Monday’s Theme Music

Here in Pittsburgh, PA, Monday, October 3, 2022, appears to a lovely autumn day. That’s the message given out by the 7:19 sunrise. No clouds. Comfortable 40 F with expectations of 62. Slow silvery rise over the trees that began sunnier and brighter. The silver found gold and the air found warmth.

Mom has appointments today, including her PCP, so I’m up getting ready for that. Computer had issues yesterday that I addressed but some issues lingered from that. My wife left a voice mail on my phone that she has Internet issues at home, so she needs to call me so I can walk her through rebooting. Gonna be a busy day.

Looking at photos all over Mom’s house, I thought about growing up. The Neurons fed in the line, “To face this on my own, well, I guess that this is growing up.” Just like that, Blink-182’s 1997 song, “Dammit”, is in the morning mental music stream. It’s a straightforward song, fast beat, nice sound that I always enjoyed. Hope you do as well.

Now must go grow up. Kick into adulting gear. Stay positive, test negative. Excuse me, I gotta go get coffee. Adulting requires coffee. Have the best one you can.


The Lost Shoes Dream

I dreamed I was with a bunch of people. All were nice, and seemed like friends, although nobody was recognized from real life. Some kind of outdoor function, we were socializing after eating when a man arrived. He was identified as Colonel Campbell, stealth-aircraft fighter pilot.

All of us were impressed. Pilots are one category, fighters are another, and stealth is the bleeding edge techno. He sat at a table and we gathered around to eye him. Evening was on us so I decided it was time to leave.

A dream shift found me in a Starbucks coffee shop. Busy, the place was a labyrinth of rooms, all with white walls or stone walls. Some rooms were large, where dream catchers, turquoise and silver jewelry, and black feathers were on sale. Others were rooms with tables where people could sit, drink coffee, and chat. A few halls and bathrooms finished the setup.

I got a coffee and went through the rooms until I found a table. Dissatisfied with it because I thought it too noisy and busy, I moved to another table. I eyed people as I sipped coffee. The employees interested me the most. They were familiars in the dream although again no one known in RL.

Finishing my coffee, I decided to leave, but struggled to find the exit. Each room seemed to take me into another one. In one room, I found the Starbucks employees preparing to start a celebration. They fell silent and waited for me to leave before resuming their festivities. I heard several of them say something about me but I wasn’t sure what they said. It sounded like they liked me and wished more customers were like me.

But I’d gone on. Just as I thought I’d found the exit, I realized that I’d lost my shoes. I’d been wearing sandals, I remembered, and thought that I must have kicked them off to be more comfortable. Rushing about, I tried retracing my steps to find the table where I’d been. Dodging people was required, and I almost stepped in someone’s chocolate cake, jumping over it just in time. I also had to swivel to avoid knocking over children.

Eventually I came into a room where a man was sitting at a booth. People were whispering, he’s a pilot. I approached him and asked, what does he fly? What’s his name? I wasn’t certain it was Colonel Campbell.

He wouldn’t really answer me or look at me. Announcing, “I have to go,” he leaped out of the booth and then crouched down and duckwalked out, stopping to look at toys on the floor. Catching up with him, I asked if he was okay, as another man approached to check on him. I told the other man that who I though the man was. This explanation put a silly grin on Campbell’s face (I was pretty sure it was him by then). His eyes were glassy and he started acting flighty (sorry for the pun).

Still trying to find my shoes, I went into a bathroom. Seeing my reflection, I was stopped short by how my face had changed. I knew it was me but I didn’t recognize myself. My face was large and squared off, with a towering forehead. I speculated that the mirror was distorted but saw that everything else was properly reflected.

My final thought was that I’d done something to myself.

Dream end.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

The Neurons asked, “What day is this?” I replied, “You guys are supposed to be telling me these things.”

We decided it was Wednesday and then checked a wall calendar and the computer’s time and date. Yep, Wednesday, September 28th, 2022. If you close your eyes and listen, you can hear Christmas marketing in America coming. The computer tells me it’s “Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day”. I answered, “What?” I’m working on the day of the week and you’re telling me about some specious holiday? Is a “Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day” really necessary? It’s not like they’re donuts.

A sad sunrise of whitewashed gray clouds took place at 7:13 AM. I guess the time of sunrise each day and then look it up. Six out of ten times finds me with the right answer. I’m much better at guessing the temperature. It’s 46 F now. A heavy rain crashed down on us yesterday morning. Wouldn’t be startled to see another one today. Yesterday’s rain was fun because it poured in front but was relatively dry in the back, with just a little splashover. How about a high of 60 F today? Sounds about right. Feels about right. I either need to go back to Oregon or buy some warmer clothes. It’ll be in the mid-seventies back in Oregon. I looked it up.

Sunset? Yes, at 7:08 PM.

As I assumed morning duties for Mom, bringing pills, making breakfast and coffee, cleaning, etc, I was thinking along the cracks of, “Here I go again.” Somehow, The Neurons slipped in “Would?” by Alice In Chains from 1992 into the morning mental music stream. Why “Would?”? I wrote that just for that double question mark. Don’t have an answer. Guess it’s those lines, “Into the flood again, same old trip it was back then.” Maybe.

Mom is doing okay. Made her stay in bed yesterday. Ordered the same for this morning. I’ll let her come down for lunch. Let me tell you, having her obey isn’t as easy as it’s written, but she’s in good spirits and accepted my directive. No visits from nurse, PT or OT today, a good thing, as people drain her. Except me, she says.

Alright, coffee has arrived. Rather, it’s finished brewing and is teasing, “Heeerrre’s coffee!” Okay, I’ll be right over, I answer. Stay positive and test negative. Stay dry, safe. I know it’s bad in Cuba today, Puerto Rico is still recovering, and Alaska, and the thinking is that Florida might not have a good day. Do the best you can to help yourself and others.

Here’s the music. Cheers

The Writing Moment

“Foul,” the brain cried. “What are we doing up so early?”

His coffee-depleted mouth struggled to respond. “It’s the muses.”

“Them.” The brain scowled. “I can do without… What now?”

“They cracked the whip. Said he had to get up early and make time to write.”

“Write.” The brain snorted. “What a waste. Go back to bed.”

“Too late,” the heart said. “We’ve already had coffee. We’re up now.”

The brain sighed. “Well, I guess it’s time to write like crazy, again, innit?”

Monday’s Theme Music

Yeah, so Monday. Yawn, scratch, sniff. The waning days of September — it’s the 26th, you know — has a waning morning sun. Yellow light seeping through sketchy gray clouds make us all wonder, why am I up again? It’s only seven in the morning.

‘We’ was me as I was alone, forcing myself up out of bed to carve out writing time. Yesterday was a hectic day, socializing with sisters visiting Mom, and Mom’s PN visited to establish appointments and create the official record, incidents and worries by Mom over Mom. Writing time? Hah. What’s that? So, there I was, counting time down to sunrise as I typed, warmed coffee in hand to give my blood some life.

Sunrise came at 7:23 and left me pining for summer’s sharper, more brilliant light, but wishes like that don’t slow the Earth’s turning as it whizzes through space around the sun. It’s 55 F, a chilly, slightly moist morning. Contours and cloud shapes suggest rain is not far away in time and space, and will temper the sun’s influence all day. The great weather ‘they’ say that we’ll be limited to a high of 19 C before established planetary routines give us sunset at 7:23 this evening.

It’s Monday, so you know The Neurons plied me with songs about Monday. A few exist. But it’s also September, so they brought out a plate of those as well. Finally, though, that sky is a hazy shade of winter in this early light, weak coffee view. So here comes The Bangles covering Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter”. I’ve used it here before but it’s all I can come up with without more and stronger coffee. Yeah, there’s no snow on the ground — although I haven’t looked in twenty minutes, so some may have fallen — and yes, I know it would need to get colder first and it’s just September in Western PA and not really probable at this time of year but indulge me.

Stay positive, test negative, use precautions, get the latest vax, and here we go. Coffee? Yes, please, please, PLEASE! Hope you enjoy this tune. Make it a glorious Monday. I’m gonna try, if my blood ever starts circulating.


The Update

I live in Ashland, in southern Oregon. Events drove me east, to where Mom and several sisters reside in the Pittsburgh, PA area. On Friday, September 10, I took the redeye to Pittsburgh. Already down with COVID, Mom suffered a perforated appendix and also had COVID pneumonia, and was in Forbes Hospital, demanding morphine and fighting against being intubated. They moved her to a step down unit for more intensive monitoring and care, and was in isolation. Masks, gloves, and gowns were required to visit her, only two visitors at a time.

She’s recovered a lot since then. With antibiotics and treatment, her COVID subsided. The appendix perforation closed. Her pacemaker had only been working at less than 20%, so that was also a problem, as was a blood clot. The blood clot ended up in her spleen, which they said was okay, and her heart and pacemaker both increased to 50 % function. Pleased with her progress, she was discharged from the hospital last Monday and moved to a nursing home.

She liked the nursing home, Concordia. Physical therapy began. They told her she’d probably be there two to six weeks. That was pared down to two yesterday.

They released her today.

That surprised me. Apparently what precipitated it was a night of hell for her. Hearing about it, my sisters grew angry and charged down there.

You do not want to be in their way when my sisters are angry, especially if their family is involved. Move out of their way and in front of an oncoming bullet train. You’ll be safer.

Mom’s NoH included being abruptly taken off oxygen at midnight and not monitored. The night nurse had an attitude for whatever reason. She didn’t want to help Mom with her CPAC for sleeping and threw Mom’s phone on the floor. Mom’s door was open all night as another patient roamed the halls shouting, “I have a gun. I’m going to come in there and kill you.”

I’ve been staying at Mom’s house with her 92-year-old boyfriend, Frank, a great guy, but very passive, and under Mom’s control. Mom is 85. Her house was built eighty years ago. The steps are narrow and steep. It’s not built for a frail woman to get around and recover.

But this is why I’m here. I came here because it might’ve been time to say good-bye to Mom. I came here to give my sisters and Frank relief and support. Now I’ll be here to help give Mom care in her home. I don’t know what train of circumstances and logic led to the surprising decision that she’s being released today. It sounds like a crazy train, in my uninformed thinking. It’s a fluid situation. The sisters are racing back to the nursery home to learn more and, as necessary, help Mom get home. Per their thinking, I’m here, waiting for Mom to arrive in case my sisters don’t arrive in time.

Coffee is on. I think we’ll need a few cups. Here we go.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Sunshine slanted across the flat valley at 7:17 AM in Pittsburgh before clouds bullied it into disappearing.

Hi, fellow sentients. Today is Wednesday, September 21, 2022. September is going apace. Seems like another day comes up about every twenty-four hours. Viewing hours for daylight will end today at 7:30 in the PM. 63 F is the moment’s temperature under serious clouds. Drumroll as we open the envelope and read the omniscient they’s projected high: 28 C.

The groundhog has emerged for breakfast in the backyard. I enjoy watching him traverse and search, imagining his personality and voice from his waddle, pauses, and gazes. Really looks like he might be a retired British major. He likes a peaceful, easy way, and prefers the solitude of his own voice.

Mom is doing better, thanks. Was moved last night from hospital a nursing home to begin rehab therapy. Voice, spirit, attitude have all improved. She’s cleared of COVID, fluid gone from lungs and heart, pacemaker and heart are both stronger, her appendix healed, and infections are vanquished. She remains on anti-biotics while she gains mass back, but she’s off the blood thinner. Thanks for your support, it is appreciated. Going up to see her in a while.

On my end, I removed my Ziopatch from my chest this morning and I’m mailing that back today. Good to have it off my chest.

The Neurons are wild with music this morning. Huey Lewis and the News, Metallica, Bush, Tony! Toni! Toné!, The Climax Blues Band, and others. I finally settled on “She’s Just My Style” from 1965. I couldn’t recall who had it as a hit and did the google thing to bring back Gary Lewis & the Playboys. I always like this song’s vocals, and that brief guitar solo. I was nine when it came out but its words were easily heard and understood. I always enjoyed the small vocal flourishes it incorporated. It’s another one of those songs from basement adventures where we pretended to be famous performers.

Got some Peet’s Major Dickason on deck. Stay positive and test negative. The alternative sucks. I speak from my own experience; yours will be different. Here’s the music. Cheers

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