Sunday, September 30, 2007

beware of 1st impressions

i rarely take mom to happy hour at VT. i think i've been twice. for one thing, the entertainment is ludicrous. no, wait...that's not why, is it? i kinda LIKE, it's really because i know it is one of the few events i can count on someone else to take her to. it's a sort of freebie for us both, in a sense.

but this past friday i decided to drop in. i went directly to the downstairs dining hall. huh? no Mary Anne? so i go upstairs and find her in her room.

"would you like to go to happy hour, mom?"
"happy hour? oh, is that today?"

the reason no one took her is beside the point. the real point is, just a few weeks ago she would have been aware of, and been eagerly anticipating, this weekly diversion. daily contact does not inure me from occasional surprise at how rapidly she changes these days. but enough of melancholy.
there's still a boatload of good stuff. sometimes you just have to stumble upon it in spite of yourself.

after the jump i'll explain the title of this post and these seemingly incongruous pictures...

...the entertainer was a particularly bad elvis impersonator. unfortunately, i didn't have my camera, so you'll have to take my word for it. he was somewhat like a cross between Don Knotts and Randy Quaid (aka cousin eddie.) an Elvis suit.

to top it off he was an excruciatingly bad vocalist. he couldn't get anywhere near the high notes. he sure couldn't hit the low ones. his mid-range was creaky and crackly and, well, it was just pretty much embarrassing to listen to him. mom and i looked at each other and made exaggerated faces. hahahahaha.

i cringed. i squirmed.
i even had a margarita with mom. come to think of it, maybe it was the margarita? but no...

after watching this "no talent moron" walk around the room during songs for awhile, flirting with and kissing the old ladies, he won me over. he was genuine. he loved what he did, he loved them and they loved him back. he made them, each of them, feel special.

after passing mom by for several songs he finally knelt in front of her, took her hand and sang a few lines. i don't remember the song, but i remember the lady next to me, Addy, whispering to me, "look at her. she's so serious. Mary Anne's not gonna like this..."

but she did. when he kissed her on the cheek i whispered back, "does that grin on her face surprise you?"

Addy had a tear in her eye.

and that's not all. there's a woman from mom's floor who walks around all day every day with a tiny, baby doll in her arms. she never says anything. she never has visitors. not that i see.
well, Ms. Olita's son was there with her! and she did not have her plastic doll in swaddling. what's more, when *elvis* got to her she actually spoke to him and smiled and kissed him back. afterwards i introduced myself to the son and he had a tear in his eye as we visited. i even think he'll come back more often.

and That's not all, either.
elvis went 30 minutes over the allotted time because Everyone was having so much fun. the staff cleaned up around us and let the crazy-bad elvis go on. and on. i've been to dozens of events like this at VT before and i've seen them cut off singers, book reviewers, fellow staff members and just whoever. hey, they have schedules to keep. . . but not this time. they knew...

the last song was a request from Earl. (a song i consider to be the saddest ballad ever written.) Earl is probably 90 years old and very frail looking. i don't know him well, but was moved to tears myself listening to him sing.
the crooner stuck the mike in his face. his request, The Tennessee Waltz, was tinnily playing on the boom box in the background.
i'm here to tell you Earl can flat out SING! i mean he can frank sinatra sing.
(if you ever have a chance to hear Eva Cassidy's version, do not pass go. just do it. i swear Earl was almost as good.)

i really do wish i'd had my camera. and a tape recorder, too. but i did leave with a pleasant memory and a valuable reminder to take 1st impressions with a grain of salt.

even a bad elvis is sometimes more than the sum his parts.
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"i read the news today, oh boy. . .about a lucky man who..."

i have so much to say and so little energy to say it. what's up with that? i'll leave it up to you to read between the lines.

btw, did you hear about the austrian chimps? mom and i had a good laugh about it today. (we both decided we were on the chimps' side.)
here's the article.

is that link not still available? if not, try this.

but the best thing was seeing mom's smile and hearing her laughter.
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Monday, September 24, 2007

a home (or 2 or 3) away from home

mom and i went to a funeral last week. the deceased was a long time family friend. mom and dad went to sunday school with him for 45-50 years. in fact, that group of my parents' s.s. class went to the church in this photo 3 times a week together, played bridge together at least once a month for almost as long, partied on new years together every year, the ladies probably gave a thousand baby and wedding showers together over the years and our families went camping together almost every weekend of every summer.

i grew up under their collective, watchful eyes right along with their kids. mom's generation raised the families and grew old together. in other words, we knew each really well. they were my mom's best friends and yet . . . at the funeral she barely recognized any but a very few of the survivors of that closely-knit group.

- still, it was an opportunity for us to talk, for her to try to remember and for me to practice quiet acceptance and loss.

(there's a picture somewhere of 5 of the dads water skiing behind one boat. they're all mostly in their mid to late 40s, i'd guess. it speaks volumes about that group and how, between the church and the lake, we had several homes away from home. if *i* ever locate the photo i'll post it here. it's an awesome sight to see even if you don't know them.)

On the way home we decided to visit dad's grave at a different cemetery. as we approached it i pointed out Northpark, a local shopping center mom frequented. (for those of you who know her, you'll laugh at that understatement.)

"uh huh. my home away from home," she laughed.

i thought it was odd she'd remember that little joke but not the people at the funeral. i told her a story of one of her last shopping visits there. sadly, she didn't remember any of that, either.
(if you click here and scroll down to bottom, that story is told by her accomplice in the 2nd to last comment.)

in this photo, that's Northpark in the background. Neiman-Marcus is to the right just out of view.

dad said he bought that plot so Mary Anne would always be close to Neiman's. she didn't remember the anecdote, but she sure did think it was funny. click on the picture and you can see a slight grin as she's thinking about that. (you can see her new shoes too, lynn anne.)

...then she asked me why the slab was so big...
the question flat-out astonished me.

i told her Joe saved a place for her beside him...she said, "oh."

this picture astonishes me, too. that's mom and dad circa 1948. they made a pretty glamorous couple, i think.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

o...kay. i've been told the last post was boring.

so take this you #&%$*^%...

i have no idea. but at least it's not b-o-r-i-n-g.

and this!

"Dogs take over the pool at the 4th annual Pooch Plunge held in Fort Collins, Colorado. City Park pool is open for the summer season and then closes for the rest of the year. Before the pool is drained our four-legged friends get to enjoy the pool. For the Pooch Plunge the staff lowers the concentration of some of the chemicals for the dogs health and they use a special filter they invented to help strain the water of hair. The special filters use swamp cooler material."
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

is there a word for blatant subtlety?

as i have mentioned before, i am a crossword puzzle fanatic. i usually do the new york times syndicated. it's free. i get it in my local paper 6 weeks after it is originally published. even then, i always manage to find someone else's just lying around because...yes, i'm a cheapskate. besides that, the Dallas Boring News isn't worth 50 cents ( i'm not so sure the new york times is either, to tell you the truth.)

but next week i'll be guest blogging for someone who does a daily commentary on THE CURRENT nyt crossword puzzle so i ponied up the hefty sum of $6.95 to do the puzzle in real time.

it took me 93 minutes to complete Paula Gamache's grid this evening and lemme tell ya, it was a doozy. there were nine! 15 letter across-es as well as the typically misdirecting friday clues, but the best part of the experience for me was seeing the uncharacteristic (for the nyt) political *theme* emerge.

(how in the cornbread hell do some people solve these things in 3 or 7 minutes? they are total freaks of nature, i tell you.)

for the record, i don't think the friday nyt is very often themed, but if you care to bear with me beyond the jump, i'll do my best to present the facts and, as always, my own twisted personal bias.

here are the 9 long, #'d Across clues = [answers] referred to above (with some abbreviated commentary in parentheses) : --->

1A. just the pits = [as bad as bad bad can be.] (nah. i suspect it'll get worse before it gets better.)
16A. classic line of a debate? = [there you go again] (my dad was Big reagan fan.)
17A. just a bit, if that = [little or nothing] (an apt description of the power of reason. or of the vote, for that matter...)

30A. sewn up = [over and done with] (think: rome.)
37A. "the randi rhodes show" network = [air america radio] ...(i'm a Big fan.)
38A. determine = [make a resolution] (call your congress person. tell 'em to quit fucking around and get the hell out of iraq. find a moral cause to spend some of that $$ on.)

53A. left-of-center party member = [liberal democrat] (no, i'm a radical human bean. politics? be damned.)
57A. "i'll take whatever help i can get" = [any port in the storm] (i'm not holding my breath...)
58A. pro team whose mascot is a blue bird named blitz = [seattle seahawks] (my dad was a Hawk...)

now, other than the last of those - [answers] - i think the political tone is subtlely, blatantly evident, if not exactly clear as to its intent.
just read the answers in bold by themselves. (ok, the last one is a bit of
a kerfuffle, but the clue for it (...a blue bird named blitz) gives me a modicum of hope for my whacked out theory...)

whether the constructor intended a *theme* or not, i have no clue.
still, i can't help but read one, though i'm not at all sure how to interpret it.

is it *democratic ineptitude* or is it an even more pathetic *liberal lament* or is it a well-deserved, friendly, conservative ribbing?

with that in mind, i think i'll go look for some 39A. it'll change your mind [LSD] ( this fill also seems odd for the nyt, to me.)

i could never have finished this x-word without the downs.

2D. one just filling up space [shim] (democratic congressman?)
5D. arm raiser, informally [delt] (no conviction needed, just flex)
nos. 7,8,9 and 10D. are too depressing to mention in this context.
as are 25, 31 and 32 Down.
not to mention 47D and 52/4 D.
i could go on and on, but... it's late.

the completed grid and clues referred to are up top where it says, "THE CURRENT" in red.

Dear Ms. Gamache,
thanks for the reference to Dylan's "Shelter From The Storm" at 57A. even if it was unintentional.
...not to mention the lovely Woody Guthrie Ballad of Tom [Joad] at 49A.

(psst, linda, aren't you glad i'm not posting this on your page? i promise to try to behave.)
Read more!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

are you my brother?

mom and i went krogerin' today. she doesn't need her own groceries, but she likes having a few snacks around. besides, it's good exercise for us both. getting her in and out of the car would be much easier with a trebuchet.

i think my favorite part of going to the grocery is all of the free samples available as we wander through the store. we munched it up quite a bit on this trip.

oh, & speaking of food...

on the way to krogers my brother called. (that's him on the left in the picture above.) he told us to be sure and check out a newspaper article about him when we got back. the article is all about him and his job. he's an awesome chef.

in case you don't want to read the whole thing (but you'd better, you turkeys) here's a clip that details just a FEW of the items on a recent menu of his:

"...(we) grilled 25 pounds of jumbo shrimp (each shrimp wrapped around a cheese-stuffed jalapeƱo, then wrapped in bacon), 25 pounds of country-style pork ribs, five pounds of pecan-smoked sausage, 10 pounds of lean chicken breasts, 40 pounds of baby-back ribs, 10 racks of lamb, a hundred chicken thighs, four "sides" of salmon, and 15 pounds of tilapia."

holy carnivore, batman!

so, after the phone call, mom said, "who would have thought my little baby john (luke) would become such a great cook?"

"hahahahahah! mom, your 'little baby' is a 41 year old man."

then we went into a fairly long trip down memory lane. i told her about a favorite memory of mine when she was 9 months pregnant and demonstrated her jitterbug to the amazement of my sisters and myself. she told me, as if i didn't already know, how she was embarrassed to be pregnant as such an old woman. i pointed out that she was only about 45 at the time. she allowed that was not old at all, but still said, "well, at the time it was embarrassing. old people aren't supposed to be having sex."

"why not?" i asked.

she chuckled and said something like, "oh, i don't know...i guess they do."

i said, " mom, i think this is the first time in my entire life i've ever heard you say the word 'sex.' are you gonna give me *the talk* now?"

you can bet we both had a good laugh over that one.


here's a picture of a few of those shrimp/jalapeno/bacon grilled poppers from a campout last year. i think homie brought 200 of them. i'm serious. and they were just the appetizers for the weekend.

and here i'm holding a plate of hors d'oeuvres, with six of them grilled to perfection, to take to my son and his buddies who were rope swinging down at the river. (i'll have you know i readied that plate all by myself) if you're not drooling yet, click on the pic for a better view...

gosh, i can't even remember how many fresh oysters they brought. there were several ice cold coolers full of unshucked ones, though...

according to picasa, i have 368 pictures from that weekend. at least a hundred of which are of the food.
there were also a 1/2 dozen chefs there, a boatload of guitar pickers and a couple dozen kids of all ages from newborn to 55.

this is my brother and his family relaxing in the blanco river.

this next one's not from the camp out, but is a view out my brother's kitchen at the rock n' roll venue mentioned in the newspaper article. (the one you didn't read because yer a loser.)

a bit of stage roof scaffold can be seen in the far upper left corner of the window and speaks of a gajillion decibels of screaming guitars and raucous texas music and fans not 50 yards away, but the hammock stretched between these graceful old live oak trees pretty much tells the real story... wherever Luke cooks, it's pretty much like bein' in your own backyard on a quiet summer day.

you just want to be there.

now, back to the camp out on the river and a small portion of the other culinary delights brother luke, mr. olivia's dad and their chef friends brought to prepare for us all.

this is barnes. one of several real-life chefs who bear mention.
he's a crazy mofo and he sure knows how to cook it up, but...

this here is the man. (is he tweaking another recipe in his mind? or is he thinking about getting out of that chair and goin' down to the river to see what tracy and jacob are up to? alas, we'll never know, my friends. such is the mystery of true genius.)

(i think the sausage in this variety pack was hand made by the aforementioned mofo. and the fish was caught fresh at the campout. at least that's the way i remember it...)
[update: i'm told the "fish" is really ribs...whatever.]

but i don't eat meat, you say?
ok, so hows about a crab boil to knock yer socks off? (yep. same camp out.)

but i'm a vegan!!!!
nooo some of the tastiest food on the planet. made by real live artists.

in closing i ask you, your local chef.
it'd be a crying shame if they all went bald.

goin' krogerin' for freebies comes in a far distant second place to any meal with that crowd.

congratulations on the well deserved and long overdue newspaper article, Luke.

you are the Best of the best.

(that's mom's little baby john luke in the driver's seat. i have no idea who the other guy is.)

[edit: nothing beyond the jump here because i screwed up again. D'OH!] Read more!

Friday, September 14, 2007

what in the cornbread hell is goin' on?

i've heard it said that the personality traits of a person with alzheimer's are amplified. ie: an angry person gets more belligerent, a quiet person gets more calm, a person with a good sense of humor gets even funnier, etc.

well, this is one reason i don't normally say mom suffers from alzheimer's. i just call it dementia because she's funny as all hell and laughs at the drop of a hat. i swear she didn't use to be like that. or maybe i just never really knew her before? i do not know.

after the jump i'll see if i can give you some examples...

last time we went grocery shopping we were driving down greenville avenue. that's party central for those of you unfamiliar with dallas. i'm tellin' you, there aren't as many bars in the state penitentiary. all of a sudden mom starts laughing out LOUD and says, "condom sense? imagine that...a store just for condoms...well, i guess they need it down here on greenville."

then, 2 days ago we were at the birthday party at VT mentioned in the last post. we sat down next to a lady who proudly told us she was gonna be 99 years old in two days. mom said, "i'll be...(i tell her, 85)...i'll be 85 on the 17th."
after a pause, mom looked at our table-mate and asked her, "you think we'll make it?"
they just laughed and laughed.

and just today we were up on her floor when jim, one of the residents, wandered by. neither of us have Ever before seen him without his wife, nancy. he walked over to where we were sitting and hollers out, "have you seen my sister?!"

mom and i look at each other and then back at jim, "you mean nancy? and all this time i thought she was your wife."

jim says, "i can't remember...maybe she is...where'd she go?"

after he left, mom just cracked up and said something to the effect of, "well, at least i'm not that bad off. at least i know if you're my husband or my son."
she didn't stop giggling about that until jim wandered by again 5 minutes later.

technical question:
i have several videos from my sony camera, now on my hard drive and in picasa, that i'd like to
a.) edit.
b.) capture stills from.
c.) post on this blog.
if any of y'all could give me advice with that, i'd sure appreciate it.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

today did not suck

this morning i went to VT, where mom lives, to express some complaints. i started out in the facility director's office, but within minutes her boss came in and introduced herself. a few minutes later two more bosses were on the scene. we moved to a bigger office and by the time the 1 hour meeting was over there were 7 "bigwigs" in the room; all of them kowtowing. i thanked them all for listening and for saying the things i wanted to hear, but that mom and i had plans for the day to get the hell out of the building and i left saying, with a smile, "actions speak louder than words."

(details of what lead up to that encounter and what went down during are available by phone and/or email.)

now sit back and let me tell y'all about the fun stuff mom and i did today...

she's been needin' to get out. no, not just downstairs, but out of the fucking building. so last night i told her we'd just go drive around and see what we could find to do. she was ready and waiting when i arrived at 10 a.m.

as we were leaving i saw a notice that there would be a birthday party in the dining room with live entertainment for all residents with birthdays in july, august and september. her birthday is september 17! so we agreed we should return by 2:00.

and off we went...

i already mentioned her birthday is in 5 days, didn't i? when we got in the car i handed her a small package. inside was a cassette tape. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. i put it in, cranked it up and off we drove into the beautiful fall morning, her hand tapping to In The Mood.

we cruised like a couple of teenagers with windows down and the music blaring. we drove by her mom's old house on vanderbilt. we slowed waaay down as we passed her old church and she sang Chattanooga Choo-Choo as we drove down Skillman, a road she'd traveled a hundred thousand times.

we were on our way to the neighborhoods i grew up in, the homes she raised her four children in and lived in most of her adult life. to gawk at houses and conjure memories she's forgotten.
every once in a while she'd say something like, "this looks familiar," or, "that looks different." when a new song came on she might quietly sing along or make an obscure comment about some long forgotten memory the music triggered.

but lemme give you the short version of our adventure.

- drove by the last house she lived in, where she raised my brother and the rest of us visited often. the house, where she so lovingly grandmothered all those grandkids whose pictures now hang on her walls, looked very different. and that surprised us both. gosh, it's only been 2 1/2 years? things sure do change in a hurry.

but she remembered the neighbors. so, i rang a doorbell.
the Ktrolas have moved away, too. i took a picture and we drove to see the house she raised my sisters and myself and where we lived when my younger brother was born.

-funny how a little ivy on the walls and different colored shutters can change the appearance of a place. we drove around back and recognized some things and didn't recognize others. i took another picture.

we came to the conclusion that things just change. we wondered if we'd be recognized by old friends with our gray hair and wrinkles and our different bodies and postures and if we'd recognize them with the ivy and coats of paint and tolls of years that have likely overtaken them as well.

-looking at the time, i realized we were running out of it. there was still so much to do. the house at 820 Peavy Road would have to wait another day. we could go have lunch. or...wait! let's give your brother a call and see if they'd mind if we dropped by on such short notice. their new place isn't far from here...

(mom says, "well they come see me sometimes and i never know when They're coming.")

-we spent well over an hour on our "social call." and let me tell you, brother and sisters, it was the highlight of mom's day. and you haven't even heard yet about our hurried drive-through taco bell lunch experience or the birthday party back at VT with the cake and punch and new friends and a ventriloquist! to entertain us...

but i'll save that story for later.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

tomorrow's gonna be a better day.

this computer is/ a helluva lot/ smarter than i am/
much wiser, too.
i'd writ' a long post/ of the last few days/ then i it screwed up/
so now it's gone.
trust that's just. and well/ and good riddance. if/ only to myself/
i've made my peace.

(there's nothin' much after the jump. so don't bother clicking the *read more* link.)

that was *days* in the biblical sense. it might really mean *years.* i sure have screwed up a lot.
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Friday, September 7, 2007

a little porn and a whole lotta corn at the old folks home

i think mom is chompin' at the bit to show off her computer savvy, but the computer at VT has been acting up lately so *she* hasn't sent those emails i promised. they're coming eventually. it seems somebody has been downloading porn on the computer we use in the library. a couple of times this week multiple pages of some really raunchy stuff have greeted us. and lemme tell ya bub, that's an uncomfortable situation for sonnyboy. (but i deal)

- "what was THAT?"
- "pornography. you'd think with the 20:1 ratio of women to men here, fred and reggie could get their jollies some other way, huh?"
- "really?"
- "nahahahaha, (snort) i'm just kiddin', mom. i'm sure it's the kitchen help. let's go watch the penguins while this virus scan runs."

after trying to explain 'virus scan,' i said, "see, you learn something new everyday."
"well, that's good because i feel like i forget something about every minute," she replied.

never a dull moment at vickery towers. unless you live there...and are restricted to a single floor with a bunch of old geezers far worse off than you are.

and that is where friends and family come in. we make sure she gets to do something while she's still able and willing.

like the time last month when the marvelous miss josephine dropped by to take her grandmommy to the "root beer float day" extravaganza downstairs. those smiles say it all.

if you're well enough and able (and allowed) there are lots of activities. i've written here before about several of them. the activity director does a damn good job and i am truly grateful for her.

but sometimes the entertainment is beyond the pale. for me at least.

yesterday was a good example of that:
(if you dare, you can click on the photo to see a larger version.)

sounds like fun doesn't it? well OF COURSE we went. are you kiddin' me?

the "Plungeretttes" had 4 hats and 4 routines:
! - an uncle sam type hat (stars and stripes or something. i'm not sure.)
@ - a cowboy hat (some country song about texas.)
# - a yellow rose tiara thingy ("the yellow rose of texas," of course.)
$ - and a majorette hat with a big P on it ("76 trombones, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah...)

aside from introducing the 2 octogenarians in this wild and cRaZy group, about the only thing i heard besides the canned music was, "we've still got some time. which one would you like for us do again?" (ahahahahahaha. did they have but 4 routines? or did they leave some of their hats at home? ...couldn't they just GO home?)

but the crowd was unanimous and loud, so we *got* to witness them marching and pumping their plungers to "76 trombones." AGAIN! (yipee.)

i'm gonna cut this short and just post a few more captioned pictures to spread the pain, but not without first telling you that it was very well attended and that *i* was clearly the only one there who found it too corny to enjoy. believe me, if it was too corny for me it was CORN-Y.

but those old folks? they ate it up. they absolutely loved it. and i betcha they're still talking about it.

i warned you...

here they are wearing cardboard shakos. ("you learn something new everyday". today i learned that word from my crossword puzzle. click on the link, turkeys.)

and finally...this is a blurry photo of an 88 year old woman ja*king off a plunger.
that's a pretend trombone. (sorry.)
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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

it's movie night...

the movie at VT tonight is The Painted Veil. i asked mom if she wanted to go see it. she said she would. i told her i'd be back around 5:30.

"oh, you don't have to do that. i can just go by myself. (pause) where will it be?"

"in the media room.
(hug) i'll see you at 5:30, mom."

good grief, gertie... holy moley... not only No, but Hell no!...what in the cornbread hell?...

No...she's not allowed to go ANYwhere by herself. she complains about that fact so often i'm really surprised she thought otherwise, even if only for a moment. aside from not remembering where we go to watch movies at least once a week, she'd never find the freakin' media room by herself even if she were permitted to try.
i can just hear it now: "9-1-1... 9-1-1...calling all mounties, bloodhounds and clairvoyants...mary anne is ON the loose...")

i just googled the movie and it's got sex scenes.
...i'm not too keen on watching sex scenes with my mom.

and it's apparently got some gore and violence in it, too. i don't do gore or graphic violence. when my kids and i used to watch movies together and something like that came on screen, they learned to warn me in advance to close my eyes if they knew what was coming up
(dad. close your eyes.) and even if they didn't know, they would tell me when it was ok to look again.

so i'm a wuss. wanta make somethin' of it?

i'm tempted to just not show up. she likely won't remember anyway. of course there's always the chance she will remember for once.
no, on 2nd thought, i think i'll call her and tell her to go on without me. (Hahahahaha, just kidding, but i probably will call and cancel.)'s based on a novel by somerset maugham. i've never read it, but one of my all time favorite movies, The Razor's Edge, was based on a maugham novel of the same name. it starred bill murray and is a rare case of a movie being as good, or maybe even better, than the book.

so yes, i'm still waffling on whether
or not to go. the painted veil stars edward norton and he's pretty darn good...

and how's this for irony. from IMDb: "view content advisory for parents"
somehow i feel like that phrase means something different to me than is intended.

[updated 6:23 p.m]

no. i did not end up takin' mom to the movie. after watching a clip of it i decided i'd be the one bored this time. but i also did not blow her off.
knowing the chances were slim to none that an aide would take her, i came up with a devious plan by which i was able to kill 3 or 4 birds with 1 stone:

!- i showed up promptly at 5:30 (i did what i said i'd do. check.)

@- i said, right in front of one of the aides, "say, mom, i looked the movie up on the internet and i'm not sure i'm comfortable taking you to it. i mean...well...there are sex scenes and stuff..." (i was honest. check.)

#- we all had a hearty laugh. (always a good thing. check.)

$- she and the aide looked at each other and the aide said, "well, Mary Anne, i guess I could take you." (buaahhahahah. CHECK!)

%- i didn't have to go, but mom still got to. (double check.)

^- (snort)
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mom's got mail! (part 2)

5 or 6 weeks ago i asked friends and family to send mom a simple card or photo. as Mr. Flinty has pointed out in his blog about his dad, the gesture is much appreciated by those suffering from dementia.

one friend sent mom a magazine subscription. yesterday the 1st issue arrived via snail-mail. Reminisce magazine is just what the doctor ordered!

unlike the stack of time and reader's digest mags that are somewhere between difficult and impossible for her to focus on, Reminisce is just her speed. thanks a million, Anne.

(i know i've posted this link before, but it seems apropos to throw it in here. thanks, D.)

notes and scribbles:
- while cruising the internet, we found her and dad's names on a 1939 North Dallas High School list of seniors. she Really liked that. when we left the library she actually said,"i guess vickery towers isn't such a bad place after all."

- a man from mom’s church has left her a rose 3 times now in the past month. we always seem to be out walking when he comes. she doesn’t even recognize the name, but i know him to be a happily married guy who just tries to keep in touch with her and many of the older folks.

so now there is this wonderful rumor slowly spreading about a mysterious boyfriend. (mom looks at me and says, “i wish.”)

-we went grocery shopping last week and she commented at the checkout stand, "who would have ever thought you'd be buying your mother wine and cigarettes?" i think the checker laughed almost as hard as we did.

- she can't remember if it was my sister or me who took her to buy them, but mom loves her new shoes. and although it's sorta hard to tell by looking, she did get that pedicure yesterday.

- and this video is apropos of nothing...
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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

mom's got mail! (part 1)

sometime last week we were goofing around on the computer in the library and i realized how much mom enjoyed it. she doesn't understand it, but she enjoys it.

like many of her generation she is computer illiterate and technologically impaired in general, so i work the computer and she watches...and reads...and we talk...

so i set up an email account for her.
so far, "she's" sent and received with a daughter and with an old friend of mine. it totally amazes her.

it's gratifying to see she can still find pleasure in new things, that at 84 she's not satisfied with just sittin' around doing nothing. it is also sobering to understand: this too will pass.

i just now added all the family members' and a couple more of my friends' addresses to her contact list, so some of you can be expecting an email from her in the near future. if you see an email from someone with the user name, "pretty_lady1922" it's not porn. don't delete it. ok?

(she wouldn't allow herself to smile at the user name that was finally accepted, but i could tell it made her feel good.)
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