Posts Tagged With: Cancer

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th.    23 Papa Joe 0006 (October 5,2017)

 

 

Happy Birthdays to My Grandson’s Anthony and Aaron and also to Me.

 

 

“Indecision may or may not be my problem.”
Jimmy Buffett

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

Notes: 1. Barrie will be holding the Moby Dick Marathon somewhere in San Francisco later this month. Anyone wanting to participate should contact her for details.

2. I am planning a trip for the latter part of December. I may spend a few days in Hawaii first. Finances permitting, I am also thinking about either driving to LA and visiting some friends then going on to Ensenada (or Tijuana) for a week, or taking a cruise on the Amazon River for a few days (a bucket list venture), or a short cruise in the southern Caribbean. Given my age, I would like to know if there is anyone who would like to join me to share expenses and keep an eye on me or, at least, to dissuade me from doing this at all.

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

Hmm… for the past few days, I felt like death was sitting on my shoulder taking a crap… Today, all that seems gone leaving behind only a faint nausea like the background hum of vehicles passing on a nearby freeway. Missing that sense of utter physical and mental despair that dogged me for most of last week, I decided to turn on the TV and watch the 49rs game.

One day this past week, HRM’s school, in conjunction with a local church, held an all-day event for the seventh-grade students in an effort, I suppose, to gauge their emotional wellbeing. H told me he was surprised that almost a half of the students, boys and girls alike, ended up crying after they told the rest of the class how bad their home lives were. At least four children claimed to have thought of suicide multiple times.

Now, for the moment, dismissing the possibility of mass hysteria and liberal guilt grasping me and demanding I do something to help these children, I must note, these children live in an upper-middle-class subdivision and are not faced with a lack of material goods even in those circumstances where their parents had mortgaged away their lives in order to provide these children the benefits of living here, I have to wonder if there is more here than meets the easy opinions of an aged retiree. For example, according to a study from New Zealand Only 17% of 11 to 38-year-olds experience no mental disorders. But then perhaps that is only in New Zealand.

H was very surprised and upset at his classmates’ distress. “I think I have a great life,” he said.

Today, a strong afternoon wind blew up from the valley and into the foothills. It made sitting by the pool a bit too chilly for me, but swimming in its heated water was delightful. Often when I swim in the afternoons, I am the only person in the pool. I like that.

The morning after I wrote the above paragraph, I learned that that wind, besides chilling me at the pool, also snapped power lines setting off wildfires and turning much of California into an inferno. Over twenty uncontrolled wildfires blanket the State as I write this. Much of the City of Santa Rosa has become a smoking ruin. Throughout the State, twenty-thousand people have been forced to abandon their homes. 

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So, on Sunday, I will turn 78 years old. Like most people, I guess, I lived like I believed living would go on forever. 78, however, seems to me to be pretty old. I think I will celebrate by going to see the new Blade Runner movie. If I remember the original movie correctly, replicants as they were called, lived only about 6 years — shorter if Harrison Ford caught up with them. Too bad for them — a lot happens in 78 years — much of it forgotten — that is a shame too.

The smoke from the fires a hundred miles away savaging Northern California has reached the foothills today. If it is so difficult to see and breathe here, I cannot imagine what it is like at the center of the conflagration. The schools have notified us that students will not be allowed out of doors for recess. I have retreated back into the house and dousing my eyes with eye-drop medication. The blood sun red moves through a sickly yellow sky like a harbinger in a bad movie about the zombie apocalypse. Over 20,000 people are without homes here in California. How many more in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico I cannot guess.

 

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

The following, from my beloved friend Cousin Irwin Schatzman, was sent to me about eight years ago. He had throat cancer like I did. One year after radiation therapy, he was declared in remission, like I have been. One year after that, he was dead. Cancer had spread to his brain. He was a brave, funny, and kind man — at least kind to me. I still miss him.

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010
GLOWING MAN’S JOURNAL DECEMBER 2010

SAY WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT OLD BRAIN OF MINE? I don’t suppose you could refer to it as a “long-lost pal” or the former owner of “a saber-sharp wit,” but there was something there. It got me through quite a few years making things up so I could impress my colleagues and bring home a few farthing. But, I never really won any awards of note with it. In fact, now that I think about it, something seemed to hold back its promise of a larger potential. I just always assumed that greater things were not meant to be, but I suspect it was laziness and trying to enjoy the good life which stifled my growth as a person of some uniqueness.

The Glowing Man got his start in 2009 with the advent of a radiation program consisting of some thirty-three sessions intended to irradiate a tumor that had grown on the left Parotid Gland of yours truly. Actually the bugger had been inside my neck for over thirty years but I had never taken steps to have it removed owing to vanity and it was only when the pain set in that I decided it was time to go and maybe after the operation I might not be uglier than I have always been; One wag suggested that I could claim the scar as being the result of a bad duck in a fencing master’s class.

Being “cancer free” has had its appealing aspects (although that meant I had no spooky condition to talk about and while away the hours with my drunken friends). So I went back to a life of boredom, which included no drinking at all and with no drinking comes thinking.

Last month, I was shoved into one of those scanning machines for a test or two and guess what?! I was no longer alone in my skull. The picture of my brain which developed suggested to me that it was almost to be considered as hiding. So (music roll please) now I glow once more.

Every Monday through Friday morning at 8:15 AM, I hop a shuttle bus in Garden Grove and am carried out to Ontario, California where I proceed to get zapped. Only this time it’s a different course and only ten sessions are imposed, at least initially. You see unlike cancer cells not normally visible to the naked eye, the cancerous growths are most visible to the scanning equipment. One large tumor on the back of my brain and smaller ones on the sides of my brain. Not to be outdone, the rest of my body decided to add-on a tumor and installed it in my right lung. There goes any chance I will be able to sneak that cigar after thirty-five years of not smoking (cough cough). On the shuttle bus, each cancer patient tells their story and my telling has resulted in the appellation which I am currently being referred to by my fellow passengers as, “Mr. Tumor Head” – I don’t know how much that beats being called “Mr. Potato Head” but it’s a start.

From 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM we are in treatment flirting with the lady radiation technicians who have to move my stiff tired old body about and grasp me to help me up (I caught on quick) and then it’s back on the bus for the return trip arrival at the starting point about 11:30AM. Not bad timing and while maybe the activity does suck, the time spent doesn’t seem to be enough to consider as having ruined the whole day except for the concept of having to find myself in lovely Garden Grove, and twice in one day.

The radiation is intended to shrink the tumors. Once that is over if it works, it looks like a morning cup of chemo for as long as I want to try to hold the growth of the cancer in check so that it doesn’t spread including to other parts of my body aside from my brain and lung. I should still be able to brush my teeth and walk around the block (a final indignity for an aging male — the doctors fearing seizures and lawsuits took away my car keys, so no more driving). If the radiation doesn’t work, well then right now it looks like the party is over; however accomplished, the imbibing of chemo does not sound very appetizing to be sure but I guess it’s something to do in the interest of living better through chemistry, or just living.

Lifespan, shmife span. Don’t know for sure how long I will be around, although soon some ongoing investigation and reports by doctors will be finished and we may have a better idea. Maybe just months. Though 2011? Maybe not. My suspicions are on the short side. But If the chemo doesn’t do the job then the coming months will definitely bring on some changes. But don’t be concerned for me even if your name isn’t “Argentina”. Owing to how I have lived my life, and observations I have made about my existence, even with the threat of cancer hanging over my nose mean that I now strangely find myself content I do not worry. And if the inevitable should appear to be but a few steps or hours away, based on my experience, I am firmly convinced I can make the best of my last days if I want to. After all, I know by now, kid, that dying is easy, it’s living that’s hard.

 

 

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DAILY FACTOID:

 

The following factoid was sent to me by the Old Sailor for no discernible reason.

Charles Bronson was born Charles Dennis Buchinsky, the 11th of 15 children, in a Roman Catholic family of Lithuanian descent in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania in the coal region of the Allegheny Mountains north of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

His father, Valteris P. Bučinskis (who later adjusted his name to Walter Buchinsky to sound more “American”), hailed from the town of Druskininkai in southern Lithuania. Bronson’s mother, Mary (Valinsky), whose parents were from Lithuania, was born in the coal mining town of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. His father had Lipka Tatar roots.

 

 

 

 PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. David Wong on Top:

 

An Excerpt from Fear: Hell’s Parasite by Dr. Albert Marconi:

To understand what occurred, we must ask ourselves a simple question, one which is surprisingly difficult to answer: Why do we, as humans, have eyes? Your natural response would be, “To see things, you doddering old fool,” but as an answer, that is incomplete to the point of being incorrect. Your eyes fool you on a daily basis because they, quite simply, were designed for a very specific (and for the most part, obsolete) purpose. Remember, the vast majority of species on this planet do not have sight and get along just fine without it; you have no evolutionary need to become aware of the world’s general appearance. You, as Homo sapiens, have eyes primarily so that you can find and kill other living beings.

The prey we hunted—gazelles and the like—have eyes mounted on the sides of their heads, so that they can see predators coming from all directions. Ours face forward and grant us depth perception, to measure the distance between ourselves and our fleeing dinner. The true, deadly purpose of human sight is also the reason the color red attracts our attention; it is the color of blood, the sight of which would have instantly sent up an internal thrill of alarm or elation, depending on the circumstance. Thus, today you see that hue screaming for your attention from stoplights, fire trucks, and fast-food logos—a calculated appeal to your hardwired bloodlust.

All of this is to say that our sight is very limited, precisely because it is skewed to serve a few specific functions, all of which are geared toward one singular goal: Survival.

Thus, data that is not immediately relevant to that mission is filtered and discarded—you may have “seen” a thousand automobiles on your commute to work this morning but you will be unable to bring a single one of them to mind—unless, of course, a particular vehicle had swerved into your lane and caused a near-death experience. It is literally a form of tunnel vision, the limits of which you are largely unaware of moment to moment. It is therefore not difficult to circumvent this sense we call vision; even the common flea can effectively vanish before our eyes merely by jumping. It does not take any special intelligence or talent to deceive us. We would do well to remember this.

Now, extend this concept to the way in which you “see” the world in a metaphorical sense; the internal idea you have of the universe as you would describe it to an inquisitive alien. Remember, the brain and consciousness also evolved with survival in mind, to the exclusion of all else. Thus, your mental perception of the universe suffers from this same tunnel vision—it is in no way geared toward producing an objective view of reality; it only produces a view of reality that will help you survive. You will “see” the universe that you need to see. This is not a metaphor; it is an indisputable, biological fact born out of necessity.

Whether you “see” the universe as pure or corrupt, peaceful or violent, just or unjust, is largely determined by what you need to believe in order to motivate yourself to continue living for another day. Your perception of reality is therefore also very easy for other beings to hijack for their purposes. Think of the relationship between a cult leader and his followers. He will isolate them and make them believe they are an island in a sea of depravity, that signs of an imminent apocalypse are all around them. If he is adept at his task, members of the flock will readily lay down their lives in defense against this phantom threat. Ask them why, and they will state that their fatalistic beliefs are merely the result of unbiased, objective observation of the world around them. They are telling the truth! They just do not grasp the fact that they do not believe based on what they observe; they observe based on what they have been tricked into believing.

And so it goes for all of us.

Wong, David. What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror (John Dies at the End). St. Martin’s Press.

David Wong is the pseudonym someone whose paying job is as an editor of Cracked.com. His series of novels (John Dies at the End) defies logic and common sense, and are filled with the smarmy adolescent humor of the magazine site as well as monsters and other strange creatures.

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

Many years ago, when I was a mere lad, business executives used to tell us “the customer is always right,” now they tell us “our duty is only to our investors.” I do not view this as progress.

 

C. Today’s Poem:

 

I Saw A Man Pursuing The Horizon – Poem by Stephen Crane

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never — “

“You lie,” he cried,
And ran on.

(Probably a Trump voter.)

 

D. Xander’s Perceptions:

Pete XanderHaving had my house in Lake Arrowhead burn in the Old Fire in late October 2003, along with virtually everything my kids and I owned, I can relate to the folks in Santa Rosa as well as victims of past fires in Malibu and Orange County. I was hired as a contract land use planner to the City of Malibu to help process permits for the owners of a thousand homes and outbuildings lost in Malibu after the Old Topanga Fire in 1993.

I heard many many horror stories from fire victims and knew what and how to pack in case of such an emergency. When my home went up in flames ten years to the day, I joined the unfortunate members of a club no one wants to belong to. I cringe and hold my breath every fall when the first Santa Annas blow, and I don’t relax until the first rains of November. As a staff member of the Coastal Commission from 1980 through 1986, I worked on permits to rebuild in Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Laguna Beach, and the south Orange County coast.

My heart goes out to those who suffered through the recent holocaust in Santa Rosa, especially the parents of young kids, who have the unenviable task of trying to explain to their kids how life will go on and things will get better. Be honest with them and don’t pull any punches, but explain things at age-appropriate levels. Your kids will have nightmares for months; mine did, and they were in junior high. Make it okay for them to feel scared, because they will, regardless of whether you do or not. Make sure they know YOU are scared, too, and that you understand why they feel the way they do.

Most importantly, though, be honest and open. They need to know they can trust you and rely on you. Hold yourself together for their sake, because you are all they have to hang on to. Don’t try to replace lost pets that look exactly like the pets they lost, and don’t be in a hurry to move on to the next phases of your lives. They need time for the open wounds to heal first, and you only have one shot at getting it right. Let them know it’s OK for them to be angry about what happened because it isn’t fair. Be there for them, and they will always love you for that.

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

The Wit and Wisdom of the Fat Man, Andy Dalziel (pronounced Dee-ell).

“I always said that If you ended up with life left over at the end of your money, the state would take care of you, but if you ended up with money left over at the end of your life, you were an idiot!”

“Women, eh? You can fuck ’em but you can’t fathom them.”

“Never trust a man who believes his own crap.”

“Okay, I’d spent a bit of time in a coma recently, but that’s no reason not to know what’s going off.”

“If there weren’t enough meat on young Clara to make a Christmas starter, there were plenty here for a main course with something left over for Boxing Day.”

“She laughed archly, like a cracked hurdy-gurdy playing ‘The Rustle of Spring.’”

“…she gave me a nod that would likely have broken my nose if she’d been close up, then turned to hoist herself onto a bar stool, showing off a pair of haunches a man would be proud to have the tattooing of.”

“Like me old mam used to say, there’s some folk you needn’t be kind to, but you should always try to be fair with everyone.”

“Once you feel like a prisoner, everyone looks like a guard.”

“…there’s many a good tune played on an old double bass—”

“She were a big bossy woman, used to rolling over folk who got in her way, like an anker of ale, but she must have been a bonny lass once, and she still had a gallon of jimp left in her.”
Hill, Reginald. The Price of Butcher’s Meat (Dalziel & Pascoe series Book 23). HarperCollins.

 

Of all the mysteries and police procedurals I have read, I like those written by Reginald Hill best — especially his series featuring the cops from Mid-Yorkshire, Andy Dalziel, Peter Pascoe, Sgt. Wield, and their significant others.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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St. Johns after the Hurricane (from a friend of the Old Sailor).

 

 

 

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Categories: October through December 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 18 JoJo 0006 (June 4, 2017)

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN MENDOCINO:
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Why are these people smiling?

 

So, I spent the Memorial Day weekend at my sister’s house in Mendocino. The sky was overcast and the ocean calm and gray. It was abalone hunting season. Parked cars filled the side of the road along the bluff disgorging their black-rubber suited occupants and their tire irons. The divers lined up and marched down the sinuous steep paths that snaked along the bluff face to the water below. From the top of the bluff, they looked like a dark ant army covering the rocks and invading the kelp beds. A lot of them were Asian, Japanese and Chinese tourists I guess, flown over here for the abalone hunting season. I suspect, if they were Muslim the current administration in Washington would suddenly become abalone conservationists.

Most of the time, Mary, George and I sat in the house by the large windows overlooking the ocean talking and laughing among ourselves or buried in some book or reading the NY Times.

On Sunday, we went to the Casper Community Breakfast and Flea Market. Mary and George set up a few tables in the grassy area at the side of the Casper Community Center. On the tables, we placed a few things they had lying around their garage to be sold at the market.
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I headed off for the community breakfast leaving them to their commercial endeavors. The community volunteer waitpersons sat me in a middle seat at a rectangular table seating six. I did not know anyone else at the table. Having as a result of my therapy an upset stomach, lost most of my hearing and taste, and blurry eyesight, I had little expectation of enjoying either the food or the company. Suddenly across the room, I saw a nose — Not just any nose but a magnificent nose. The nose was appended to the face of one of the woman volunteers waiting on the tables. As noses go, it was extremely well shaped. It was also huge as though insisting we all acknowledge its magnificence. It moved through the dining room like an icebreaker through the Arctic. I was enthralled.

As many of you know, I abhor the cult of small noses and people who have them. It is insulting to those individuals proud of their prominent noses to know that others are encouraged to cut theirs off so they may become fashionable. Why are tiny-tot noses so fashionable anyway? What are they hiding behind those tiny nostrils? How do they enjoy the full aromas of life around them? Where is the facial drama — the character — the pride?

 

1indians420
Now that is a Nose to Remember.

 
B. BACK TO THE GOLDEN HILLS:

 

On Monday, Memorial Day, I drove back to EDH. It was a long but relatively pleasant drive— past Lake Mendocino, Lucerne (The Switzerland of California), Clear Lake, through the wildfire ravished forests of blackened trees, the folded hills and out into the green expanse of Great Valley and into the Golden Hills. Since returning, I have resumed exercising — walking around the lakes in Town Center and swimming in the pool at the health club.

One day, I took HRM to the orthodontist to have his braces removed. I was startled when, following the removal, I was invited to watch everyone, including the orthodontist himself, sing, dance and throw around balloons to celebrate HRM’s relief from two years of discomfort.

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That is the orthodontist on the right showing off his dance routine.

 

When I was a kid I never heard of dancing dentists. I still think it is odd. Lampedusa in his novel Il Gattopardo has his main character, the aging Prince, after observing the antics of the younger nobility at the great ball of the Sicilian nobility, comment, “Just look at them. In another generation, they will be climbing back into the trees.”

My departure next week for Italy and Southeast Asia has me a bit anxious. A few months ago I spent two days planning the trip knowing I will still be suffering the side effects of my treatments. I researched and listed in a notebook all the things I absolutely should bring along with me and how they should be packed. I planned out meticulous itineraries and identified all the pertinent phone numbers and contacts I would need. Finally, I prepared a detailed budget. Then as I always do, I promptly ignored everything finding it all too complicated and deciding instead to wait for my departure date, grab whatever is near at hand and take off hoping for the best.

 

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

For eight years I have sent out This and that from re Thai r ment to my best and closest eighty or so friends.(I have also published them in a blog https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/ ) I thought it would be interesting (to me at least) to go back and look at my first post from each year. Here are some excerpts:

 

January 17, 2010: From Thailand.

“I arrived safely in Thailand and am now attempting to cope with jet lag in my hotel.

Normally, I despise 20-hour plane rides, but sometimes, like on this trip, the movies make up for the discomfort. I managed to see:

‘The Bastards’: Great Tarantino. All the gratuitous violence you could want wrapped into an engaging story.

“Surrogates,” with Bruce Willis. He seems to make a career out of appearing beat up and disheveled. This was a lot like, but not as good as, “Twelve Monkeys” but worth seeing nevertheless.

“Zombie Land.” I expected to hate it but enjoyed it a lot. A road picture with 4 misfits who hook up and find a life, if only to fight zombies. Great bit with Bill Murray.

Some coming of age French flick with the usual, but much more intelligent, teenage angst and starring an actress whose name I did not catch playing the mother of one of the slightly wayward girls and who is one of the most engaging actresses I have seen in a while.

Well, that’s all for now, most of the rest has been sleep.”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/this-and-that-january-17-2010/

 

January 11, 2011: From Thailand.

“I guess leaving Paradise by the Sea and traveling to the Big Endive by the Bay can be looked at as an adventure that at least began in Thailand and ended back there as well.”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-3th-january-10-2011/

 

January 1, 2012: From Thailand.

“Yesterday I was in my manic state, the drooling but happy one. On my way to exercise in the morning, I felt good enough to do an impromptu little soft shoe on the street corner including a Durante-like shuffle with my hat waving in my hand by the side of my face. The Little Masseuse was embarrassed and asked me to stop before people began to think I was not 100 percent.”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-3th-12-joseph-0001-january-1-2012/

 

January 4, 2013: From El Dorado Hills.

“I am considering starting a new blog. It will focus on commentary about historical events. Of course, if it is anything like my current and past attempts at blogging, I can expect that after a year of effort, I will have received about 35 hits and perhaps a dozen comments. About half of the comments will be from Nigeria or someplace like that letting me know that my efforts have changed their lives and inquiring if I would be willing to open up a bank account in their name where they could deposit $20 million they just happened to find lying around in the jungle that, for “technical” reasons, they cannot move out of the country. The other half will come from people with names like Cindy, Mindy, Sandy, Darla, and Isabel telling me how “awesome” (yes, that is the word they use) they found my post to be and how awesome (again) it would be to get together sometime where we could exchange blogs in private.

Anyway, I am thinking of naming the blog, ‘A Commentary on Historical Events or What the Fuck Happened?’”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-3th-16-joseph-0002-january-4-2013/

 

January 16, 2014: From El Dorado Hills.

“I have not written here for about three weeks in part because I have grown a bit tired of T&T, but mostly because my blood clots have returned and I am too depressed to do much of anything. Today was the first day I have been able to walk for any length of time since the clot was discovered. I walked this afternoon to the duck pond and back. It felt good to be up and about. The sun was shining and the weather was quite warm for this time of year.”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-3th-27-joseph-0003-january-16-2014/

 

January 9, 2015: From El Dorado Hills.

“Today I said to myself, “The hell with the temperature or my physical maladies I’m going swimming.” So I dove into the outdoor pool at my new health club and swam for twenty minutes which is pretty good since I have not seriously exercised for over two months. After my swim, I spent some time in the hot tub, took a steam bath and showered. It made me very happy.”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-3th-20-joseph-0004-january-9-2015/

 

January 14, 2016: From El Dorado Hills.

“On this the first day of the year 2016 of the Gregorian Calendar, my 76th year of life on this minor piece of interstellar detritus, I decided to review the 200 or so books I read in the past year. I discovered, to my not so great surprise, that I would classify all but about 20 of them as entertaining trash. My first resolution of 2016 is to reduce the number of non-trash novels I read to below 15. At my age, I see no pressing need for self-improvement.

My goal in life is to have no goals — a few desires perhaps but nothing greater than the most ephemeral of longings. When I was 5 or 6 years old and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always responded, “ a bum” or “a hobo.” It seemed to me, even then, that any other life choice demanded submission to the desires usually of others but sometimes my own and not to the simple limits of nature. I guess this means I craved a minimalist life of aimless wandering punctuated by brief moments of inconsequential obsessions. It is a very hard thing to do. I usually just take a nap and consider the day a success.

Speaking of naps, I take them not so much to rest but to enter an alternate reality when my waking life seems to be on re-run. As an example, on Sunday HRM was gone on a play date, Dick decided to take the day off to rest and I had no car. It was cold and rainy, so going for a walk was out. I was soon bored with reading Facebook posts and decided to nap and visit my alternate reality. In this case, I found myself in a large log structure during the dead of a snow-filled winter day. There were several families living there in a communal arrangement. Most of the families were led by women but some were led by men. Children happily played around the fire pits. We seemed not to be stressed by any outside events that may have caused us to be there but, in fact, we appeared quite happy… and then toilet overflowed and things got weird — I could not get the plunger into the bowl, people kept telling me I was doing it all wrong, strange creatures appeared in the snow then disappeared and the overflow topped my shoes and drenched my socks. “Shit,” I exclaimed unnecessarily. So I woke myself up before things got worse and I went back to Facebook which although just as weird as my dreams at least my socks stay dry.”
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-3th-25-joseph-0005-january-14-2016/

 

January 1, 2017: From El Dorado Hills.

Treatment has begun to take on the feeling of a deadly boring job. Get up, off to work, come home and prepare for the next day, catch a few social interactions and some entertainment where one can.

HRM has settled happily into the Christmas dither, shopping for presents and planning the cake he intends to bake for us. I asked him what he would like for a present. He said, “A toy I can play with for a day and then forget.”

Magic Mouthwash:

The week that began with great promise as to the course of my treatment came to a close with me feeling more like road kill. So, I complained to the hoards of technicians attending me at the hospital that I was beginning to question the value of experiencing the pain and that I considered balancing that against possibly living five more years or so. They gave me a prescription that I was to pick up the next morning at a pharmacy near the hospital.

The next morning, I arrived at the pharmacy and was given a bottle filled with a pink liquid. The medicine was labeled, “Magic Mouthwash.”

Now, I am of that generation where referring to something as Magic this or that was usually not medicine and certainly not approved by the FDA. In addition, this particular medicine did not come accompanied by those inserts containing, in small and unreadable print, descriptions and warnings about your purchase. Instead, it contained a one-page notice that read in part:

Uses: Consult your pharmacist.
How to Use: Consult your pharmacist.
Precautions: Consult your pharmacist.
Drug Interactions: Consult your pharmacist.
Side effects: Consult your pharmacist.
Overdose: Call 911 or local poison control center.

So, I asked the pharmacist. He took me into a corner and, sotto voce, rattled off several long GrecoRoman words representing the contents of the medicine. I gleaned there were a least two antibiotics and a pain control substance. The other two or three ingredients escaped me.

Anyway, I took the magic mouthwash with me to the hospital parking lot where, in my car, I poured the amount of liquid the pharmacist recommended into a small plastic cup and swished it around my mouth.

Suddenly pain shot through my entire body and everything went white. Sort of like what happens when one takes those magic potions that appear so prominently in the cheap fantasy novels I am so fond of reading. When my eyes cleared, I fully expected to see a few pixies tossing gold dust dancing in the car in front of me, a unicorn in the parking space beside me and Marley’s ghost. Instead, I found myself free of pain and washed in a warm comfortable glow.

So, I left the car, skipped through the rain and into the hospital to find the chief nurse of the Radiation Oncology Department.

She was in her office dressed in fuzzy antlers and Santa Claus cap and a dark green tunic covered in Christmas ornaments. “What do you know about “Magic Mouthwash,” I enquired?

The nurse is from England and speaks with a Cockney accent so thick that, at best, I could understand only every other word. She also refers to me as “my darling” instead of Joe, or Mr. Petrillo or even Pookie. “Oh that,” she responded. “That’s your doctor, Dr. Jones’, favorite potion.(yes she used that word).” “He and the pharmacist cooked it up for when the patients are experiencing too much pain.” She then listed the ingredients like the pharmacist did. This time I caught that one of them was a steroid. That, I thought, explained the skipping through the rain.

“Oh,” I said. “Uh, what about the FDA?”

“Don’t worry my darling, all the ingredients have been approved. They only mixed them together. The patients seem to like it a lot.”

“I can well understand that,” I responded.

 

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Iroquois on Top:

“Who were the Haudenosaunee? (Pronounced Ho-deh-no-shaw-nee.) We know them as the Iroquois, a league of six nations of the Northeastern Indian tribes, consisting of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas (the original Five) and later the Tuscaroras. Their confederacy stretched across most of New York State to Lake Erie, south to the Adirondack chain, west to the Ohio Valley, and north into Ontario. Iroqu (meaning rattlesnake) was the name given to them by their enemies the Algonquins. The French added the suffix “ois,” as an insult, thus the name Iroquois. They preferred to be called the Haudenosaunee (People of the Long House).”

“Dekanawidah, born in Ontario, founded the Iroquois and bound the original five nations together into a Confederacy, establishing the Gayanashagowa – The Great Binding Law – which ensured a lasting peace among these independent tribes. They were bound together with this formal “constitution.” To this day the Iroquois are the oldest, continuous participatory democracy on Earth! The Ha do no sau nee, living in peace under one common law. They have practiced this representative form of government for centuries. In the Iroquois’ Book of the Great Law, there are striking parallels with our country’s Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches. It is well acknowledged by historians that the democratic principles of the Six Nations influenced and shaped the Constitution of the United States.”

“Apart from this remarkable fact is an even more astounding item. The clan mothers (or Gantowisas) were female officials who enjoyed political, economic, religious and social powers unprecedented and unparalleled in any civilization! These ladies owned the land and homes, and all the children. They had the right to adoption, to determine life and death. They declared and ended wars. They conferred or retracted citizenship. They had the exclusive right to raise up or depose Chiefs. They had to be represented in all councils. They made or abrogated treaties. They also held trusteeship of tribal property. The tribes relied on their opinion and ability to make wise decisions. These women were the political and social backbone of all the Confederacy.”
Gregory Christiano

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

I have always craved a minimalist life of aimless wandering punctuated by brief moments of inconsequential obsessions.

 

C. Today’s Poem:

Excerpt from Lyrics to “The Crickets Have Arthritis,” by Shane Koyczan.

 

It doesn’t matter why I was there, where the air is sterile and the sheets sting.
it doesn’t matter that I was hooked up to this thing that buzzed and beeped every time my heart leaped, like a man whose faith tells him:
God’s hands are big enough to catch an airplane

or a world,

doesn’t matter that I was curled up like a fist protesting death,
or that every breath was either hard labor or hard time,
or that I’m either always too hot or too cold
it doesn’t matter because my hospital roommate wears star wars pajamas,
and he’s nine years old

His name is Louis

and I don’t have to ask what he’s got, the bald head with the skin and bones frame speaks volumes.
The Gameboy and feather pillow booms like, they’re trying to make him feel at home ‘cause he’s gonna be here a while

I manage a smile the first time I see him and it feels like the biggest lie I’ve ever told.
so I hold my breath
cause I’m thinking any minute now he’s gonna call me on it
I hold my breath
cause I’m scared of a fifty-seven-pound boy hooked to a machine, because he’s been watching me, and maybe I’ve got him pegged all wrong, like

maybe he’s bionic or some shit.
so I look away…
 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

“They say Los Angeles is like The Wizard of Oz. One minute it’s small-town monochrome neighborhoods and then boom— all of a sudden you’re in a sprawling Technicolor freak show, dense with midgets.”
Wong, David. John Dies at the End (p. 23). St. Martin’s Press.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S CARTOON:
403833_452167268137623_53805153_n

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
IMG_2748

The Second Most Embarrassing Photograph Ever Taken of Me.

 

Categories: April through June 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 12 Joseph 0006 (January 1, 2016)

 

“Friends don’t let friends measure Page Views. Ever.”
Avinash Kaushik
Happy New Year: May 2016 have left you with only a headache and not a heartache and 2017 be not as bad as many of us think it will be.

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

Treatment has begun to take on the feeling of a deadly boring job. Get up, off to work, come home and prepare for the next day, catch a few social interactions and some entertainment where one can.

HRM has settled happily into the Christmas dither, shopping for presents and planning the cake he intends to bake for us. I asked him what he would like for a present. He said, “A toy I can play with for a day and then forget.”
Magic Mouthwash

The week that began with great promise as to the course of my treatment came to a close with me feeling more like road kill. So, I complained to the hoards of technicians attending me at the hospital that I was beginning to question the value of experiencing the pain I was having balanced against the possibly living five more years or so. They gave me a prescription that I was to pick up the next morning at a pharmacy near the hospital.

The next morning, I arrived at the pharmacy and was given a bottle filled with a pink liquid. The medicine was labeled, “Magic Mouthwash.”

Now, I am of that generation where referring to something as Magic this or that was usually not medicine and certainly not approved by the FDA. In addition, this particular medicine did not come accompanied by those inserts containing, in small and unreadable print, descriptions and warnings about your purchase. Instead, it contained a one-page notice that read in part:

Uses: Consult your pharmacist.
How to Use: Consult your pharmacist.
Precautions: Consult your pharmacist.
Drug Interactions: Consult your pharmacist.
Side effects: Consult your pharmacist.
Overdose: Call 911 or local poison control center.

So, I asked the pharmacist. He took me into a corner and, sotto voce, rattled off several long GrecoRoman words representing the contents of the medicine. I gleaned there were a least two antibiotics and a pain control substance. The other two or three ingredients escaped me.

Anyway, I took the magic mouthwash with me to the hospital parking lot where, in my car, I poured the amount of liquid the pharmacist recommended into a small plastic cup and swished it around my mouth.

Suddenly pain shot through my entire body and everything went white. Sort of like what happens when one takes those magic potions that appear so prominently in the cheap fantasy novels I am so fond of reading. When my eyes cleared, I fully expected to see a few pixies tossing gold dust dancing in the car in front of me, a unicorn in the parking space beside me and Marley’s ghost. Instead, I found myself free of pain and washed in a warm comfortable glow.

So, I left the car, skipped through the rain and into the hospital to find the chief nurse of the Radiation Oncology Department.

She was in her office dressed in fuzzy antlers and Santa Claus cap and a dark green tunic covered in Christmas ornaments. “What do you know about “Magic Mouthwash,” I enquired?

The nurse is from England and speaks with a Cockney accent so thick that, at best, I could understand only every other word. She also refers to me as “my darling” instead of Joe, or Mr. Petrillo or even Pookie. “Oh that,” she responded. “That’s your doctor, Dr. Jones’, favorite potion.(yes she used that word).” “He and the pharmacist cooked it up for when the patients are experiencing too much pain.” She then listed the ingredients like the pharmacist did. This time I caught that one of them was a steroid. That, I thought, explained the skipping through the rain.

“Oh,” I said. “Uh, what about the FDA?”

“Don’t worry my darling, all the ingredients have been approved. They only mixed them together. The patients seem to like it a lot.”

“I can well understand that,” I responded.

 

A Christmas story:

Twas the night before Christmas. I had spent much of the day searching through Amazon for a book I could read that did not make me unhappy. You know, slightly better than trash but not enough content to engage my emotions. You would think Amazon would be full of such things. But, I have already read most of those remotely tolerable and the blurbs describing the content of the books I had not read pained my recently damaged gag reflex. So, I took a swig of Magic Mouthwash, forced myself out of bed and went searching the house for entertainment. Perhaps, I would surprise Santa Claus stealing Christmas presents.

When I was just a young nubbin at Christmas time, I would pray that the gathering of my family for that joyous holiday would not end in a drunken brawl. That prayer was never answered. I also prayed I would get a long list of presents that greed and an inflated sense of self-worth convinced me I was entitled. Alas, usually on Christmas morning, if even one item on my list appeared under the tree, I would be surprised indeed.

I believed that the only person roaming around the house from the time we all went to bed until I woke up in the morning and rushed to the tree to gather my loot was that fat, phony Santa Claus. The god’s of gift giving, I was positive, had heard my pleas but that corpulent poser had lifted the presents from my house, thrown them into his sleigh and along with his eight flying antlered rats whisked them off to the North Pole where he could spend the year playing with them.

I swore that when I became old enough I would buy a gun, secrete myself somewhere near the tree and when that red-suited miscreant exited from the fireplace shoot him right between his beady thieving eyes.

Alas, long before I was old enough to get a gun, I stopped believing in that villainous mercenary elf or that Christmas was all about me.

Now that I am older, I have a better understanding of what Christmas means — nothing in heaven or hell can stop members of a family from despising one another if they choose to and, you should consider yourself lucky if, in life, you get anything you wish for.
Stumbling into the new year.

Christmas came and went, obviously it is not my favorite time of the year. I think of it as the Donald Trump of holidays — all bluster and fraud.

After another week of treatment, the new year began. I had little to do this week but to travel back and forth to my treatments and obsess about them. This week I was alarmed and amused by their side effects. The information I had been given when I began this adventure listed a whole host of potential side effects up to and including sudden death. All of them, the materials assured, were expected to be experienced by only a small minority of patients. It has been my misfortune to have found myself experiencing to a greater or lesser degree a majority of them, two of which I have found to be both interesting and amusing.

The first was brief periods of confusion and memory loss similar to dementia. For a few days, I found myself having difficulty remembering almost anything or understanding what people were saying. I would sit at the table with a smile on my face listening to Dick talk about something and not understand a word. When it all passed and I thought about it, I was more amused than horrified. The experience was more like being a young child again wondering what was going on, sort of like that period between the first toke on a joint and the paranoia as the high begins to dissipate.

The second side effect I was warned about was the possibility of a rash covering parts of the head face or upper body and in rare cases all three. Alas, my face, head, and chest are now covered with something that looks like it falls somewhere between a bad case of teenage acne and smallpox. I am confident it has not progressed to the bubonic plague level because my pustules have not turned black and dripping bloody pus.

The explanatory materials state that the rash usually clears up in a week or two or shortly after treatment is terminated. In some cases, unfortunately, it is permanent. That, of course, got me thinking about becoming permanently disfigured and looking like some cinema monster. Now, for the young, attractiveness is something to be concerned about in that ceaseless search for sexual partners and also, because many studies have shown that in competing for a job where attractiveness and intelligence were measured, the more attractive but less intelligent usually got picked.

Since neither a job nor competitive sexual encounters are any longer an interest of mine, I thought this had interesting possibilities. To walk into a room and have it all go silent with someone moaning, “Oh my God” or being approached on the street by some kindly soul who would exclaim, oh, you poor man, I feel so sorry for you. I will pray for you,” and then walk on by, had some real potential for chasing away the doldrums of boredom.
All in all, except for becoming stone deaf, bleary eyed and losing my sense of taste and wallowing in a miasma of dyspeptic emotions, I am feeling pretty good.That is what a cocktail of Benadryl and steroids and can do for you. I believe I am gaining muscle mass on my hallucinations,
Like many, I am not all that optimistic for 2017. I came into this world in 1939, 77 years ago, while the winds of chaos blew strong around the world and the world as we knew it ended plunging us into a decade of misery and slaughter never before seen. Now those chaotic winds are blowing once again and stronger than ever. In 2017, I am afraid, we may experience other endings, of our nation, our world and of course me. It is great, I guess, to have lived one’s life in the golden age between two great tragedies, but not particularly satisfying. Perhaps I can content myself with contemplating Jasper Fforde’s question in Today’s Quote below — have I done anything vaguely useful in the time I have been around? Who knows? Perhaps more accurately, should I even care about that now?

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

He lay on his bed with the smartphone lit to his Facebook page. He typed in the words, “I refuse,” and sent it on to all his Facebook friends. Then he turned his face up towards the ceiling and screamed, “Eat your heart out Marcel.”

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Everything comes to an end. A good bottle of wine, a summer’s day, a long-running sitcom, one’s life, and eventually our species. The question for many of us is not that everything will come to an end but when. And can we do anything vaguely useful until it does?”
Fforde, Jasper. The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel (p. 2). Penguin Publishing Group.

 

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Another fact about Jesus and, for that matter, the Apostles is that they were not poor. They have educated members of the middle class and perhaps even the upper classes. Jesus father is described as a carpenter. This would indicate he was an artisan, a home builder and furniture maker and not a laborer. Jesus and his apostles included rabbis and temple priests. The tax collector (Matthew) could not have gotten his position without political connections. As such, they were fully cognizant of the various streams of intellectual and religious thought that permeated Galilee at the time.

Finally and importantly, Jesus was a Jew, a Hellenic Jew, But a Jew nevertheless. He never said or even hinted at the creation of a new religion. As a Hellenic Jew, like Hillel and other great rabbis, he believed there was a meta-concept that transcended and unified the Law.

So, now that brings us to Big Paulie, or Don Paolo as I like to refer to him.

Categories: January through March 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. February 28, 2010

Well, for those who expressed concern and interest about my visa saga, on Friday for a mere additional $60 under the table, I finally obtained my 3 month visa, upgradeable to a one year renewable retirement visa. I celebrated this weekend by sleeping a lot.

I now can look forward to whatever it is that one looks forward to.

Hayden’s school semester ends on Friday and a two week summer recess begins. I plan to take him to Bangkok by train next weekend so that he can spend is fifth birthday with his mom. They will go to the South of Thailand to spend some time with NaIalie’s relations. I plan to spend a week or so at the beach, hopefully on one of the islands in the Bay of Thailand. Hayden’s summer semester begins on the 17th of March and ends sometime in July when the fall semester begins. Natalie is contemplating having him skip the summer session and taking him to Italy or San Francisco or both. If that is the case I will probably spend most of my time at the beach until he returns, unless one of you choose to come to Southeast Asia and invite me along on your vacation.

Today was the first very hot day in paradise. I took my nap on the balcony, not because it was cooler but because I thought it would be Cool. I was neither cooler nor Cool. Today’s photograph is of the balcony directly off my bedroom.

I hope everyone is healthy and well and anyone that needs a job has one.

Ciao

_____________________________________________
FROM MY JOURNAL

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interesting time. Sunday I got sick from withdrawal for not taking my Prozac for 5 days. No pharmacy able to fill prescription. Jerry drove me to hospital got prescription. Took pills and went home to bed. Monday got up feeling better. Found the car battery that we jump stared yesterday dead again. Spent the remainder of the day worrying bout money and went to sleep. Did begin my “Hayden” stories. Tried out what I had done so far with little effect on Hayden. Disappointment. Today had to buy new battery (3750 baht), give maid 1000 baht for food. Ugh, I cannot spend more than 1000 baht per day and have any left over for months end…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 8 AM

First day since I returned that I feel relatively healthy, Plans for today include haircut and shave, medicine shopping run and work on “Biondi”. Although I am behind on work schedule I am not too far behind. Should research and maybe ask Mary how to set up blog. DON’T FORGET TO RESEARCH AND CANCEL SS AND AARP.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 9AM

Today is an “itchy” day. One of those days when you feel itchy just under the skin and feel as though something is about to happen and it is not going to be good.

3PM

So far so good. Sent 2000 baht to Tai.

5PM

Got shave and haircut (200 baht). Picked up Hayden and so to home.

7PM

Getting ready for bed. Hayden out for dinner with Leo and parents. Have to wait up until he returns in case N. calls. Wasted day???

February 26, 2010 9:30 AM

This morning I will go to immigration office to file for long term visa.
Earlier this morning I thought that I was spending most of my time in this diary on myself, another indulgence. I thought it would be better and more interesting to spend more time on observations especially of Hayden. Perhaps this is a normal evolution in journals, begin with self indulgence, run out of things to say, look around and see what is happening.

As I have mentioned somewhere, I have several concerns about Hayden’s behavior that may or may not be independent of his mother’s actions. For example, his flagrant exhibition of his sexuality. He is always rubbing his penis and likes to parade around the house naked with an erect boner. During the period that he slept in my bed he often tried to get me to touch his wiener. He is constantly presenting his butt whenever we try to take photographs or when he is dancing around. I do not know if this is “normal” behavior at this age or signifies something else. I will try to keep a record of it.

12 Noon

Returned from immigration office. Choti arranged for my 3 month non-immigration visa to be issued today. I owe 4000 baht, 2000 for fee and 2000 for vigorish. I am slowly strangling from lack of money. Will I last until the 17th of March. I have only about $500 in account. If AARB etc. deducted only about $300 left or about $15 (450 baht) per day..Ugh again…

2PM

I have left my room following my nap and went to the Sala because it usually prompts the maid to bring me lunch. I have become Pavlov’s dog.

Saturday, February 27 2010 10 AM

Am at Sunshine Kindergarden Bi-lingual School. Today is the last day or the Saturday Art Program at the school and they are having a party for the children. Hayden is in an exceptionally good mood, laughing a lot and running around with the other children. Unable to detect anything of underlying behavioral significance except this morning he was in his meta-sexual mood slipping his hand under my butt as I sat playing with my computer. Whether it was for attention or some other reason, I do not know. At school he alternates between wanting me to leave and go back home and wanting me to stay. Neither with great emotion.

The school is a happy place. music playing all the time. “I’m a little Teapot” just finished. Lots of play space and play surfaces. Lot of small chairs around it happy colors. Jerry sat beside me. Have to attend to him.

11 AM

Okay, chatter completed, walk around accomplished, back to diary. Hayden asked me not to go home. I assured him I was not. Jerry sits down again. See you later.

11:30 AM

Back again. “Itsy Bitsy Spider” is playing, followed by “This Old Man”. Jerry is off to see the rugby match on television. I guess the formal part of the “last day” party is over as chaos appears to have taken over. Ah, Choti is trying to organize the younger children into singing a song or something. Lot’s of clapping by Choti for attention and lot’s of OK’s. Now she has got them all to sing, “Good Morning to You” with everyone clapping in rhythm. Choti now it wearing an elephant mask and going around the circle of children greeting them and shaking their hands. The now are singing “Good by to you”.

I walk over to where the older children are. Hayden is in this group along with Leo, Mario three girls and two teachers, one Hayden’s usual teacher and the other a male most likely the art teacher. They are coloring various shapes printed on a sheet of paper that they will cut out and paste on a small paper bag to make a puppet. It looks like they will also paste some of the shapes of paper pie plates. To make what I do not know.

Hayden seems to require more attention that the others. He has now brought his cut outs to the art teacher and has sat down next to him and resumed coloring the shapes he had not yet cut out. He is definitely more active than the others (ADD?). He has colored the paper bag and looks like he is working with the art teacher to paint something. He has gotten up and walked back and forth along the work table looking for something he apparently cannot find. His puppet is finished. He is now going around the table smiling and showing off the puppet. None of the other children are doing that. He has come over to me to show me. We talk about it. I ask him what is it’s name? He answers Hayden.

Mario is wearing shades. Hayden. Leo and Mario all of whom have finished their puppets have gone to lie down on the mat. The other children follow. Several songs that I recognize but cannot name are playing now. The teachers are washing up the paint brushes, etc. “Row, Row Row your Boat” is now playing followed by “The Hokey Pokey”.

5 PM

Slept most of afternoon. Hot. Took shower. Hayden wanted to go to the pool. Went. Had some discussion with guards regarding membership in World Club. Resolved. While walking down stairs to pool, I went ahead of Hayden and disappeared from his view. He started screaming and crying. Said “I could not see you”. Is this normal for a five year old boy?

When we got to the pool, he did not want to go into the children’s pool if anyone else was in it. When the two older children left, he went in and seems to be enjoying himself alone.

COMMENTS TO POST:

From Irwin:

sometimes when people get sick, like having a bad cold or the flu, they often exclaim in a wavering voice, “i think i’m dying!” well, although my nose is running, i don’t have a cold or the flu, but yesterday i thought sure i was on my way out. i could feel my body just sort of say, “oh, wtf” and just give up. i was driving at the time so i pulled over just in case i lost consciousness…i was really sleepy. needless to say, but i will, i made it through the rest of the day and the night and today;not in the best of comfort however it just wasn’t time for a dirtbath. so here i am struggling to stay upright and tossing off an email to thailand.

bad news of today, other than the status of my personal well-being, was that i accidentally deleted my email address book. the whole book!! the good news was that fortunately i had printed out a copy yesterday so i spent much of today entering all of the names and their email address into the outlook express program (i don’t like the windows live mail program). then to capitalize on this experience i copied the address book and sent it to a cd. it worked. the cd works, however, i am not sure that if i lose the addresses again on my pc i can copy those on the cd into the program. i hope i don’t ever have to find out. to top things off, two days ago i received an email from a person who was in my high school graduating class (the first time i received such correspondence). on his email was a list of about fifty people that he had sent the email to in addition to myself. somehow, in a manner i couldn’t replicate with other addresses today, i managed to copy that list and put it into a folder on my email program. i really don’t need those fifty email addresses. there were only two people on it that i might ever corressspond with having no desire to let my high school friends in on the joke that in spite of great promise in the twelfth grade i have amounted to nothing. but it was just the idea and then again the list was in email addresses and not names so, except for the two addresses, i didn’t know who those people were or if indeed they were from the graduating class of “55”. i’m not positive but i think raquel welsh was in my class. other than her i don’t know of anyone who i socialized with on a daily basis at the “old grey castle” that amounted to anything. i hated school and had a miserable time.

i am somewhat confused based upon your description of hayden’s school recesses. located therein, and i do hope i’m wrong, is an inference that could be drawn by an unknowledgeable reader that since his mother’s social calendar seems to be different than yours that perhaps late day romance has withered. none of my business but i do wish you well on the woman front. if so i conclude that in addition to getting away from it all, you have done an honorable and noble thing by paying attention to and participating in raising your youngest son. i admire such an undertaking. i wish i had the assuredness that i would step up to the plate and do the same if the situation so warranted.

unlike your warming locale here it is in the high fifties today but the rain has stopped! i just returned unwet from my walk (no pictures) whereon i stopped at the south-west corner of slater avenue and los jardines west and spoke with lilly campbell. lilly has been sending postcards illuminating her local real estate expertise for years and indeed she sold the house next door to me when the smiley family lived there (they are now in henderson nevada just outside vegas). i explained to her that my last wife intends to be buried in the house and that lilly’s services would be an unlikely event involving the schatzmans of fountain valley.

last night i watched an old black and white western staring gregory peck, a familiar looking woman and richard widmark. now don’t ask me why i did this. i don’t know although i suspect that there was not any action movie on the other channels which i had not seen before more than once. the only option was some soft-porn flicks which i find silly and boring, especially when you can watch some hardcore stuff (no cum shots) for $12.95 and up. i think the movie (‘yellow sky”) must be a well-known film critics idea of good old westerns as there was some interesting camera shots and relatively good performance on the part of the fake cowboys and indians. tonight i have a feeling that i will retire earlier than usual so that i may fall asleep and escape this cusp of emotional and physical pain.

when a baseball person comes up to the plate on a ballfield in chaing mai does the announcer say, “bahter up!”?

Joe’s response to Irwin:

The mother and my romance withered some years ago. That is why my new friend (pictured below) may accompany me these next few weeks. Alas, like my pecker I fear that romanceis withering also or to quote the great Willie Nelson, “I’ve outlived my dick”.

As for Hayden, it appears that I am the only one raising him. I am merely waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under us.

Your email worries me. I thought you were in remission. Is that not so?

Regarding “Yellow Sky”, I do not recall it (nothing new, I sometimes do not recall my name), but let me guess, Peck plays the Hero, Widmark the heavy and the familiar woman is well, familiar and she plays no role other than the familiar woman is a western, unless she plays the familiar prostitute.

It is hot again here. I nap even more than usual in the heat. The house however even without the air conditioner on stays comfortable for my naps.

Joe..or as I am called here in Thailand “Pookie”.

More from Irwin:

dear pookie:
the name “pookie” is, if i am not misinformed, used by a character on the soupy sales show. i can’t remember what pookie looked like or if he was a dog like “white fang” and “black tooth” or some other species of character but he must, as have you, made an impression on me as i have remembered the name to this day.

i am impressed by your particular talent for attracting good looking women (is she eighteen?!) and would beg for your advice as to how to do it except as you quoted the mantra, i must admit that i am also a member of the willy nelson longevity club. while it is true i have a vial of livitra in my credenza drawer i have not used even one pill contained therein – i assume that such substances are freely available in thailand so if you are worried you should trot off to the nearest appocathery (sp?); which in your case may be that convenience store in a home garage shown in a picture you sent. unlike you, i have no one with whom to use a dick-drug and my heart could not take the tremors of another affair (did i tell you that on one the husband found out and called my wife?) not to mention that my attractiveness has faded coincident with the diminishing thickness of my wallet, obliteration of political connections and lack of status……..thus no power. no dick/no money leads to a lonely life.

please do not worry about me. i sometimes long for eternal sleep…maybe almost daily. my cancer is not only in remission but my oncologist surgeon say’s that i am “cancer free”. my suffering is caused by an unending sequence of physical ailments allegedly related to anxiety and depression. on the other hand, i have come to the conclusion that any physical pain with which i contend is no more than do others , it’ just that i am more sensitive to such malfunctions and ruminate on them. my depression is due to a misspent and unfulfilled life, watching others succeed where i have failed, having no money to speak of (still paying off 2008 income taxes) and my physical complaints. ain’t it cool?! at least if i could play the piano like oscar levant – he once was quoted as saying that he “knew doris day before she became a virgin”.

i now will also take a nap. i will dream that your girlfriend has a friend for me.

Joe’s response to Irwin:

“…no power, no dick/ no money leads to a lonley life.”, words to live by.

Thank you for setting my mind at rest about your health.

Viagra and Cialis give me a headache.

My girl friend thought that she could possibly make available the young lady in the picture below. With her clothes on she often plays a nurse.

(Photograph ommitted – site decorum)

Irwin’s response:

cousin – perhaps to spare me much additional anguish, the fates succeeded in masking the nurse photo you emailed to me yesterday. all that appeared on my monitor screen was your text and a square with a little red box in the upper left hand corner (seen by many a computer novice). it’s perhaps best that i didn’t get to glimpse at what i am missing for why torment myself with what might have been? however, i guess i would be willing to be man enough by accepting such punishment as a view of the photo might render should you sent the photo to me again…please!

i was up late (2:00 am) watching some movies. one i hadn’t seen before and after watching wished i hadn’t due to the way it dealt with it’s disappointing storyline finish and the second i have seen before but watched most of it again anyway to see what halle berry would do for me. so i’m a little groggy this morning. in a couple of hours i will take 1/2 xanax and then leave to see my surgical oncologist (i call him “the sturgeon” as what he always tells me is quite fishy). i see him every few months as a visual check on my cancer-freeness, and then take an mri/cat scan/pet scan every six months or so. i think i have to do this for five years so that he has steady employment at kaiser permanente. since he is of japanese origin i will tell him that last night i also watched part of tora tora tora (i thought it was going to be a jewish religious movie). it seems that the radiation left me with a condition called “trismus” which i refer to as “merry trismus” on occasion. there is a hand held machine-gadget which is touted by it’s manufacturer as being beneficial for sufferers of this oral constraint and i will see if i can’t get the good doctor to have kaiser order me one and pay for it.

since the kaiser facility i am going to today is not the one closest to me and is only a couple of miles from the house of my eldest son, depending upon what time i get out of the doctor’s clutches and into the oy-onemobile i may stop by the schatzmans of yorba linda and play with my grandchildren for a short while – i like to physically annoy them. when there i also keep an eye out for coyotes (the kids don’t play outside). this the second house my son and daughter-in-law have purchased which is in coyote territory and has a major slope in the back yard. i think these things have some meaning of which i have not as yet been able to decipher. perhaps they know i am frightened and annoyed by canines (they have two) as i can’t stand something smaller than i which threatens me, not to mention cause significant pain when it’s jaws clamp down on my skin and then i may have to go to the doctor and receive painful injections as part of a rabies regimen. why dogs are afraid (mostly) of their master but not of another human i can’t fathom. as to the reason for the schatzmans’ penchant to live under a slope i can not venture a guess, i have not a clue. frankly they probably don’t either.

given this hectic schedule for the day i guess i will forgo my daily constitutional. the last few times i have began to take different routes to take the edge of the boredom that comes with seeing the same houses, streets, etc. nevertheless since i remain mostly in my subdivision i don’t see anything new. last sunday i drove off with the intent of walking along the boardwalk of newport beach but turned around and came home do to gastric distress while on the 55 south – in orange county the beach is sort of south and not west.

when i arrive home from the doctor’s appointment, then i may take a late afternoon nap. perhaps i will dream of being the recipient of some special physical “attention” by the aforementioned nurse. i bet she could really take extra good care of me.

mi perdoni padre, perche ho peccato.

And more from Irwin:

joseph – early this morning about 2:00 am when i was about to retire and chalk off another lost and unfulfilling day i noticed that the screen on my cell-phone had a graphic of a column and the word “battery” appeared. i thought well maybe even tho i charge the battery each night all night long something went wrong and the battery is really run down. so i put in the plug and charged it again until the screen read “battery full”. i pulled out the plug and went away. when i came back to fill my pockets before leaving on errands this afternoon i noticed the cell-phone screen was blank and so i figured that there must be something wrong. as in broken. damaged goods. kaput. fini. didn’t pay the bill.

i took the phone into radio shack where i had purchased it maybe three years ago and the salesperson who had a ring in his lip told me that it would cost around $80 to fix, if they could, but that he would give me a new phone free. what’s the catch? i had to sign a new two-year contract with at&t. since i maybe receive three phone calls a month (usually the wrong number or a salesperson) i have been contemplating doing away with the phone altogether except for fear of need in case of emergency – like if i should actually try one of the levitra pills in my cradenza drawer and i get an erection that lasts over four hours and i have to call the doctor. in a quandary, i left radio shack and headed to trader joes to buy a kosher chicken – it being the sabbath thus the kosher butcher shop was closed.

on my way i remembered that there was an at&t store about a mile ahead and so i stopped there. a man named abraham (fitting) asked if he could help. i explained the problem. he took the phone in hand and lo and behold, no burning bush but he turned it on! it works. apparently after the super battery charge the phone turns itself off and i didn’t think with what’s left of my distilled potato liquid ravaged brain that i should just try to turn the phone on. i confess i almost wish the phone were permanently dead and that i needed to buy a new one rather than continue to suffer from the personal embarrassment, indignity and continuing rumination about being so very very stupid.

which leads me to my question which is, since you, in a previous email, sent a phone number beginning with “0” or something absurd like that i am guessing that you rid yourself of your cellphone before you departed the shores of california. is that true? in which case i can delete that no longer functioning number from my cell-phone address book leaving that vacancy for perhaps a new found love as unlikely as that may be.

************************

Joe and Hayden’s email to Nikki:

Nikki,

Haden says “I love you”. He wants to know when you are coming to Chiang Mai. “I would like to go with you to Pattalung.”

Pookie
hayden i love you when are you coming (this line was typed by Hayden)

Nikki’s Response:

HI my schedule is pretty much open after we celebrate hayden birthday we can either go to some beaches and than divert to pattalung but the only problem is her planning after all she can drops us off somewhere as usual getting tired or bored going to work……
anyway u guys wait me there and we ll organize something the baby had to to dentist too so i think pattaya or hua hin woul be closer
see u later

***********************

From Ruth:

Congratulations. Dare I ask if the year for the year-long begins at the end of the 3 months or at the beginning? No. I don’t dare ask. Forget it.

If Hayden winds up in San Francisco, does he get to meet and maybe play with his relatives there? I’ve lost track of how many children Jason has with Hiromi, but I was able to figure out how old the older three are. I do sometimes wonder about Anthony, who really was a great kid in the days when he was about 4-8.

Best mystery I have read in decades, maybe ever: Michael Dibdin’s “A Rich Full Death.” Did I already tell you this? Best novel not a mystery: White Tiger.

If Joan ever gets her giant new loom (part of which she has already dropped on her hand, with very dramatic results) put together, she is going to let me help weave rag rugs. I have also signed up for an afternoon workshop called “Making Faces: Playful Portraits Art Workshop.” Nursery school was one of my favorite life phases, and still get a kick out of artsy-craftsy things. I just don’t want the results accumulating in my house.

Enjoy the hot weather.

Joe’s response to Ruth:

Jason has one child with Hiromi, a girl Amanda, She is one month older that Hayden.

Anthony has had a difficult adolesence. He is still basically a good kid.

Is that a new Dibden? I thought I had read them all.

I read White Tiger. I agree great book.

I took a loom weaving class once. Made a scarf (hat else). Haven’t touched a loom since.

Have fun with the worksop. Hayden provides me with enough kindergarden crafts to last me for a while.

On a more serious note, the following is part of an email that I have received from Irwin. Please do not tell him that I sent it to you. It looks as though his illness is even more serious than he lets on. (email above)

Ruth responds:

There are no new Dibdins. He died a couple of years ago. This one was 1999. It’s not Inspector Zen. I’m reading one of the Zen ones now: “Cosi Fan Tutti.”

I didn’t realize Irwin was ill, although this excerpt certainly sounds as if he’s got some kind of problem. I hope he got himself checked out, because this description could have been a mild heart attack or stroke, and some of those things can be treated. I sent him an email before I got this one from you, just asking how he is. Haven’t heard back, but I didn’t attach any significance to that. Please let me know if you hear anything else.

I just came back from another computer lesson. I wish I would get more comfortable trying things. I love it when they show me all these cool things my computer can do, but it’s hard to find excuses to keep doing all those things for practice so I forget them by the next time I try. I’m going to have to take lots of pictures in order to play with all the i-photo gimmicks I’ve learned.

Do your two families have any interaction or do you keep them strictly separate?

Over the past weekend, I ran into all sorts of people who knew me back when I was a real person as opposed to a councilwoman. It was such a nice feeling to have people glad to see ME as opposed to IT. Remember how the women’s movement was always complaining about being treated as objects? I never really experienced that until I became and elected official, and then I couldn’t shake it. Recently though several former staffers and one current city staff guy have been quoting me to me or have told me stories about myself that turned out to be quite fun.

Joe responds:

I probably read it but I cannot recall it. I had always gotten the impression as I read through the Zen books that Zen himself was slowly dying.

Speaking of computers, I spent most of this morning trying to figure out why I could not get on to the internet. Finally I gave up in frustration, and of course I was immediately connected.

Ruth Responds:

this one takes place in Florence and Robert Browning figures prominently in the story

Joe to Ruth:

I guess I was concerned unnecessarily about Irwin. I received this today:

please do not worry about me. i sometimes long for eternal sleep…maybe almost daily. my cancer is not only in remission but my oncologist surgeon say’s that i am “cancer free”. my suffering is caused by an unending sequence of physical ailments allegedly related to anxiety and depression. on the other hand, i have come to the conclusion that any physical pain with which i contend is no more than do others , it’ just that i am more sensitive to such malfunctions and ruminate on them. my depression is due to a misspent and unfulfilled life, watching others succeed where i have failed, having no money to speak of (still paying off 2008 income taxes) and my physical complaints. ain’t it cool?! at least if i could play the piano like oscar levant – he once was quoted as saying that he “knew doris day before she became a virgin”.

Ruth Comments:

Sounds to me as if concern is appropriate. He’s been depressed for years, usually focused on this notion of a failed life but either unwilling or unable to find something to amuse himself. I didn’t know about the cancer. I haven’t seen Irwin since you and he and I had lunch in Newport Beach probably five years ago–I think Hayden had just been born or was at least still an infant.

Maybe the fact that he doesn’t like that others have succeeded where he has failed explains why he can’t bring himself to email back to me.

By the way, I read a book by Oscar Levant that was wonderful. Of course I don’t remember the title, though I may still have it in the house someplace.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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