Thursday, April 4, 2013

Texas, Again! Marriage Equality, Bestiality, and Gun Control, O My!

The Colbert Report
From Wednesday April 3, 2013
Gun Control & Barn Orgies
Louie Gohmert's logical argument against gun control has proven that any liberal policy eventually leads to sex with animals. (03:55)


Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert Mixes Marriage 
Equality, Bestiality, and Gun Control
The congressman, on a conference call with a right-wing group, said gun regulation and marriage equality are both slippery slopes, with the latter leading to legalized bestiality.

The ever-outrageous congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas has done it again, equating marriage equality with bestiality and somehow bringing gun regulation into the mix.

Gohmert did a conference call in February with a new conservative group called Tea Party Unity; his call was publicized this week by People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch blog.

Limiting the number of rounds of ammunition a gun owner could buy, Gohmert said on the call, is “kind of like marriage when you say it’s not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three men and one woman, or four women and one man, or why not somebody has a love for an animal? There is no clear place to draw the line once you eliminate the traditional marriage, and it’s the same once you start putting limits on what guns can be used, then it’s just really easy to have laws that make them all illegal.”

Gohmert also said antidiscrimination laws threaten religious freedom, saying they are “going to devastate the church, the synagogue, places of worship that hire people, because ultimately they’re saying you have to hire whatever Satan-worshipper, whatever cross-dresser you think might be immoral, if that’s against your religious belief, you are going to be forced to abandon your religious beliefs, and we’ve been seeing that with some of the requirements under Obamacare.”

Gohmert, a Republican, has a history of over-the-top antigay statements. In the House of Representatives in 2009, he said LGBT-inclusive federal hate-crimes law would offer antibias protections to people who are “oriented toward animals” or “toward corpses, toward children.”

"I'm as Nimble as a Forest Creature"

[Jewel and Doc are dancing together] 
Jewel: Say 'I'm as nimble as a forest creature.' 
Doc Cochran: You're as nimble as a forest creature. 
Jewel: No, say it about yourself. 
Doc Cochran: I'm as nimble as a forest creature.

This was posted over at American Idyll, Home of the Brave, and made me recall how much I loved Deadwood, and this scene in particular.

It also made me think of others and of the necessity for a Deadwood marathon one of these -- those -- nights.  As much as I loved Al, Reverend Smith (Ray McKinnon) moved me;  The two of them, together?  I weep... In this first clip, the Reverend finds friends in Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and Sol Star (John Hawkes) -- may we all be so blessed when we are afflicted and lost.


A favorite of language teachers everywhere:
[Wu is explaining his problem to Al by drawing pictures]
Mr. Wu: Bok Gwai Lo... cocksucka!
Al Swearengen: Yeah, glad I taught you that fuckin' word. These are whites, huh?Mr. Wu: White cocksucka! [shows empty bag]
Al Swearengen: Two white cocksuckers killed him and stole the dope that he was bringing to you.Mr. Wu: White cocksucka! You, Swedgin.
Al Swearengen: [suddenly enraged] The dope that you were gonna fuckin' sell to me?Mr. Wu: White cocksucka.
Al Swearengen: These two white cocksuckers? Who the fuck did it?Mr. Wu: Wu?
Al Swearengen: "Who," you ignorant fuckin’ chink!Mr. Wu: Wu!
Al Swearengen: Who? Who? Who stole the fucking dope?Mr. Wu: Cocksucka!
Al Swearengen: Aw, Jesus.


My favorite bit of dialogue (at this moment):
Al Swearengen: We're forming a fucking government.
A. W. Merrick: Who is?
Al Swearengen: Us! You and me! Come to me in a vision! Ya stupid bastard.

Al Swearengen: Open the fucking canned peaches!

The favored one-liner, as determined by polling of living souls within Marlinspike Hall:

Farnum: Puberty may bring you to understand what we take for mother-love 
is really murderous hatred and a desire for revenge.

A Note From Joey's Dad

3-D mold of Joey's thumbprint

It cannot have been just last November that Joey Keller died.  It was such a prolonged agony, in the most basic of the etymologies of agony, that my mind had hid it away.

When I don't get a CaringBridge update notification for the children I follow there, I tend toward hope and don't think much about them.  When we drive by the local huge Children's Hospital here in Tête de Hergé -- where there are only tonsillectomies performed and broken bones fixed with psychedelic splints and casts -- I do remember them, back in that other world where kids get cancer and sometimes die in the middle of their youth.

I confess to looking at pictures of Daisy Merrick rather frequently, but for the smile she brings. None of us are naive enough to avoid our private picture book of what she must have looked like at her end, and no reassurances by preacher men and preacher women, even when they are that child's parent, can fool me. I've seen Death.  So have you.  But those are the pictures we've been given as fodder for the dark.  Daisy was, when vibrantly alive, nothing but light.

Anyway, Joey's Dad just about drove me insane in Joey's last months.  How dare he?  A man with scientific gleanings and leanings, he was, and will be again, a believer in miracles.  L.I.T.E.R.A.L.L.Y.  To such an extent that I prayed for Joey to please die.  I did that once, because as you know, that's the extent of my praying -- if, in the great crap shoot, he's aware of such needs; if, indeed, such needs even matter, then praying once to omniscience and omnipotence ought to square things.

I don't believe Joey's Dad ever slept.  He kept on working, too, for many reasons, I imagine, insurance coverage likely topping the list.  But his devotion almost bordered on abuse, to me. To me, I say.  He was pure love to his son and his son reflected pure love back, but you could also see in his wizened yellow face that he had had it.  But they clung, so... Well, isn't this an old tired story?

Anyway (the best of segues), he posted something tonight on CaringBridge and I want to pass it on, for those of you who may have followed Joey's story at the reserved distance of an odd blog.  Note that you don't hyperventilate while reading him.  Note that he's in a place I cannot imagine -- but then I cannot imagine any of the places he has had to traverse in the last five, six years.

I wrote him a comment, something I rarely do on CaringBridge, particularly when the parent or person blogging there is very religious, as my propensity to say something perceived as uncaring becomes an insulting danger that I just don't want to risk.  "You write well," I said.  I told him that I hoped he would keep at it.

Of course, this was also a ploy to not have to go to Facebook to follow the foundation doings that are getting underway in Joey's honor (Legos, what else!?).  I hate Facebook like I hate telephones and their bad news and their insinuations, like I hate the noise of the mall.  I prefer CaringBridge and the illusion of intimacy.

Nick, the dad in question, has shortened Joey's "Story" on CaringBridge to this:

 Joey lost his battle to medulloblastoma November of 2012. I wish I could list the stories and testmonies of all of us that were inspired to live better because of watching Joey's short life. His positive attitude was contagious and he wanted to encourage everybody he came into contact with. He inspired Elizabeth and me, more than words could ever say. Joey's attitude, faith, and generous spirit lead to the creation of TEAM JOEY, a not for profit (501c3) organization dedicated to getting Legos into the hands of every child battling cancer, and funding research to END pediatric cancer, once and for all. See link below:

And of the many fantastic photographs they captured of their son, Nick and Elizabeth chose this one to head the new page:

This is what Nick blogged about today, and, again, if anyone wishes to hook up with CaringBridge, it's an easy site with which to register --

touch base-
Written 2 hours ago
I'm not sure if anybody reads this anymore.  Many have told me they miss us sharing and asked that when we had a moment, to share a few thoughts. The support and prayers we got from this site (all of YOU), when we were going through the darkest and ugliest experience I could have ever imagined, was unbelievable.  We jumped on tonight for several reasons, the main one being to thank you all for your prayers.  Throughout Joey’s battle, when we got good news, you were there, praying and celebrating.  When the doctor said, "It's all over his brain again," you were reading and following…and praying.  And even as Joey suffocated in our arms, you were praying for Elizabeth and me.  Thank you.  Even now, we read messages from those who understand...who get it.  The pain doesn't go away.  It just doesn't.  Elizabeth and I were talking the other night that we don't think we'd ever want it to.  It's the most unbelievable dichotomy.  To remember him (which is at least every 5 minutes) brings incredible joy and memories that are so good…I get caught in public thinking of him...and smiling....and then intense, searing pain through your heart.  He is gone.  How did this happen?  Our son, our life in so many ways is gone.  We were at dinner with some really amazing people the other night, and we were explaining how it really wears us out to hear people give the typical pat answers, albeit maybe true comments, just not necessarily encouraging ones.  Our friend at dinner said the pain and loss you feel is proportional to the love you had for him.  I do feel bad for the people who just don't understand why we can't just move on, suck it up, and “get to work on God's calling for our lives.”  Not sure they'll ever get it.  When you love someone, really love someone, you give them your heart.  Your commitment to always be there for them, to ALWAYS do what's in their best interest, and to never leave them or forsake them. I wanted nothing in life more than to be a dad.  A good dad.  You wouldn't believe the books I had read, before and after Joey was given to us (born)....the small group studies at church on fatherhood I had gone to...the literally stacks of journal notebooks I have in my office, filled with my handwritten notes from books by Eldridge, Morley, and Dobson, on how to be a dad that God will be proud of.  Nobody wanted to be a good dad and took the job more seriously than I did.  I can say from seeing it first-hand, no one wanted to be a great mom than my wonderful wife.  Why did this happen?  How?  Of course, there is some solace in knowing where he is and that he can't suffer any more.  And we know we'll see him again.  Certainly, knowing how happy he must be in heaven makes us smile.  But we are here.  This is now.  And as long as I'm alive, I'll be without my son.  My family tells me that when I was little, I was always laughing and having fun. That every picture in our albums from childhood shows a big smile on my face.  I do love to have fun and always have pushed the envelope when it comes to pursuing it.  My body has the broken bones and neck, a four level spinal fusion, and scars all over to prove it.  I told a buddy of mine the other day, when trying to explain how I felt (he asked), life just isn't fun anymore.  The joy is gone.  Oh, I can put on a happy face with the best of ‘em, but on the inside, we are still very torn up. I am not too proud to ask for your continued prayers. 
I changed Joey's "My Story" on this CaringBridge site.  Elizabeth's been after me to do this for some time.  We are excited about TEAM JOEY and the kids who are and who will be touched because of Joey’s amazing heart and vision.  We did our first "Lego give" at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital a couple of weeks ago, and RileyHospital is next week.  We are excited.  Joey would have LOVED shopping for the kids, handing out the sets, visiting each room, and praying for the kids. He was so much younger in “years lived” than I am but about 50 years older than me in spiritual maturity terms.  What an old soul. 
I also wanted to let everybody know that, as far as updates for TEAM JOEY and Heroes Foundation, you can find us on Facebook.  We don't have to be Facebook friends for you to "like" the TEAM JOEY Facebook page and receive that latest updates.  I know there are some circumstances, HIPPA considerations, professional restrictions, and other good reasons where people can’t be FB friends, you can still plug in to the TEAM JOEY page. We are contemplating a TEAM JOEY website; but frankly, most people communicate and get a large part of their social information and interaction from Facebook.  I think, all Facebook asks for is just an email address.  And they never send you anything.  It's about as safe as could be, YOU control what is shared.  Get an account, and follow TEAM JOEY on Facebook! Look for: “TEAM JOEY, A Heroes Foundation Program”

Many have told me that I should continue to blog on here.  It got me through some really difficult times, and I'm sure would prove therapeutic now.  I gotta be honest, I wasn't gonna say all that tonight; I was just going to sort of point everyone to the new Facebook page.  We'll see how things go moving forward.  Living without Joey is really tough.  Some really thoughtful families and friends invited us over for Easter.  For several reasons, we just wanted to kind of hole up and rest and shut the world out on Sunday.  We started off strong, then there were TV sermons and shows about Easter, and then the memories of past Easters...nine of them…and I found myself sitting alone on the couch, holding an 8x10 of him, just blown away...he is really gone. This is permanent.  I can’t hug him, or rub his bald head, or talk to him, or hear his laugh or him singing the Ninjago song. We used to have some of the most amazing talks. He would ask me questions that were so complex and deep, that I swore I was talking to an 80 year old man.  All that said, I AM grateful for Easter because it is truly the hope that I have that I'll see my buddy again.  I would be lying, however, if I told you it was a good or easy day for us.
In a day and age where everybody’s selling the illusion of control, I knew this posting wasn't going to inspire anybody.  But I had to be honest, and I do thank you all for asking about us, for asking us to continue to share our journey, and, most of all, giving us the space and grace to grieve.  We do, still, have MUCH to be thankful for.  At the top of our list is all of you.  Talk soon!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Response to Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) from RSDSA

Three members of the RSDSA Board of Directors sent this letter of opposition to the FDA petition proposed by Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP). The comment period has closed, but I think the letter is a powerful communication, one that people with CRPS and their caregivers, loved ones, might wish to share with their physicians.

My apologies, as I apparently am clueless as to how to copy and paste from the format the Board Directors used.  Of the entire document that I carefully transferred here last night these two paragrahs are all that remain!  So please click HERE to read it, print it out, and share with whomever you think might appreciate their point of view or have some influence.

Inline image 3

Inline image 1

Make your reservations!

Integrated Solutions to CRPS 
May 10, 2013
San Francisco, California

James W. Broatch 

Integrated Solutions to CRPS is a conference created for people just like you. Individuals with CRPS, friends, family, and caregivers of the CRPS community are invited to attend. The RSDSA, along with the help from generous sponsors, has assembled a friendly forum where you and experts in the CRPS field will spend the day sharing valuable information and exploring new solutions to help manage CRPS.  You will have the opportunity to talk to and network with members of the RSDSA and others who experience what you do, day after day.

The agenda below will give you an idea of the formal part of the program, but we have found over the years that the most important benefit of a conference like this is the ability to talk with each other.  As you can see, we have scheduled a group discussion, break, and a long lunch so that you can network.


Guest Speakers include

Pradeep Chopra, MD,  RSDSA Board Member and physician from Providence, Rhode Island, who will give an update on treatment options.

Peter Abaci, MD, and John Massey, MD, from Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center, will discuss an interdisciplinary model for treating CRPS.

Sharon Weiner, RSDSA Board Member and president of Living with RSDS Inc. will give you hints about managing your daily activities.

Kaitlyn Pintor, RSD/CRPS Bay Area Support Group will talk about ways to create community, both face to face and virtually.

DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport 
835 Airport Blvd.
Burlingame, CA 94010  

The RSDSA has reserved a block of rooms at The DoubleTree Hilton for your convenience. 

The  discounted room rate per night is $139* and will be available until April 18th.  Just let us know  when you register if you would like us to reserve a room for you.

* Rate does not include taxes and fees.

The DoubleTree Hilton offers free Shuttle Service to and from the San Francisco International Airport.

Bouncing Texan and Mississippian Babies

Whilst I knoweth I promisedeth poetic wondersomeness, my early read of my email maketh me want to post this bit o' bonny news.

I mean, seriously, the well-worn phrase "what were they thinking?" jumps into mine brainpan, there being little actual brain left.

Nearly 1 in 5 Teen Births Is a Repeat Birth
By Amy Orciari Herman
Some 18% of teen births in 2010 were repeat births, representing a small drop from the 19.5% rate in 2007, according to a CDC Vital Signs report. 
CDC researchers identified more than 367,000 births to U.S. teens aged 15 to 19 in 2010. The repeat birth rate was highest among American Indian/Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and blacks (about 21%) and lowest among whites (15%). In addition, repeat births were most common in Texas and Mississippi and least common in Vermont and New Hampshire. 
Among teen mothers who were sexually active postpartum, over 90% reported using contraception; however, only 22% used the most effective methods (for example, implants or intrauterine devices).

See the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report for the first week of April (April is poetry month, for which I guess we have Eliot to blame and Chaucer to thank?).

What, was it such fun and oh-so-rewarding the first time?

Is there that much lack of love in their worlds that a baby is seen as a magnet for affection?

Plus... this just further cements my ardent conviction that Texas and Mississippi shall not figure on my travel iteneraries.  Texas, mostly because I fear execution just by crossing the state line.  Mississippi, well, okay, honestly, I've very little against Mississippi except for Franklin County, where there are no gay people. Where is the fun in that?  Who is going to know how to cut my hair butch, a style I am considering readopting to counter out-of-control bed head?  How do they interior decorate?

The "American Indian/Alaska Natives" -- does that not tear the last remnants off your neural sheaths?

Whilst writing this profundity, I did not fail to recollect the bazillion entreaties from Mine Belovedeth Readership for the finer arts... don't get your panties nor your boyish shorts all balled up in a gooey wad, I'll get to it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


hey beloveds!

i only crashed into a wall once this morning and while pirouetting -- round and round, balletic spotting be damned -- i changed the bed linens, washed my face, and brushed my teeth.  unfortunately, having foregone balletic spotting technique, it being hard to whip one's head thusly without some shoulder and neck control, i ended up mistaking the newly made bed for the sink, and now it's covered in toothpaste.  color-wise, it's nice and matchy-matchy, and the aroma is not unpleasant, but, really, now.  ew.

here is the deal. we are headed out the door for a medical appointment ("i shall be released...") and it occurs to me to be brave.

as in, to share some of the schtuff i have been writing.  but any snickering, any back talk, WHATSOEVER, and it's the corner for you, plus i will pull out of retirement my "classroom control" tools, all things designed to be THROWN.

first up, something from the middle of the night.  call it a sketch, i guess?  when i get home, and i will get home, butterfly nets and men in white coats strewn in my wake, i'll post some charming poetry.

Self-Soothing by Retired Educator

I suppose I don't know what to do any more.  I'm leaving pieces of coagulated gut in the toilet with every visit, and it's not the easiest thing to talk about; then again, bleeding to death on white porcelain has its drawbacks, too.

It's an old device invented as a way to calm himself.  His daughter-in-law, who drags his grandbaby girl around by the arm too much, smacks gum, raves about "self-soothing." Lectures him on the discipline it instills, the confidence, and how harmful to one's sense of self to be picked up and comforted all the damn time.

"You got your old ways, Dad," she explains, competent because she's nineteen.  "They gotta learn to self-soothe." And with that she shuts the door on baby Paloma, plopped into the playpen she's set up in the spare bedroom. Leaving the radio blaring on the peeling window ledge, Maria Angelica explains, has something to do with giving the baby a focal point.

So, Old Man, soothe yourself.  What I do is take my only mirror, the rear view mirror busted off that old Toyota truck trying to exit a downtown parking garage.  It was a tricky turn.  But I needed a mirror.  Old Men have wily wiry nose hairs need trimming, scraggly stuff everywhere, sometimes where you'd just never expect.

Yeah, so, I soothe myself by seeing past what I see in this rear view mirror -- "It's equipped with a handle," I joke at every put down of an offer to buy me a "real" mirror.

There's my uniformly brown hair.  Not a bit of highlighting to it and straight as if she'd ironed it.  The hairline hasn't even receded much these last 20, 30 years, and I'm seventy in December.  On December 25, to be exact.  I don't expect much from birthdays, though one year I'm bound to get a manly mirror, probably one that's part of a shower caddy.  No one believes that I'd really like some socks.

I'm German and Irish by blood, don't ask me where Luiz came from, because my name is Louis, except that Estrella used to have a bedroom name for me:  Mi Luz.  I was shy and just repeated, from my third generation Brooklyn German: meinem Licht.

But I'd say it three times to her murmured one: meinem Licht meinem Licht meinem Licht -- until it all ran together and we'd finished, and were spooned like melded flatware.

She was smooth and tricky, mi Estrella, and I became Luiz.

My nose is huge, with a scar and a bend to it from my days in Ethiopia.  There was this nomad, convinced that he was possessed by evil devils, and he ran in front of my goddamned truck.  Imagine that, would you?  A whole desert, empty, we're bouncing along, because that's what up and down dune driving is, a huge up and a huge down, and sometimes we got stuck.  And while we got ourselves unstuck, we usually got drunk.

With the whole of the Danakil before him, this nomadic man -- in an unkind place where you could freeze or boil in your own skin in the space of the same day -- believed that if he could run across the path of our bouncing truck, then the truck would kill his devils but he'd be free.

I always wondered how long he waited there, and how he picked the spot.

Well, you know it didn't go the way he had it planned.  We were United States of America Army Cartographers, map-makers, and we'd been stuck in wallows and sheep dohickeys off and on all day, and so, as we deserved, we were drunk as hell.  Well fixed for fixings, not due back in Addis Ababa for three more days, I wasn't keeping that close of an eye on the goddamned, supposed-to-be-empty desert, much less evil spirits and angry nomads.

Because, yeah, when the fender hit him, he was pissed.

We all piled out. That took a bit, right there!  I approached him, using my pretty decent Amharic, one of the billion languages spoken in that land, and asked if he was okay.  He had a big bruise on his hip, a small trickle of blood, but my x-ray eyes didn't see no breaks and he was walking fine.  Fine and fast.

Whacked the shit out of my nose with his walking stick.

So, yeah, it's crooked.  Some offer up that good old "character," some ask why I never got it fixed.  Well, it's helped me out of a few jams, that Afar nomad, and I am a little superstitious and wondered if I don't have a few of his evil spirits trapped inside my huge, scarred, crooked nose.

You know, for all I know, we might have strayed into Eritrea.  They don't exactly have border signs, or didn't then. What I really loved were the fly-overs, be it helicopter or iplane, or whatever we could rustle up.  That's when I learned about aerial photography and that some drunk pilots were better than their soberest of brethren.

We loaded up a new guy once on a Huey, as he just couldn't handle his first time in the field, then watched it crash and burn.  There he was, grinning like a hayseed fool, and then, there he wasn't.

But the worst was when we had to cut a Peace Corps volunteer out of the belly of a Lake Chamo crocodile, and wrap him up to send home. I kept wanting to yell that it wasn't in my fucking job description, but we had actual army overlords watching that dirty work, so I kept quiet.

Still dream about it, though.

Squinting is a whole new thing when you're tracking landmarks in the freaking desert from overlaid photography. Use a loop, don't use a loop, bring out your best magnification, it's still a big squint. We were good at it by the time our tours were up, all overlapping, so one group of aerial squinters could teach the next how to ruin their eyes. Back at camp, we had pet baboons, and I swear they helped sort things out from time to time. Nothing like a baboon for clarity.

We had one boonie, a baby yet, that we got too fond of and tied him up at night.  Sad morning, those big cat tracks and a bloody, nubby rope end.

My beard, now, that's a wonder.  White as snow.  That's why people keep asking me if I dye my hair.  Some years, I fancy a goatee, and that seems to please my kids, as it's a kind of neatness they long to see in me. Most of the time, I just let it grow, but trim it close, so I don't look like a crazy old fart.

I've forgotten what my lips look like, so I guess I need to step it up, the pruning of this grand moustache.

The woman I stayed on with in Ethiopia loved my lips.  I taught her how to say "luscious," because I suppose she thought them full and plump -- clearly, my lips were the most attractive thing I had going.  It was just me, her, and her dad, plus a pitiful herd of goat.  I just didn't feel like flying home;  The war was still on, and I could go get riled about it, or I could stay under the stars, drink goat milk, drink goat's blood, and be called Luscious Lips. And I learned to run.  There is nothing like running in the desert.

Am I soothed, has my self soothed me yet?  No, you gotta go beyond, behind, and that's what this Toyota rear view mirror does for me.  I can pull it close so that my eyes fill it up, a mask, just a streak of just me, just my eyes. I don't know how it is for other people and their rear view mirrors, but it can be hard to look yourself hard in the eyes.  With, you know, some honesty.

Nothing special, brown again, but there's some wit and soul back there.  If I can spot it, I spot me, and can whisper, mi luz, mi luz, and that joy of her comes rushing in and darned if there is not a sudden streak of hazel, like a falling, shooting star.  And so I'm soothed, old Lucious Lipped  Luiz.

I feel generous, soothed.  I feel big as the whole out of doors, as the world seen from our also generous stoop. I have no blood in my intestines.

"Let me have that grandbaby of mine," I cajole Maria Angelica, wife to my Ramón, as she's dragging a red-faced, pissed and pissy little Paloma to another self-soothe session. She comes over to "do" for me, at Ramón's insistence. "Doing" has come to mean cooking a one-pot wonder, that often literally goes to the dogs, my neighborhood evening pals.  She vacuums, and she does something she calls "textesting," which I understand, but don't get. Half the people she's testesting are girlfriends she talked to all morning at the salon,where she rents a chair, and the other half?  Well, Ramón has business to attend to, let's say.

I wish all my children could have clipped a desert nomad, got whacked in the head in return, and harbored another soul's demons, zipped up, locked up, keeping their particular cantankerous nomad safe from that no good demon devilry.  They don't seem to see, my kids, beyond their own substantial noses.  Not to badmouth my Estrella, but she had quite the honker, too.

Maria Angelica throws a hip my way, the baby's butt square on it, to let me know what she thinks of me, but my serenity and self-soothed charm overcome her, especially when it occurs to her that she could, maybe, "run an errand."

Off she goes, and a surprised baby -- I think she's about two, I dunno -- is flabbergasted to be on my lap.  I don't bounce my knees, nothing like that.  Nothing against it, it just isn't my style with babies.  She talks some, but with a thumb plugged in her mouth and a spare finger up her nose, it doesn't make sense.

"That's okay, Paloma, you and me, girl?  We're not about making sense.  No, ma'am.  We're about selfffff-sooooothing," and I swear she smiled, even with all that fancy digit work going on.

They should sell whatever babies are stuffed with -- and I mean your clean, non-poopy drawered babies.  The things just mold to your arms, your shoulders, their heads find where to lay, all on their own.

We read a magazine and we watched some Track and Field I'd saved to watch on the television.  She fell asleep pretty early on, so either Autoweek is Paloma's "happy place" and "focal point": or the sound of my self-soothed voice lilted her into lullaby land. So long as I don't have to sing. She missed the Prefontaine Classic but I won't hold it against her.  She's got time.

The whole while, my innards calmed, for who can go jumping up, running to the bathroom when there is a sleeping baby to be held.  I will either bleed to death in that bathroom or I won't, but right now, I just can't, can I?

After Maria Angelica's culinary creation of the day, with her heavy hands of cheap pork cuts, over dirty rice, everything awash in cumin and cilantro -- always bruised and stem-heavy -- after the feeding of the hounds, and the greetings from the stoop, I'll cross over to the Korean grocery and get fresh peaches and their smallest carton of cream.

Monday, April 1, 2013

If it were not so, I would have told you.

Dear Readers, mostly of the Sweet Sort --

I received this comment after my last scintillating post of a copy of one of those LOLcat thingies that cat fanatics laugh at every day:

T said...
Been a week now, that's not like you. I hope you are ok.

Well, okay, damn it, TAM, if you're gonna get all pushy and rude about it, and can't get by for a week on a hard-fought, drainingly intellectual (and creative!) cat cartoon, well, then, geez!  I guess I'd better write something.

You want the truth or the truth?

I mean, I could say it's all been due to March Madness and the fact that my Gothic Wonderland DukieDom was demolished in the Elite Eight, and I'm in mourning.  La Bonne et Belle Bianca ripped off all her clothes -- which took a while -- who knew the secret of her amazing assortment of undergarments, that we will blithely name "shapewear"?  We caught her, reluctantly, before she made it over the drawbridge, but Fred is still putting drops in his eyes.

Speaking of Fred, he has the world's weirdest ear infection going.  In both ears, though he only perceives it in one.  Talking to him is the tops of hoots:  he offers you one side of his head, then the other, then proceeds to slowly rotate back and forth, listening for the correct pitch of your blip on his radar.  He has no pain, has had no fever or dizziness, and likely would not have noticed a thing were it not for the echos and distortion to his hearing. But get this!  He went to the doctor, TWICE.  Of course, TWICE, he saw, not the doctor, but the PA, who was rude enough to check his prostate, as well.  The ear bone is connected to the prostate bone -- new-fangled medicine.  So I've been thankful to the ear issue as it lead to a physical and the sudden appearance of a salad with his every meal -- we both skip breakfast, as I can't do salad for breakfast.  Fruit salad, yes -- staying ahead of TAM, the smarty-panted.

Which leads, quite naturally, to a discussion of why we skip breakfast.  Neither of us are able to sleep.  For a few nights, it was the height of ridicule, both of us in bed, awake for worry about the other.  That accomplished nothing but resentment in the blaring, glaring light of day.  I've gone over to the dark side, to Fred's "schedule." I sleep when I can, and, basically, that means either whole days at a stretch, or not at all.
Many nights of biting through my lower lip, a worried feline Dobby gently putting his paw on my former shoulder, trying in his elven way to bewitch me into sleep, so that he can then curl up on my head, tail forming  an Amish beard under my chin.

I have been writing, but mostly, sorry, poetry.  And sorry poetry it is, too!

I even hosted a poetry contest which I then ruined by being myself.  My contestants, having been "judged" by unnecessarily long and pretentious comments, are almost universally and uniformly pissed off.  Add to that the warm-hearted comments I keep getting after I win any sort of "prize" or recognition, and I feel a bit like a motherless child.  They keep saying, "There is no audience for you here." 

Well, the motherless child reference is just overwhelmingly rich, as my Dearest of Readers already know,. and though Freud and Jung both suck, they'd easily earn their weight in cocaine and great mandalas after just 30 seconds of my whine.  "She's mourning ze mama," they'd say.  Well, she ain't dead yet, my Monty Python side mutters.  I feel no remorse for calling in the troops of Adult Protective Services and only hope that they are true to their word -- which would be a first among the human species I've encountered in the last few weeks or so.  I lay in my bed, moaning, finding no position free of pain, and am psychically connected to her decrepit frame and mind, so many hundreds of miles away, and sometimes I do not reach for my pain medications out of a demented certainty that her pain is untreated, her confusion enhanced by the hurt.

They are not cruel people, her children, and caring for her can be no easy task.  But it's one that needs doing, and must be done well.  

I also hope they've not robbed her blind.  I also hope that... well, you know what one hopes.

My blood work shows something that looks like hemolytic anemia, so I'm not bleeding out, though I am still bleeding.  Sumpthing, sumpthing to do with bone marrow that would like a vacation, please.  Probably from the onslaught of five years of heavy-duty antibiotics.  No bitterness here, no ma'am, no sir!  The worst part is that exertion, sometimes in the form of three to ten steps, can bring on a dip into cold-lipped darkness.  So I use a trick that I knew would one day come in handy.

Many, many years ago, in the days of living with the Self-Proclaimed Greatest of American Authors (was I ever that stupid?  Yes, I was!  And, oddly, regret it less and less.  Honor the ways in which you have survived, no matter how self-demeaning and weird!) -- Anywho, back to my fairy tale: 

Many, many years ago, in the days of living with the Self-Proclaimed Greatest of American Authors, he and I spent an entertaining couple of summer months as Drum and Bugle Corps groupies for the Santa Clara Vanguard, a six-time Drum Corps International Champion.  Self-Proclaimed Greatest had once been the freaking drum major for UCLA, one of those odd quirks that make up attractions, as I would often ask for some strange bedroom reinactments.

His younger brother played horn, blew trumpet, for The Vanguard, and a more dedicated horn blower there has never been.  "Squealing" was the height of heights for these brothers.  Squealing consisted of Baby Brother standing at the end of his bed, which, thank the gods, had a low footboard, his back to it.  Throw pillows were scattered about his feet, "just in case." To squeal is not just to blow for all you are worth, for the entirety -- and then more -- of your lung capacity. No, you show control as well, and as you wail, your back naturally arches, the horn turns heavenward, and you traverse the tones, you trip the light...

Well, yeah, you actually do trip the light.  You do it, or they did, to the point of passing out.  Done correctly, this musical exercise leaves you plopped on the end of the bed, drooling, and much as Heston dared, still gripping the horn which might have to be pried from a dead, cold hand. 

Then, rapidly coming to, you high five your sibling and yell out things like "the coolest" or "awesome blow, dude." 

So as I maneuver around the bedroom, not seeing the point of the transfer to wheelchair and its so forths and so ons, when all I want is something out of the closest of the twelve walk-in closets of our well-appointed digs here in The Manor, I sidle around the contours of the bed, looking for all the world like Eliot's crab, ragged and scuttling.  It's as close to a trumpet squeal as I'm gonna get, and twice has actually worked as planned.  Things began to go cold and dark, and all I needed to do was go backward.  Once, actually, it probably even looked like a casual, planned sit.  Except for the ensuing collapse of the upper body onto the mattress.  Other times, I've parked the wretched chair in the mid-space of my route, and usually made it to the seat in time.  A few times, I've hit the wall, instead, which has a subtle sobering effect, and causes a bit of internal panic, but, as yet, no need for repainting.

Unfortunately, nonsense such as this has lead to more medical appointments, something I had wanted to swear off, as this year is dedicated to staying away from the beastly medic types, unless there is a fire to be put out.  I suppose go-to-guy sees this as a stray spark in a virgin forest afflicted by dangerous drought, an over eager aridity.  I could burn the world down.

So tomorrow, and then again on Thursday, we waste our days with figuring all this out and spraying down the old trees, wetting the underbrush, digging fire lines, breaks to the spread of my ember's arson.

In short, I'm tired.  One trip last week, to sweet Justine, the world's best vampire, wore me out. Writing bad poetry, insulting contestants who willingly entered into a sacred agreement with me to honor their work, trying to keep the Domestic Staff from going wild with equanox joy, and keeping the naked Bianca contained on this side of the moat, all of it has taken a ridiculous toll.  The Mother-Unit's troubles, Fred's poor muddled ears, and the fact that I've demanded coffee in bed the past four days -- all this makes me blue.

Three fingernails are trying to come off and I'm too much of a baby to yank 'em.  My song of experience?  There was a fourth, and I yanked it.  A terrible, sad new use for the profundity of "Never again!" 

Oh, I forgot one of my better excuses!  My eyes.  I'm not blind, I just can't see.  I've even gone faithful to the regimen of glaucoma drops but isn't it the nature of need-driven faith to just gnaw your ass off?

We'll call this a Post of Obligation and hope that you all can find enough in the archives to stay amused.  There's no cure yet for CRPS, or I'd have told you, and the gated community of biofilm osteomyelitis infection has only added a chain link lock to the wrought iron enclosures.  Jose Ochoa is still a turd, as is Scott Reuben, and Lindsey Baum is still gone.  

If it were not so, I would have told you.