Thursday, November 27, 2008

Will the "real" Ozzy Please Stand Up? If He Can

For reasons I'm still trying to figure out, my son likes some Black Sabbath music. Back in the day--way back--like when I was a toddler, Ozzy Osborne fronted the band. My husband evidently was/is a fan since Black Sabbath is in his music library.

So my son again fondles the ipod in my car, and plays "Paranoid"  and then plays "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". Of the latter he says, "This doesn't sound like Ozzy." I explain that those two tunes come from different recordings, and that Ozzy's "voice" can be altered by the producer of the record.

Speaking of Ozzy's voice, we've noticed he isn't what he used to be. Lately, he's been making fun of himself in the following  commercial.

Says my son:  "That phone must not be very good."

Thank you Ozzy for being the poster-boy  for what happens when you injest too many chemicals

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And My Bird Can Sing

The title to this post is a reference to a most excellent Beatles song called "And Your Bird Can Sing."

My son is usually a shy boy, but when he's not LOOK OUT!

He's been hearing these songs performed by The Bobs, an acapella group. Our friends have The Bobs' music playing in their car, and now my son sings some of the tunes.

He bravely agreed to be recorded doing a performance, and the following film resulted. It just killed me with cuteness, but I'm biased. Enjoy!

Seizure Girl Goes to the Movies

When I was just having seizures, my husband dubbed me "seizure girl".  I have since graduated to the position of "tumor girl."  It's a heck of a thing to have on your resume'.

Anyway doing small things can be a challenge when you have head issues. Case and point: We went to see an Omnimax movie.  The movie was about mummies, but that's not important. The film did weird things to me, before it even started.  It had an intro that gratuitously  demonstrated the unique effect (a.k.a. vertigo) produced by Omnimax. These feelings of dizziness, nausea and just plain sensory overload come in epic proportions to those who have head trauma (or happen to be Ozzy Osborne).

We get up to leave, and I on my way to the exit stairs, I feel as though I'm walking a balance beam. I step very slowly and hold onto the chairs as if this will actually help.

It's the little things that make life such a big deal.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Dear Yukon

I feel I should respond to a couple of comments made by reader "Yukon".  

Thank you,  Yukon, for reminding me that it helps for a good writer to fill in details. Sorry I didn't in the posts you commented on, but I will now.

Re: the post called "The Bird in Black".  I do not own any Johnny Cash. And as it turns out, my son hasn't heard Johnny Cash either, but he heard the song "Ring of Fire", as performed by an acapella group called The Bobs.

Re: "Dial 'E' for Egomaniac".  Sorry to scare you.  I wasn't having a bad day, but I am still trying to get rid of a bad aftertaste, left after this election cycle.  The inspiration for the post was an acquaintance of mine who ran for state office and won.  I was saddened and angered by what he had to become in order to do that. That said, I think everyone knows an egomaniac.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Bird in Black

Just to catch you (my two readers) up on the soap opera, our nickname for our son is The Bird. The Bird off and on has liked the following bands:

Black Sabbath
Blue Oyster Cult
The Who
Toad the Wet Sprocket

The Bird has added a new artist to his favorite playlist--Johnny Cash--The Man in Black.  You just haven't lived until you've seen a 10-year-old boy (in his case wearing nothing but underwear and a blanket singing:

And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire

Before he sings, he inhales deeply, then exhales as he sings at loud decibels, and holds the last note for what seems like 12 minutes.

Listening to The Bird it occurs to me: Johnny Cash was a good singer.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dial "E" for Egomaniac

You know who you are.

You pretend to be friends with someone from whom you will want a favor.

You will tell everyone about your triumphs, but if they really were (triumphs) you wouldn't need to tell us about them.

You will find fault with others, who are JUST LIKE YOU.

You don't just think you're the sharpest tool in the shed. You think you're the ONLY tool.

You are always right, but you love to argue with anyone who thinks your wrong.

When you win an argument, you think it's because you have better ideas, but you don't. You are just the better debater, and you wear your opponents down with the weight of your bravado.

On the plus side, you will get ahead. But at what cost?

A Chemo Flashback

These past couple of days, I've been feeling like I'm on chemo again. I'm so fatigued and achy that I just want to crawl under a rock. I'm probably just coming down with a seasonal virus, but when you've been diagnosed with cancer,  EVERYTHING feels like it may be a sign of a comeback.

But just like when I was on chemo, I will try to not let the fatigue slow me down too much. I will volunteer at the hospital today, and host a (non)sleep-over for my son and his friend tonight.

T.G.I.F.  I may get some sleep this weekend. I'll go see if I can get some Soma (yes, I'm still re-reading Brave New World).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dedicated to Cancer's Caregivers

The only thing harder than being a cancer patient is being the caregiver(s) of a cancer patient.  By that I mean the inner circle of friends and family who have to deal with you.

Let's be honest, a cancer patient can be damned unpleasant to be around. He or she is most likely depressed, obviously not feeling well, and in my case moody (bitchy).  There, I said it, and I can say it because I'M THE PATIENT.

And let's be frank about what it's like to be married to cancer patient:  Don't expect a lot of romance.  Don't expect a very clean house or good dinners. What you can expect is an argument over how you aren't there for ME. And I dare you to divorce my ass!

All that said cancer is probably hardest on the children of patients. For example, especially when I was taking chemo, I would get upset with my son easily, because the chemo had killed my patience. Children need the stability of a healthy, well-adjusted parent, and I was neither healthy nor well-adjusted. I'm not sure I am now.

As crazy as we are, please stay with us cancer caregivers.  We need you and appreciate you, and we're sorry if we are pains in your asses.

If we could help it, we would.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh Brave New World With So Many Neo-Alphas In It!

I belong to a reading group that will soon be (re)reading Huxley's Brave New World, one of my favorite books. It makes me wonder if he would think the dystopia he imagined in his book has come to pass. I believe he forecast that his Brave New World would come sooner than later.

What I see is a world of people who want desperately to be Alphas. Who wouldn't? In Huxley's universe, the Alphas are at the top of a caste system, but in that universe, everyone is brainwashed (for lack of a better word) to be happy with his or her given caste, so those at the bottom rung don't care that they work in sewers, or aren't as smart.

In the real world, everyone can't be Alphas, and everyone isn't happy with his or her "caste". I would submit, however that it is arguably easier for an "Alpha" to maintain his or her status than it is for an "Epsilon"--the lowest caste in Huxley's universe-- to scratch or claw to the top, and I think, as a result, the "Epsilons" in today's world reach a certain acceptance of their lot. And today's "Alphas" have NO interest in giving up theirs.

Meanwhile, ours is definitely a use-and-throw away society, like that in Brave New World, whether it's our relationships, or consumer goods.  We all love that Next Big Thing, or we think we may love our boyfriend/girlfriend, until we get bored. And we get bored VERY quickly.

My "Brave New World" would try to strike a balance  between the needs of the "Alphas," to stay on top, and the needs of the "Epsilons", who rightly want to improve their conditions.
Also in my "Brave New World" we would value our relationships  as much or more than we value trying to get "power", whatever that is.

So I think Huxley would be appalled by today's society, even though the world he envisioned in Brave New World is much worse.

You should go read it and make your own assessment.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No Soma Holiday for Me

Why was I up at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning?

At 5:45, I lay in bed, getting up for about the third time, when I debated going back to bed or declaring myself awake. Truth be told, I don't count myself awake until I get my intravenous coffee drip.

I try to go back to bed, but my nose is plugged and my back hurts, so I go for the coffee. It's a problem I've had for a few days.  Oregon is beautiful, but it can wreak havoc on the sinuses.

As I write this I've been up 2- 1/2 hours, and it's only 8:30. No wonder I get tired early.

I turn on local television news and it brings back many unhappy memories. I feel sorry for the poor bastards who have to get up early on the weekends and produce a newscast that almost no one will watch.

I used to be one of those poor bastards, so I know.

I change the channel and take another stroll down memory lane. I'm watching VH1-classic, and an 80's theme show on.  I was a teenager then.  I find myself singing along to Chaka Khan.

I feel for you
I think I love you.

Words by His Royal Badness--The Artist formerly known as the Artist now once again known as Prince--Stevie Wonder with the assist on a harmonica solo.

Man, what big  hair and colorful clothes people wore then. Back in the day, my hair was big but short, and I wore a lot of hot pink.

My, how I've grown. My how gravity has kicked me in the butt.

Maybe tonight, I'll take an ibuprofen, and a decongestant, so I can get some sleep. But I have to get up early tomorrow anyway.

It's Monday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Diving into the gene pool to find the missing X

Blogging is great! One gets to rant or tell secrets with relative anonymity. I mean, how many people are actually reading my stuff.

With that in mind, I have a secret.

There's a reason I haven't put my picture up on my profile.  I look funny. In fact, my looks have drawn me some unwanted attention in the past, so even if someone doesn't notice I look funny, I assume the worst.

In a previous post, I mentioned how even my son was commenting on my short stature.  I'm 4-foot-9 without shoes, and (cough, cough) pounds. I need glasses that would make others feel like they're dropping acid (although I've never touched the stuff).

But hey, I feel pretty!

My appearance is largely due to the fact, I have a rare genetic disorder called  Turner's Syndrome.

You know how girls are supposed to have XX and boys XY chromosomes?  Well I just have one X.  

The result: I cannot produce my husband an heir. I'm only slightly taller than the couple on Little People, Big World.   All that said, I've had a relatively normal life. I graduated college. My nickname was "bulldog" when I was working in a television newsroom, which I think was a compliment. I have a loving family, including a husband of 14 years and  son who provides me with endless life lessons.

Still, many times I have done pointless what-iffin',  wondering what life would be like if I didn't have TS.
  • Would I be 5-foot-eight, and a supermodel?
  • Would I be smarter?
  • Would I not have a brain tumor?
But all of this speculation is a waste of time.  I am who I am, and I can't be returned to sender. 
I just hope that people learn not to judge others by appearance. 

A tall order in America the Beautiful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

White Noise

"Hearing voices no one else can hear isn't a good sign, even in the wizarding world."
--Ron Weasly in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I'm not that far gone, yet, and I don't talk to snakes, but I know a few.
What's troubling is I have this buzzing in my ear(s).  I can hear things like a refrigerator running better than I can hear my husband's voice at times.

Is it because of my tumor; the fact I had so many ear infections as a child, I almost lost hearing in my right ear; or, is it just because I play my ipod too loud?

When I get my MRI, it shows a lot of sinus congestion, so my oncologist thinks it's that.

I saw an ear, nose and throat doctor, who said that my hearing was only moderately poor, and anyway, there was nothing he could do.

So please don't be angry when I ask you to repeat yourself. 

What year was your "bad" year?

I'm volunteering at my son's school again, now that I'm not saddled with monthly oncologist appointments and chemo.

During my time there yesterday, I overheard a lady talking about how this has been a bad year for her--father was recently diagnosed with cancer--one of her children has been in the hospital frequently--and she's recovering from neck surgery.

I've often thought that that's how life works.  We get the tsunami of bad stuff all at once,  and somehow, we're not supposed to drown.

I debate whether or not to say anything to the lady having the bad year, but my brain tumor has left me with no filter, so I say something:

"My bad year was 2006,"  I say.

She asks, "What happened?"

I proceed to tell her about my own cancer diagnosis, father-in-law who passed away, and two friends of my family who also passed away that year. Then I tell her that she's due for some good fortune.

I don't remember her exact question, but she asks me how long it takes for things to turn around, and the good fortune to come.

That's the $64,000 question, isn't it?

Sometimes we are given more than we can handle.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Feeding the Bird

Our nickname for our son is "the bird".  It all started when he was a baby.  I would rock him for hours until I thought he was asleep. Then I'd put him in his crib, and ZING.  "I'm awake mommy, sorry you aren't," he'd seem to say. I would mutter under my breath, "Oh Austin!   You turkey bird." So now it's just "the bird" for short.

I just attempted to prepare the bird lunch. I would like some advice from other parents on when to trust their children to make their own lunch. My boy is 10, and I would like him to at least get his own cereal and milk, especially since he wants to be grown-up enough to be left alone for little bits at a time.

But the truth is he wants to be served, so lately when I have been serving him, I've been trying to teach him how to serve himself. When I was his age, I was cooking for myself.

I ask the bird what I can serve him for lunch.  He says quite clearly that he wants a toasted cheese sandwich.   I make it for him. Then I give him a choice of sides including either bananas, apple slices or carrots. 

He says he wants grapes. Fortunately we have some. My husband puts some on his plate.

The bird looks at his plate with the cheese sandwich and grapes as if he's stepped in a cow pie.
I know that feeding children is a problem as old as time, but what makes this situation somewhat unique is that the bird can magically hate foods he ASKS FOR.

He takes a bite out of the sandwich and a couple of grapes, and pushes his plate away, declaring he's not hungry.  Then he reaches for a banana and eats that. I'm guessing that the sandwich was too toasted for him, and that the grapes were too small. Only the bird knows.

I don't know how I fought these kinds of battles while I was on chemo.

Another reason to be glad for a break from chemo.  Another reason to hope my son learns to serve himself.  For now, the kitchen is closed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Show and Tell

 My son periodically has "choice" days at school--days where he can bring games or music from home.

So my son asks me if he can bring one of his dad's Primus CDs

I try to re-direct.  I suggest another CD, or perhaps a game.

"But mom!" he says. "There's no bad words!"

Then I remember, re-directing him didn't work when he was a toddler.

Finally, we come to sort of a compromise--a "They Might be Giants" CD that is fairly innocuous. In fact, it was actually made for children.

And despite what he thinks, my son if still a child.

Dear President Obama:

Are you there President (elect) Obama?  It's me, Eden.

I'm a (white) Tae Kwon Do mom from Oregon, and I want to congratulate you on your victory. I'm glad that as excited as you were to be elected to this high office, you cautioned us peons not to expect you to be able to clean up all the turds that will be left behind for you.

Some are still arguing over who is responsible for the mess.  I'm not sure I care anymore (it's those "I don't care" pills I take).   I just know we are in a mess of historic proportions--two wars and a shrinking economy--and us peons want results--and fast--because we're American peons, and we don't wait for anything.

No pressure, though.

I keep hearing how your ascent to the Presidency may perhaps have struck a critical blow to racism. Nevertheless, you had to stand behind bullet-proof glass while making your election-night speech, so I submit that racism is alive and well.

I do think it's great that participation in this election was high.  That, I think, you can take credit for. So many of us feel like our voices aren't heard, or that our personal lives can't be touched by politics, or that our personal lives mean nothing to the suits who make laws.

But I'm a cancer patient, so research and healthcare access are important to me. My life and the lives of some very dear friends of mine depend on it.
My husband's job is important to him. He needs one so he has health insurance, (and money for a weekend golf game).
And I want my son to have a stable source of education, and educators who actually care whether he's learning.

So I wish you good luck as you take your pooper-scooper to Washington.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

My argument with my navigation system

When my mouse-infested car turned over 103-thousand miles, we decided it was time for a change. And because I have no sense of direction, we thought that a navigation system would help.

It turns out though, that a navigation system is only as good as the person trying to follow its directions. Plus the navigation system isn't always right.

So I plug a certain address into the system, thereby instructing the car to take me to said address. 

The computerized voice says, "Take the next left."

Sounds simple enough, so I take the next left.

But then the robo-voice commands me to "Make the next possible u-turn."

I take this to mean that I've screwed up royally.

And so we play this game of the nav system recalculating my route and/or telling me to u-turn, until I finally reach my destination.

I think I'll scratch bus or cab driver off my list of potential job opportunities. Maybe the local modeling agency has a market for women 4-foot-10 with glasses.

Oh--guess I better scratch that one off my list, too.

Coming down from the sugar high

The peanut butter cups are gone. The starbursts have been chewed.  The sugar will take weeks to leave the system, if it ever does. And Sarah Palin can see my teeth(and my son's teeth) rotting from Alaska.

It was very nice today to just rest after all of the hubbub of yet another commercialized  holiday. Our friends were kind enough to take our son for a few hours.  Instead of shopping for laundry baskets as I did  last time, I took a nap.

I actually don't like the way I feel after naps--groggy, rummy, like I'm waking up from brain surgery or something, but when my body talks, I listen.

One month until the next holiday that involves eating like a pig!

Maybe I'll make the choice not to be one.