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Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Inez, Can I Please Have My Cigarette?" From The Memoirs

The title refers to a request made four times a day by an Army Captain I once knew, respected and yup ---- loved. If he's reading this from Heaven or Hell (probably the latter) he's probably making puking noises right about now.


After high school and before college, my Dad thought it was time for me to learn some humility, so he got me a job at Pine Knoll Nursing Home here in Carrollton. The reason my father thought I needed taking down a notch or two was because, in his opinion, I had gotten full of myself playing drums in a rock group, so he got me this job to supplement my income from the weekend gigs. I was 17 at the time.


Captain Williams had both legs shot off in WWII, and after being discharged to the VA hospital in Atlanta, finally wound up in the Nursing Home in Carrollton. He served in a paratrooper regiment - don't remember which one, but it could have been the 82nd Airborne. In addition to bathing him and helping with other bodily functions, it was also my job to light his cigarettes. He got 4 a day. They and a shot of Jack Daniels at bedtime were pretty much his only enjoyment. He had no family that I knew of. No one ever came to visit him except some old Army buddies. They meant well, I know that, but I wish they would have come more often; it was one of the few times I saw him smile with sparkling eyes.


During my breaks, I would head straight to his room, sit down and listen to some of his war stories. I wish I had written them down and/or taped them, but I was 17 and full of myself, remember?
He and I had a great relationship as far as it went. I got him extra cigarettes and helped him hoard his booze and one night after I got off (at 11) he and I got plastered together. I don't know how I managed to make it home to Villa Rica, because I was as drunk as Cooter Jones when I finally left.
One of the night shift nurses was a pretty cool chick and turned a blind eye to what was going on in room 15, and made sure the Captain looked bright-eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. He always wore a dour expression, so it wasn't noticeable to anyone who didn't know that he was hung over.


And so it went. Every time I was on duty and not working with other patients, everyone knew where I could be found. On my off-days a date and I would stop and say a quick hello. At those times he was an "Officer and A Gentleman". Until the next day, when he'd critique the poor girl.


One day we learned that Captain Williams had been diagnosed with lung cancer. A lifetime of smoking had finally taken its toll and he was dying.


I have to say he took it pretty well. May even have been relieved - it was hard to tell, but here is what I could never understand: Why in the HELL did they continue to limit his smoking to 4 a day???? He was dying and the smokes gave him some pleasure, so WTF???


Later on, in my forties and working as a respiratory therapist, I thought back on those days and Captain Williams and one day decided to stop my "preaching" to adults about not smoking. "They're adults," I reasoned, "and they made their choice. If it's to continue smoking, who am I to stand in their way?" So from there on out unless someone came to me to ask about quitting, I stayed silent.


Shoot me.


So hell, I bought him smokes and smuggled them in. If any of the nurses or other orderlies were any the wiser, they kept their mouths shut. I'll always be grateful for that, because they felt the same way I did about this sadistic sonofabitch doctor who would not lift the smoking "regulation".


One day I came to work late, got a quick report and went to see my friend, but his room was empty. I didn't need to be told, he went downhill quickly after the diagnosis and with "Sister Morphine" on board, he was beginning his journey to the Elysian Fields.


So I sat down on his bed, cried and imagined him hovering over me shouting for me to shut my "goddam" mouth and get to work. He cussed like a sailor, did  Army Captain Williams, but his heart was pure gold. Many was the time he gave me gas money or helped with buying a new tire. It was against policy, of course, but he always found a way around that particular protocol.


I have a lifetime (his lifetime) of history in my head because of our talks. Mostly about the war; Glen Miller's music (the Captain played clarinet); being sitting ducks trying to land in a war zone as the Germans shot them out of the sky like the hunters many of them were. He even taught this German Boy a little bit about how to please a woman in bed.


He taught me a lot, my friend the Captain, and without meaning to (or maybe he meant to all along) he taught me what I needed to learn: Humility.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Going Home In A Few Weeks

September 4th, actually, and I don't know for sure, but it may be my last time to visit my friends and family. Not only because of my illness, but also because of the state of affairs our world is in right now.







Israel and Palestine have taken their war so far as to kill children and neither one wants to back down, both saying "Well, HE started it!", which is such a childish attitude it makes me want to vomit.







As of today, Egypt has brokered yet another Cease-Fire, but who knows how long that will last? have you figured out yet who the "good guys" are? In this instance, there aren't any. Oh, there are some good men maybe, but they are silent. If they'd speak, I believe they would say something like this as they took their fingers off the buttons and triggers: "Screw this! I'm not killing old folks, women or children anymore!" ---- If enough of them did that on both sides, what do you think would happen?







"Okay enough, Bill!" I hear can almost hear you saying.







Almost done. Bear with me for another sentence or two, please?







Okay, do I want to go home badly enough to risk being shot out of the sky with a missile shot by....... who......? Well, it could be anyone representing whatever cause, couldn't it? But yes, I do want to go home that badly. Besides, that missile could have been launched at anytime from anywhere, so what does it matter? Yes, I worry it might happen, but it might happen that I slip in the tub and bust my ass too, so it's an acceptable risk.







What isn't an acceptable risk is the Ebola Virus. While it is relatively hard to catch (it isn't airborne as yet), people in Africa are dying and except for an experimental serum, there's no cure. And it is fast. It incubates for 21 days during which time the number of people which could contract the disease would multiply exponentially.







I won't bother explaining the symptomology to you - you'll know all of that soon enough, if not already and hopefully not personally. Meanwhile, stay away from other peoples' pee and poop, and for God's sake wash your nasty hands! Here's a little tip to teach you how long to wash them: As you wash, sing "Happy Birthday" to yourself and scrub the hell out of those hands as you do. Do it a bunch of times a day every day of the year and then guess what ? Chances are good that one day you'll be singing that little song and really mean it!







So yeah. That one scares me. It scares me a lot. It scares me more than the damn disease I already have. Dementia can be measured to a certain degree. Not by time, of course, but visually and by testing cognitive functions. Ebola, though is a sneaky bitch and you won't even know she's riding you until it's too late. I plan to avoid her like the, uh..... plague. So to speak.







So one way I plan to minimize my risks is to watch where I am and where I go. This time I fly into Düsseldorf, not Frankfurt. Frankfurt is a hub for so many countries, so many cultures. So many people who may not even know the meaning of the word "hygiene", let alone how to practice it. Maybe "Aunt Rosa" has a present for the folks in Stuttgart. Only she doesn't know she has a present for them. It'll be a ....... SURPRISE!!!







Another thing I want is to learn how to straddle a toilet the way ladies do...without letting my butt touch any part of the seat. Paper napkin at a restaurant in a dispenser? Pull out the first one and throw it away. Hell, pull out the first 50 and throw those away! Better yet, bring your own.





Oh, you can bet your ass people are going to get a crash course in how to avoid dying. Maybe this time they will actually listen and learn. They may even keep the rest of us from dying. Wouldn't that be something, friends and neighbors? We'll be able to Rock'n Roll a while longer!



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Ah yes. The vacation. This time my pretty wife Dondra won't be able to go. So far this year there have already been three hospitalizations, her knees are shot and she won't be able to handle the walking.





We did plan for contingencies, however:





1. If she gets sick by the time I leave, I'm not leaving.


2. If the world's problems get worse, I'm not leaving. That part will be out of my hands


3. Finally, if I'm home in Germany and she gets sick, I'm on the next plane home anyway.








"So why go then, ya selfish Bastard?", you ask as you throttle me by the neck.








She wants me to, for one thing. For another, she feels fine right now. If she gets to not feeling fine, see #1.








Another reason is my Uncle Bernd. He too is in ill health and has the same precariously balanced life that Dondra does. He's my last living relative. The last part of my Mother's life. Yeah, it could happen to him at any time too, so this might be my last opportunity to see him. Both he and I realize this and have discussed it. He helped make the rules of the trip.






So all is understood. Whether you, dear friend understand them is immaterial. The reason I even brought it up is because you are a part of my life. Because I invited you in, you get to know all the stuff that's going on.


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I will be spending my entire time in my beloved Rothenburg ob der Tauber. I had plans to travel elsewhere using Rothenburg as "home base", but my aunt, uncle and cousins will be coming there and I will spend as much time with them as possible. I will also be seeing my best friend Peter Holstein and his family.


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So there it is, my friends: You are all up to date. As much as is possible, anyway, without you sitting on my shoulders 24-7. Thanks for reading as always, and please remember to help me feed the animals by clicking on the link at the end.




Bye for now and take care of yourselves!




Bill
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================================ ================================ The Animal Rescue Site

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sometimes It's True: Things Happen 
For A Reason
(A Memoir)

In 1962, I had been in America (and in Villa Rica, Georgia) for two years and boys my age back then were expected to go out for sports and I was no exception even though I was still struggling with the language and the academics. What English I knew was picked up from my American dad and out of a dictionary, and the syntax wasn't always correct.

In school, I was okay for Germany but not okay for America. Math, for instance. Here they began by teaching fractions, in Germany I had just learned decimals; I knew my German history, but not much American. Reading, not too bad. I loved to read and there was the aforementioned dictionary to help with the words. I aced all my spelling tests and even once won a county spelling bee. Guess what - the dictionary again. I had seen those words so many times I knew what they looked like.

But back to sports ----- it wasn't that I wasn't any good at baseball and basketball, I was just not given much of an opportunity to play. I played at home a lot, a lot, and I was good with all my fielding and I could do all my basketball shots just fine, no problem.

But..... in practice and in real games, I was ignored and/or rode the bench. I rode the bench so much that people began to wonder out loud why the "German Boy" never got to play?

You know what the coaches' answers were? "We can't understand him, and if we can't understand him, how's he gonna understand us???" Deep South thinking at the time.

But no one asked the German boy who spoke English with a guttural accent and appeared to be so arrogant no one wanted anything to do with him. The accent I understood, but the "arrogance" was misunderstood as a reluctance to get involved socially because of ----- the accent.  A "Catch 22" before it was cool to say it!

So I chose music, something I could do on my own and be as good as I wanted to be. I played my drum in the high school band and in 1964, here came The Beatles and my starting to play drums in what was to be so many rock groups I can't remember them all. Thank God for The Beatles.

Music also did wonders for my popularity. By then I had lost most of my accent and put the "y'alls" and "ain'ts" in all the right places and I even had a girlfriend. I believe that's called "peer pressure". I called it getting one's ass kicked for being different.
So no sports, but drama (the theatre kind - not the teenage angst variety) and music - lots of music.
So am I bitter?
I was for many years, but I'm a damn good drummer, a fair guitarist and I've even done some community theatre.
I wrote this because my story isn't really all that unique when you think about it. Except for the name and the country, this could be any young immigrant kid.
If you know a kid or family with these problems, maybe you'll remember this and give them some encouragement, because things do have a way of working themselves out.
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From my memoirs 12.26.2013

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rest In Peace, Capt. Herb Emory

A good friend and band mate passed away suddenly yesterday. Here's the story from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution .

Herb and I were News Directors back in our "radio days", the 1970's. He at Douglasville Georgia's WDGL, and me at Carrollton Georgia's WLBB. We would call each other every morning to see if one of us had a story that the other could use. We used to joke about our use of the word "nearby" to localize the story: "In nearby Douglasville this morning........". Douglasville was about 22 miles away from Carrollton, so it was okay to use the story.

On slow news days, we had a running private joke: "In nearby Nome, Alaska this morning........" which meant neither of us had anything the other could use.

He and I also worked as "stringers" for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. If a story was news-worthy for the print media, we'd call the paper and dictate it after having rewritten it for print. We'd make $20.00 per story which supplemented our meager broadcast income.

After finally meeting, we decided we both liked the same music, and as he played guitar and sang and I played drums and sometimes rhythm guitar, we had the nucleus of a country band. We called ourselves The Sweetwater Creek Boys, and as you might guess, we played the "Outlaw" brand of country music. He especially loved the music of Waylon Jennings and it became his specialty.

On another sad note, I had scheduled Herb to speak to our Alzheimer's Association support group, due to the fact he had first-hand knowledge taking care of a family member himself. We were both looking forward to a reunion at his speech and afterward doing some "pickin' and grinnin' " here at the house.

I don't have that many real-time friends and Herb sure was a great one.

There are many tributes to Captain Herb, but one I read sticks in my mind: "He was not only an Atlanta icon, but a Georgia icon as well."

Rest in peace, dear friend and thank you for the many good times we had together. I will miss you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More Memoirs..........Ever Eat Newspaper?............Another Symptom?

I got to thinking a few days ago ( I think that's when I was thinkin') regarding my memoirs and my inclusion of them here in the blog, and I came up with the following answer: These will all be my memoirs one day, right?

Also, it may help the reader get to know me better, and I believe that's a good thing.

By the way, I think that making my blog public was also good in that I have seen an increase in visits/readers, so thanks for that idea, Eileen!
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Sooo. Ever eaten newspaper? I have and it was during the time I lived with my Grandmother in East Germany, which was, at that time still under Communist (Russian) rule. My Mother had contracted Tuberculosis during that time and my American Dad wasn't able to take care of me, so off I went to Zeitz, where my Oma and four uncles lived ----- in abject poverty.

I have written before in this blog about our living conditions (3 to a bed, the rats, the filth and the lack of food), so I won't bore you with that again, except to tell you that when we did have food, we were expected to eat all of it ---- all of it. An apple, for example when finished, should only have the stem and the seeds left. The cheapest cut of meat was pork and we ate every part of the pig but the "oink". This included sucking the marrow out of each bone.

I hope I haven't ruined your lunch? No? Okay, weiter geht's ("on we go").

I have also written about my thievery during those times. Eggs, mostly, but sometimes potatoes, cabbages and carrots. My uncles and I were never prosecuted, but were ordered to work with the farmer from whom we stole, and he, being a kind man, fed us there and always sent home enough food to feed all of us.

Still waiting on the newspaper-eating, aren't you? Okay. I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

Because I was the youngest in the family (5) it was important that I be fed first, but sometimes there was just no food and we all had to resort to going to the nearby Russian camp to beg for bread or whatever leftovers there may have been.

I don't know which of my uncles had the great (?) idea that newspaper, which used to be trees, but which was mulched down into paste, might take up enough space in my tummy to ward off hunger pangs, and at that time there was plenty to be had in the form of advertising and flyers and such. So that's what we did: I was given some newspaper paper to eat sitting in front of the local elementary school with an empty coffee can for a few "Kroschen" (ten pennies).

It worked. I felt sated for a time.

When school let out, there I'd be, stuffing my face with newspaper and with a big ol' grin on my face. The kids (especially the girls) thought it was cute and sad at the same time, and dropped a few coins in my can and that went for whatever little my Oma could afford to buy. She worked part-time at a nearby bakery, and every now and then, after work, the baker would give her a little of whatever bread, rolls, and (yum) pastries which weren't sold that day. On those days, we ate like Kings (and their Queen).

What we didn't realize at the time, was that the ink on the paper was actually poisonous and if consumed in too large a quantity could set up serious intestinal problems - not to mention blacken my teefs. So when I began to vomit, we stopped it for a time.

Luckily, I didn't have to do that for too long because two of my uncles had been hired by the guy we had stolen from and began bringing home enough to feed all of us.

So there you have it. Am I proud that we had to resort to this to feed me? Hell, yeah! We did what it took to survive, and here I am able to tell you about it - so yeah, I'm pretty proud of all of us - thieves, beggars and one eater of newspaper.
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So now I want to tell you about a new symptom I just discovered a few days ago, which I hope you find as hilarious as I do.

I went into the kitchen to fix myself a little midnight snack of some cold cuts, and as I was laying them on the plate, I told myself, "Don't forget the mustard", and I told myself this all the way back to my bedroom without the mustard. I just sat there, shook my head and smiled. "So it's come to this now", I told myself.
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Please remember to click to feed homeless animals and remind yourself to do it every day. Thanks! Bill The Animal Rescue Site

Monday, April 7, 2014

Howdy....... New Settings.......Going Home Again........ And Stuff

Howdy!

Sorry it's been a while, but as in real life, when I have nothing to say, I tend to keep my pie hole shut.

It's been "same ol'same ol' " for quite a while, but if you know of my daily activities then you are pretty much up to date. Till now.
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Some of my friends who read the blog on a regular basis, have told me they haven't been able to "get in" due to my "by invitation only" setting. This has now been changed to "Public View" and my apologies to Eileen and everyone else I inadvertently shut out. The previous setting was because I was getting some mean-spirited comments which I thought could be seen by everyone else, but I had forgotten that I can control the comment content. So D'oh!

One thing I need to advise you about: you'll see a menu item advising you you're headed into "adult content" territory and do you still want to enter? As the heading states, it is "mild adult content", so suit yourself. No porn, I promise!
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I'll be going home to Germany in September for two weeks. I used to only go for maybe 7-10 days, but that was while I was working, so this time I was able to schedule myself for a bit more time to relax, meet my family, some new friends and old friends. The new friends will be the band Copper Smoke an alternative country rock band based in Germany and I hope to be able to actually sit in on the drums with them. Copper Smoke and another new friend, Markus Rill 
have had their music featured here on the blog and I will be looking forward to hopefully meeting Markus as well. He has a tight tour schedule, but I located myself close to his gigs, so I hope it works out for all of us.

As some of you know, music is my passion and it will be a great treat to play and talk in person to some fellow musicians, which I have not been able to do since my diagnosis in 2008.

Pictures and video will be featured here. I can't wait and have already begun writing up my packing list and activities.

I had mixed emotions about the trip, because as I stated many times, I don't like to go into debt for a vacation. However, after giving it a lot of thought, I thought to myself, "Why not? Who knows how much longer you'll be on the planet, so go for it!"

So I'm going for it!
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This entry is about going back to college at age 64. In a previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to apply here at The University of West Georgia, my Alma mater, to finish up some courses, but that I can't get a straight answer about the costs involved. One entity says, "The courses are free, but you'd be liable for over $900.00 for activity fees." The governing board of the State University System says, "Everything is free except lab fees and books."

So I am at a standstill. I've contacted my congressman, but as yet I've received no reply and that's been 5 months ago. I do have some friends in the University here, and I'm going to contact them to see what they can do to help.
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That's it, my friends. As always, please help me feed unwanted animals by clicking the link below. Thanks, and I love you guys!

The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"What We Got Heah......".............Good And Safe Eats............. Watch What I Say

Hey Everyone

No, these aren't JEOPARDY categories, but the titles of this entry's content. Much has happened since we last spoke, so let's get right to it.....
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Those of you who follow me or are my friends on Facebook will know that I recently discovered that since I'm over the age of 62 (I'm 63), I can return to college and take whatever courses are available --- for free.

 Or so I thought.

When I decided to pursue this, a friend was kind enough to drive over to my alma mater, the University of West Georgia, to pick up whatever it is I would need to get started. When she explained my situation, she was told, yes, the classes are free, but the fees are $929.00 per semester.

Huh?

That's not really "free" then, is it? Besides, the fees are for stuff I would never ever use: medical clinic, student activities, parking, etc. etc. Certainly, I expect to pay for books and lab fees, but $929.00???? Fugeddaboutit!

But y'all know me...... I don't give up easily and the next thing I did was contact the entity which governs all the universities in the state of Georgia: The Georgia University System. I e-mailed them and received an answer the same day informing me that I was correct and they provided me with the following  link.....

See anything interesting? Although a little ambiguously worded, what I see is I shouldn't have to pay that $929 bucks. What do you see?

So where does that leave me? Don't know. So far my e-mails and phone calls have gone unanswered and my next stop are my state legislators. I'll let y'all know as soon as I do. Oh yeaaaaahhhhh -- almost forgot; I did let them know about my "problem". So ya think they just don't wanna mess with "The German Boy" or what?
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I know that during the course of your day, some of you must be thinking to yourselves, "Wonder what the German Boy's doing right now?", right? That is what you're doing, isn't it - thinking of me? I thought so (he wrote, tongue firmly planted in cheek).

Well, I play World of Warcraft (after I do my listed chores, of course), I keep up with current events, ride my bicycle and sometimes I even make it to the gym - not as much as I'd like, but I have to go when my chauffeur, the lovely Dondra, is available and off from work.

All this work (*ahem*) makes a boy hungry, so we decided to figure out which foods are safe for me to eat. "Safe" in this instance meaning foods I can fix without burning down the house.
 

These include snacking foods such as pepperonis, pork rinds (I know: "yuck", right?) and string cheese among others. All stuff which needs no preparation. To wash it all down I drink cold green tea (I like Lipton in the jug).

For stuff which does need preparation, I have one of those microwave egg boilers. It looks like a big egg and inside is a tray which holds 4 eggs and which sits above a little water. I just set that big egg into the nuker for 6 minutes or so (had to experiment to see which time works best) and pretty soon I have my soft-boiled eggs.

So what about other foods? Foods which are actually good for me? Well, those are the ones the lovely Dondra prepares, but when she's working - and she works 12 hour shifts - I'm left to my own devices and again "simple is as simple does", so here come the microwave meals.

By that I mean the bags that one can just throw in there and let 'em cook - mostly veggies. I like cauliflower and broccoli - both with cheese. But for something that sticks to the ribs and gets me through the day, we found another type of microwaveable meal which is also very easy for me to fix myself and takes very little time at all. They're called Gourmet Dining, and just as the name implies, they're just like foods you'd eat at a restaurant and just as delicious - my favorite is Shrimp Alfredo.  You just take 'em out of the bag, put in a covered bowl and cook for the specified time.

Dondra and I have written a list of what meals require what amount of time and laminated it. Delicious and so easy to fix even I can do it.

So you guys can stop worrying. I'm getting my nourishment.
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The "Watch What I Say" portion of today's show means just what it says. It's come to my attention that if the listener isn't careful, he may be getting false information from me, so I've told my friends and others near and dear, to always make me repeat my answers to be sure they're getting correct information.

Admittedly, this doesn't help the poor schmuck who doesn't know I'm bat-shit, but for him I've made accommodations too: I just make certain I don't encounter him as much.

I do feel bad and somewhat guilty when someone wants to ask me directions, though.

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So that's it for now. I will write again before the holidays and try to find some Christmas songs to include, but for now, y'all have a great Thanksgiving holiday, and please spare a thought for the unwanted animals left by themselves on the streets and shelters. Help me feed them by clicking the link below.

Thanks

Bill
The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Little More "History" About "The German Boy"

About The Time I Tried To "Go Home Again"

In the words of Thomas Wolfe, "You can't go home again", and I'm the poster child for that. 
Way back in the 90's, I thought I could go home and live again in my native Germany and it turned out to be a dismal failure. It set me back not only financially, but mentally as well.

To be fair to myself, I had stars in my eyes and didn't think things through all the way. If I had, I'd never have moved, but you can't talk to someone who thinks he's finally fallen in love with the "right" woman. You can't make them see reason and you just have to go let them go ahead, make their mistake (s) and hope they can recover when things don't work out.

And so it was with me and here's the story as well as I remember it - sorry, but I don't know any exact dates - I just know it was in the early 90's.

In the late 80's, a few years before my Mother died, and while I was still employed by USAir, I decided to take her with me on vacation to Germany. We both rode free, it being one of the "perks" of my employment, and I was happy to have her along.

Ab out that time, I reestablished contact with a lady I had spent part of my childhood with, and decided that seeing her again would be one of our stops.I hadn't planned on falling in love, but I did. And she did.

So after Mom and I visited her family in East Germany, it was time to go home to Georgia, only this time I had a little extra "baggage" with me smuggled in my heart. Remember, I grew up with this lady, so the "getting to know you" stage, was, for the most part -  skipped. First mistake. I got those "stars in my eyes" the minute I laid eyes on her again and on the trip home, I felt like I didn't even need an airplane. I was flying just fine on my own.

Then it was her turn to visit me, and after a lot of writing back and forth (I'm not sure if we were e-mailing then) both of us realized that this was the real thing, so when she arrived at the Atlanta airport, I was standing there with a dozen roses.

When it came time for her to leave, I didn't want her to go, but she had commitments and responsibilities she couldn't let go, so I became USAir's most "frequent flier". Whenever I could, I used my free travel pass to fly to Germany to see her. This was mostly on weekends, and the jet lag was murder on my body, but I was in love, so just shut up, "Common Sense". It became a bit of a joke around the office, whenever I came to work already packed and ready for the weekend. "There's Bill," they'd say. "About to take flight on Cupid's 'Arrow of Love'." All kinds of alarm bells were ringing, but they sounded like wedding bells to me.

This is probably a good time to mention that my air travel consisted on flying "stand by", which means, yes, I can fly free, but only if there's a seat available. I first had to fly from Atlanta to North Carolina and then to Frankfurt, and in either city there was the chance I might not be able to get on.

Those were the times I needed a tranquilizer really badly. Luckily though, I always got a seat and she'd be waiting on me in Frankfurt. This went on for the better part of a year, until I decided that something had to change, and so ends Part I. I'll continue the story in the next blog entry.
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Thanks as always, for helping me feed the animals by clicking on this icon. See you next time!

The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Want To Tell You Something

This is being written in real time, right now, this minute. I thought about writing this a little while ago while watching an HBO documentary about Alzheimer's Disease. It had a title which I don't at this second in time remember. Maybe I will before I stop writing this, but I don't know for sure.

This documentary had as its focus a poet, a man named Edwin Honig and it followed him on film through all the stages, even the very last one before you die; Stage 7.

At the start the viewer is asked to remember three words in order and at this moment in time, I do remember them, but throughout the film, it was a struggle for me and I'll try to explain it so you can understand what was going on in my brain, because even though it seems important, I don't understand why it should be.

Okay, the words are "chair", "tree" and "bird". As I just now wrote this, I hesitated maybe a second between each word to make sure. Is this important to you, that I had to make sure?

When the words appeared on the screen, I said to myself , "Piece of cake, Bill. Just associate the words with each other. A chair is made of wood, the wood comes from a tree, and a bird lives in that tree." With me so far, right?

So here's why I had to struggle with remembering: That damn word table kept wanting to creep in and I had to fight to make it stay out, so I wasn't really paying attention to what I was seeing, because I was working so hard to remember those three words and fighting against the table.

Okay, say it. You know you want to, so say it, dammit! Okay, I'll say it for you since we can't see each other: "Oh, that happens to me all the time, Bill!" Right? Didn't you want to say that? I knew you did and I know why, too. It was to make me feel better, wasn't it? I don't hate you for that, I don't hate anyone for that, but it does get under my skin something fierce, because you can't feel the struggle with me. And it (oh boy! I started a sentence with a conjunction! Sue me!) doesn't happen just once or twice a day, but pretty much throughout.

I have written about this before, I know, but it bears repeating: it's a struggle for us - those of us who have problems with short term memory, and so that's what I wanted to tell you, even though several minutes have now passed since I began this blog entry.

The name of the documentary is "First Cousin", and yes, I remember the words, although I had to stop typing, close my eyes and think them out loud.

This is my journal and maybe some day, someone will read it to me, but I fervently hope I can read it for myself.