Friday, January 30, 2004

I just got the phone call from my mother that I’d been anticipating and dreading – my grandfather passed away this morning.

I’ll be leaving Jackson as soon as I hear what the arrangements will be, so please forgive me if you email me this weekend and I don’t immediately respond. My technophobe/closet Amish family does not have a computer.

Monday, January 26, 2004

For those of you who have asked about my grandfather, I thank you. There is nothing new to report at this time.

For those of you who have asked where the angry ranting has gone, p*ss off, you whining little punkas. The growls are still there, but right now, they're being overshadowed by the situation with Jay. Lousy curmudgeony old coot won't decide whether or not to stick around or give up the ghost. If I didn't know for a fact the old bastard's dying, I'd sue him for emotional distress and for giving me an ulcer.

...and before you ask, yes, I DO hope that one day my grandchildren can say such things about me as well. It will mean that they have learned about life, they accept the fact that everything is temporary, and that they rejoice in life enough to joke about death. 'Cause, y'know, "forever is a mountain we've yet to climb/tears are a part of what is yet to leave behind."

Monday, January 19, 2004

We're interviewing people for the Senior RA position today and tomorrow. I'm listening to the latest (and lamest) CD from King's X, and realizing that I'm strung out like cheap laundry in a trailer park right now

The news about my grandfather has waffled from "slight recovery and things don't look as bleak" to the latest...which was my father calling to tell me that it might not hurt for me to go ahead an make sure I've got a bag packed, including a suit, because things don't look too good.

This latest news comes on the heels of an emotionally traumatic week, full of ups, downs, sideways shifts, and full-on emotional inversions. It wasn't until this morning that I realized the reason I haven't slept for, oh, close to a week [and that what little sleep I have had has come through the magic of sleeping aides], and that I am so tense and on edge that I might as well start that heroin habit I seem to act like I'm on.

I finally almost came close to cracking when my mother called me last week [Wednesday, as a matter of fact] to start the "up/down" teeter-totter. She told me that Jay wanted to make sure that I knew he loved me, that I always was -- as he put it -- "the apple of his eye" [being the eldest grandchild has a few perks, I guess], and that he remembered all the good times we shared [including a highly embarrassing viewing of Snoopy, Come Home when I was a Little Sonny...a story that I shan't share here, as it is quite goofy].

This just hit me like a ton of bricks, and I really would have preferred it if someone had just told me that I was actually going to be fired. This was the first time that...well, the fact Jay is dying really felt real. I guess in my mind I've mostly felt like he was just sick...again...and that, yeah, he might not recover, but that doesn't mean he's going to DIE or anything. He'd just...y' OUT for a while. He might even be GONE...but not GONE gone. I know. For as strong and as "He's ready I'm ready blah blah blah" as I've been, I know now that I'm going to feel my heart break when he's gone. There's going to be a Jay-shaped void in my life. This man, who has always been a constant source of joy, happiness, and whose very existence embodied to me the good memories of my childhood...I'll be left with only my memories, and there won't be that tangible presence in my life any more. Plus, the old goat'll expect me to assist in the upkeep of the cemetery plot. Bastard.

Additionally, once he's gone...I'll have no grandparents left alive. These non-existent children of mine will never get the chance to meet their great-grandfathers or great-grandmothers. The winter holidays will seem that much more cold with one less stack of gifts to hand out under the tree. The circle of my life will grow just a little tighter.

Mortality blows. Me and this "God" person are gonna have to have us a long damn chat one day. I wonder if it would be considered a mortal sin to call said Creator of All Things a sucker-punching prat for giving us all such miniscule lifespans. I mean, really -- think about it. I'm thirty-*cough* years old, and I'm just now starting to get a freakin' handle on a lot of things. If I were born with maturity and intelligence, maybe I might not be as bitter as I am right now. But...

Feh. Someone bring me a damn Mac Cloud of the Clan Mac Cloud. I want a Quickening. Or Nestle Quik. Something.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Yeah, so much for THAT plan of posting stuff on here -- fires, visits by the Hinds County Sheriff's Department to serve warrants, assaults, a big party that had to be broken up, and a general feeling of "blah" due to the grey skies have all contributed to my lack o' writing.

I'm about to go hitch up Cricket, take her for a walk, and maybe...MAYBE...I'll be awake enough to vent a little.


Monday, January 12, 2004

So, in addition to working 16 hours yesterday...

...I received some really bad information about my grandfather.

-- see, my grandfather had been living in a Retirement Community for about two years now. After a strange readjustment to living with other people (I told him to just think about the fact he and his grandson were both living in dorms; he was not amused), he actually began to thrive in this community. Since he'd been living alone after my grandmother died several years earlier, he had lost a lot of the vim & vigor his youthful older days possessed. He essentially became a social recluse, and by moving to a place where he was FORCED to interact with other people (and people close to his age, to boot!), he began to take on some of the crotchety old goat mentality that I love about him so much.

Hey, when you decide that you're best friend is 92, and you're going to have to live one year longer than HE does just so you'd get to have more birthdays than he did...well, it did my heart good to hear him arguing, and to see him eating again.

However, in the last few months/ten weeks...his health has taken a turn for the worse. He's developed what is termed "Dry gangrene" on his right foot. The doctors would like to amputate, but his body would not be able to recover from the trauma, to say nothing of the fact of his spirit would be crushed.

The most humbling and touching moment we shared recently was over the Winter Break, where I had to go pick him up from the Nursing Home he'd been moved to. ...yeah, due to the fact that this Nursing Home had better PT equipment, he had to forego the cushy little private room he had at the Retirement Center and into a room with two other men in this Nursing Home. Anyway, I went to go pick him up to bring him to my parents' home for lunch on Chrimma Eve, and I had to help him out of the bed, into a wheelchair, out to the car, into the car, into the house, etc. And, poor Jay...he is so physically weak, that he needed help when he had to use the restroom.

And here I thought, here I am with the man who held me and carried me and used to change me when I was a kid...and now, our roles were reversing. I had to carry him. I had to help him to keep him from making a mess. I found it strangely touching. He was mortified. I told him I'd just put it on his tab, and he'd owe me a drink later.

But...Jay's now in the hospital due to complications from pneumonia. And word came down yesterday that it appears his liver is failing.

I know that I should be terrified about losing this man who was such a GREAT influence in my life, who shaped me in ways I can't even begin to explain, who used to let me play with a nail gun as a child...but somehow...somehow, all I can keep thinking is, "He's earned this rest. His time is drawing to a close. He's missed my grandmother terribly since she left, and now, now they have a chance to be reunited. He'll just fall asleep, and wake up in a better place."

...but then, this bastard is so damn stubborn, he might just remove his own liver JUST to prove that he's strong enough to get on without one.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

The residence halls opened one hour ago. The Spring 2004 semester has begun.

I am now on my sixth (6th) cup of coffee, and my third (3rd) Alleve.

Whoo-ha. Higher ed rulz.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Full moon. Craziness abounds. THANK GOD THE STUDENTS AREN'T HERE.


So, I have this, before I begin this story, I feel the need to provide an EDITOR'S NOTE, in that this is indeed an actual friend and not a pathetic attempt to veil trauma in my own life by claiming that a FRIEND is going through this and not me. I fess up when it's trauma in my life. I fess up when I have wild shenanigans in my life.

Anyway...I have this friend who is going through a REALLY rough time due to a horrid, bad, icky, nasty breakup. She has a track record in the area of the heart that rivals my own -- somehow, we both [until recently, on my part] seemed to make the most jackass style decisions when it came to dating. She attracts the WORST guys, and I [again, until recently] used to attract the WORST women. Many of our respective claims on our bad attraction wasn't that we were shagging Hell's Angels or anything -- both of us seem to be masters of the Bad Timing, as well as masters of Just Not The Best Choice.

But I digress.

She [let's call her Lynn, 'kay] was married for about five years. Lynn and her hubby were never what I -- or most carbon-based life forms -- would deem properly matched: she was the strong, domineering, nigh-manipulative one, and he was the capitulative little mongoose who would have set himself on fire had she asked it. The fought like cats and buffalo, but there was a FORM of love there. Not the type of relationship *I* would have wanted, but hey -- it was their life, so they could do whatever they bloody well wanted to.

Now, at the time, Lynn knew this guy named...Dave. Dave, whose spouse...Bunny..., and Lynn and her hubby were all buddies. The women worked together at the same place, and the men-folk were the bread winning heroes. However, there was a little twist: Dave and Lynn secretly were attracted to each other, and weren't the most subtle about it. -- now, I can't state whether or not they were DOING anything about said attraction (like, say, boinking), but there were always a LOT of raised eyebrows when they were in close proximity to each other.

Fast-forward to 2002. Lynn & Steve divorce, Dave & Bunny divorce. Lynn & Dave being shacking up with one another, yes, BEFORE all papers are finalized and every "I" is dotted and "T" crossed. And they shag like mad puppies until January 1st of this year. But, I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Lynn states that she does not want a SERIOUS relationship, just a boink buddy. Dave agrees, as he's been out of the dating loop for a while: the last time he just dated? Try 1987. So, they agree to see other people, but still be very joined at the groin to one another. Lynn starts seeing this guy named Joe, and Joe wants to microwave their relationship. Joe wants the 2.3 kids and Till Death Do We Blah Blah Blah stuff. Lynn just wants to spend time with someone who will buy her nice things and boost her ego, touting her as the sexiest thing since time began. Dave's probably out trolling for bleached-blonde, huge boobied ho's right about this time.

Lynn and Joe continue to date (and yes, JUST "date" -- no nookie for the Joe) for months, in SPITE of the fact that she's just leading this poor schmoe on. Joe eventually wises up (I believe his passive-aggressive term he used to describe Lynn was "manipulative bitch") and dumps Lynn, freeing Lynn and Dave to pursue more squishing in the sheets...which, ironically enough, they were both becoming more and more used to doing with one another, and they were developing strong feelings for each other. -- okay, actually, they were ADMITTING to these feelings that blind men in Mozambique could have seen.

So, Lynn & Dave go on a lot of little happy vacations with one another, and they have what Lynne describes as the Best New Year's Eve Ever. She & Dave go out gallivanting about the cityscape, holding hands and frolicking freely in expressing their love for one another. The next morning, after they have breakfast, Dave informs Lynn she needs to leave the house. Lynn, expecting that Dave meant that his kids were coming over and they might not need to see them in a compromising situation, asked him if she could come over later to innocently enough come by and spend part of the day watching TV with him and the kids. -- now, keep in mind that Dave had introduced Lynn to his kids, his friends, and even took a trip to INTRODUCE HER TO HIS PARENTS. This would lead one to assume that Lynn had attained a special place in the heart of Dave.

But, Dave told her that she might not be interested in coming over, as Betty was coming over.

Betty. The other woman he'd been seeing and sleeping with.

Breaking not only the ONE cardinal rule about their relationship, but also pretty much effectively making that comment he made about not seeing anyone else and swearing blindly that she was the only person he was shagging come across as a -- whaddacallit? Oh, yeah -- LIE.

...and thus, trauma/drama ensued, and the relationship is now...well, I'm not sure. Despite the BEST recommendations of people [raises hand], Lynn would still take Dave back, because she can't imagine him out of her life. She'd decided to hold herself to the belief that...ONE day, when they were BOTH ready...they'd settle down and have this idealized life that they both wanted.

Now...she's just in pain, and it kills me to see a friend hurt. Okay, I want to scream "I COULD HAVE BLOODY WELL TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU GAVE YOURSELF OVER TO THAT SMARMY LITTLE PRAT,"

There are a LOT more details to this, but now you know the gist of it all. And now I have to get coffee.

More ranting later.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

This is called me NOT doing my work today. All I want to do is take a nap, and then drink cocoa while watching my 24 Season Two Box Set DVD's. And then nap some more. But, since I have to be -- what's that word? Oh, yeah: responsible -- here I am at work, staring at a stack of paperwork.



Many of you have asked about the little cartoons based on my inane prattlings, as supplied by "Mitchell Rowsdower." So, for those of you who have complimented and questioned, here's the skinny on this little punka:

- no, he is not a professional cartoonist [and once he reads that, he will be insufferable. He never lacked for an ego before, but once he knows that people think he doodles for cash, he will be a beastie to live with. Sorry, Alley]

- he and I used to combine our talents (he, as the King of Pictionary, and me, as the wordsmith) on a little comic strip/comic book/graphic novel/thing called Damsel, which started off as an almost parody of the Austin Powers craze [God almighty, does that date us] but -- in true "Pop Will Eat Itself" nature -- the characters soon became these friends in this little fun strip with their own lives and backstories. What became of it? What stopped it? Grad School (on my part), mostly. Something about how since I had to write all intelligent papery-things 24/7, the notion of me sitting down at a keyboard for hours coming up with a fictional world and its backstory made me have involuntary muscle spasms. There are still 2-3 little gems of ideas kicking about in my head, and I -- occassionally -- will sit down and write a sentence or two on them. Mitch & I were planning at one time, way the crap back when we were young, foolish, and had disposable incomes, on publishing the silly thing. Maybe one day we might just get around to doing that. [Alley? Stop drooling, love -- it's unbecoming.]

- he currently lives in Knoxville, TN, where he spends his days, nights, and major religious holidays slavin' away at some freakish "real" job, doing advertisements or something. See, I feel justified in mocking his paycheck, because he knows I am nothing more than a glorified Dorm Mom 99% of the time.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Welcome to a new year.

Welcome to a new post.

Welcome to a fun little toon, courtesy of my good friend and probable long-lost brother, Mitchell Rowsdower.