Showing posts from June, 2007

Plate o' shrimp, vol. 5

I was just skypeing with my friend Brad who works at a company called HB Fuller that make glue, but which I persist in referring to as the Fuller Brush Company because I'm like that. Immediately after I hung up, my iPod shuffled to a James McMurtry song called "The Fuller Brush Man." This plate is compounded by the fact that I discovered James McMurtry's music about twenty years ago through Brad's recommendation. Damned cosmic unconsciousness. Cubed.

Great moments in my history

Thanks everyone for your support and kindness. It helped to read your comments periodically in the midst of my sad few weeks. I'm safely back in the UK, and will resume blogging after I make it through my weekend at school. Unless of course I am compelled to do a jetlag post in the middle of the night tonight.

Planning Funerals

We've been picking out hymns and suits to wear at the visitation and crematory urns for the ashes and cemetery plots with a good view. My dad passed away at 1 PM on Father's Day. He'd been in excruciating pain, which progressed as the week went on. By Thursday night we had to up the morphine dose so that he slept all the time, but at least he wasn't writhing in pain. Metastasized bone cancer is an ugly, ugly thing. On Friday, I spent the day with him. I sat in the comfy chair in his room and read him my Managing Strategic Innovation prep work and case study. I guess I'm assuming it was the morphine that kept him sleeping, but we'll never really know. On Saturday, my mom and I played scrabble by his bed most of the day. There were some rousing plays, especially since she refused to let me play 'squab' and 'nori' because these were not familiar words to her and we didn't have an official scrabble dictionary handy. I called her a dirty chea


This is the easiest way to update my friends, so I'm putting the info here. Dad is stable . He's having moments that seem lucid, but mostly he sleeps. The cancer has spread to his brain and this, combined with heavy narcotics, makes him a bit wacky. We've all perfected a sobbing laugh and have completely lost the ability to keep a thought in our heads. I made a holocaust reference AND a threesome joke at the funeral home when my brother and I were at our preliminary meeting last week. The former was in reference to 24 hour crematoriums ("How German of them,") the latter to the number of cremated people you can fit in a cemetery plot (my brother asked how many people fit in a plot, the funeral director said two but occasionally three, and I said that instances of three must be nontraditional relationships or Mormons.) Neither were particularly funny. They just came out. My brother opted not to make jokes, but instead asked questions about whether you can act


I'm catching a flight home in the morning. They're moving Dad to a hospice tomorrow, which means "nursing home" in a small town like my folks'. I'll be there by Thursday AM, and I'm hoping he's still pretty lucid and that I can have some quality time with him. The lucky thing about hospice is it never lasts very long. How's that for a horrific statement. I'm learning that times like these make all sorts of improbably awful statements seem reasonable. I know that most people outlive their parents so this is a common thing. I want to think it's like childbirth. That the next month is the really painful part, and that eventually you forget the pain and remember the good stuff. But almost as bad as the sorrow I'm feeling right now is watching the phantom pain I see when I talk to other people who've gone through this. You can tell who they are. Everyone shows a look of compassion. But people who've done this are, for just a s


Sorry for my absence. My dad's in the hospital. Only those who know me in real life know that he has advanced-stage prostate cancer and has been having chemo since early January. The side effects have been significant, and now they've checked him in to run some tests and to help control his pain. I'm waiting for a phone call from my brother to tell me if I need to get on a plane now, if I need to cancel my international study tour to Cuba on Sunday so I can be within easy reach, or if things aren't nearly as bad as they seem right now. I've got a big vocabulary. But I can't seem to find words that adequately express how profoundly awful this is. I'll be back when I have something else to say.

Blame it on The Jungle Book

I'd never actually figured it out before, but the other day it clicked when I was listening to the Talking Heads. I really like music that has a funky, interesting bass. I thought it was just that I like bass players, but actually it is the music they play that makes me happy. It is the common thread amid my varied music collection...the reason rockabilly/bluegrass and seventies funk make a two-headed lovechild in my schizophrenic iPod, the reason Walk This Way is one of my favourite songs and that I think Lovely Day is the best Bill Withers song. The reason we can forgive Paul McCartney for Ebony and Ivory. Why I have three versions of I Wanna Be Just Like You in my music collection. Tina Weymouth...the way, the truth, the light. Bill Wyman, now I know why I think the Stones broke up in 1993. Mark Rubin, you can ride a standup like nobody even if you are a sexy tattooed chunk of a man. Flea, I'll even put up with Anthony Kiedis for you. I need to develop a playlist o