Montana Falling

Ripper
My dad is a life-long smoker. I'm not sure he ever told me when he started but I know it was very young. All my life he's been a one to two pack a day Benson and Hedges Menthol smoker, sometimes lighting his cigarette with the butt of the last one. For at least a decade now he's had chronic emphysema, his colorful and deeply detailed stories of the past increasingly interrupted with hacking cough. As the years went he stopped telling them as often. He's always been embarrassed by any perceived weakness. My dad likes to be a tough guy. He's a terrible patient because he always refuses to admit he's sick. He's gone so far as the rip out his IVs and sneak out of the hospital.

Along with the emphysema he's got diabetes that he mostly ignores and two shoulder replacements from injuries sustained in helicopter crashes in Vietnam, his quality of life has been diminishing faster than it should. He turned 73 this year up in his cozy log cabin in the wilderness of northwest Montana. Retiring to a place filled with hunting and fishing was always his dream, one that his amazing wife Andi worked incredibly hard to attain for him. I don't even know what her dream was, maybe it was living with my dad and making him happy because that's what she's always done. It wouldn't be a stretch to say, and my dad would agree, that he doesn't deserve her. Andi's really an amazing woman, of this there is no doubt, though sometimes I questioned her judgement. She let my dad get away anything. They've never had any wealth and what they've earned has been used mostly to spoil my dad rotten. I wonder how much sooner they might have been able to buy that cabin and live the rural life if Andi had said no to dad's crazy impulses. All those crazy things made up who my dad was I guess and without them where would he get stories to tell. What would we remember about him if not for the things he did?

But still, I think about all the plans he had for his life at the cabin. He had a garage built with doors large enough that a helicopter could be moved in and out. He knew he could never afford his own helicopter, at least I think he did. Maybe he was like a little boy who just wished for something really hard and thought that was enough to make it happen. Consequently he kept every thing he thought he might be able to use in one of his plans. Everything had a monetary value that he would have to come up with at some point if he needed the item and having tossed it would have to spend to get it back. He kept everything. I helped him move it, minus the trash Andi and I could toss when he wasn't looking, all the way from Ojai California to Marion Montana. Everything was part of a plan that now he would be executing. I helped him move his fishing boat, the one he would spend weekends out at the Channel Islands mooring up at Smuggler's Cove to sleep off a day of fishing or hide out from a storm; helping him move it all the way to Montana where he planned to take it out on the lakes, probably to freak out the locals. That was another thing my dad loved doing, freaking out his friends. His pranks were sometimes elaborate but always infuriating and over the top. He once dropped cow pies out of a helicopter onto his best friend Wally and his customers in the transmission shop. He'd rig military surplus smoke grenades to explode when Wally opened the shop gates. I don't think mischievous is quite enough to describe the lengths he was willing to go to in order to pull off a prank.

None of it matters anymore. He didn't take care of himself and he waited too long. He wanted to spend his time fishing but emphysema, lack of oxygen, pain in his shoulders, and diabetes keep him too tired to go. The boat sits in the garage rotting away. Boxes and boxes of the pieces he was going to put together are becoming home to mice and bugs. His semi-rare motorcycle in pieces sits next to his beloved Corvette which hasn't started since it rolled up to the house. All of that time and all of those plans for nothing. I tell myself, at least he got the cabin; at least he made it. Maybe I never thought he would. But I guess I shouldn't have doubted Andi. She found a way to make it happen for dad.

And now it's over. His condition has deteriorated so badly that he's been in a care home for several weeks. He can't stand without falling but he wont stop trying to stand. He injured himself so badly he had to go to the hospital. Now he's got pneumonia as well. The worst of it is that dementia has sent in and he doesn't even realize he is sick. He thinks there is nothing wrong and he fights the doctors. He yells at them to get out of his house as he rips out the IV again and tries to get out of bed. They've tried to help him but they're saying he isn't going to get any better. He isn't ever going to go back to his cabin in the woods with his lovely loyal wife.

The ironic part is he hasn't asked for a cigarette the entire time he's been in the hospital, as if they were one of the things he's forgotten. I always thought he would die with a smoke on his hand or sitting on the ashtray.

LJ

fatherandson
Is it just a ghost town around here now? I haven't spent much time here because it's been easier to relieve the pressure behind my eyes with quick short inanities on Facebook, finding thinner but more numerous tendrils of connection in photos and reminiscences and chat. My problem with Facebook was the same problem I had with MySpace: having something to say was an afterthought, a tiny piece of the social-oriented whole. I guess that's where LiveJournal is massively superior. You can be social and chat here and comment and post pictures but the focus has always been on words. I do miss words.

50% More Hip

Ripper
I survived and am recovering nicely. Soon I will be kicking ass with turbo assist!

That is all.

Surgery Redux

freaky baby
Almost exactly six years after having my hip removed, the powers that be have decided to put one back in. In two weeks and a day I will go back under the knife and come out with some kind of metal, plastic, and cadaver bone hybrid hip. Supposedly this will give me better mobility and less pain. Let's just say that after the last surgery's debacle I am not as instinctively trusting of the doctor's optimism.

Anyone finding themselves in the Sacramento area from the 29th until whenever they let me go should feel free to come visit me at UC Davis Medical Center. From experience I can tell you that long stays in the hospital are very boring and visitors are appreciated. Of course, with wifi and an ipod I should be able to entertain myself enough to keep from weeping in sadness. =p

Oh and I probably wont be baking for awhile either, which makes me sadder than I thought it would. dammit.

November is always freaky.

fatherandson
You ever notice that? Cancer diagnoses come in November. And the return of old friends. Sort-of novels sort-of get written. Sometimes they don't. Normally freaky freaks me out. No really, it's true. I love my chaos but I've found I love it more in tiny bite-sized morsels, like chocolate chips in a cookie. Cookie isn't as good without them but too many and it ceases being a cookie. What was I saying again?

November

freaky baby
I read an essay at Salon detailing why NaNo is a waste of time and that non-writers should just give it up and accept their non-writer status. Unfortunately it was like a box cutter across the gut and now I am standing here in shock watching my motivation spill out onto my shoes.

Yup

NaNo
It's November and I am at it again. Currently behind schedule and lacking a head of steam I yet have faith I can pull it off.

Why why why

Ripper
Why don't I use this place anymore? I hardly even check my friends list. It must be the attention deficit as I've been laying all over Facebook and refusing to get up. It's just too easy to lurk and comment and occasionally post pictures or whatnot.

Maybe if I started writing more I might come back to the verbosity that I've always felt was LiveJournal's domain.

Hopefully any of you still reading love me anyway. =p

Jun. 17th, 2010

Ripper

Originally submitted at Adult Swim Shop

The Guild. Probably the most secretive collection of individuals ever to have an official handbook and promotional videos. Well, now they have their own hoodie as well. Wrap yourself in evil from head to waist with this warm, sturdy, cotton polyester blended piece of official business, and kick you...

The Venture Bros. Guild of Calamitous Intent Hoodie

Chock Full O' Nefariousness

By Evilbeard from Sacramento, CA on 6/17/2010

 

4out of 5

Pros: Lubricious, Comfortable, Soft, Flattering

Cons: Death Ray doesn't fit

Best Uses: VIllainy, Casual Wear

Describe Yourself: Scheming, Maniacal, Comfort-oriented

Being XL in size and 2XL in length I usually don't find shirts and hoodies that fit well in both but the Guild of Calamitous Intent hoodie seems to be just right.

Oh and the Police give me a wide berth when I am wearing it so villainy is much easier to accomplish.

(legalese)

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