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!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh the joys of being back "home"

Well it's been over a week since I've returned from the west and I think it's time to update the blog. Of course, there is always much to write about, so much in fact that I forget a lot of what comes out of Grandpop's mouth. I'll likely be around for a while so check back every few days and maybe I'll have updated. Enjoy.

Grandmom and Grandpop were watching this WWII movie and G-Pop, as usual, keeps asking about what's going on. Grandpop asks, "What's that guy saying?" and Grandmom yells back, "I don't know George, he's speaking German," (It being a scene with Nazi soldiers).

Grandmom was checking out a sore on Grandpop's face and she asks him if he knows how it got there. "Yeah, I bumped my head on the cabinet," he says. "Oh good," she replies, though I don't really understand why that is a good thing. Then I understand when she says "At least it's not more cancer."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Just So You Know...

Sadly/Thankfully Winter break has come to an end for me, so I will not be able to keep you all up to the minute with reports from Ground Zero- 326 Spalding Rd. I'll still be stopping in for visits to the grandparents once a week or so, so check back now and then for Scary Grandpa updates. I will be posting other random things for your pleasure though, such as little tidbits about my job as an eldery "companion" which can be quite interesting.

When we were eating dinner the other night someone said something about "pieces" of something and Grandpop asks, "Now what are you talking about feces for?" Fun times.

So my job as the eldery companion has only taken me to one couple's apartment in an assisted living situation, and I've gone twice from 7 pm until 9 am the next day. During the night I make sure the old man (I don't think I'm allowed to give names and such, so I'll be vague.)doesn't fall over and break a hip, again, when he's using his portable urinal. This old man is nearly deaf and you literally have to yell at him, in the left ear- in order for him to hear anything you're saying. So it's 2 or 3 am and he does his business and I go to dump the pee and he asks where I'm going. Because it's 3 am I don't really want to scream and wake up anyone else, but he really can't hear me unless I yell. So here I am screaming to this old man at 3 in the morning, "I SAID I'M GOING TO GO EMPTY YOUR URINAL."
After dumping the piss I think to myself that this old man probably once thought that he'd never let himself get like this- just as I'm thinking at the moment- but now he's just a little frame of bones and bruised skin with a brain that desn't function so well anymore.
So why do people spend their lives working their ass off saving up money- never taking the time to go enjoy life when they can still walk and pee with a nice flow- all so that later in life they can afford to live in a sterile assisted living apartment once they retire and grow old, and pay someone like me to come sleep on their couch for the night 24/7, draining away their funds?
So here's what I've concluded- Have fun while you still can, and kill yourself in a fun way like an OD or driving a Ferrari (rented) over the Grand Canyon at 200 mph, before you no longer have the brains to realize that your life is pointless and you're only a strain on your family and their funds. Because I don't think any of us ever wants to be working through a weekend at age 35, only to be able to pay for some kid to empty your piss at 3 am when you're 94.
By the way- I am not going to kill myself (any time soon) so don't pass this along to a helpful psychiatrist. I'm talking like 70's, 80's, 90's, 100's etc... As long as you're still with it at 105 then keep on rockin' you senior citizen you.
And that is all I have to say about that.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

This happened a few weeks ago...

At the end of dinner tonight, Grandpop asked for wine. This was after he had had his usual amount of beers, and if you know Grandpop really well then you would know that- to put it frankly- wine gets Grandpop fucked up. He asks for a red wine but instead Grandmom tells him to try the bottle of white that is already open. It's a good thing his memory doesn't work too well because then he would have remembered that he had tried this same old bottle of white wine the day before- or that he had nearly choked on it because it was so old and that even he had spit it out in the sink.
So we give him the bottle of white and he breaks off the cork- of course anything is expected to become an ordeal when dealing with Grandpop.
"Bring me that remote," can easily turn into a game quite similar to that you would play with an old blind man, except Grandpop does have one eye and you don't play games with him unless you want to torture yourself with repeating the rules every time someone has a turn. He'll hand you the phone and then a spoon and then he'll forget what he was doing, and then he'll tell you he has to go wash his hands because he touched something- and of course he can't wash them at the kitchen sink, he has to go back to the bathroom to do it.
So he breaks the cork and asks for a cork screw, which I gladly hand to him and quickly make my way out of the kitchen. He would only get even more drunk the longer anyone stayed around, and even Grandmom starts to retreat to the bathroom for her post-dinner crossword puzzle (slash 1/2 of a Marlboro Ultralite 100) and more recently sudoku. On our way out of the kitchen she winks to me- and we both know he has no idea he has ever tried this bottle of wine before.

Do you know your presidential candidates?

Grandmom asks Grandpop and I if we heard what Joe Biden said about Barack Obama.
I reply with a yes and Grandpop gives a blank look.
"Do you know who Barack Obama is?" Grandmom asks G-Pop.
"Yeah- He's an Indian," Grandpop replies. "Yeah he's from Asia somewhere's."
"No George," G-Mom sighs, "he's a Senator from Illinois."
Grandpop gives a few hard laughs, at what I'm not sure and then he says, "Well golly!" and that's the end of the conversation.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What is he thinking?

From a few days ago...
Grandmom says to Grandpop...
"Can you get me the cookies George?" (which are on the counter in a clear pastic container)
Grandpop looks around and then says, "The ones in the wire cage?"
"Sure-whatever," Grandmom says to him, knowing that the cookies are not in a wire cage, but hoping he can at least figure out this one thing on his own...
Grandpop instead brings the croissants which are UNDER the cookies, both in see-thru plastic...
"The cookies, bring me the cookies!" she yells.
"Oh cookies? Let me see, let me see..." he says as he goes back to his task

I was talking about babysitting Kyle and Kevin and Grandpop asks,
"Who are Kyle and Kevin?"
"Your grandchildren," G-Mom says.
"Oh," says Grandpop in that tone that he uses when he's utterly clueless.
"You know, Knute's children?" Grandmom asks.
"Oh, sure" he says, again with a tone where you know he's only vaguely sure of what you're saying.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just the norm

Today at breakfast Grandpop says to me "John if you stand up you're going to screw your head to the wall." This was in regards to a cabinet door being open, which he was warning me about hitting my head on.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pulling my hair out would probably be less painful

This morning Grandpop walks into the kitchen and Grandmom says, "George go fix your hair, you look like Hitler."
"Me?" he asks, "I didn't do it on purpose."

Then Grandmom tells him to go put something in the bathroom...
"The bathroom?" he asks seeming very confused, like she had said 'go run a marathon and put peanut butter in your hair.'
"Yes the bathroom!" she barks.
"The bathroom, yeah, that's the room with the running water and the shower," he tells us as if we are African bushmen fresh off the refugee plane.
"Yes it is George," she says with another long sigh.

Oh and this is great...
Last night Marguerite stopped by and brought Grandpop a big book, with lots of pictures all about Nazis and the Third Reich. He leafs through it for a while and Marguerite asks him if it's any good.
"I've read it before," he tells her.
She nicely replies he certainly could have read it since it was printed in 1961.
"I read it in 1935," he snaps back.
"It's about World War II," she says, "in the 1940's."
"I know," he says again.
She and I just look at each other and give up- knowing it's a lost cause.

The other day Grandmom was talking about this car she saw the other day...
"I saw a Camaro on the road and it was really pretty," she said.
Of course Grandpop didn't understand and asks, "A Camaro, what's that?"
"A Chevy!" she yells back.
"Oh," he says, "I thought it was a bird."

Then I say something about driving and he asks,
"Drive? What's that mean?"
Grandmom says, "You know- you get in a car, turn the key and go- what the Hell do you think it means?"

And no, we never get tired of repeating every single thing that comes out of our mouths. Really it's fun to say everything twice, just like who doesn't like to have two times as much money or candy, you know?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I know not the "danger" in everyday things

One day last spring I was playing with a piece of grass that I had picked which was about a foot long. I was messing with Grandmom and trying to poke her in the back of the head with it when Grandpop starts shouting, "That is a VERY dangerous toy!"
"It's ok," I reply, "it's just a piece of grass, and I've got a license to operate it." Grandpop, however, did not understand my joke and insisted that I get rid of this "very dangerous toy" as soon as possible to avoid all possible injuries that could occur.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I almost forgot

I can't believe I almost forgot about this...

Last night Grandpop picks up the bottle of olive oil for his salad(which is a clear glass container with a shiny metal lid on it with a spout for pouring), and he starts pushing down on the lid while holding the bottle upright. I immediately know that he thinks the olive oil is the pepper grinder, which is electric (best thing ever, really) and although shiny and metallic on top it is different from the oil and vinegar containers in that it is about 5 inches taller, has a big button on top and has a clear window on the bottom showing the pepper corns. He, however, cannot tell them apart. So he picks up the vinegar container instead and starts pressing down on the top of it as well.
"Peggy," he says, "This pepper won't come out!"
"Well it would help if you had the pepper mill," she says, "That's your salad oil."
"Oh," he says, "I want some of that too," and he proceeds to pour roughly half of the oil in the bottle onto his salad. No he didn't add vinegar, but I'm sure the salad was lubed up well enough for him to choke it down, I mean he only put about half a cup of olive oil on top.
And as soon as he's done drenching his salad in oil he picks up the vinegar and starts pressing on the top again, trying to get that pepper to come out.

One last thing about dinner last night

So we're watching TV and this commercial for "plum" juice comes on and Grandmom and I start making fun of how they're marketing prune juice under a different name but it's still the same thing.
Grandpop turns to us and asks, "HUH? What kind of beans?"

Dinner time with a side of Grandmom yelling

First let it be known that even though it is Grandpop's job every night of the week to set the table for dinner, he usually messes things up in one way or another. He'll start looking for the plates in the silverware drawer or looking for the napkins in the dishwasher and it takes about 8 minutes to do a job that takes me all of 47 seconds.
Yesterday, after Grandpop had finally set the table, he asked if there was anything else he could do to help.
"Sure George, if you want to help get out a pot," Grandmom says. Grandpop starts looking in the cabinet where the dishes are kept and Grandmom tells him that the pots are under the stove. He walks across the kitchen and asks, "What am I lookin' for now?"
"A pot George, a pot!" Grandmom yells.
"I'm lookin'" he says as he holds up a lid. "Is this pot good?"
"Shit George," Grandmom says as she's getting really pissed off, "Can't you even tell the difference between a pot and a lid anymore?"
And the answer is- barely.

His brain must hurt, he's so confused

Yesterday while Grandmom and I were eating lunch Matlock was on and in the show he was attempting to fix an old grandffather clock. Matlock turns the clock around so he can get to the back of it and Grandpop asks, "Is he making a fire?"
"No George," Grandmom says, "He's looking at a clock, what are you talking about?" Matlock proceeds to pop the back off the clock and all of the inner workings; springs, wheels, gears,etc fall all over the ground.
"Are those quarters or diamonds?" Grandpop asks.
"Oh god," is what Grandmom and I say in unison as we shake our heads and give up on the whole thing.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another fond memeory...

Last spring or summer I had put a pot of flowers out on Grandmom's stoop and Grandpop wanted to know how one should go about caring for this plant. I told him that you just add water every couple days.
"So you petunia them? You preserve them?" he asks me.
I was completely complexed by his usage of "petunia" as a verb, but who knows what he's thinking?

Friday, January 19, 2007

So this happened a few years ago, but it's worth remembering

Two years ago when Grandpop had his eye operated on he had to have drops put in it a few times a day. Of course he was unable to do it on his own so Grandmom or I would help him out. One day I go to put in his eye drops and he takes his fingers and spreads the left eye. "Grandpop," I say, "That's your glass eye. You need to open your other eye for me, the real one."

Nothing to do with Grandpa, but he does love Bush!

Wow- check this quote from CNN- U.S. official: Chinese test missile obliterates satellite

"Under a space policy authorized by President Bush in August, the United States asserts a right to "freedom of action in space" and says it will "deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so."

And on an even more serious note- Read all about "Who stole Jesus' Foreskin?"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Peggy, should I water these flowers?

Today Grandmom was trying to keep Grandpop busy and so she told him to water the plants.
"Peggy should I water these flowers that feel like paper?" he yells across the living room.
"No George, those flowers are made of plastic," she sighs.

The other night (1/11/07) we had chicken pot pies for dinner and Grandpop asks, midway through Jeopardy, "What is it we're eating?" as he goes back to get seconds. "Chicken POT PIE!" Grandmom yells for the fifth time. "What's in all this goo?" he asks, inquiring about everything beneath the crust.She tells him, again, that it's peas, chicken, carrots etc... his first bite in his second helping is a piece of chicken and he says, "Mmm good chicken, I haven't had any of that yet." Grandmom gets so pissed off when he says this, because he's sort of insinuating that we took all of the chicken before he got to it, and this is his first piece.
"Do not tell me that is the first piece of chicken you've had," she says very calmly, "Or I will kick you." Grandpop wisely says nothing and we allow Jeopardy to calm the mood as Grandmom takes another deep breath and a long gulp of her scotch and water.

He's just trying to help me

Recently I have been told by my grandpa that my nose blowing is so loud that it is a "social handicap." I forget who said it, I think it was George Carlin, but it went along the lines of- If anyone ever tries to tell you, "I'm just trying to help you," you better run as fast as you can in the other direction. Luckily my grandpa gives me medical advice without charge and he always ends his thoughts with, "I'm just trying to help you." So when he was "just trying to help me" with my nasal handicap I didn't hesitate to call a doctor and schedule an appointment, for if I don't get this fixed soon my future job may be at risk. Grandpa says that my new boss will most certainly fire me as soon as he hears me blow my nose, and this will likely cause me emotional problems as well.

But not only was he helpful enough to give me advice in regards to my nose, but little did I know that I could have diabetes too. This was pointed out to me when Grandpa noticed that I drink water. Now I shouldn't be judgemental here and question an 85-year old retired doctor who can not always make distinctions between the dishwasher and the microwave (and the stove, fridge, cabinets and toaster oven) but sometimes Grandpop himself falls short on the suggested 8 glasses of water a day.
Here is a list of what Grandpop drinks on an average day (meaning every day).
Coffee for breakfast
Cold coffee for lunch
Beer at 4 pm
More beer until bed
Sometimes wine- (If you see grandpop drinking wine it is advised to avoid all contact with him.)

Of course, because I drink water, I have diabetes. Almost 4 years of college and you would hope I've learned something. Other reasons that I have diabetes include a family history. "Your mother had diabetes," he said. "Actually she didn't," was my reply, "she had leukemia but not diabetes." "Oh, well, yeah, I knew she had something," was his endearing response followed by, "I'm just trying to help you."
The last time he insisted I had diabetes he wouldn't give it up until I tested my blood sugar with Gradmom's glucose monitor. Of course I was fine, but that was a year ago. He would like me to be tested again, for as he put it, "you could have got it two weeks ago." And I try to remember that he's just trying to help me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Quotations dealing with Grandpop

Here are some of the things that have come out of Grandpop's mouth (Or things my grandma or myself have said in relation to something about him.), if it doesn't make sense then don't try too hard to figure it out. Enjoy

"A tire is a tire."- G.Pop

"Egypt is in Asia."- G.Pop 2006

G-Pa (at dinner)- "I'm hungry, I didn't eat lunch."
G-Ma- "Why not George?"
G-Pa- "I was busy"
G-Ma- "Busy doing what?"
G-Pa- "I was busy organizing things"
G-Ma- "Organizing what?"
G-Pa- "Busy organizing things in my mind"
G-Ma- "Oh, that could take a while." Fall 2006

Me to my grandma- "Why doesn't Grandpop go watch the big TV in his new comfy chair?"(As opposed to sitting in the kitchen watching the tiny TV.)
G-Ma- "Because he likes to sit in here and bitch." (Jan. 1, 2007)

Jan. 15, 2007- Grandmom gives Grandpop the simple job of shredding some cheese, about a cup's worth, and it turns into a 45 minute ordeal involving finding a top for a piece of Tupperware, something that can even be hard for me. So when he finally settles down to shred the cheese, nearly an hour later, he asks where the measuring cups are to measure an exact cup of cheese, sending grandmom into a rage of yelling and when she stops grandpop asks her,
G-Pa- "What? I couldn't understand your mumbling. You cut your throat?"
G-Ma- "No! But I'm going to in a minute because of you! Pretend I'm dead George, and stop asking all of these questions..."

G-Pa- "I need a telescope from here to China to see the print..." mumbles about the tiny font
G-Ma- "Well get the goddamn telescope then because you're driving me crazy" (Dec. 26, 2006)

G-Ma- "You know, the VCR?" (to G-Pa)
G-Pa- "Yeah it makes copies, right?"
G-Ma- "No it's for movies"
G-Pa- "Oh, it's a screen huh?" (2006)

"Peggy do you want the seeds out of the potatoes?"- G-Pa 2006

G-Pa"Peggy do I need to save the potato peels?"
G-Ma- "Not today George." Aside to herself- "God I hope I never have to say yes to that."

The Story of ScaryGrandpa

This is the first in a series of blogs about life and my senile, mostly deaf and nearly blind Grandpa, named George. George's memory just doesn't seem to serve him right these days, and neither do many of his senses. But he's still got that same old gift of being able to vivaciously criticize everyone around him, and I really do need someone to tell me now and then that I'm shelling the peanuts incorrectly or that an English degree will never get me anywhere in life, and without him I'd be lost.
The nickname ScaryGrandpa came about one winter's night around Christmas in 2006 when Katie and I had been up talking and drinking vodka tonics. On this ons particular night Grandpop kept getting up about once an hour to ask us what we were doing, which tends to get really irritating when you're clealry just sitting at the table, drinking and talking. When you try to explain anything to him you are accused of mumbling, so you have to nearly scream while annunciating very explicitly. I really think it would have been easier to have a conversation with Helen Keller about astrophysics than to converse for several sentences with my grandpa.
Come midnight Katie and I could hear him slowly staggering down the hallway, again, whitsle-breathing(You know how some people whistle when they breathe in an out? Well he does this about 10 times louder than anyone you can imagine.) as he stumbled toward us in the kitchen. When he walks around at night with his old scrubs pulled up over his belly button, his glasses off, hearing aids out and arms held out in front of him resembling a T-Rex, you really don't want to deal with him in any form or fashion. Fretting another encounter with George we jumped into the living room where I laid down on the couch and Katie sat silently in the new chair. Grandpop, possibly sensing someone to yell at using his innate T-Rex ESP, peered into the darkened living room where we were, but he couldn't see us several feet away. Katie and I were nearly passing out from the pain of holding in the laughter, but I was able to whisper to her without him hearing us about 8 feet away. "Shhhh! If you don't move he can't see us, it's just like in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex gets out!" (You know, when it eats the goat? And the old Ford Explorer(s?) get(s) tossed over the edge into the tree top(s)? But why was it light out when they all left in the Explorers in the afternoon? So then it's dark when the T-Rex gets out and pushes them over the edge of the cliff... Where did the cliff come from? And once they're at the bottom of the tree isn't it light again? Well whatever...) After another few moments of his gazing we were home free, and after he turned out all of the lights, again, he was off to bed. We narrowly escaped one more scary encounter with the most horrifying of all living things known to man. From that day forth we have called him "ScaryGrandpa" because he reminds us of an old dinosaur, and he's scary, especially after a night of drinking wine.
At this very moment he's busy watching Sounder on TCM, so there's little chance of him helping me find more faults in myself. But don't worry, I bet after dinner and 5 Yeunglings he'll be glad to help me out in that department.