Miss(ed) Manners

March 19, 2008

What a Year

Filed under: Upstate — missedmanners @ 2:22 pm

Wow, apparently I got the gypsy curse full force in my ear, ’cause I’m definitely living in interesting times. Work has been nuts, life has been nuts, even my nuts have been a little nuts.

My grandmother passed away the other week, hence the goodbye post below.

She was getting on in years and it wasn’t a particularly surprising incident, in fact, it turned out to be a moment of beauty for our family. She’d taken ill with pneumonia and when the choice came between putting her on machines and tubes and other unholy contraptions of degrading life prolongation she was moved into the Hospice Ward at Columbia-Greene Hospital in Hudson, NY. I’m not sure how you’d go about giving a personal endorsement to an end-of-life care center, but here goes: My name is Dave, you may recognize me from my Internet postings. If you have need of a dignified and comfortable location for you to say goodbye to a loved one, may I suggest the Hospice Ward at Columbia-Greene Memorial Hospital.

No sarcasm. It was an amazing experience. When we got the call myself and my wind scattered siblings rushed home to be there. I think we all expected to see her plugged into some whirring medical robocop beeping away like a backing up truck.

Instead she was laying peacefully in a bed with a view. No tubes, just an oxygen mask. There was even some light music playing; it was her favorite, Nat King Cole. The overhead lights were off and instead the room was softly lit by several incandescent lamps. Fluorescent lighting is in my mind the most heinous invention of the 20th century. No one has ever looked good under their jaundiced rays, especially the terminally ill.

To see my grandmother laying in a bed, belabored though her breath may have been, in such a peaceful and beautiful scene… well… it made the whole thing seem natural. We all got to see her smile and talk to her before passed. She also told me to wear more button up shirts, which seeing as it’s the closest thing she had to a last request, I’ve just GOT to do now.

Right before I learned about her situation a reader here, Matt K, asked me to write something up for a beloved pet of his that had passed on. I remember remarking that often times the death of a pet can be more difficult to handle because the love of an animal is unconditional. Your dog or cat doesn’t hold a grudge past their next meal. They don’t pass judgment on your ex-stripper girlfriend or remind you of how little you call.

Maybe in some of the darker recesses of our mind we cope with the loss of a loved one by remembering those traits that we will not miss. Telling ourselves that we’ve got one less Christmas present to spend all of five seconds thinking about, or one less birthday to half remember.

I wish that had been true for my Grandmother. It would certainly have made her death easier if her love hadn’t been unconditional, her acceptance and approval unwavering.

We’re waiting for the weather to get nice before we bury her ashes next to her late husband, Lloyd, under the willow, next to the pond.

September 5, 2006

Things That Made Me Sore This Past Long Weekend

Filed under: Humor,Life,Personal,Upstate — missedmanners @ 3:00 pm

Just got back from a magnificent journey upstate to see my parents along with six of my friends and my lovely girlfriend, Eileen. We went to the Columbia County Fair to see the following: White Trash, Fried Dough and Sheep Balls, not neccesarily in that order.

Anyway, due to inclement weather and our over-appreciation for water-bottle bound booze we ended up getting a little silly and now I’m wicked sore, in some really weird places.

1) Bowling – Soreness Area: Arm and back.

Never go bowling with free Genny Beer and a bottle of vodka. Four hours of chucking a fifteen pound ball at a set of pins equals me not being able to brush my teeth because my arm has gone completely dead. I’ve been typing this with just my left hand and it’s taken all day to get this far.

2) The Change in Weather – Soreness Area: Face

Apparently summer now ends as soon as September begins which means I’ve got a ton of druids to beat up. Solstice my ass, it was 60 degrees and rainy all weekend and all of a sudden I’ve got a scratchy throat and a headache, wtf? I’m a little tired of all this talk about global warming and no results. I want icebergs floating down the Hudson River for my mid-November daquiris! Get on that, Big Oil.

3) Carnival Food – Soreness Area: Don’t Ask

Chocolate milk shake, pepperoni grinder (Extra Large), Coors Light (Extra Watery), Zeppoli, Blooming Onion, Funnel Cake, Cheese Fries and then rides called: The Fireball, Rock ‘n Roll Screamer, Gravitron, etc. You do the math.

4) Bungee Trampoline – Soreness Area: Crotchal Region

Okay, so at the Fair there was this ride. Well it wasn’t so much a ride as it was a collection of trampolines with bungee attachments above it that allowed you to bounce into the sky and do flips and shit. The Head Carnie in Charge (HCIC), warned me that as an adult male the tightness of the harness may cause me some discomfort. I scoffed at him, having gone rock climbing once or twice. Well as it turns out, he was right, about twenty seconds into my bounce-run the nylon straps started digging into my inner thigh and jamming up a couple pounds of flesh into my delicate regions. The resulting cinching effect on my pants made it look like I had severe elephantitis of the nutsackalicious area, which I guess was alright.

After about ten jumps total I started crying very lightly, asked to be let down and then limped away, bow-legged.

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