Wednesday, March 30, 2022

It's Random Wednesday!

Okay, there's really no such thing as "Random Wednesday" but I felt like visiting with you and have only random things to talk about. For instance...

• Will Smith is in the news, which allows me to tell my only Will Smith story. Years ago here in the Dallas area, I was just wrapping up a recording session for the Chuck E. Cheese singing/joking robots and hauling my stuff out of the studio control room when Will Smith and his entourage came in to record some damn thing. And I don't want to say he found me physically intimidating but he sure as hell didn't try to bitch slap me. (Hey, I didn't say it was a great Will Smith story.)

• Several weeks ago, Kathy tasked me with planting some flowers and bulbs in a little garden area we'd recently put in, but I was clueless about where to start (although she was quite specific about what she wanted to be done). I kept asking a neighbor questions and, perhaps because she got sick of my blithering ignorance, a little group of neighbors is coming over on Friday to do all the planting (and provide the necessary plants and supplies) to make a nice little memorial garden that everyone can enjoy seeing when they pass by our house...

Granted, it's a pretty narrow bed (just the area between the windows, which was perhaps more suitable for burying a python) so the neighbors probably won't be adding any life-sized statues of angels blowing trumpets or Wizard of Oz-style columns of fire. I'll have to add those later.

• On an unrelated note, some time ago I mentioned that I might be appearing in an upcoming documentary scheduled for national broadcast later this year. When things turned crazy here, it didn't seem like I'd be able to participate, but now the documentary makers are planning on making a special trip here to interview me in a week or so. 

If I say so myself, I'm one of the world's foremost authorities on the cultural phenomenon the documentary is about. And no, I'm not saying what that is just yet, but I hope you'll eventually be surprised if not flat out flabbergasted. I'm looking forward to finally getting a chance to share my perspective and memories. And also glad that I'll have a strict deadline for cleaning my house and office so I don't look like a complete mental case with a hoarding disorder on national TV.

• I still don't know what the heck I'm going to be blogging about here in the future (it has to be FUNNY, dammit, and suggestions are welcome) but I think I'll officially start posting to Johnny Optimism again starting Monday. Which should come as great news to the 25 people who actually read it.

Friday, March 25, 2022

The Trudge Report

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, earwigs, o caption, my caption

As you can tell from the cartoon above, I don't really have anything new and worthwhile to share and my wobbling sense of humor seems like it's going to require training wheels for a while. Mostly I cobbled the cartoon together as an excuse to post and say that Daughter J and I are doing okay all considered and taking things one day at a time. 

Little nothing-sized chores are surprisingly tiring; a trip to the grocery store before noon leaves me drained for the rest of the day. Of course, my mood wasn't helped when I then stopped at the liquor store and found that they were out of Clan MacGregor.  I had to buy Inver House, which is even cheaper and nastier scotch than Clan MacG.

Oh sure, there were good and expensive brands of scotch sitting right there on the shelves, but I'm pretty sure that coughing up more money for the same quantity of scotch just adds to inflation - and I love this country too much to be a party to that. 

I'm still not paying attention to the news, though unavoidably see bits and pieces. Like a Supreme Court nominee who can't say what a "woman" is, even though it was part of the criteria that Biden insisted on for his nomination. And of course, I hear hyperbolic stories about a potential nuclear war breaking out at any moment because Putin has gone nuts, but I'm dealing with that by remembering the wise words of the Serenity Prayer:  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know if a first strike on Moscow would settle Putin's f*cking hash once and for all. Amen."

Yesterday I went to the hearing aid store/audiologist for the first time since Covid hit and it seems that my already poor hearing has further eroded. Even more troubling was the news that, after taking a test using an odd device that would strain the credulity of a freshly-minted Scientologist, I have significant cognitive decline and memory issues caused by my brain trying to compensate for hearing aids that aren't expensive enough.

However, my brain still worked well enough to tell them that I'd stick with my existing hearing aids for now, but the moment I want new ones I'll definitely want to speak to them and the horse they rode in on.

And From The Vault...

Friday, March 18, 2022

TGI-Effing Around

Johnny Optimism and I are going to be spending a lot of quality time with each other for a while. Now that I live in his world, I'm hoping he can show me the ropes. Tickles the Clown offered to show me the ropes, but he seemed a little too Pulp Fiction-ish about it.

I don't know what kind of an update this will be, but I thought you good folks deserve one - and it will probably do me good to write one.

For anyone who only reads these posts but doesn't then follow the ongoing narrative in the comments section (just click on the title of any post to get there), my wife Kathy died of leukemia on Saturday. We had been together for 48 years.

Daughter J and I are doing pretty well all considered. Not that we're actually interacting with human beings face-to-face yet. There's no need to get crazy in year one. We spend most of the day in close proximity to one another and in reasonably good moods, drifting from one task to another. There's a lot to be done here and Kathy was always the mastermind behind where things should go and how things should be properly done. I'm hoping that the sheer elegance of her systems will allow me to function just by keeping the momentum going.

I spoke to an oncologist friend today who had reviewed Kathy's records and she confirmed that Kathy's leukemia was a monster. A wildfire. Everything possible was thrown at it but it was literally unstoppable. Far stronger and more aggressive than the norm. Which is pretty much what it would have to be in order to bring her down - she was made of sterner stuff than most.

The absolutely horrible hospice agency that pretty much left us high and dry throughout the final wretched days continues to annoy. Despite their earnest saleswoman's pitch that their Total Super-Duper Family Care Delightful Death package would give us immediate access to an expert bereavement team who could leaven our pain, the sumbitches haven't been in touch at all. No phone calls, emails, or texts. No cookie bouquet or 99¢ bottom-shelf condolence card. Which is fine - I don't want anything more to do with the company other than eventually giving them YELP and Google reviews online which actually WILL leaven my pain while hopefully creating plenty on their end. Of course, I have to keep my mouth shut until Kathy's remains have been safely returned to us. She's gone from hospice to hostage but should be home soon.

Daughter J and I decided to broaden our diets a bit and so yesterday tried something exotic called "vegetables" which are theoretically better for you than Little Debbie Nutty Buddy bars. We may try experimenting with things like protein next. It's a brave new world.

And I've contacted the folks at the local blood bank to find out what it will take for me to become a regular donor now that I've seen how important that is. It seems easy enough: I just need to show up for an appointment, have my blood typed, ask them not to mention my blood alcohol level to the cops, and then have them pump me like a well handle. Easy peasy.

That's about it other than to thank all of you again for your ongoing support. It's both needed and deeply appreciated, as you can clearly see by the smile on this pretty lady's face...

Monday, March 7, 2022


It's Monday afternoon as I write this and Kathy and I have had a decent if low-key morning following a decent if low-key weekend. Kathy mostly naps, although she alternately makes a compelling argument that she's never actually sleeping. All I know is that we're not making enough noise in this room for the neighbors to complain.

Daughter J visited multiple times over the past several days, Kathy is in no particular distress (though is visibly weakening day by day), and I have discovered that the Karmic price of stealing Kathy's uneaten "mehanical-soft" institutional food is a constantly roiling gut and copious, sonorous flatulence.

Speaking of which, that concert I co-wrote that played in Fort Worth last weekend was a big hit, and it actually contains an ode to flatulence called "The Toot Suite."  Why a world class symphony was playing such a proposterous thing is a story for another day. Because eventually there WILL be another day and what I hope are pretty good and unexpected stories from my scarlet past. (I swear I just imagined M. Mitchell Marmel saying "Frankly, Stilton, we don't give a damn" and posting a laughing emoji).

Kathy asked today if I'd been posting to Johnny Optimism and I told her that Johnny had been on hiatus since the new year came in, but that he'd be coming back in the future because that little guy and his friends help me drain a lot of bile from my soul. Plus rueful laughter is halfway to laughter of the kind that doesn't scare people and make them move away from you. Kathy understands Johnny and what he means to me, and approves of the mission continuing. Plus, it turns out that there are a lot of nurses who like sick jokes.

I titled this post "Roomatism" because I'm unsure whether I'm going to eventually leave this facility with a horrible fear of being closed in a room, or a horrible fear of emerging from a room. Currently, I really REALLY want to spend time outside. Although it sounds like this coming weekend that might be a good way to freeze to death in North Dallas. 

And speaking of being indoors and outdoors, I no longer have any idea (did anyone, ever?) what to think about Covid protocols. I guess I'll keep avoiding social occasions where people are unmasked, "social occasions" being defined as being with anyone other than my daughter. Mind you, I'd LIKE some human interaction and support, but I just can't get that from masked people. Maybe I'll learn how to make zoom calls. Whee.

I think I recently saw an article in which the CDC was saying the best way to keep from getting Omicron is to avoid groups of unvaccinated people. But last time I gave a rat's ass, I seem to recall that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people could catch, carry, and transmit the virus. Which would sort of make tht CDC advice unscientific bullshit, right? I don't know...and medical science and I are going to have a pretty chilly relationship for awhile anyway.

Not that medical science would want to cuddle up to me anyway; I think today marks officially two weeks since I've had a shower. I changed my shirt once, though, so I'm pretty sure I'm good. And here's a time-saving lifehack I've developed: just sleep in your damn clothes - in the morning you're ready to go!

Well, I'm not fooling anyone that this is anything other than rambling just as an excuse to spend time with you good people, and raise the virtual population inside this room. I share your comments with Kathy and they all mean a lot to us. Keep 'em coming, keep us in your thoughts and prayers and, if you encounter me in the hall here, keep your distance - seriously, two weeks without a shower. Yeesh.

PS: A special shout-out to Mary the moonlight power walker (Kathy says "hi!")