Friday, August 31, 2007

Mary Anne has left the building!

if you read the last post, the title of this post may have caused some concern that mom escaped from Vickery Towers on her own recognizance, but that's not so.

no, we went shoe shopping today. then we went on a whirlwind tour down memory lane.

i hate shopping. if i need clothes, i can get in and out of target in 15 minutes or less with a new supply of t-shirts and jeans. malls? hahahahahaha. no. not me.

but mom needed a new pair of shoes, so off we went.

now let me explain:
she has a closet full of shoes, but there's really only one pair that are comfortable on her gnarly old feet and they're starting to fall apart. [if you saw her feet you'd be loathe to use the word *gnarly* in the modern sense. as in *awesome.* (*radical* maybe, but not *bad ass.*)]

...anyway, i know all those unworn shoes are the result of the many loving, tedious trips to malls with my sister. lord and taylor, dillards, and fancier places than that, so i figured i'd take mom shopping for some good ole cheap tennis shoes at Payless Shoes.

well, to make a loooong story short lemme tell ya, they don't still sell the shoes i bought there for years and years. i used to call 'em *winos.*
too bad because they woulda been perfect for her...

noooo, she tried on 37 different pair and each one took forEVER to put on. we did end up buying the one most comfortable pair, but i'm not holding my breath until she actually wears them.

the even better news is that i only lost patience once and even then i checked it soon enough by joking that as a professional shopper (her former avocation) i hoped she'd forgive me for getting testy. we had a good laugh and hugged.

if this were a book i'd tell you about my reluctant acquiescence to the open toed shoes she liked and kept going back to, but made her look like a candidate for a freak show. or about almost leaving the store 3 times only to return because she'd noticed something on display in the front of the store that was, "Just like what I came in here looking for." or about trying on 2 dozen men's shoes in addition to the 37 ladies' shoes...

bottom line? $15 bucks. one pair of iffy shoes.

Then we drove by the house she grew up in. sadly, it was not recognizable. the magnolia tree in the front yard now completely obscures the front of the house. the backyard is now a very large 3 car garage. the steps on the side of the house that her dad and i are sitting on in the photo are no longer.

but she recognized the street names and other things in the neighborhood and conjured up memories of such things as her next door neighbor, Marilyn Dean, whose parents paid the big bucks tuition so Marilyn could attend school in the high-roller district which bordered their front street.

mom went to North Dallas High... we drove by her old high school and she loved that. then as we were headed back "home" we passed an elementary school.
she said, matter-of-factly, "that's Ben Milam. i went to school there." then she proceeded to tell me which direction her house was from there and a sundry other things ...

as we crossed the highway she mentioned that it wasn't always there.
as we pulled into her new digs she remarked that her old neighborhood wasn't all that far away.

indeed, we hadn't ventured more than 2-3 miles away from Vickery Towers in all our travels.

next week i think we'll do drive-bys of the 3 houses she lived in from 1953-2005. i hope she's wearing her new shoes and they're comfortable. they look real nice on her.

(edit: i almost forgot to tell you. she has an appointment for a pedicure next tuesday morning!)
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Thursday, August 30, 2007


in order to get downstairs from mom's floor you have to punch in a code on a keypad by the elevator. mom always asks, "how do you know how to do that?"

if anyone else is around i say something like, "the aides told me how."

it then becomes a question/answer game where she asks, "what aides?" "what code?" "why do they treat me like a 5 year old?" etc., etc...

but if no one else is in the hallway when she invariably asks about it i will often respectfully say, "the aide told me the code. it's 1-3-7-9-* knowing she's not gonna remember it. of course it pleases mom to be privy to the secret code and thus to the key to her escape. (seriously folks, she doesn't remember it or even think to ask again a minute or 2 later.)

well, the other day just as i was saying, "1-3-7-9-sta..." one of the aides walked out of a resident's room not 3 feet away from me.

yikes! at the time all i got was the evil eye. the lecture came later.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the mom chronicles continued (part 3)

[note to all 4 of my readers: this is intended to be read as a trilogy. please read parts 1, 2 and 3 in order. or not.]

i had to wonder if my not having shown up on monday was in some way related to the Great day mom had on tuesday. i mean, for the months she's been "incarcerated in the memory unit" i've been a constant presence. well, at least a daily reminder of her life before.

so i decided...

wednesday, 8-15:
experimental hooky playing day.

thursday, 8-16:
"hi mom, what's up?"
"oh, same old thing. they won't let me do anything here. i hate being treated like a 5 year old."

i look around the room:
unmade bed. peanut butter jar open and it's real messy looking on the countertop. full trashcan. no makeup on mom...(5 year old, indeed. how dare they. harumph!)

"well, then how 'bout we go find something to do, mom. come on."

so we go downstairs and there's an elvis impersonator in the main dining room. or maybe it was the real elvis, i'm not sure. we go in and catch the last half of his show. after it's over i mention something about elvis and she says, "is that who he was supposed to be? i saw something about that in the paper today."

"yeah, that was before your time. i have an idea, though. let's go to the library and see if we can find anything interesting on the computer."

she stops in her tracks, looks both ways and asks, "which way are we going?"

"follow me..."

we enter the library and she says the same thing she always says when she sees the room. "i think i have some books i need to bring back here. but i guess i didn't bring them."
we pull our chairs up to the computer and while she's getting situated i stick a few books i think she *might* find of interest in the shelf next to her chair, then i sit down next to her and pull up the blog her grand daughter made for her. when we're finished reading that, for the umpteenth time, i google "big band music."

we must've watched 20 'you tube' videos and between every one of them she'd tell me stories that went back 50,60,70 years. she remembered venues and people and dancing and good times that have been lurking somewhere in the creases of her mind for all that time.

before we left the library we googled some of the places she'd mentioned and she told me even more stories and asked questions. we talked about such things all the way back to the 4th floor and when we got to her room she placed the books by her bed that she'd somehow found in the library that looked interesting to her.

and then we made the bed up.

triggers exist. exiguous as they may be, they do exist. it's got little to do with whether i'm there or not. it's about somehow unlocking the nuggets still active in her own mind.

p.s. re: the 30th anniversary of elvis' death concert...when i'm in the boat mom's in now, if you don't have the heart to just shoot me, then please make it a groucho marx anniversary rather than an elvis one. deal?

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the mom chronicles continued (part 2)

mom's reaction to the movie (see last post) really bothered me. no, it depressed the hell out of me. it saddened me that she was unable to enjoy it. heck, it was admittedly dumb as rocks, but it wasn't boring or difficult to follow. to me at least. or to her age-mates...

monday, 8-13:
for the 1st time in months, i didn't go visit her. the truth is i was angry. and depressed. and being selfish, i guess.

tuesday, 8-14:
i resume my daily visits. she's in the common room of her floor watching tv with the other alzheimer's residents. this is very rare. not wanting to interupt, i go to her room to wait. her bed is unmade (this a sign of the dementia's progression that my sister pointed out to me,) the heat is on (she often turns the control knob to the wrong position.) i'm thinking, "crap."

she walks in. "is it hot in here to you?"
"yes, someone had it on heat, but i turned the ac on. what were y'all watching on t.v.?"

i haven't seen her as alive, as interested, so animated in months or maybe years as she told me about the program. it was about the big band era. tommy dorsey, duke ellington, glenn she hasn't heard in 40 years, i bet. then she looked at her bed and said, "i should make that bed up."

and we did.

to be continued...
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the mom chronicles continued (part 1)

i haven't posted about mom in over 2 1/2 weeks. i guess it's about time. here's some stuff from 3 weeks ago.

thursday, 8-9:
went downstairs and wandered into a book review. she can't focus well to read, but she does seem to enjoy listening to someone talk about books so i left her there while i sat out in the lobby to wait and listen.

it was a bob hope biography and a fairly boring (hour long!) lecture to me, but all of the old folks found it interesting, including mom. so, before i left the building i went to the activity director, Jan to request a bob hope/bing crosby "road" movie for the sunday matinee. "oh what a great idea!" she said. i left feeling quite pleased with myself.

[btw, Jan had actually already ordered "the road to rio."]

sunday, 8-12:
2:00 - took mom downstairs to see "Road to Rio." it was a packed house! biggest crowd i've seen there to date.
2:20 - mom leaves.
bewildered, i follow after her. "where you going?
"i was bored." (or maybe she said, "i didn't know what was going on." i don't remember.)

in any case, so much for my *great ideas.*
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Monday, August 27, 2007

a practice post

[edit, edit, edit]

a cyberquaintance who blogs her take on the new york times crossword puzzle on a daily basis is vacating to hawaii in a few weeks and for some ricoculous reason i offered to sit in for her a few times while she and her husband do the hula. or whatever it is one does there…

(i know what yer thinkin'. yes, she’s read my blog and she still agreed. so there…)

”Only a couple of rules, nekkid women on the blog, no saying fuck.”

so i figure i’d better give it a practice shot. ya think?

[notes to self…work on formatting…gotta remember not to break the freakin’ rules…must at least try to be coherent…hmm?…think her readers’ll mind if i comment on the syndicated puzzle from 6 weeks in their past?…(just kidding Linda)]


i enjoyed Elizabeth A. Long’s themed puzzle from monday, july 16, 2007.

it’s real easy, but that’s no knock on the constructor. Mondays are easy by convention. you could take this same puzzle and re-clue it to produce a fairly difficult puzzle. Easily.

for example:

15D is Monday-ly clued as: not new. the answer? [USED] (duh.)

but what if the clue had been... go forward?
the answer could still be [USED] but this time it might have abbr. as an indicator and refer to putting your vehicle in Drive [USE D.] (d’oh! i can just hear the purists whining now. "unfair, unfair. what a stretch!")

ok. Enough of that c**p. let's get to the puzzle...

the themed clues/answers are:
: *It rolls across the Plains [SAGEBRUSH]
-11D: *Juice drink brand [OCEAN SPRAY]
-31D: *Alluring dance [STRIPTEASE]
*Beehive contents [HONEYCOMB]

and of course what they have in common is:

the theme:
25D: With 22-Down, what the ends of the answers to the 4 starred clues are examples of [HOW TO FIX]
22D: see 25D: [YOUR HAIR]

(note to on clarity. ok, i'm a workin')

some further musings on the theme answers

17A: sagebrush
“I always thought tumbleweed were just dead sagebrush until I looked it up today. They are not.”
before I learned that factoid I had planned on including an audio clip of roy rogers and the sons of the pioneers singing *Tumbling Tumbleweeds*. Oh what the heck. here, take a listen. (Linda G. did you notice I didn’t say, “what the fuck?” aren’t you proud of me?)

awesome critter pictured at the beginning of this post is a sagebrush lizard and you can see its colorful underside here. check it out. (no lizards were harmed in the making of this blog.)

11D: ocean spray
the 2 year anniversary of Katrina is approaching. (i sure wish i'd hear from the folks who took refuge here at my house back then. i think of 'em often. there were 10 people in all. a family of 5, 3 crazy ass cajun brothers and 2 ne'er-do-wells, one of whom i kicked the fuck OUT! but not before he robbed me.)

this is interesting.
(if anyone can either debunk or verify it, i'd be interested to hear.)

"According to a new study by two University of California, Berkeley, mathematicians and their Russian colleague, the water droplets kicked up by rough seas serve to lubricate the swirling winds of hurricanes and cyclones, letting them build to speeds approaching 200 miles per hour. Without the lubricating effect of the spray, the mathematicians estimate, winds would rise to little more than 25 miles per hour."

"If you could develop a detergent to reduce the size of the droplets, you might be able to stop a hurricane," he said. "That's not as far fetched as it sounds. In ancient times, sailors carried oil to pour out on the water to calm storms. Pouring oil on choppy waters was not a superstition."

31D: striptease
i promised *madness* i wouldn’t add any nekkid women when i sub for her, so in the spirit of that promise…


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65A: honeycomb

One of dad’s many hobbies was beekeeping. I spent many an evening in his garage extracting honey and chewing the honey filled comb. I can’t think of a sweeter memory or remember how many times we crooned this song together while doing our work.
...with a hank of hair and a......honeycomb.....what a darn good life.......


and finally, some random odds and ends and why i like them…

-27 across: Kevin of “Field of Dreams” = [COSTNER]. because I like the actor, love baseball and am a sucker for sappy movies.

-42 down: eats = [GRUB]. Not the boring verb, but a really funny noun.

-29 across: psychiatrists' appointments = [SESSIONS]. i have voted against Pete Sessions, (R Texas) 6 or 7 times. i much prefer…

-72 across: Politicos with a donkey symbol = [DEMS] (Linda didn’t mention any restrictions on politics.)

-2 down: False witness = [LIAR]. liar liar pants on fire, glad to see you go, too, alberto. now if we could just get rid of that other (i promised i wouldn't say fucking) texan...

there’s more. oh, there’s always more, but i’ll let it go for now. Next time maybe i’ll practice posting the completed grid.

(how many nekkid women does it take to screw in a lightbulb? gosh, i don't know, how many can you fit in that thang?)

don't worry, madness. i won't say screw, either. or maybe you've changed your mind after reading this...


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Friday, August 24, 2007

are you puzzled?

for much of my life i have been a stone carver and a crossword puzzler. the vocation and the avocation have much in common. for one, both are begun with a rendering.

regardless of the skill of the sculptor, a poor drawing will rarely produce a satisfying piece of work just as a clumsily constructed x-word will not produce a satisfying solving experience.
i find the new york times [nyt] crossword puzzle to be the Michelangelo of puzzledom.

bear with me as i bare more opinion...

as the week progresses from monday through saturday, the nyt puzzles are consistently well rendered, but the difficulty for solvers gradually evolves throughout the week. i liken it to stone carving in a way.

Monday is a mindless activity of oft repeated technique.
Tuesday is having to deal with the patron or the architect…
Wednesday is like making a maquette of soft clay.
Thursday is like carving a sweet, malleable texas limestone.
Friday, a tough, unforgiving, but potentially pristine indiana limestone piece.
Saturday? the pure white carrara marble of puzzles.

(sometimes fri and/or sat are like chiseling granite, but sunday is always a total amalgam, like working with a fairly reliable, but tedious travertine.)

for my 1st and likely only nyt x-word puzzle report i choose 2, sweet, malleable limestone gems published 6 weeks apart…

the puzzle for thursday, july 12, 2007, constructed by michael shteyman and edited by will shortz is...

a typical thursday nyt themed puzzle.

the 4 theme answers are symmetrically placed in the grid like so:

17-A. it might help you take a turn for the better [POWER STEERING]
35-A. ten minutes in a laundry, maybe [WASH CYCLE]
54-A. "you'll have to take my word for it" [TRUST ME ON THIS]
and smack dab down the middle is
16-D. low pressure area [STORM CENTER]

the theme is only announced in the final across as:
65A. word that can precede the starts of 17-, 35- and 54-across and 16-down.
the answer? [BRAIN.]

some other cool stuff in this puzzle

32A. early surrealist [MAX ERNST] (that's max in the picture playing chess in the buff with his wife.)

63A. a lennon sister [DIANNE] (when i was 12 i had the hots for kathy, ok?)

49D. titillating [JUICY] (that's the 12 year old in me you hear giggling.)

ok, so this is gettin' kinda long

and i still have to tell you about yesterday's puzzle?

the puzzle for thursday, august 23, 2007, constructed by joe krozel and edited by will shortz is an atypical themed puzzle with a boatload of homophones (you know, like bear and bare) and an unconventional cluing system that...oh forget it. check out the real x-word bloggers on the sidebar of this blog for an explanation of the very clever theme, but i wanted to point out 3 things that i really liked here.

39A. recondite [OBSCURE] i just think it's a cool word. and yup, that's what brought me out of my cave. go figure...not a real person, but a freakin' word. (see previous post.)

41A. tolerates [ABIDES]

the dude abides.
i like this because in my all time favorite movie, The Big Lebowski, one of the catchphrases refers to the laid back protagonist played by jeff bridges. he calls himself "the dude" and he certainly abides. (though he does have some trouble with having his rug micturated on.)

The Dude: "Yeah, well. The Dude abides."
The Stranger: "The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals."

if you haven't seen the movie check it out. it's a great existential comedy.

66A. pretended to be [POSED AS]
in the grid this one reads as "posedas" which makes me think of the spanish word "posadas" which screams with irony if you're familiar with the spanish conquest of mexico and how christian doctrine "posed as" local cultural tradition in order to win over the heathens...

"This tradition dates back to the sixteenth century and St. Ignatius Loyola, who used an Aztec festival to teach about the birth of Christ. He also wanted to replace the nine-day celebration of the birth of the Aztec Sun god with a Christian celebration."

and for more of that story...
Las Posadas

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Thursday, August 23, 2007


RECONDITE - adj. obscure, hidden.
ex: "although recent silence may naturally be interpreted as a desire to be recondite, it has actually been a result of a circumstantial need to personally recondition."

note. recondite (from L. reconditus, pp. of recondere "store away,") and (re)condition (from O.Fr. condicere " to speak with, talk together,") are apparently unrelated etymologically.
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

come out from behind there. you word, you!

[additional stuff added, 8-12-07, 10:30 p.m. check it out...]

uncle john was visiting mom when i went by today. john is her brother. 2 years younger than she is and about 2 years less progressed in the weirdness that alzheimer's must be for them both. he made a very interesting observation about his own mental acuity. he has noticed a growing inability to come up with a word in the middle of a conversation.

"uncle john, that happens to me all the time," i interrupted.

he continued...
"i've noticed that i'll stop in mid sentence to search for a word and eventually i'll come up with one that's almost the one i'm looking for, but it's not the one. it often has the same number of syllables, but i'm not able to just say it with...the...the...what's the word...see?'s happenning right now...the confidence?...i can't find the word right now..."

me: "so, it's like there's a part of your brain where your words are and some of them are kinda hiding behind others and kinda dodging your lips?"

john (smiling) : "you do understand. that's it exactly."

me: "when you were just now speaking, i had a word on the tip of my tongue. i was thinking you'd say, 'convenience' when you said, 'confidence'."

john (serious) : "yes, that was the word i was looking for."

---3 syllables. both work in context. but the one he was really trying to conjure was hidden somewhere in the synapses.


30 minutes later, mom and i are sitting downstairs watching the birds on the patio. every day she says something to this effect: "i call those pigeons. what do you call them?" or she might ask if those are doves.
but today, out of the wild blue yonder, she asked me if those were...penguins.


2 syllables. pigeons/penguins. birds. funny birds.
funny how the mind works, huh?


and now, for a bit of brevity. er, uh... i meant... levity.
yeah, that's what i meant.

(thanks, terri)

and please click here for some really cool penguins you can goof around with.
(i stole them from kaytie m. lee who borrowed them from

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

whose price is right is it, anyway?

bye bye bob... Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

i just heard the news. drew carey is the new host for the price is right?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

well dagnabbit, i think that's a right good move. i hope to hear a running joke that it's a show where

the "points"...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

don't matter...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

...and behind door #1 ?

maybe it'll be craig ferguson unveiling
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

wayne brady or laura hall rather than a few goats.

i don't know about you, but i'm kinda lookin' forward to a price is right hoedown.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

a gratuitous post

just returned from a lovely 2 day road trip with my sister. we went to visit my son in east texas.

while the sister and the son worked all day, i mostly sat in the library and read. i read 2 books by the same author cover to cover. (one was ok, one much better than ok.) at lunchtime and in the evenings we got to hang out together. and with the son's friends. i needed that.

also walked around the town and campus, looked at lots of old maps in the library where my son works (i'm a dweeb) and met some interesting people and listened to violin music in the student union center &, oh, i got a haircut and drank coffee and did the small town newspaper crossword puzzles, which were more challenging than i thought they'd be.

and now, back home...

seeing mom after not seeing her for 2 days makes 2 things clear.
she's a goner
and our daily contact really is a good thing for us both.

a funny thing happened afterwards. i stopped at the 7-11 for some smokes. a guy asked me if i'd give him a ride home. i did. and this is why this is "a gratuitous post"...i'm still working on how best to tell the story of Dennis the quadriplegic and his wife and the crack house and the scary ghetto neighborhood and finally making it home to find my weeds mowed and my email so nearly bereft of meaning.

more as i sort it all out. maybe.
thanks to lynn anne and sean for the respite. thanks to them both and to terri and orange for the cyber connection.
thanks to the mystery of life for the adventure with dennis.

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

as the blog turns...

lately i've posted a lot of mom stuff. i feel a need to rectumfy that. so i'm gonna spare you today's report other than to say it was a fun 2 hour visit.
i nixed my last blog because it became one political diatribe after another. i'm hoping to achieve a more balanced approach this time around.

so without further ado, we now present

~ The Fuck Post ~

bobby knight says it most succinctly,

(thanks again, terri)

but this is an absolutely, fucking hilarious website. if you like to laugh, check it out, you fuckers.

and this one is along the same lines, but maybe only freakin' funny.

...speaking of words, word usage, dictionaries, etc., if you like words and dictionaries, you might enjoy listening to this podcast. i sure did. (unlike the above links it's 100% fuck free.)
a cyberquaintance is featured. her website, diary of a crossword fiend, is listed on my sidebar. she recently won 1st place from the Dictionary Society of North America for proposing a new dictionary entry. watch the podcast to find out what the word is and to learn why i just now googled cyberquaintance. (what the fuck? there are already 5 google hits. )

oh, & p.s. if you don't like words and dictionaries, well...fuck you.
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this is so cool

click on the stick figure...

Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviantART
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Friday, August 3, 2007

happy hour. (this is a test.. only a test)

(that's Addy in the middle. Justin on the right. The Young Lady on the left is close to 90 yrs old.)

i went to happy hour with mom at the old folks home today.

there was a crooner there.

when he got to *goodnight irene* in his set, he went around the room with his mike and the cute old geezers/geezerettes sang "gooood night iree-ee-eene...."

it was freakin awesome.

i have a 2 minute movie of it (comes out lookin' similar to the 2nd *pic* above.) i've no idea how to put it online. but i would if i could. yup. (can you help?)

Later on I’ll post some better photos and tell y'all more about the extravaganza.

(my favorite couple. damn!) click on the picture. take 60 seconds to stare. what do you see in their expressions?
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Thursday, August 2, 2007

how do i say this without sounding cold hearted?

i never cared too much for my mom. sure, i've always loved her, but like her? not so much. i've always seen her as bland, derivative, a follower, unoriginal, boring. we've never had much in common. it's not that i don't realize i share many of those traits. it's not even that in the past i've regretted the dna she passed on to me. i have my own unique rebellious genetic makeup to deal with all that.

it's not that i ever really disliked her, either. she's never been mean to me or to anyone else that i know of. i wish i could say the same for myself.
it's not my lack of respect that her most obvious talent was shopping. truth be known, when we took her car keys away from her a few years ago someone else had to step up to take her place delivering meals-on-wheels and doing other charitable deeds.
it's not that i don't appreciate her role in raising 4 children, at least three of whom have turned out to be damn good human beans.

so what's your point, rick?

ah. i got lost in my own rambling and almost forgot to tell you. i like my mother now. i'm sorry it took 56 years to get here. i don't know if it's the spiraling bonds of ladder-like genes we have in common that have brought us to this point, or if it is a matter defined more by her state of dementia and my role as caregiver being folded together. it makes no difference. the point is, i like my mother.


2 p.m. - enter her apartment. no one there. go to common room.
"well there you are," we say at the same time. (laughter.)

me: what are you doing here? (she has been avoiding the common room for the 3 weeks she's been in this unit. i think the alzheimer's residents scare the shit out of her.)

mom: i came to find carolyn to take me downstairs for a cigarette, but she's not here today. they say i'm out of cigarettes. alicjia called you to bring some.

me: (checking phone, listening to message sent 60 seconds before.) i'll be right back...

all my life, growing up, mom smoked between 0 and 2 cigs a day. i've never known a lighter, habitual smoker. i bought her 2 packs not 10 days ago. go figure. anything to get out of that room/off the alzheimer's floor. yes, i understand.

2:30 - we go downstairs to sit on the smoking porch.
3:00 - off to sit in the hallway in another part of the building to sit and watch the squirrels and pigeons. on the way there we see a sign with a calendar of events for the non-alz residents. "Tony Bennett's 81st birthday...Frank and Friends...7:00...main dining hall..."

both, in unison: "that sounds interesting." (laughter.)

3:30 - we head to the library/computer room to get more books she won't read and to see if josephine's g'mommy blog has anything new to look at. nope. but we reread the old stuff. no problem. it all seems almost new to mom. it's about her and her family. she loves it.
we scour the intornet for tony bennett stuff. listen to clips...pull up his tour schedule...

me: "look at that! 81 years old and still tourin' like a rock star."

mom: (laughter. genuine laughter.) "81? that's not old." (laughter. genuine, again.)

me: (laughing.) "with that attitude, neither is 84. "

mom: (quirky smile.)

we take 2 books to return unread tomorrow and head back to *prison.* as we pass the main dining hall where she ate and attended events for the past 2 years, but now has to have an escort to get to, which usually means me...

we hear, "mary anne! come in here and get some ice cream. you want some ice cream?"

we sit and visit with addy and eat melted eskimo pies. everyone else has long gone. still, it was like bein' in the garden of eden before the fall. (addy's the greatest. she's the one who slipped a dollar bill into my waistband 2 father's days ago. see first blog entry for that story.)

4:15 - back up to the alzheimer's unit for dinner. hug goodbye. go to ask alecjia if she'll take mom to the tony bennett music thingy downstairs at 7:00.

to our delight she says, yes.

--------------frank and friends---------------

Tony can't be there. his birthday is tomorrow, besides, he's on the road, but this guy and his recorded backup music will be there at 7:00 sharp. hopefully mom will be there, too.

6:45 - it's taken me 2 freakin' hours to get this ramble out. i'm exhausted. maybe i'll go catch the show...nah... probably not, but did i mention? i like my mom.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007


i introduced mom to the intornet last week. she found it mildly entertaining so i asked family members to suggest websites that might interest her. within 24 hours my daughter created a blog and my sister sent her an e-card.

(in case you don't view it, the e-card references the fact that they lived in hawaii when my sister was too young to remember it.)

now, mom still remembers some of her more distant past, but nothing i could say jogged her memory of ever having lived in hawaii. i repeated stories i'd heard her tell a thousand times. about the landlady, about one-eyed gypsies, about quonset huts...nothing.

2 days later, we're walking down the hallway and as we pass a group of residents, she exchanges big smiles and greetings with an old geezer saying, "haw-i-ya."

me - WHAT did you say?

mom - oh, that's reggie. we always say that to each other. we knew each other when we lived in hawaii.
me - (mouth open, unable to speak)
mom - we didn't really know each other well, we met somewhere on the street, i think. we always joke that we're going back.
me - cool. you think y'all will get separate rooms?
mom - oh we're not really going. it's just something we joke about.

...dementia is a curious thing.
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