Thursday, July 22, 2004

What defines modern politics better than a silly flash animation of Kerry and Bush singing This Land Is Your Land? Beats me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Thanks to all who've written good words regarding my Father. I spent last week with him and it was fairly weird. As a result of the tumors on his liver (and chemo, I suppose) he's jaundice and his normally squinting eyes are bugging out. He lost a lot of weight very quickly. He was weak, tired, in pain and couldn't do much more than sit on the couch and complain about everything. Considering the situation, I suppose that's to be expected. The narcotics, while numbing the pain, only encourage a pronounced sundowning effecting, which makes him a bit like an aggressive drunk - woozy, paranoid and prone to verbally lash out at anything he doesn't like (my Aunt, for instance).

On our first night there, he looked quite bad and mentally, he'd pretty much given up. He was convinced the cancer had spread throughout his body. No proof of that, but he believed. His doctor - in a real display of empathy - had suggested he forget about the chemo and call hospice to arrange terminal care. Well, if that doesn't put the spirit to fight in a 75 year old man, what will?

As I watched my Mother prepare one standard family dish after another - and my Father refuse them all - it dawned on me that part of his problem was that he might be starving. I don't think he'd eaten anything for a few days as he was feeling sick. I bought a box of those mega weight gain body builder shakes and told him if he drank two a day and he'd have the same ripped abs as the guy on the box. That got him on the program. My sister and I reminded him that he's got take in as many calories as possible during this treatment.

Fortified with some nutrition (Mom realized he could eat pudding and made gallons of that), he started to focus on eating something at every meal time. Over the next few days, he seemed to get better - more alert, stronger, able to walk and stay up for longer periods. I think part of the improvement was the food and another part was that my Mom reduced his medication. It seemed better to give a single pill in quicker intervals, rather than stretch the spread to the max and try to catch up with two pills.

BTW - here's a tip - pain medication is like crafting and maintaining a beer buzz. You've got to hit it hard right away and then pace yourself with a constant flow. Too much and you're a drunk, too little and you sober up. Glenn Fry from the Eagles told filmmaker Cameron Crowe that his secret was two beers pounded back as fast as possible as soon as he entered a party. After that, it was one beer nursed for every 60-90 minutes. Keep it in mind.

You know the thing that bothers me the most? I kept looking for a moment of bravery or humor in the face of death. Some kind of passion showing through the pain or a demonstration that his life was worth living even though it's obviously going to end soon. Nada. I guess that's a Hollywood myth. Death is sad, frightening and lonely especially for the one doing the dying. My Father looks like he's about to be hit by a car. He's pissed off, scared, annoyed at everything. I can't blame him, but I also wonder if he's ever going to reach some kind of acceptance stage of death.

Now it's a week later and Dad's hanging in there. I talk to my Mother every day and she reports what he's eaten - particularly when he drinks a mega shake - I think she says it to please me. Before each chemo treatment, they pop him with a shot of Procrit and that makes him feel good for a day. It's a strange sort of medical reprieve. Procrit pumps up the red blood cells and battles fatigue that comes from the anemia associated with chemo. So oddly, one of his best days is the day he gets the chemo, which used to be the day that would wipe him out. Now he's dancing with Mom in the living room. It's like that Robin Williams, DeNiro movie "Awakenings." He gets a few hours to recall what it was like to feel human, then it's back to pain and vomiting.

I'll be heading back down there soon. My Mother's hope is he can make it through the chemo treatment and a new scan will show the tumors are in retreat. I tell her I believe that will happen. In the meantime, she and I went to the cemetery and purchased a pair of gravesites.

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Attached is a picture of a clothing label from a small American company that sells their product in France. Here's the translation of the French part of the label:
* Wash with warm water.
* Use mild soap.
* Dry flat.
* Do not use bleach.
* Do not dry in the dryer.
* Do not iron.
* We are sorry that Our President is an idiot.
* We did not vote for him.

From Bianca in NYC
Alan M - from somewhere in the Northeast - sent this email, which I found weird, flattering and oddly nostalgic for a part of my past that I don't recall. Hey, that's what having a history's all about! I've written back and I'm hoping he'll explain what's being reported about me on that Scranton classic rock station. I'm curious if my guess is correct.

Hi. First of all, I'm not sure that I am talking to the right guy, so if your not the person I think you are, Pardon....Anyway, My name is Alan Mill*r, and I am originally from Long Island, New York. I believe I may know you. I think we met briefly on several occasions through a mutual friend in Merrick Long Island. My friend at the time was Billy Deeg*n from North Merrick. His other pal, Jim Simons*n. If you are the right person, I think you played some guitar on a few of Billy and my songs. We were doing some recording in "George's" [I forget his last name] Basement Studio. You did some real nice Guitar Work on Billy's "What would I do without you at Christmastime". I think Billy Told me later that you moved to Nashville to pursue your music career. I also remember a guy named Ed something in your guys circle that almost became one of "The New Monkees's"?

I am sorry to hear about some of your current situations. Am I reading correctly the story on the Tape you made? Is that your personal situation, or are you just reporting it? Reason I ask is that your story has reached even my Local radio station. I live outside of Scranton, PA and I heard the DJ's reporting it on the classic rock station. They were stating on how creative an idea it was. Hopefully there are some good things going on for you as well.

By the way, I remember that old "Rage to live album" you guys made years ago...great record! So, have you been involved with Bar None Records? That is originally how I recognized your name. It was attached to Bar none in some fashion, and I picked up on it. Freedie Johnston is one of my favorite artists, and I was trying to write Bar none to see if they would send me an autograph from him. Internet is definately a web concept................

Anyway, write back and let me know if I got the right guy, and best of luck!

Friday, July 09, 2004

After six months of good health my Father was told his vanquished cancer has reappeared as several tumors in his liver. Chemo starts today.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A real auction - Surveillance video of my soon-to-be-ex-wife in a car. (co-starring her married boyfriend): captures man at his most honest. Yet as I type, there are no bidders.

Item Specifics - VHS
Genre:home movie

Ok, this tape is not very clear or titillating. I honestly have not looked at it myself. It was taken by a private investigator who has been a friend of the family since before I was born. He took pity on me and did this work, when my wife, who for five years refused to go to counseling, and for three years after that refused to amicably divorce, and who at the time of the taping suggested that I continue to work my three jobs, buy a trailer and live in the backyard, (I need to take a breath, and I apologize to you English majors for the run-on sentence) began having an affair with a married man with whom she worked.

She respected this man. She said, 'All he needs is sex and to be fed to be happy, I can make a man like that happy' And she did. She would take food out of our freezer, go grocery shopping, look up flan recipes on the internet so she could cook him lunch at work. I would come home from work at 9:30PM many days to find that she had not fed our children dinner. 'He is a REAL MAN--he won't leave his wife, he just cheats on her. Why couldn't YOU be like HIM?' I thought confronting her with the knowledge of this affair would shame her and she would agree to the divorce. To that she replied, 'We are Latin, we cannot control ourselves.'

Did I mention that the tape was shot in broad daylight, around 3:30PM, in the parking lot of the neighborhood fitness center, which was right around the corner from where I was working. She was supposed to be picking-up my daughter from preschool, but at around the time she began the gym membership, her arrival time at preschool became later and later. My first suspicion was that after two months of every day at the gym, her ass was not getting smaller and smaller. Her behavior was even observed by a parent from the kids' school.

From what my private Dick reports, he could plainly see they were 'doing the deed', but that he wasn't very close when he shot the video and the footage is fuzzy. I do not believe you can identify either of them, so I do not think I am doing anything illegal. (I guess if you are reading this, Ebay agrees). I need to raise $6,000 to retain a new lawyer, and thought this might get me on my way. I am selling the one and only copy I have, as I have been told it is not going to help in my legal case. (NOTE: I HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT I OWN THE TAPE, AND THAT I MAY SELL MULTIPLE COPIES, SO RATHER THAN TRY TO GET SOMEONE TO PAY $6,000 FOR THE ONE COPY (which I never really thought would happen) I AM LISTING 440 COPIES FOR SALE AT $25 EACH. THE ADDITIONAL $5000 WILL GO FOR A PRIVATE PSYCHOLOGIST TO WORK ON MY BEHALF THAT MY PROSPECTIVE ATTORNEY HAS RECOMMENDED I DO. I WILL FURNISH ALL BUYERS WITH COPIES OF BOTH RETAINERS.)

If this doesn't work, I hope at least I can amuse some people with my story. Even I must admit it's funny!

Thank you for listening and for bidding.
OOOPS...Uhhh sorry...
"CLARIFICATION: It has come to the editor's attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement. We regret the omission."

Lexington Herald-Leader | 07/04/2004 | Front-page news, back-page coverage

Monday, July 05, 2004

The 4th of July turned out mighty fine here, the local explosion shows bested by a terrific lighting display and a huge rainbow stretching over downtown. A small party and no injuries, just like we like it.

It was all preceded by an excellent Free Comics Day. Learned an interesting thing - one comic store had all the standard titles: Superman, CSI, Archie, etc. We first got some from there. Then later that day, I went to Sci-Fi City, the local homebase to Trekkies and D&D fans. They had about 60% different comics, the much weird and fun stuff like Slave Labor Stories and compilations from Top Shelf Tales and Keenspot. All in all, more along my sensibilities. The store full of black-clad kids sitting around tables and rolling dice in RPGs was pretty fun too. SCi-Fi City is it's own bizarro culture and they really make it work by creating a home for the outcasts.

That's the secret to every good organization.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Free Comic Book Day 2004

Yahoo! Maybe I'll take Jake out to find a Spiderman issue. Thanks to the Trash heap for the tip.
As I've been posting anew, I've also tracked how folks are getting to my site. Thanks to Sitemeter, I can view the links that bring visitors to the doorstep of Limbo. Most arrive as part of a search - often a Google Image search. Oddly, out of all the many pictures I've posted over the years, do you know what image people continually search for?


Yes, this picture brings them in day and night from all over the world. So enjoy! Enjoy my friends! If firemen is what you want, firemen is what you shall have!