place was closed, so i have no idea how much they wanted for the steel and tin sculptures, but they were kinda cool. they'd make good yard art or beer garden decorations. the store name in the background is "cadillac cowgirl." i can't help but wonder if it's owned by the same person who lives about 50 miles back, here.

this headless cowboy is next to a coral with a couple of horses that awol didn't exactly make friends with. when one of them came out to take a leak awol's jaw went slack at the size of it. (oh wait, maybe that was terri's jaw...) anyway, much barking ensued. (i'm pretty sure it awol doing the barking.)

this is my favorite piece they had. being near the town of henrietta it reminded me of a chicken i once had named henrietta. when my ex and i first moved to dallas back in 1975 we brought our one remaining chicken with us. one day soon after the move she got out of her pen. the next thing we knew she was chasing our cat down the middle of velasco street in broad daylight! it was a sight to see. ahahahahaha. henrietta. she was a real hoot, but i don't think she ever totally made the transition from free range country chicken to being an illegal city-chicken.

these here are 19th century saloon doors in Saint Jo, texas.

(did ya notice how i hit the shift key there? that's because Saint Jo is an extremely awesome name for a town. it's a shout out to all you Jos out there!)

there's also a bit of irony in those swingin' doors still being there. it seems the name of the town is due to a town founder guy named joe, nicknamed SAINT JO, being such a zealous prohibitionist.

later on in the trip, while stopped to check out a historical marker, (it's about charles goodnight and will be featured in a later post about all the historical markers we saw and might just bore most of you to sleep)...

awol found these 2 dung beetles moving their goods across the plains of the panhandle of texas. actually only one of them was doing the moving. the other one just hung on for the free ride.

hmmm...come to think of it, that sounds kinda like me on our roadtrip. just along for a free ride, no real responsibility, other than acting as navigator/tour guide.

would you believe we spent at least 30 minutes watching them do their thing?(pun intended) well, we did.

now this is a pretty famous roadside attraction. it's called cadillac ranch. i will have to admit i consider it the most boring/least interesting thing i saw on our trip aside from an ill-advised stop at a sonic drive-in in some podunk town. and even there we saw a guy hauling a freaking airplane*** behind his truck with the plane's wings tucked back like a downhill racer.

this is what it looked liked when stanley marsh 3 installed it back in the day...

and this is what it looks like now. well, almost. that was 2-3 weeks ago and in the single hour we were there, about 5 cans of spray paint were unloaded on the cars by the visitors. sure, it was still kinda cool and the artist doesn't seem to mind the graffiti, but i give it about a 2 on a scale of 10 compared to other stuff we saw.

for instance, palo duro canyon at sunset is very, very cool. it's a 9, at least. (ok, so i got camera happy and took too many dopey pictures here, but if you looked at that web album...did you see all the hoards of wild indians on the ridgetops? i sure did.) we only stayed an hour, but i would very much like to camp out there for a few days. you should check it out some time if you ever have the chance.

i know i'm rambling on too long to be showing this next one. it's just a car we saw on the highway. it's a "versa." i'd never heard of that model car and was just wondering if they shouldn't have a bumper sticker made that says, "my other car is a vice."

but then, they'd probably never be able able to decide which car to take, would they? "vice?, versa? - vice? versa? - vice?..."

*to see what we could see... ****

**if you believe that, i've got a flying pig i'd like to sell you.

*** ****also one of the funniest novels you'll ever read.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

free haircuts

i heard it was 108 here today. hah! take this, you dickhead weather man, you...


did you click on the pics to view the videos? did they make you want one of my free haircuts? if so, be forewarned - i only know how to give one kind, but it's very, very cool.
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Friday, July 10, 2009

free food

speaking of free food, check out the fun we had today...

the news was on at mom's when i was there yesterday or i would never have known about this, but it seems today is cow appreciation day. (that's according to fast food restaurant, chick-fil-a, the guys with the funny *eat more chiken* ads.)
this was the deal: dress up like a cow, head to toe, and receive a free, full meal; just wear a cow hat or whatever and receive a free sandwich.

informed that i could get a free sandwich just for acting up a little, and... well, what do YOU think???

note: the following link to a web album will be replaced with on-site pics when i get to a connection that will allow me to upload to blogger. (my home connection is sooo lame.) in the meantime, check these pictures out.

terri had the most creative idea. she had me cut some holes in an old, white, rally, t-shirt and wore it over a black t-shirt for the "cow look." then she painted a black circle around one eye, painted big red lips on herself, put her hair in pig tails for "cow ears" and voila!

i'm pretty sure chick-fil-a should hire her for their next ad campaign.
(she had another really funny idea, but i'm not allowed to talk about it... and i deleted those pics, anyway.)

me, i strung an old cow skull i happened to have lying around and wore it as a necklace.

and awol?...he just went as himself, of course. (black spots on white dog = fake cow in my book.)

now you may be asking yourself, "did they buy that shit?"

they sure did = 3 free sandwiches and a whole lotta fun.
hahahahahahahaha, i bet you thought we'd get 2 sandwiches at best.

(so did we.)
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

roadtrip - III

signs, signs, signs & more signs...a story about signs of life, signs of entropy, hand carved signs, hand scribbled signs posted on barricaded doors and windows, signs of past glory and signs of 4-napkin-hamburgers*... the following is a quick tale of signs of all kinds.

at 50 mph it literally took about 30 seconds to pass through estelline. if we noticed anything at all, it was a few boarded up buildings and a liquor store.

(hard braking action, mouths in full agape position) say WHAT?!

get ready folks. it's U-turn time again...

btw, does anyone know to keep a web album where i put it, behind the cut at the end of the story, rather than on the front page?

with a billboard like that on the outskirts of town there's just GOT to be something of interest in this near ghost town. the question was not IF we should turn around, but what hidden gem(s) were waiting for us when we did. as it turned out there were a few cool old buildings, but they were all vacant.

there is a very cool 1950-ish diner that had us both salivating just thinking about all the greasy burgers burgers burgers served there at some time in the past. ok, i was drooling. i can't speak for terri.

the original, extant at least, city hall/fire department, housed in a very fine 1910/1920-ish red brick building with hand carved limestone signage are both boarded up now,
but a "new" city hall was added on to the structure some time later in estelline's past.

alas. even this cedar clad hall is now little more than an abandoned building. (click on any picture to enlarge)

a funny sign on the door directs you to the current new city hall - it is now housed in a trailer parked just behind. (next to the police-station-trailer, of course.) hahahahahaha.

practically the only signs of life to be found in town were in this grubby trailer park. and even those signs were circumstantial, faint and yellowing, in the form of a bicycle or two, a few old pickup trucks and one clothes line with a half dozen pair of yellowed, stained, whitey tighties hanging from it (insert leonard cohen's "bird on a wire" for dramatic effect. just imagine an indvidual's quest to be free, to be free.) signs of life, indeed.

but wait! maybe there IS life in rural estelline, after all. it appears in the form of one(1) liquor store and one(1) beer & wine store. by god!, there are even cars with current license plates parked out front of them! together these two package stores seem to be the only signs of viable mercantile concern in town.

which brings me back to my original assumption that there MUST be something of interest in a town that boasts a gigantic "SATAN SUCKS" sign as its most visible landmark while the only signs of life in town are where they buy their booze.

and that point of interest, that gem of Estelline, is???

the IRONY. and i freaking love it.
lots more signs and even a true ghost town in upcoming "roadtrip" entries. y'all stay tuned now, hear?

* - according to the rikipedia: "...without any doubt, a 4-napkin-hamburger is a sign of true hamburger greatness. ie: how many paper napkins were used while shoveling said burger into the old pie hole? for the record, i have had a few 5-napkin burgers in my time. and maybe one 6-napkin, but a 4-napkin hamburger is about all anyone should hope for in this life. cross your fingers. maybe in heaven things will get even better..."

click below for more pictures in and around estelline...

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Monday, July 6, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - II

clear out in the middle of nowhere, texas (actually just 2 miles southwest of saint jo, texas), out in a cow pasture among the cow patties and jack rabbits, off a country road, are a bunch of crazy wood and metal sculptures. check 'em out by clicking on the web album cover below...

ladybugs and sunflowers...

the highway for about 300 of the 350 mile trip went right through all the little towns. the other 50 miles skirted the towns rendering a sterile, interstate-like ride.

but wait a sec...what in the cornbread hell is this?

in an otherwise stark landscape sits a house right by the side of the highway. a cadillac convertible is parked in the front drive. two bikini clad women are sitting parade style in the back.

quick! find a place to turn around! we have got to check this out...

hahahahahahahahaha Read more!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - I

a friend had a job interview in amarillo last week. she asked if i'd go along for the ride and for moral support. i said i would on one condition. that we could stop at every historical marker and any roadside attraction i could find.

we proceeded to turn a fairly boring 6 hour drive through west texas into a 9+ hour trek full of all kinds of crazy/interesting shit.

an hour or so and 2 historical markers later we noticed a homemade-looking billboard that said, "GLENN GOODE'S BIG PEOPLE. TURN RIGHT. 2 MILES."

i'm here to tell you, that was a side trip well worth the taking... 2-25 foot tall "big johns", 1-22 foot tall reconstructed "muffler man", 1-17 foot tall "uniroyal gal" who bears a striking resemblance to jackie o., and a life-sized calf are right there for the gawkin'. and the collector/artist, mr. glenn goode himself, came out of his air conditioned house to tell us all about them in the sweltering heat. (truth be told, he loves to talk and more than just kinda likes visitors.)

said he paid 300 bucks each for the big johns. cut off their arms to get 'em there and reattached them himself. they're apparently from some defunct grocery chain. the bags they used to hold are in his back yard.
he paid 5 bucks for the muffler man. it was head, hat and armless at the time. goode, pronounced like "dude" but with a "g", did the fiberglass reconstruction himself.

my favorite story was about the uniroyal gal.
when he got her, she wore a pink bikini, a low cut blouse, and a mini skirt. he told me, "i just had to fix her up a little. had to give her some respectable clothes to wear. so i lengthened the skirt over 2 feet and put a decent shirt on her."
(phew!! thank god for that!)

i think i still have a myspace page somewhere out there in digital land. anyway, a photo i found on the interwebs of the 2 middle figures was my profile picture for quite a while. i called them mr. and mrs. muffler man. i never knew anything about them until now. cool!

oh, and the calf? someone just gave it to him.
one day sometime later, he got a call from a neighbor. said his cow got loose and would he come get him? mr. goode said he didn't own any cows. turns out some kids had stolen the fiberglass calf in the night and it must've fallen out of their truck making a turn not too far away from the scene of said rustling.

here's a link to a web album of some photos of the big people outside of gainesville, texas. click and enjoy the madness...

big people

stay tuned for more roadtrip pics and stories.
...just don't hold your breath. Read more!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy father's day, AWOL

gigi and awol had puppies a week ago today. that would make this awol's 1st father's day. videos of the pups after the cut...

i have no idea what rupert is really talkin' about in this 12 second video, but it sounds like he's talkin' about the puppies. ahahahahahahaha

here's another short flick of larry, curly and moe. they kinda look like mole rats, don't they?

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Friday, June 12, 2009

for sure...

it's a subjective point of view, but i believe it's true. thanks, annie. you expressed it perfectly.

at least for now. for my mom.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

yeah, yeah. i know. i said, "cornbread out."

and i meant it, but this is just too fucking stupid not to comment on.

ft. worth, texas.
nickname = cowtown.

any honest dallasite recognizes cowtown's superior cultural presence. from the world class museums, concert halls* and saloons to their (soon sadly to be defunct) newspaper, ft. worth seriously & easily out classes dallas.

so what's up with the ft worth independent school district closing down all 147 schools for a week?

oh, that's right. the swiiiine fluuuuuuuuu.
so...what's a fella to do??? 

hey, i know. let's send 80,000 kids home. home to single parent families and 2 parent working households. 3.18 children per family are suddenly WHERE? doing WHAT? for a WEEK?!! brilliant.

while you're at it, why not suggest they not be sent to day care. (parents, please try to forget you have a job. and NO SLEEPOVERS while the kiddos are on vacation!!)

while you, fwisd, do WHAT? sterilize the schools????? did you suddenly go fucking braindead? did a bit of kryptonite get stuck in your panties? did someone sneeze on you? did you forget to wash your grubby hands? sheesh. it's the freaking flu, dude! do the math. (it's not the plague.)

Kingsford goes to the beach - Watch more Funny Videos

can you believe the cat didn't slap the shit out of that pig?

while you're at it, please advise those 10s of 1,000s of families not to eat pork. give them all kfc coupons so they can contract their salmonella honestly.

and in the meantime, i'll be enjoying the ridiculously cheap pork chops and pork ribs from my grocer.

*[click on one of the pics in that link to see a monumentual stone carving. it's awesome. it's angelic. it's ft. worth at her best.]
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

4-22-09, brand new alzheimer's research reported

"Taking a new approach to the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease, a research team led by investigators at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida has shown that druglike compounds can speed up destruction of the amyloid beta (A-beta) proteins that form plaque in the brains of patients with the disorder."

i think there really is hope for many of the rest of us...


we took the alz residents back to richland college for a picnic lunch and concert yesterday. it was mostly awesome.

the only unawesome thing about the deal was mom being an asshole.

while waiting for the bus mom says:
"what the hell are we doing?"
"i'd rather go back to bed."
"what the hell are we doing sitting here?"
"this is stupid."

so i did the ignoring thing. when we got on the bus i mentioned what a beautiful day it was.
"harumph," says she.

ok. be that way...(she can be so exasperating)

we ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the lake. [picture would not upload]*
it was 75-80 degrees with a nice breeze. i asked if she was enjoying the day. i asked if she was enjoying being out in the real world in such nice weather. she agreed it was very nice. she might have even smiled.

we went in to the concert hall where the music department of this small junior college was going to do their monthly performance. *

there was a jazz band.*

and a jazz choir.*

& another lab band...*

it was all really surprisingly good. better than good.

the choir was backed up by a drummer and an electric bass player.* they also did an a capella number providing their own percussion, etc.* (i have a video of that, but my internet connection is apparently too slow to let me upload it to a web album.)

both bands were good. the second one did a thelonius monk song* and a charlie parker tune.* pretty damn good stuff. especially for a bunch of kids. i'd give 'em all an A.
well, except for that one kid in blue jeans.* (dang nab it! those videos didn't upload, either.)


leaving the performance hall, i asked mom if she enjoyed the concert.

"not one damn minute of it!"

i looked at her in astonishment. i was flabbergasted.
i gathered myself, and said, "then next time maybe you and i will just stay outside by the lake and skip the music."
and she agreed to that. almost cordially.

we walked back to the bus.* on that walk, i held my hand on her shoulder thinking about how lucky she is to have full time caregivers who are not so emotionally involved...


"exasperating" is an understatement. sometimes she just flat-out pisses me off. the whole ride back, everyone else went on and on about how much and what they liked about the music. the old-timey-ness of it, the big band sound, the youngsters, it made them wanta dance!, etc.. the alz god had given them a momentary break from their ungodly stupor. it was an exhilarating experience for all of us and for different reasons.

...almost all of us. mom was all piss and vinegar again. "not one damn minute of it."...


when we got back up to her room she astonished me again by having the wherewith all to apologize for being such an old grump. and we hugged.

i guess that's hope enough for me.


* but i have little hope for this blog if i can't upload a video. much less a freakin' picture. i'll see y'all on the flip side. cornbread out.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

in remembrance of sam.

i never knew you all that well, but i sure as hell know some people who did. we miss you very much.

i will always remember you as the free spirit on the soccer field playin' in the dirt with that devil-may-care attitude.

peace to you and yours, sam.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

call me easy if you must, but...

i think this is about the coolest thing since parmesan focaccia bread.

thanks, josephine.
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

2 related news stories for your inspection

FDA switch OKs hospice pain killer

Recession Stalls State-Financed Pre-Kindergarten, but...

if you read them, you may be wondering why in the cbh i consider them related?
because they both give me a renewed sense of hope in our gummit*.

*Molly Ivins-speak for government, just in case you don't know.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

family is a strange beast, indeed

it's 6:59 a.m. tomorrow kiwi time.
do you know where your children are?
do you cherish them?

...the mom move went well yesterday.

well, except for the mom being such a bitch towards my sister. i don't know why she does that. and it disgusts me. the sister i'm referring to is the backbone of our family. the one who deserves the best, deserves and does the most.

don't get me wrong...the mad as a hornet thing i understand. i think it's a normal reaction to a change like this. especially for someone in her mental state.
but to take it out on that one person is bewildering to me. and it pisses me off.

anyway...we moved mom to a different room on a different floor in the same building. several of the aides went with her for the transition period. we did it for financial reasons. the new room is in a suite. (there are 3 rooms and a common sitting room in one apartment. omg! SUCH DEPRIVATION...)

- "why the hell did i have to move here?!"

- "because the pavement outside is kinda hard, mom. and there's no artificial air conditioning or heat other than whatever the weather man doles out. besides, they don't cook for you out there or bathe you. or treat you like the pampered queen you've become used to."

- "harrumph!" ((i can take care of myself!))

- "yes, ma'am." ((riiiight...))

too many funny/snarky stories to tell for now, but soon as i get the blogness back more fully into my system, i may relate a few in later posts.

bottom line:
mom is happy as a lark today.
ok...maybe not quite a lark, but she's at least as happy as a grackle can be.
and tomorrow will be even better.

mockingbird happy would be good.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

dia mucho grande, maƱana.

(please excuse the poor grammar...i'm just a white boy sayin' hello.)

moving mom in the a.m.
hope you've all been well. we're doing just fine. i'll check back in, in a few days time.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

my funny valentine (neighbors)

so this morning my neighbor rupert and i go krogerin'. we get to the flowers and he starts mumbling. then he walks over to the flower lady and asks, "where's the cheapest flowers you got?" "well, sir, these are all $(whatever she said.)" and rupert says, "i am not spending that much money on that bitch. can't i just buy one?"

and the flower lady says, "did you just call me a bitch?"

and rupert says, "no ma'am my wife's the bitch."
"well, that's not very nice."
"you are right. and if she'd quit ACTING like a bitch she'd be a whole lot nicer!

(ok, i made the last part of that dialogue up, because i was already laughing too hard to hear what was actually being said.)

so rupert buys some daisies and i ask him if he used to watch the addams family.
"sure, why?"
"do you remember what morticia always did with the flowers gomez would bring her?"
rupert laughed and said, "she cut the flowers off!"
"yes, and gomez would always say how much nicer they looked then."

at that point i could see the wheels in rupert's mind spinning as he fingered his pocket knife.

but he didn't do it.


fast forward a couple of hours...

...i go over to rupert's to see how things are going. pablo, the son, comes to the door. "he's not here. he and my mom went to luby's for lunch."

me: "say what!??
pablo, laughing: "i know! that's exactly what i thought."
me: "it's this crazy holiday, pablo. maybe it's not so bad after all."
pablo: "I'LL say it's crazy. I'M here alone and THEY're out?"

ahahahahahaha. it's so true. pablo's always off with some hot girl or another. he must have forgotten to take someone flowers. hmm...i forgot to ask if the flowers were still connected to the stems. and it's probably a good thing, too. knowing pablo, if the thought had occurred to him, he'd have had those daisies decapitated in a new york minute.

what i don't know is whether he'd have taken the stems or the flowers...
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Friday, February 13, 2009

today we celebrate a national holiday

"it's better to have lusted than never to have lusted at all"

[update: doh! but why didn't anyone tell me it wasn't feb 14? ah well, at least i missed friday the 13th.]

"The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association estimates that, in the US, men spend in average twice as much money as women." -wikipedia

he was a fucking martyr, for christ's sake...ahahahahahahahah

...and this is his skull. (or so *they* say.)

happy valentine's day, y'all.

oh. & for your holiday pleasure here's a pretty bad (good) and possibly ironic painting ..."a change of heart" -oil on canvas, by scott brooks:

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

is there a doctor in the house?

awol got banned from the dining room during meals at vickery towers. i've been expecting it. stupid health regs...

going to visit at the end of their lunch time had been my habit for the past few months. i'd take awol with me a couple of times a week and all the old folks really like him.

so i changed up the routine today and took the dog with me to their morning activity. it was awesome. much better chance for everyone to get to pet him and all. several of the people really came out their shells interacting with him and the aides dug it because we were there keeping people occupied while they did the tedious task of getting everyone from their rooms.
i might have to change his name again. how does Dr. Awol sound? ahahahahaha.

(((calling doctor awol...doctor awol to the 4th floor, please.)))

no camera with me today, but maybe tomorrow i'll post some pictures.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

mom goes to college (♪ ♫ a 5 hour cruise...)

(yesterday) we started loading the bus at 10 a.m. and left on our outing at 11. yep, it took a full hour to get twelve alzheimer's residents, 5 wheel chairs, 4 walkers, three adult children of said residents, 2 staff members and one driver on board.

i'm here to tell you, it was worth every second and then some.

i suppose i need to practice my over-the-head-and-behind blind camera shots. this is the best one of the lot, but i think you get the idea...it's hardly a spring break college crowd. but there's more personality packed into those old ladies than there is on an entire spring break beach.

our motley crew arrived at richland college, home of the mighty thunderducks!, with plenty of time to spare for our picnic lunch before the concert we came to see. (it only took about an hour to unload, wheel and wobble our way to this choice campus spot.)

pat and marjorie.

these two ladies are as different as night and day. pat, on the left, is wry and brash. marjorie is inquisitive and gentle. both are remarkably intelligent human beans.

pat: "what's your name?"
mom: "mary anne."
(they eat 3 meals a day at the same table. we say their names and converse together daily.)
pat: "your 1st name is mary? that's my 1st name, too."

me: "so your name is mary patricia?"
pat: "no, my name is mary winnifred."
me: "how'd you get pat out of mary winnifred?"

pat: "when i was a child people called me winnie and whiney and weanie. i didn't like that, so i fixed them. i changed my name to pat."

mom: "hahahahaha."
pat (to mom, again): "what's your name?"

lest i give the wrong impression, pat is very smart. she knows my name, a remarkable feat at her stage of dementia. she remembers my dog's name even when he is not there and asks about him often, which is not something my own mom is capable of. pat can paint in oils and was once an art restoration specialist. she may have lost more cognitive abilities than i've ever been graced with. i'd love to know 1/2 of what pat still knows somewhere in the recesses of her being.

and marjorie? marjorie is grace and wit personified.

the box lunches were ham and cheese sandwiches with a separate baggie of lettuce and tomato. when i put it all together for her, i was concerned it was too big and unwieldy to get in her dainty mouth. she misunderstood and insisted i take it.  after convincing her i had my own, she carefully took the sandwich apart piece by piece and ate each part separately. when she saw me watching her do this, she gave a knowing wink and offerred me a cookie from her box, which i took gratefully. then she said, "i can break that cookie up for you if you'd like." and we laughed and laughed.

marjorie is at about the stage mom was a year ago.

and then there's helen...
when we loaded the picnic lunches on the bus helen asked what was in the boxes. told what they were, she said she sure hoped beer was included. at one point on the ride over she told mom there was wine in them thar boxes, which delighted mom no end. i said, "no, i'm real sorry, but there's no wine. it's just sandwiches and stuff." 

and helen said, in her gravelly voice, "what kind of stuff? i hope it's scotch." (oh lordy. spring break, look out...here we come!)


not a very flattering picture of mom on the right, (but just look at how well her face is healing, lynn anne!) helen in the center, and on the far left, marjorie.

this is my favorite picture of the day. unless i fucked something up (likely), you should be able to click on it, or any other picture, for a closeup.
l-r: henry, diane (henry's daughter) and bill. i love how the gender segregation happens so naturally. kinda like in grade school. ("go over there and ask one of those girls to square dance, you little twit!")

come on guys! it's spring break. party time! the girls are waitin'!!!!

ok, this post is going on too long for most of you, but i'm not just ramblin' on for no reason((max butler)). there are a few people who might want to know that we did finally make it to the concert. (like my kids and sister. ie: the reason for this blog.)

the concert is about to begin. mom is seated 4th from the right side.

(bus driver john, on the left, is one of my minor heroes...)

and the concert was very, very cool.

every tuesday, the richland college orchestra class puts on a little concert. the last time we went, they were performing. this time, though, it was 4 members of the dallas symphony orchestra playing as a string quartet so the students could see, hear and interact with how it's really supposed to be done.

i'm very unsophisticated when it comes to classical music. the 1st number was a mozart piece and all i could think of while listening was of old-timey cartoons of spoons and plates and such dancing on black and white tv.
the beethoven opus-something-or-other conjured up vivid images of old silent movies.
the bartok piece blew me away with its sublime dissonance and whisked me off to some old, scary, mystery movie. hitchcock maybe...but what do i know?

afterwards, bill said, "i never appreciated the fiddle before. i never knew it could make so much music. i sure am glad we went."

and i am, too. and for more than one reason. (12 reasons to be exact.)
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Monday, February 9, 2009

i have seen 6 and one half drug deals go down from my apartment windows today.

but the day is not over yet, is it?...

i didn't actually see the "1/2". i was told about that one by a neighbor after i mentioned the traffic. (and i only mentioned it in passing...)
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hodgepodge is a cool word...

my friend terri sent me a forwarded email with photos of 15 really cool & strange buildings. (i especially like this one) --> 

i looked it up on the interwebs and found what may be the original posting and...it has fifty (50!) of the wackiest constructions you can imagine.

believe it or not, there is only one barcelona building in the whole lot. (but several gaudi-esque ones.)

check them all out when you have the time.

one of the buildings shown in the above link is/was in houston, texas. it seems the city was going to demolish a house and a couple of artists seized the opportunity to create this awesome piece. as i have a little bit of personal experience with the black hole effect of condemned property, this one struck my fancy, too. (story link)

speaking of striking my fancy...i've been meaning to post this link for some time now. this is just one image of a most amazing personal library. this guy's displays include everything from a raptor skeleton to a nazi enigma code machine to a sputnik. and much much more. it is a veritable modern day cabinet of curiosities.

Gadget Lab A brand-new One Laptop per Child XO, far left, sits next to a relatively ancient RadioShack TRS-80 Model 100. In back, a 1911 typewriting machine and a 1909 Kent radio. The large contraption at center is the Nazis' supposedly unbreakable Enigma code machine. The book to its left is a copy of Johannes Trithemius' 1518 Polygraphiae, a cryptographic landmark. On the right is an Apple II motherboard signed by Woz. An Edison kinetoscope sits beside an 1890 Edison phonograph (along with three of the wax cylinders it uses for recording). Nearby is a faithful copy of Edison's lightbulb. The gadget with the tubes is an IBM processor circa 1960. In front of it stands a truly ancient storage device, a Sumerian clay cone used to record surplus grain.

next is a juried art exhibit currently showing in dallas. artists from all over the u.s. and canada submitted work interpreting the theme of the show, Farewell Shoes for Mr. Bush.

some were funny, some sad. 

("One that brought tears was a simple pair of work boots below a printed tribute to a man who had been a good father and hard worker but who died without health insurance. The artist was his widow." - juror, jim schutze)

it was a fitting outlet for the disappointment and resentment and even outrage that many of us in dallas feel about mr. bush moving to our fair city. 

my favorite piece (pictured above), by rebecca sanchez of dallas, is made of plastic army-men and won an honorable mention. it's called, "Soles of our Soldiers." 

(for the complete story and a much better picture of that piece, go here. or if you happen to be reading this after president's day, 2009, here.)

ok, i've taken up enough of your time for one day, but i must leave you a Dog picture O.T.D.

this is awol's crazy-ass, french whore of a girlfriend, gigi. he's in Luuuuuv.

"woof woof!"
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