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Archive for March, 2010

Reel Time

During a single 24-hour period this past weekend, I watched the following movies:

Back to the Future, Romancing The Stone, The Running Man, Transiberia, Inglorious Basterds, Twilight.

Man, I cannot wait for Fehmeen to get home from Napa and for Emma to get home from Sacramento.

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Did You Know

Did You Know That…

…when I was in high school I used to go to parties with a loaf of Wonder Bread.  I would then proceed to bet my inebriated friends that they couldn’t eat a single slice in under a minute.  Inevitably they would attempt to stuff the whole piece in their mouths at once.  Let the record show that I never lost that bet.

…the white part of Wonder Bread can be wadded up and used to erase marks made by a pencil.  You know you are going to try it when you get the chance.

…as an obnoxious eleventh grader playing piano for my school’s production of Grease I wanted to list my nickname in the program as White Wonder but settled for King Fingers instead.

…three of the four vehicles I have owned were white in color.  A 71 Camaro, an 85 Buick Regal, and a 98 Chevy S-10.  The other one was a blue 89 Chevy S-10.

…my score on  my driver’s license test was a barely passing mark of 71 (the lowest score allowed is a 70).  I knew a girl in my class named Kristina who got a 100 and a month after she got her license she rear-ended a parked bus.  Go figure.

…the one and only time that I took the written portion of the driver’s test I received an exact duplicate of the practice test I took the day before.  Would you believe that I got a perfect score on it.  And I completed it in about five minutes.  Boo-yah!

…every test I gave during my eight year teaching career had one question in common.  For one point, make sure to put your first and last name on the line on the top of this page.  At least once every three tests someone would forget to include one of their names.  And twice that error was the difference between an A- and a B+.

…I offered to give those two students the point back but they refused it out of principle.  They’re most likely at a prestigious institute of higher learning by now.

…I failed  a color blindness test when I was sixteen.  There was no way that there was a hidden number inside that big circle.

Not the actual test but a reasonable facsimile.

Typed by Katie.

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Emma Meets Doughnut

Emma enjoyed her first doughnut yesterday.

Chocolate with sprinkles. [That’s my girl]

She fed me a single pink sprinkle and then proceeded to peel and eat the yummy frosting atop the fluffy cake portion of the small piece of pastry that we gave her to feast upon.

Happy baby and happy daddy. Not so happy doughnut.

Not the actual donut.

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My Mulligan

If I could have fifteen minutes of my pre-ALS life back, what would I do?  Perhaps a game of catch with my dad.  Or maybe keeping score with my mom at a Giants game.  Or a lively conversation with Fehmeen over a warm-bread salad at Jardiniere would be the ticket.

As tempting as those options would be, I would elect to do something completely selfish with my “Mulligan” time.  I would lock myself in a room with a piano and I would play and sing an abbreviated set of the following four songs:

  1. Wonderwall by Oasis
  2. Tangled Up In Blue by Bob Dylan
  3. Imagine by John Lennon
  4. A Long December by The Counting Crows

I used to perform these tunes — as well as about a hundred others — in my classroom once all of my students had left for the day.  Although you would never mistake my crooning and noodling for an audition for Carnegie Hall, the place that the music took me was much more idyllic–at least in my mind–than any fabled concert hall could ever be.  In the short span of time that it took me to complete the brief set, not only was I able to drift away from the trials and travails of the teaching day, I also allowed myself the opportunity to submerge my spirit into some of the most beautiful music ever composed.

One piano, four songs, and full functionality of my hands, fingers, and voice for fifteen minutes. My Mulligan.

Getting my groove on. Photo courtesy of ALS Boy's private collection.

Typed by Robin.

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OMG, WTH, and even a little GTL – I cannot believe that you aren’t down with the Wiggles. To quote your niece, ‘Emma’s sad.’ Lucky for you, I’ve got the purr-fect video to get you started.

And J2, I am sorry, bro.

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Here is a list of the pills and vitamins — aka Daddy’s Little Helpers — that I take two times a day (unless otherwise indicated).

  • Baclofen – This is a muscle relaxer. I’ve upped my dosage from 20mg to 60mg and it has made all the difference.  No more spasticity in my legs and arms.
  • Rilutek – The only FDA-approved ALS drug on the market. Benefits are not well-known but it doesn’t hurt to try. Plus , if you let it dissolve in your mouth you get that numb-tongue feeling (reminiscent of that Clapton song from the seventies).
  • Avanir – My clinical trial drug. I can with absolute certainty attest that these pills control my fits of uncontrollable laughing and crying. I could not and would not want to live without it.
  • Omega Fish Oil, Vitamin B-12, CO-Q10, Florasmart – This is it for my vitamin regimen. Way less than the volume of horse pills Dr. Sarah had me on .
  • Fiber Gummies – I have gone from pooping twice a week to nearly once per day. Enough said on that subject.
  • Ensure – I am still not used to burping after having one of these poured down my feeding tube. Up to two cans a day.

And then there are the occasional trips to the movies with Bubba K., Mamoo, and Pinner.

Typed  with love by Michele W.

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Go Greyhound

It has been at least  twenty years since I last thought about this little experience. I don’t know why it popped into my head today, it just did.

I was seventeen in the summer of  ’86 when I boarded the Greyhound bus for my first solo road trip to Tahoe to visit my friend and her family. People were still allowed to smoke on the bus in those days and boy, did they ever! The kind  and courteous passengers on my motor-coach even thought enough about my well-being to pass me the community bottle of Schnapps that was making the rounds on that trip.  However, the thing I remember most about that six-hour ride was the woman who sat next to me. Every time we rolled by a construction crane she would get all hot and bothered and whip out her trusty Instamatic camera and snap off as many shots as she could. If memory serves me well, we saw about a dozen cranes of various sizes (and only one shape) that afternoon and she went crazy for each and every one.

To date, she has been the only crane fetishist I have ever encountered. On a Greyhound bus, that is.

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