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Showing posts from July, 2008

Dad 2

He knelt down to check something at work and when he stood up, he nearly fell over. It wasn't a lack of coordination (though he's never exactly been a swan), nor simply "standing up too fast", nor was it fatigue. He took note of this anomaly but largely shrugged it off.

Later, he was writing numbers in a column and was finding it difficult to keep the numbers in a straight line. It was also hard to prevent a "4" from looking like an "X". For 64 years, the same brain had sent the same commands to the same muscles in the same hand, but suddenly it seemed the message was getting garbled on the way. The final straw was a slight slurring in his speech. Having never seen my father drunk, and knowing he wasn't at the time, this was a new experience for me. Clearly, something was wrong.

Obvious symptoms led to an obvious diagnosis by my mother and close friends which led to the emergency room. A test revealed no stroke, but between a CAT scan and an …

What are THEY having?

I'm fascinated by other people's grocery lists. Those brief, informal notes serving to help remember any more than 3-5 things at a time.

By definition, they must be scrawled on a random scrap of paper, and very rarely on actual "note" paper. Once they've served their purpose, they're often dropped in the parking lot while fumbling with groceries and keys, or simply left behind in the cart/hand-baskets. They more than a simple list of items, they are a snapshot into the needs - both common and at times bizarre - of complete strangers; voyeurism at its most obtuse.

The medium of choice is often entertaining. The backs of paycheck envelopes is a popular and rather obvious choice as well as quickly-torn corners of larger sheets of paper. Others have kittens or Ziggy, or Garfield, or a real estate agent's name (and picture) on it somewhere. Whatever the source, these sheets of paper are employed on a whim, used quickly and without much concern for legibility bey…