Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Bruce!

Tomorrow is my husband's 49th birthday.  We will celebrate it by having a small group of people over to watch the Super Bowl.  My husband calls Super Bowl Sunday the "holiest day of the year." He plans to get himself a golf toy for a present.  We'll see.

I am one of these weird people who like to honor birthdays, perhaps because I personally feel lucky to have one. True, it can be hell to get old, but do we really want the alternative when there is so much more life to live? I know what my answer is.

So I will pay tribute to another year of life for my husband-- a man who loves me despite everything-- and whom I love despite everything--a fun guy to be around, who brought me out of the shell I was in for so many years--a smart man to a fault--and my partner in life.

May we get to grow old together and enjoy sandy beaches in the Caribbean for your 50th!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's in a name?

We all have nicknames for our friends or family--sometimes they're insults--most of the time though they are terms of endearment.

My son (and my dad actually)  have a gripe about nicknames, which is that it is respectful to call one by one's given name; so by extension, it's not respectful to call someone by a nickname.
 I'm beginning to see their point. I mean do you really want to call someone by his/her nickname to the point where he/she doesn't know to what name to answer?

So my son's name is Austin, but he has also been called the following:
The Bird
Turkey Bird
Birdus Bean

My husband's name is Bruce, but he has been called the following:
Bubsy (by Austin a.k.a. the bird)

My name of course is Eden (Mrs. Jones if your nasty) but I've been called:
Edi Amin (yes that guy)

Even our kitten Sprite, whom we have had in our family for about a month, now has nicknames--so many that Austin's afraid she won't learn to respond to her own. We have called her:
Kitten Buns
Stinky Butt (my personal favorite)

Again, I think my son and my dad have a point.  What's so hard about just calling someone by his or her proper name?

Give it a try.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The First Level of Hell

Henceforth, this is how I will refer to Middle School, or Junior High, or whatever you want to call it.

My son is a 5th grader, and we have been exploring possible middle schools for him. Back in my day, we didn't get a choice, but he has the option to go to a school with a special curriculum, or go to his neighborhood school.

I don't envy my son having to face the First Level of Hell. It's hard for any child, as this is the period where many experience rapid physical changes, without the emotional wherewithal to cope.

But my son bravely marches to his own beat, and there just is no room for that in the First Level. In the First Level, those kids who dare to be themselves are often forced with symbolic pitchforks to conform, or they are thrown into the fire and brimstone pit of UNPOPULARITY.
I know from experience.

I hope that kids now know that being unique is a good thing, and I hope my kid stays true to himself.

Mein Fuhrer, I can hear!

Eden Strangelove here. I got my hearing aids today--one for each ear.  Yes, they do come in purple, but I'm older and wiser and don't have a crush on Donny Osmond anymore, so mine are "cinnamon", in theory to match the color of my hair. 

They will take some getting used to. Case and point:  I was practicing my guitar and I think the amplifier in one of the hearing aids clipped.  Very annoying, and they feel like headphones. On the positive side, my own voice is in surround sound now, and they are pretty subtle.

Being the Queen of Irony (and common sense), the first thing I ask the audiologist is, "So, what should I do when I want to play my iPod?"

She said, "Well,  you can take them off for that."

I'm due to go back to see the audiologist in a couple of weeks for tweaking.

Oh, and one other thing--they make my ears itch like crazy.

So far on a scale of 1-to-10, I'll give this piece of--er--expensive medical equipment a 6 from the Portland, Oregon judge.

Here's to a perfect 10.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why I'm a stay-at-home mom.

Today is one of those days where I am reminded why I'm a stay at home mom.  My son has no school today.  He didn't have any school last Monday.  He has a least one day off next month. 

You get my point. A lot of days where he's not in school. My husband works from home when he's not telecommuting to San Jose, but that doesn't mean he can take time out to get our son to the doctor, playdates, and the like.

Based on what I was getting paid when I was working, it would not be cost effective to go back to work.

Plus there's the tumor thing.  My future's uncertain at best, but apart from that, anyone who would hire me would be getting someone with a serious head injury and all that entails--aphasia, fatigue, inability to multi-task. I could go on.

Simply put, cancer has forced me to de-clutter my head.  Only one thing at a time can fit in there now. It's easier to focus on the job of being a parent, than trying to do that job, plus another outside the home.

My hats off to those who do both.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is it easier to parent a child or a kitten?

As John Wayne once said, "I wouldn't want to live on the difference."

The kitten has been great.  We love our Sprite, and our son has been learning lots about responsibility by having her. But now that she's getting bigger and bolder, she's been getting on the bed at night and kneading at my head, purring like a chainsaw. When I try to move her, she just comes back.

On the other hand she takes medicine much more easily than my son. Plus she doesn't lie and forget her homework. Nor is she a picky eater.

Both my son and the kitten are intelligent creatures.

Here is a side by side comparison:

Intelligent Intelligent
used to get into bed with us and gets into bed with us and wakes us up
wake us up
is sneaky is sneaky
is cute is cute
requires regular doctor visits requires regular doctor visits
doesn't always do what he's told doesn't understand what she's told 
talks a lot purrs a lot

So there it is.  There is little difference between a child and a pet. A pet us just furry and four-legged.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

When (or if) I'm 94

About two years ago, I became reacquainted with my grandma on my father's side. I hadn't seen her since I was five-years-old.

Now she's 94 -- in a nursing home, and I see her every week.

There are many things that surprise me about her.  One of them is that she's liberal politically. She has told me on several occasions how proud she is that she has lived to see an African American become president.

Also-- good news men--some 94-year-old women like my grandma still have a yen for men.

And she sings "the oldies but goodies", like "Just Because" and WWII songs.

Whenever I go see her I can't help but ponder the notion of ending up in a place like her nursing home, sooner than later.  In fact I wouldn't be surprised if I end up in a bed right beside her.   I think she'll outlive me. I'm certain I won't live to my 94th birthday.  I'm hoping to make my 64th.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prince or Princess?

I'm taking my son home from tutoring, and I have the radio on.  Prince's "Kiss" is playing. It doesn't take my son long to declare he hates it.  I ask him why:

"I just don't like all the squeaking.  It's disturbing," he says. "Why is it on the pop station?"

I say pop means popular music.

"Mom HOW can this be popular!"

"She sounds terrible," he adds.

I tell him that  it's not a "she" singing.  He says  "that makes it even MORE disturbing."

It's official.....I'm old!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Sad New Addictions.

Ever since the New Year started, I've been deep into the abyss of Facebook. I've been hooking up with some old colleagues and classmates.  Every five minutes I write down my status.

For example:
Eden just farted
Eden just added her husband as a friend
Eden just went to the doctor

You get the idea. Then friends write stuff to me like:  How are you?  I have to say "Well, I'm doing pretty well, save for the hole in my head--And you?"

Meantime, my husband and son can't get off the computer because of W.O.W. or World of Warcraft, a popular role-playing game.

These past couple of weekends we have found ourselves together in the same room, but not interacting at all. Some might consider that family bliss. I'm thinking it's time to go cold turkey  and purge ourselves of our addictions.

Time to reach out and touch someone--for real.  It really is more pleasant than staring at a CRT.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I can't hear you! What did you say!

It's sense of hearing is nearly toasted.  According to an ear specialist I saw--it's toasted enough that I need hearing aids.  He thinks the reason is my  24 rounds of chemotherapy, and as reasons go--it's a pretty good one.

When I was my son's age I needed headgear for my teeth--the kind that goes over and around your head.  We called it helmet headgear.  I had my choice of colors and I chose--purple.  Yes, purple.  I think this was because Donny and Marie was on television back then and purple was his favorite color.

My takeaway from the news I need hearing aids is two-fold:  I'm struck by how much this news bothers me considering I have had worse news in my lifetime. Secondly it's a reminder that cancer doesn't go away. The treatment itself does it's own damage.  You never beat cancer, just try to live with it.

Maybe they make purple hearing aids.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Good Riddance

Tomorrow marks the official end of the Bush Presidency; although some may argue that he became irrelevant  a few years ago. 
In the interest of fairness here is President Bush's take on his legacy.
Here's mine.

SNL Web Exclusive: Ann Coulter On Weekend Update

This is VERY funny, but I agree we should try to not give her ANY more publicity. One can't help it though. ...She's like a trainwreck.
About Video On HuffPost
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Son's Imitation of Me.

It seems like I'm always in the car with my son.  The other day I was taking him somewhere--could have been school, taekwondo, or tutoring, when he starts making fun of my driving.  He places his hands at two and four o'clock and cranes his neck like he's trying to see over his imaginary steering wheel--you know--like a short driver.

But his imitations of me don't end there. He likes to duplicate my walk with what can best be described as a penguin waddle.  And when he sees me getting a tense or angry look on my face, he flaps his arms like I do--similar to the robot in Lost in Space that said "Danger Will Robinson."

I can't help but laugh, which is much better than flapping my arms like a robot.

And at least my son hasn't made much fun of my weight--yet.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Three Quick Pitches for President George Bush's Primetime Farewell

How about a Bush Administration reunion show featuring some of his cronies who were forced out, such as Rummie and Gonzales? They can talk about the old times..."Remember how we...thought we could get away with breaking the rule of law?" "We tried to make torture okay again, and almost did." "We made the Spanish Inquisition look like a lie detector test!"

Then "Brownie", the FEMA honcho at the time of Katrina comes on stage and a brawl among the panel ensues.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

Those are the words of Adam Savage, one of TV's Mythbusters. And how true they are.  Reality is an abstract concept. One's reality is seen through the prism of one's own experiences and biases.

Politicians and newspeople are good at this, but so are us peons.

Example:  I'm concerned about a friend who just had her third brain surgery. After all, three brain surgeries  can take a toll on a body. So I express my concerns to my husband.

Bless his heart, he has the ability to see a glass as completely full, even when there's no glass. Me--the glass is not only half empty, its contents are spilled on the floor.

He says something to the effect of "Everything will be alright" in regard to my friend,  almost as if just saying that will make it so.

It must be nice to have that power.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Brain Tumor is Making Me Crazy!

 I was just commenting to my reader Yukon that I have had an inordinate number of doctor visits, even for me, tumorgirl.

In some ways this is normal. I have heard many other brain tumor patients say that when they get headaches or other ailments others may take for granted, they or their loved ones start connecting the dots to the tumor...Is it growing?  Is it residual effects from surgery, radiation or chemo? Or is it just a headache?

Me. I'm concerned about a number of things,  My last scan showed no change, but I've noticed differences in me that may or  may not be tumor related. At this point, whether or not there is any cancer in my head, my head suffered trauma, and every once in awhile it likes to remind me.

For example, my hearing; I can hear you if it's just you and me, but I'll miss about half your words if you talk to me in a restaurant. I saw a specialist who referred me to another specialist.

My sight:  The gene gods didn't shine on me when they gave me this sense anyway, but my vision is changing in my left eye.  Anyone else would say, "Oh, I'm just getting older",  but I say, "It's my tumor, AND I'm getting older.

And I'm definitely loosing some impulse control, or as my sister likes to call it--filter. I blurt out things that don't make sense, often out of context and at the wrong time. A conversation with me can go something like this:

Me:  I really liked the book Kite Runner...Anyway, I don't like cheese; although, I had some good cheddar cheese in Wisconsin.  Have you ever been to Wisconsin?  My mom was born there.

So in your conversation with me, you can go from the Kite Runner to cheddar cheese to Wisconsin.

When I do that feel free to say "WTF?" and "Stop your brain, I want to get off!"

I feel another reality check coming on.

By the way, a friend of mine from the brain tumor support group I attend is going in for her 3rd surgery! 

Brain cancer--The New Cancer. My we find a cause and cure!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Meet our Sprite.

We brought her home a week ago today.
 Since then she's been lost twice, or to put it a better way, has happily hidden from us.  One evening, we let her explore, when we opened the door to the basement. Have I mentioned what a pigsty our basement is?  Kitty heaven.  We saw Sprite run under the bed downstairs, but when we went to retrieve her she wasn't there. The Search for Sprite began, in boxes, under beds, in closets and pantries, under tables. I was going to cry if we didn't find her. We tried luring her with toys or food.  Nothing. 

 Finally, my son joins in the search.  He hears a noise and excitedly points in the general direction of my husband's desk. Out comes Sprite, looking like she was sorry to be found.

I take her to the vet Wednesday.  That should be an adventure. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Eden Jones's Diary

Dear Diary: 

worked today:  4-hours
pounds lost: hopeful
pounds gained: afraid to check
drinks: o so far--not bad for a Friday
non-alcoholic drinks: 12 oz of coffee, one diet soda,  a cup of skim milk.
food today: cheese and crackers and half a peanut butter sandwich. Honest.
exercise: I was on my feet for most of the four hours I was at work. Also spent two hours looking for our lost kitten.  Kitten was found.
sex:  female--last I checked;
the other kind of sex:  do you feel lucky punk?
drugs: they are all prescription but you don't want to know. Courtney Love wouldn't want them.

New Years resolution(s): 
To get down to George Foreman's fighting weight;
to live another year;
 drink less diet soda(turns out the artificial sweetener in it has been loosely linked to brain tumors in some kind of rodent, but you have to drink a lot of it, and I'm not a rat);
kiss fake friends goodbye; and finally,
be more politically savvy, to make sure I don't get fooled again.

Good Night and Good Luck.

acknowledgments: Bridget Jones Diary and Edward R. Murrow.