Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sorry about the lull...

I don't think I've really ever typed the word "lull." Let's define it.
Lull: 1. calm by deception; 2. letup: a pause during which things are calm or activities are diminished; 3. become quiet or less intensive

Another word I really despise: healthful. Why can't you just say "healthy"?

And, currently Peter is in the other room trying to explain Zoolander to Grandmom. They're at the point in the movie when they have the "walk-off." Grandmom is trying her best to comprehend, but I think Zoolander might be a bit much for a 77 year-old to "get".

Anyway, Grandpop has been a bit bland lately. Therefore, there hasn't been a lot to write about but I'll do my best. I try to just write about the best of the best when it comes to Grandpop's craziness, and it's just become rather ordinary for Grandpop to ask me, "Are you going camping?" as I walk out the door. I mean, it's just so common for him to ask such ridiculous questions that it has become the norm.

So when I drove Grandmom's car to Massachusetts Grandpop was apparently bugging her the whole time about when the next inspection sticker was due on the car. When I got back to Delaware I looked at the license plate and the inspection is good until October 31, 2008. Grandpop told Grandmom that I had told him that I was driving their car to Colorado in the morning, so I needed to go get an inspection before I left. Of course, none of this was true. So, Grandpop comes outside and asks me when the inspection is due and I tell him, October 31, 2008. He looks at me for a second, and you can tell he's really concentrating, and then he asks, "What year is it again?"
I tell him it's 2008 and he says, "Ok, so we've got 2 weeks before we need an inspection?" "No," I reply, "October is 9 months away." Then he says, "If you say so," which is one of his favorite saying lately. He never believes anyone who still has an actual short-term memory, and he says it like such a Grade-A dickhead.

On the news the other night Terry Morran was covering a story on the Democratic primaries. Grandpop says, "They're all votin' for him, huh?" Funny Grandpop assumes the news anchor is running for president.

We were sitting in the office the other day, which looks out on the front yard and street. A car drives down the street and Grandpop says, "There's a car in our driveway!" When we tell him that the car was just driving down the street he says, "Oh, I thought I was in the backyard."

Gus was dropping off a bunch of his latest buys the other night and I overheard Grandpop telling Grandmom that he thought someone was in the driveway. I poked my head out of the bathroom and said that Gus was here dropping some stuff off. I close the door and get ready to take a shower and Grandpop starts knocking on the bathroom door asking, "Gus? Are you in there? Who's in there?" And I had seriously just talked to him, to his face, from 5 feet away, 4 seconds prior to that.

When we had quiche the other night Grandpop asks, "Is this chocolate?" "No George," Grandmom says, "It's quiche and it needs to cool." "WHAT?" he says, "Why are we going to the pool?"

When the news was talking about the NY Philharmonic playing in North Korea, Charlie Gibson wrapped up the segment saying that North Korea was allowing Eric Clapton to play sometime soon there, and that he'll be the first Western rockstar to ever play there. Grandpop chuckles and asks, "What's a rockstar?" Grandmom and I sigh and she actually explains to him what a rockstar is, even though she references Elvis as "contemporary." Grandpop asks, "When was that invented? In the 1920's?"
Dude, if you don't know what a rockstar is in the year 2008, you are seriously behind on like 50 years of pop-culture.

I overheard Grandpop walk into the office where Grandmom was playing bridge on the computer and Grandpop says to her, "Peggy, I need you to come turn off this machine in the other room." I love it how anything that was invented in the past 100 years is referred to as a "machine" and anything that can hold something else is a "container." Anyway, she tells him to get Peter to turn off the "machine" since she was playing bridge and didn't feel like getting up. Grandpop says, "Peter doesn't know how to turn the machine off." Come to find out Grandpop was talking about this crazy new invention we call the "television." Eventually Peter was actually able to turn off the machine. Grandpop just underestimates what his children and grandchildren are capable of. But he means well. (And I hope he lives to 115. Sarcasm, what sarcasm?)

When Peter, Gus and Margaret were over cooking for Gourmet last Saturday Grandpop was going hysterical over all of the action in the kitchen. He kept asking what everyone was doing and why they had to make so much noise. Peter asked Grandmom what she was going to have for dinner and she said the following so nonchalantly, so naturally, that it made me laugh for a solid minute. "I don't know," she said, as if she was really thinking about it, "I think I'll just give him some arsenic and call it a night." Oh Grandmom, you are the best person in the entire world.

That's the latest as of now. Hopefully I'll get a job very soon, and then move into my own apartment. The result will be a major lack of stories about Grandpop and his "pain-in-the-ass-ness" but it will result in a saner life for me. Enjoy my misery!

Friday, February 29, 2008

It has been a while- sorry

I'm going to update in a few days here, sorry I've been busy.
First I spent the lovely President's Day weekend in Massachusetts with Mike.
Then I headed to Colorado for a week.
Now that I'm back I need to gather some more interactions with Grandpop.

Until then, check out this crazy link about the St.Paul Bouncing Team.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where do I even begin?

I can say this over and over again, but it's hard to figure out when to let Grandpop just say what it is he has to say, and when it's worth your time to tell him he's completely wrong.

For instance; last night it was sleeting and Mike came over to help me move this sofa that I had found in the trash (that's another story)out of the van and onto the porch. So it's obviously not ideal traveling conditions but Mike is still going home from Wilmo to Newark none-the-less, and I decide to ride with him to his apartment. Grandpop has no idea what he's talking about, as usual, and says that we're just asking to get killed as we drive on the roads because, as he says, "there are over 2 inches of snow on all of the roads in New Castle county." First of all, the roads were bad, but with a very thin sheet of ice, and what's the point in arguing with someone who truly believes what their delusional mind randomly spurts out on a regular basis?

For instance this morning around 11.30 Grandpop said that there were a few inches of sleet on the ground, as he could see it falling all morning. When Aunt Liz and I informed him that it was 41 degrees and what he was seeing was rain, he merely laughed at us- because, obviously, we we're the crazy people.

And what is it with him that drives him to be this extreme pessimist?
Every time I come or go I ask, "How's it going?" and his usual response is, "Improving." Well, after a few months of "improving," wouldn't you think that he's pretty damn super by now? He never says, "I'm ok," or "Not too bad." I mean he's seriously like the Debbie Downer of the 1920's generation.

I found this really nice porch furniture couch the other day down the street and I loaded it into his van to bring it home. The next day he kept asking me and Grandmom things like, "What's wrong with the sofa if someone is throwing it away? It must be filled with disease and feces."

Of course, this is the man who has trash-picked his whole life- but as long as he's doing it, there can be no harm done. I mean seriously though, this was obviously just some person who got sick of their porch furniture and put it on the curb. This is Sharpley, not the fucking Red Light district. There were no cum stains or lingering urine odors, but he just had to be negative about someone as benign as finding something free in the trash.

But on to other subjects.

Because Grandpop is completely unable to do literally anything on his own, without being a major pain in the ass, life can be unbearable when you're around him and he's supposed to complete some menial task. For instance; the other day Grandmom told him to make himself a sandwich, which he rarely ever does. After opening nearly every drawer and cabinet looking for a plate and the bread he finally began making his ham and swiss sandwich. Now this is the man who watches me with the eyes of a hawk when I'm making a sandwich and whistles, out loud, at me when I put more than 3 slices of ham on a sandwich. So on his sandwich he puts literally, an inch of ham followed by an inch of swiss cheese. This sandwich was so big that had he been charged by the pound for that meat and cheese at the deli counter, that would have been a $5 sandwich. After eating half of it he had to take a fork and knife to the other half because it was so massive.

When dinner came that night he was asked to put out napkins for everyone and proceeded to put a single tissue on everyone's plate.

The next morning he started his breakfast with a banana as usual. This time, though, he forgot that you usually peel your banana before you cut it into slices, and decided to cut his banana peel and all.

Surprisingly, the banana didn't help him get his bowels moving, which surely couldn't be linked by his incredibly water-free diet. When I had the joy of buying him an enema at Happy Harry's later that day I soon found that enemas come in an array of choices; just like you would find with cough medicine or eye-drops. Enemas can come in the generic "saline rinse," or the latex-free "saline rinse." They can come in "mineral oil," or "Super Extra," size. Or, for the salt and latex allergy customer you can go for the "Super Mineral Oil- Latex Free- Extreme Value," enema. Who knew how many kinds of enemas were available to the Freedom-loving American consumer?

Luckily, Grandpop was able to pass a BM without the enema, but good thing, in his own words, "It'll [the enema] still be good for the next time I need it."

Another sun rises over the Eriksen household at 326 Spalding Rd. and Grandpop decides he wants to be useful, so Grandmom tells him he can help by emptying the trashcans throughout the house.

He begins with emptying his own bathroom's trashcan into a big bag and then asks Gradmom what he's supposed to do with "this container." If you have a good memory you might remember that Grandpop refers to any "noun" that might hold another "noun" as a "container."

So, Grandmom tells his that "container" is called a trashcan and that it goes right back where he found it- which just so happens to be directly at his feet.

Grandmom says, "Go empty the other bathroom's trashcan too." To which Grandpop asks, "This room?"
"No," she says, "This is called a bedroom. I want you to go into the other bathroom and empty that trashcan."
"There's another bathroom?" he asks.
All I can think is "Wow." How can you not know that another bathroom that you use several times a day isn't ingrained into your memory?

Speaking of that bathroom and constipation business Grandpop continues to have trouble with his stools. He tells Grandmom that she needs to make an appointment with his urologist to dilate his urethra. If you don't know what this means, God bless you. If you do, then you might wonder why you would ask to have a rod shoved up your penis to help you take a shit. Well, Grandmom asks him how does he think seeing the urologist will help him with his bowels- and finally after a while he gives in and says that maybe he should see someone besides the urologist for constipation problems.

In other news...

Grandmom was telling me about the importance of having marsala wine in the house for certain recipes, like wine sauces. When we started talking about how important it is to have wine in the house for cooking she said, "You know, there are some people who don't really, at all. (Pause) I don't really know any of them, but they're out there."- Oh Grandmom...

And, let it be known that I truly hate when people use the word "uproarious" to describe a movie. If you have to stoop to that word then it means that movie isn't worth seeing. And on that subject, movie reviewers are worthless people. Unless you know that someone has the same exact taste as you in movies, there's no point in listening to what anyone else has to say about anything- be it movies, music, books or art.

And, if you know me this comes as no surprise- but I am a bit crazy. I find it truly fun when I get to run outside and scream at the squirrels who are eating all of the birdseed, and get to send their little hearts into heart-attack mode.

And to finish things up...
The other day as G-Mom was flipping through the channels and she ended up on ET there was this "reporter" interviewing these anorexic twins from Australia who had gained weight and were on the road to recovery. When she asked this question I wondered to myself, why did i even go to college if I could do this job. The question the "reporter" asked the twins was, "Did you kind of realize that you need to eat to live?"

In case you never knew that you actually need food to survive, now you know that food in an essential part of living.

Well that's all for now, and since I'm going on vacation for a while probably no updates for a while. Thanks for those who read, and take as much joy in my misery as possible, because someone ought to benefit from it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Grandpop slept in until 11.30 today...

Grandpop is usually always up by 9, but when 10 came and he was still sleeping I asked Peter if we should go check for a pulse.
"I already looked," Peter said. "And he was breathing."
I wonder at what age do most people think that if someone has slept past 10, it might mean he or she is dead.

I wonder what it's like to eat your breakfast, have your dirty plate, knife and container of lox in front of you and then when asked, "How was breakfast?" have absolutely no memory of what you ate 5 minutes ago. Or worse, as in his case, not even remembering eating.

What is happening in a brain that sets out 3 knives for each person for dinner? No forks. Just 3 butter knives.

When watching Jeopardy the other night there was a clue about Emily Dickinson's life; birth 1830-death 1886.
Grandpop said about it: "Yeah she died in an automobile accident." (The Ford model T didn't come out in 1908)

As you may know Grandpop got a new eye recently, and with it came a solution for cleaning the eye- while it's out of your socket. Basically it's like eye Windex. But, Grandpop tries to drop it directly into his eye- while it's still in the socket. So Grandmom helps him out and tells him to pop out the eye and she cleans it off, hands him his eye to go rinse in the sink, and gives him the eye Windex to put away.
"So I put this in my eye?" he asks, regarding the eye Windex. (Even though his eye is in his hand.)
"No, George, it's for cleaning your prosthesis," Grandmom says.
"Well where's that?" he asks.
"It's in your hand and you're going to drop it if you don't hold on tight."
"So I need to wash off my eye?"
"Yes George, and DO NOT drop that thing down the garbage disposal."

How many other people do you hear tell their spouse not to drop their eye down the garbage disposal? It's a whole 'nother world in this house.

Thank god Peter has been around so much these past few weeks, so Grandpop has someone else to watch and nag besides myself. It's funny to hear, now and then, Peter say, "I know what I'm doing Dad, I'm 55 years-old." Who knew at that age your dad might still be nagging you about something like leaving early enough to make it to the car-repair before it closes. Because, as Grandpop knows, you need to leave at least 45 minutes early to make a 4 mile trip.

But, Grandpop is always right, so there's no point in arguing. Another reason why not to argue: Grandpop won't even remember what you're arguing about 2 minutes into the discussion. And even if you're right- he won't remember having the discussion anyway.

Oh the brain is a crazy little thing.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Peggy, I'm going to the bathroom...

I don't know why, but Grandpop finds it necessary to tell us every single time he gets up from the table, that he's headed to the bathroom. As if we didn't know that it had been 20 minutes since he last hit up the WC, and was obviously due for another sad attempt at a pee. Or, maybe he needs to go #2 again, which is quite often, as I can tell from the demonic sounds that come out of him on a semi-hourly basis. You would think that maybe he might wonder why he's not had a solid BM in a dozen years. I might be able to give some insight into this realm of "fluffy" stools. First off, let us analyze Grandpop's liquid diet.

Upon waking up Grandpop will consume: several cups of coffee
For lunch Grandpop will consume: several more cups of cold coffee
Anytime after 4 pm-ish Grandpop will consume: Yuengling Lager, by the can, approx. 3-4 cans
At no time during the day will Grandpop consume: water

Funny that he was a doctor for all those years, yet he never, ever drinks water. There have been several times that Grandpop has asked me to use Grandmom's diabetic insulin monitor because he says I'm obviously diabetic, since I actually let pure H2O into my body on a regular basis. One time, just to get him to shut up for a few days, I took my blood sugar- and of course it was fine.

Anyway, it's probably a good thing Grandpop has to get up and pee/go #2 so much during the day; the walking probably makes up for a good 30% of his daily exercise. And, he's keeping the economy going strong by using up lots of American made TP.

And on to other exciting topics.

Several weeks ago when Dana was visiting Grandmom got on to the topic of babies with colic, and apparently(uncle) Lief (1st born out of 8) was one of those wonderful babies. A hilarious discussion about colic ensued, and although talks with my Grandmom can never be duplicated, I can try my best to repeat her stories with enthusiasm.

So, Lief is born and he doesn't stop crying. He cries, and cries, and cries some more. Colic is supposed to go away somewhere around 3 months, but after 3 months the crying doesn't stop so Grandpop declares that Lief will stop crying by the 6 month mark. Another 3 months pass, and although Grandmom hasn't pulled her hair out, she's on the verge of doing so, since the kid is still crying- ceaselessly.

After 6 months of crying Grandpop says that maybe Lief will stop crying in a few months more. (I don't know about you, but I can barely stand a baby crying in the store for more than a few minutes- let alone months, with an "s", on end.) About 9 months in to this never ending sob session Peg and George decide to go visit Aunt Shirley in Wisconsin. This was back in the days before super highways and fast food. Somewhere, about 1/2 way into the trip Grandmom and Grandpop are getting gas and ask the attendant if he could suggest a good place to eat. He gives them the address of a club nearby, and tells them to drop his name so they can get in. Now this is a really nice club, and the baby is actually quiet for once so they go in and place their order. And then Lief starts wailing. Since they've already placed their order they can't just get up and go, but on the other hand, this is a nice place and people are giving them looks. Luckily, the waiter enters the scene to save the day, and works his magic as Jesus would if he were present.
"May I take your baby?" the waiter asks.
"You can do whatever you want with him," my Grandma replies.
The crying baby is whisked away to the kitchen, or what Grandmom assumes was the kitchen, she can't quite recall. What she could recall was solitude, for once.
She said she could hear faint cries from the back, but the food and peace was too good to care too much about her first born son.
After finishing their meal the waiter promptly brought the baby back, wherever it had been, and they were on their way again.

On this same trip Grandmom and Grandpop spent the night at a hotel/motel of sorts and were trying to relax for the night but this goddamn baby still wouldn't stop with the crying. No matter what they did; be it rock him and pat his back, or sing to him and smile and "coo," this kid wouldn't shut up. They ended up taking his crib and shoving it in a closet. She remembers that the door wouldn't shut all the way, but it was enough so that it wasn't unbearable to fall asleep.

I took Grandpop to the doctor's office for a check-up after he had several spots removed from his face. The surgeon who does these procedures is a cosmetic surgeon and he has 3 sizes of breast implants sitting on the secretary's counter. On the wall there are also an array of pamphlets offering information about how you can fix all of the ugly things on your body. Laser hair removal, nose jobs, male breast reduction, veneers/ tooth bleaching, face lifts, Botox- anything you can imagine about yourself that's ugly- they can make it better for you.

So as I'm waiting for Grandpop to get his post-op check out, a girl comes in with two friends; a girl, and a gay guy.

The 20 minute conversation summed up into several main highlights goes as follows:

"So, as soon as you recover, we've got to go out to the bars and get all the free drinks from guys that we can handle."- says girl friend

"I didn't really think it would hurt so much." Says boob job recipient. (Of course it's not going to hurt when you get gigantic sacs of goo inserted into your tits, followed by stitches.)

"I went over to this guy's house the other day and I ended up spending the night. In the morning we saw this lizard with RED EYES looking at us from across the room. I was so fucking freaked out that I got up on the couch and started screaming, because I knew that that fucking lizard was crawling all over me last night. I knew that that lizard was crawling on my face and was giving me scabies. I jumped up and ran outside and down the driveway and just balled. He came outside and told me I needed to grow up, since it was a plastic lizard someone had put there. He found that out after he tried to kill it by smashing it with a fly swatter, but it wouldn't die. I was SO scared you guys. I was scared for my life."- Girl friend of boob-job recipient

"So now that I got my boobs done do you think you're finally going to get your nose job that you've always talked about?"- Says boob-job recipient
"Well, Tara and I always talked about getting our noses done together, but now that I think about it, I might want to get veneers or something, or maybe laser hair removal. It's so hard to decide."- Friend of boob-job recipient

The more these people talked, the more I wanted B101 playing on the radio to kill me before I had to do it to myself. As if Celine Dion, John "Cougar" Mellencamp and "Botox and You!" pamphlets weren't enough to deal with in this disgusting, sterile office.

I have no idea why the gay friend was there too. All I heard him say the whole time was, "So, do they feel natural?"
"Well," she said, "they feel kind of hard, and I can't really feel them at all. But, as long as they're bigger that's all that matters."

True that girl friend.

And on to matters of hats...
The other day after going to the lawyers Grandpop couldn't find his hat. He kept asking everyone if they had seen it, and everyone kept telling him to relax- that it would show up.
I was doing work on the computer and Grandpop comes in and tell me, "John, I'm looking for my hat. Someone has put it in a drawer somewhere and the brim is getting bent. They told me not to put it in the closet, so they hid it, and now we can't find it."
Of course I know that 98% of what he's talking about is completely insanity. The only truth to all that he said is that he can't find his hat.
Peter hears him talking to me about the hat so he goes outside and finds it in the van. He brings it to Grandpop and tells him to relax- the hat is fine.
Grandpop comes in and tell me, "John you can stop looking for my hat. (Not that I was anyway.) I found it in the bathroom."

On the news the other night there was a story from Iraq, accompanied by pictures of usual life from Baghdad. Grandpop asks, "Is this a picture from space?"

Grandpop hates eating any food that requires prep at the table. This means he despises Mexican food of all sorts: tacos, fajitas, burritos, etc.
We had fajitas the other day and Grandmom made a fajita for him, knowing he would be lost doing it himself. She gives him his fajita on his plate and he asks,
"Is this food, or is it cotton?"

In regards to the news of the government giving out rebates to bolster the economy Grandpop asks, "Are they talking about a horse race?"
"No George," Grandmom replies, "It's about getting money from the government."
"If they give out that money then they're gonna run out of beer and they better hire more people for the ER," Grandpop says.
"You're saying everyone's going to go get drunk if the government gives people money?" Grandmom asks him. "George, you see the gloomy side of everything- and you don't even know what the hell is going on."

And she's right.

And this is just a glimpse into the average day at 326 Spalding Rd. Hope your days are just as much fun.

PS- I'd love to hear some comments.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grandpop got a new eye, and it only cost $2,300.

Grandpop has been more than off his rocker lately- he's broken the rocker and he can't sit in it any more. And, he can't find another place to sit. In other words, Grandpop is REALLY crazy.

Grandmom sends Grandpop out to the garage to get a jar of spaghetti sauce and five minutes later he comes back with a can of tuna. She sends him back out, telling him again, "A JAR OF SPAGHETTI SAUCE, IT'S RED, IN A JAR!" Another five minutes pass, and this time, he brings her an empty beer can. Crazy that he can't remember what someone told him 7 seconds ago.

Grandmom gives Grandpop a basket of laundry to fold, since it keeps him busy for at least 30 minutes, so she can play bridge in peace on the computer. He kept asking her where everything goes and she told him to just put it in a pile and she'll look at it later. "Peggy," he says, "I need you to look at these pants with the built in bra."

Today, Grandmom was talking about the annoying beeping sounds that commercial trucks make when they back up. Grandpop jumps in and asks, "Does that mean that they come and give you a present?" (He commonly asks completely nonsensical questions.)

Grandmom was flipping through the channels the other day and ended up on Seinfeld when Grandpop asks, "Who is this man?"
"Seinfeld," Grandmom tells him.
"Felix Conzo?" Grandpop asks.
"No George, I said Seinfeld. And how the hell did you get Felix Conzo out of that?"

The other day when I was trying to get the last bit of mustard out of the mustard bottle Grandpop told me, "You're gonna break that knife. you better get yourself a toothbrush to get that out."
I replied with, "Well I don't want to break my toothbrush now do I?"

At dinner we were eating boneless skinless chicken breasts and Grandpop kept complaining about all of the bones he was biting into, even after we told him there weren't any bones in it. Then he asked what the tortellini was, so we told him.
He replied with what was seemingly funny to him: "Shortelinni? How about LONG-elinni?"

Around Christmas, when Lief and Marguerite were visiting, we noticed some Jehovah's Witnesses walking around the neighborhood. Grandpop asked about their intentions/purpose. Of course any sort of interaction between Grandpop and Marguerite is bound to be interesting and their exchange went like this:
Marguerite: They come selling Jesus in your home.
Grandpop: Well tell 'em he's already been here!

When Grandpop was served his eggs one recent morning he went about slicing one square inch of butter and promptly placing the entire cube on his eggs.

Heard from the hallway: "Peggy, where should I put this advertisement for urinary control? I don't need it now, but I might in the future."

I was vacuuming the other day and Grandpop comes up to me and says,
"I was wondering what that noise was. What are you doing?"
"I'm vacuuming," I say, because it wasn't obvious enough when he saw the fucking vacuum I was using.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Attic floorplan"

Grandmom hands Grandpop a pretzel with chocolate and nuts on top, and instead of eating it he keeps turning it over, wondering what he's supposed to do with it.
"I'm trying to figure out if this is cooked or if it's a wire," he says.

When I was putting some luggage in the attic Grandpop kept pestering me about what I keep putting up in the attic. He kept saying "Well, I, uhh, I just, welll, I, If someone asks me what's in the attic I don't know whose is what's and where..." And he kept saying he needs to know whose boxes are where so he doesn't get the wrong thing out of the attic. (Nevermind that he's never even been in the attic in the 5+ years they have lived there.) So, he tells me that I need to make a map of the attic, so nobody takes anything out of there that's not theirs. So, just to get him to shut up and stop pestering me I tell him I'll make him a map. I draw out a little map showing where a few things are, just to satisfy him. When I present him with the map, he asks how he's supposed to remember what it is. I tell him that's for him to worry about, and he finally writes on the top, "Attic floorplan," because my label of "attic" wasn't thorough enough. Then he starts following me around, trying to come up with some words, asking something else about the map. He finally comes up with the words to ask me where he should keep the map so he doesn't forget it, and I tell him, again, that that's his problem. He finally decides that the best place for it is taped to the inside of the attic steps, which I do for him, and he declares that when he goes up there next time (Which will be never) he won't "have to look like an ass" (in his own words) when he brings down the wrong furniture. (Although there's no way he could even bring something the size of an orange down the steps of the attic without falling the whole way down.)

I was taking a dirty spoon off the table to put in the dishwasher and Grandpop yells, "Don't throw that spoon away!" I reply that I wasn't going to throw it away and Gradmom chimes in with "George, your mind is so warped and it's not just your dementia, I think it's warped from your childhood."

Paul was throwing out the paper the sub came wrapped in and Grandpop yells at him, "Why did you throw that sandwich away?"
"That was the paper," Paul says. (That must have been a REALLY flat sub, you know?)
"Oh," Grandpop says, "I thought you threw away a perfectly good sandwich." (Because he ALWAYS has to get the last word, ask Grandmom.)

And last, but not least this has nothing to do with Grandpop but it's worth mentioning anyway.
When I took Grandmom to the bank a few days before Christmas this dude in a wheelchair, (who was probably in his mid 40's, who couldn't hold his head up, and who could barely speak and be understood,) kept telling the bank teller that she was giving him the wrong change. Then, when they finally figured out the problem she told him to have a good day, but instead of wheeling himself away he kept babbling to this nice, young, good looking woman who was being very kind to him, even though she could barely tell what he was talking about. Finally I hear him ask, "Are you single?", which I couldn't fucking believe he just asked that, since it was like something out of a movie. When she replied "No," very nicely he then asked her, "Do you have any sisters?" She told him no, and then he told her how pretty she was and finally wheeled himself out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

He said we only gave him a "chicken foot" for dinner

First, a major event may (or may not have) have taken place in the recent past. Today when Grandmom went to play bridge with the girls she was informed by Mary Pat that when she (Mary Pat) went to Fairfax Liquors the other day to buy a new case of King William IV Blended Scotch Whiskey (aka King William) that she was informed by the cashier that; 1. He could only sell her 5 bottles and not a full case because, 2. King William scotch is going to be discontinued.
If you happen to know my dear grandmother, you would know just how major of an apocalyptic event this is. Even more insane in that King William does not have a website, and it was very difficult to find a phone number of the distributor (United Distillers of Stamford, CT). Upon calling Total Wine, they too are out, but might get another shipment in the future. Tomorrow we will call the distributor to see if this is all some "cockamamey bullshit," as Grandmom would say. Seriously folks, this has been my grandmother's drink of choice for around 50 years. Apparently some of the other women in bridge said they think their local liquor stores carry it, so we might just have to go to every liquor store in the area and buy as many cases of it as possible.
When the woman at Total Beverage said we might be able to special order some King William I said we might need about ten. "Ten bottles?" she asked. "No, no, no, no, no," I replied, "At least ten cases if they aren't going to be making this stuff any more." Updates to come...

On to the lesser important things in life... (I seriously love ellipses, and dashes, and admit to overusing them, especially for an English major. But, why can't I just call it my poetic license?)

When Grandmom told Grandpop to empty the dishwasher today she noticed that the dishes she had told him to turn on earlier in the day were still dirty. When he kept pestering her about whether or not the dishes were dirty she stopped responding to him, because she was so annoyed with him, quite obviously. So, he takes a dirty plate out of the dishwasher and asks her to move away from the sink so he can "Clean off the back of this dish so I can eat off it."
"It hasn't been washed, George! I told you that ten times already, they need to be cleaned because they're ALL dirty."
"Oh," he says, "Well I didn't know that."
I was sort of surprised that she didn't pull a "Garden State," and push him backwards over the dishwasher.

Yesterday, when Grandmom and I were talking about the court date for Gus and Beth's divorce-related stuff Grandpop asks, "I didn't know John was getting divorced."

Yesterday for our main entree we had these Parmesan-chicken breast thing-a-things, which came pre-prepared, with 3 in each package. We also had acorn squash and something else, I forget what it was. As usual, Grandpop ended up slopping all of his food into a big mess of a pile, and if it isn't already hard enough for him to distinguish broccoli from English Muffins, he can never tell what's on his plate when he mixes it all around. So, he eats all of his chicken and then when he's done he asks for more meat, to which Grandmom replies that there isn't any more.
"Well I didn't get any," he says in a very sure-of-himself, asshole kind of way.
Of course I didn't try to tell him otherwise, since there's no point in arguing with him.
Grandmom tells him that he actually did eat an entire chicken breast to which he says, "Well if I had any chicken at all, it was only a chicken foot."

Also, if anyone is in need of a wonderful doctor, indeed the best who EVER lived, I'm sure Grandpop would gladly see you, as he's accepting new patients now. In fact, if you're one of those people seeking a doctor who tells them that drinking water and exercise aren't necessary for a healthy lifestyle, then he's the one for you! Every time I ride my bike Grandpop always asks Grandmom why I ride my bike.
"He likes the exercise," Grandmom says.
"Oh," says Grandpop, "sure."

Monday, December 17, 2007

If you don't tell Grandpop it's time to eat, then he doesn't remember to do it hilmself

Life with Grandpop is excruciating, as you all of know (I know there are tons of you out there reading this seldom updated blog). He's a major pain in the ass from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep. You can't even get him out of your hair by giving him some menial task, because he screws up every single job you give him. For instance, Grandmom told him to grind up some pepper in the mill so we could put it in the empty shaker. Now how hard is it to turn a handle and then pour the pepper into a shaker? Obviously it's really hard for him. When we gave him this task a few weeks ago he proceeded to spill all of the pepper he had ground up, onto the floor. Then he took the top and handle off the mill, lost the nut keeping it in place, and poured the blade into the empty shaker- but of course no pepper made its way into there. So, after we, or should I say I, searched the floor and found the nut and finally reassembled the mill he attempted to sweep up the pepper on the floor. Yet again, he said he couldn't find the dustpan, even though it was attached directly to the handle of the broom. And all of this was simply 5 minutes in his agonizing day.

A few days ago I was in my room, with the light on, ten feet from him in the hallway. For some reason he thinks I'm on the computer, even though there's nobody in the room, and he starts asking "me" "What page are you on?" (His usual question whenever you're on the computer.) When "I" didn't respond, you know, because I wasn't physically in that room, he walked farther into the room and realized he wasn't talking to anyone. And then he just turned and walked away.

Peter hands Grandpop a chocolate covered pretzel to eat. Grandpop asks, "How do you eat this thing?" Peter replies, "You stick it in your mouth and you chew."

One night as I was making salad Grandpop asked me, "Are you going on a trip?" "No," I replied, "I'm making a salad."

Today I was putting some chips on my plate at lunch and he barks, "Are you throwing them away?" I say, "No, I'm eating them. Why would I be throwing them away when I'm putting them on my plate?" "Well," he says, "You opened the bag, and, uh, what are they anyway?"

Grandmom tells Grandpop to throw away a dying flower arrangement. Grandpop asks her, "are you sure you don't want to put them in your purse?"

Grandpop was looking all around the table and Grandmom asks what he's searching for. He says, "Well, there's two settings on the salt shaker, and I need the needlepoint one." "I can't help you there George," she says, "because none of that makes any sense."

When the TV news was talking about a mall shooting Grandpop asks, "What's that? A delivery boy caught on fire?"

Grandmom was making a pot pie and after chopping up lots of ingredients she declares that she'd just rather buy a Marie Calendar's ready-bake one instead.
"What kind of pot?" he asks.
"A pot pie!" she yells back.
"What's that?" he says again.
I say, "It's a pot pie ready made out of the box."
"What's that?" he says AGAIN. "In a can?"
Grandmom says, "NO GEORGE! In a box, like we just said 3 times!"
Then he says, "You got to put that in a hot bath?"
"No," Grandmom says, "a microwave."
"Yeah," he says back, "that helps you see it better."
(Conversations like this are pretty normal- despite how it doesn't make ANY sense at all.)

When Grandmom made pancakes, sausage and broccoli for dinner the other night Grandpop asked if that was it for dinner.
"Yes," she said, "Sorry I don't feel like making anything else, but if you want more then get off your ass and make it yourself."
"Well, this is ok I guess," he mumbles. Then he sees us putting syrup on our pancakes and he says something in a real asshole kind of way like usual. It was something along the lines of, "I want to try some of that too, if you don't use it all first." (Despite it being a freshly opened bottle. He just likes being a dickhead, because that takes the least amount of effort for him. It just comes naturally. It's just one of his many gifts, like the gift of "nag.")
So Grandmom hands him the syrup and says, "Here, just put it on everything, since you said you never got to try it before. Put it on your broccoli for all I care."
And the funny thing is, he did.

Grandpop was complaining about being cold, as usual. So he proceeds to get him and go close the door from the porch to the garage. He comes back inside, sits down and says, "There, that's better now."

I got out the knife sharpener and was reading the very specific instructions when all of the sudden Grandpop turns it on and just starts shoving a knife into all of the slots, randomly. I tell him that there's important instructions to follow and he tells me he knows what he's doing. So, I take it away from him so I can sharpen my pocket knife and when I finally finish he says, "That sounds better." I don't know about you, but when I sharpen a knife I usually say something like, "Sharper. Good." But I guess I'm just not as skilled as Grandpop in the fine art of hearing knifes make their natural sounds.

And last, but not least. Today when Grandpop was going through the mail he reads an envelope addressed to me aloud, "John Hinkson. Now who's that?"

Hopefully this blog can bring the pleasures of everyday life with Grandpop to those of you who are not lucky enough to access such a wonderful life of merriment and goodwill. Enjoy your holidays, as I'm sure I will with Grandpop delighting and complimenting everyone along the way. I'll write back soon to tell you all of the caring and helpful things Grandpop did over Christmas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

He's really, really out of it

If you're one of the very few people who reads this, I'm sorry it has been so long since my last update. I've been quite busy with job-searching, and it makes me want to scream. Anyway here are some of Grandpop's latest, most bizarre moments and sayings.

Whenever I'm on the computer doing job-related things Grandpop will come ask me a number of completely out-there questions, such as: What alphabet are you on now?; Who's winning?; Did they get you? and more. One day, as I'm messing with my resume he asks me what I'm doing, but upon my reply he doesn't understand because he doesn't know what a resume is. He says, "Oh so that's a pat on the back. You going swimming?"

Grandmom asks Grandpop to go get an onion. He asks, "Where's the onion tree?"

Sometimes when the phone rings he "answers" the remote control. (Even though the remote is black with pink and blue buttons, as opposed to the phone which is white, has an antenna and a screen.)

The other day he asked me, "What year is this? 10?" He really said "ten," I kid you not.

One afternoon I walk in on him sweeping some dirt onto a bank statement that he was using as a dustpan. This is because he couldn't find the dustpan, even though it was literally attached to the handle of the broom.

Today (11/19) Grandpop tried to put 2 AA batteries into an electric can-opener. I had to tell him how to do every step of the process, and it took him at least 10 minutes. He said he hadn't put any batteries into anything in 5 years. (Not true.) After a painful eternity of watching him then try to put the plastic back on again he said he didn't know where the "device" went. He then started looking up along the top edges of the walls. I finally figured out that he thought it was a smoke detector, and he was completely baffled when I told him it was a can-opener.

We were watching "Dog the Bounty Hunter" a few weeks ago and Grandpop kept asking, "Who's he? DOC? DOT? DOC? DOC? DOT?" Then after Dog and his family were chasing down the bail-jumper Grandpop asks, "Are they fishing?"

Grandpop was cold the other day and checked out the thermostat and told Grandmom that it was no wonder he was so cold, "It's 12 in here." For some reason he read 72 as 12, and actually thought it was 12 degrees F, despite the fact that it was 50-something outside anyway.

I didn't witness this but Grandmom said she saw him peeing out by the trashcan, in broad daylight. When he came back inside she was incredibly pissed off, and he said he was too far from the bathroom to wait.

When Henry, the lawn-care man, was telling Grandpop that they might need their bushes trimmed, Grandpop told Henry that (Uncle) Gus could take care of it, since he is the head of Longwood Gardens. (Gus works at Swarthmore.)

Grandmom was sitting down to do a cross-word puzzle and asked Grandpop to hand her a pencil. Instead, he handed her a beer. When she repeated that she wanted a pencil he handed her a Sharpie.

And last, but not least, one day when I was making some food he asked me what I was doing. Before I could reply he said, "Oh I see you're making a mess." To which Grandmom said to him, "George even though you can't be nice to anyone, can't you just pretend to be nice?" His response was, "I don't know how to do that."

Oh, life with Grandpop is such a joy!