Category Archives: THINK

axe grinding

no really.. I don’t go off a lot.

and yeah – i know – penning pissed missives in Apple crash reports about 3rd party companies is pointless – but there’s still something cathartic about it…. ooo.. “cathartic” – second time I got to use that word this week.

While I’m furrowing my brow at Adobe – anyone else read about them creepily spying on their customers captives?

right then…


(*insert testicular grunt here*)


I’m going to stop apologizing.

Bog.pop? Chicken? Ego Projector?

With these long-winded, emotional self-vivisections of late – an appropriate rebrand would be something like “Monkey Boy’s Electro-Cathartic-Gram”. ( รขโ€žยข ? )

So i fell off the LJ wagon, hit my head and apparently have been laying unconscious on the side of the trail for a while. Thanks to those that stopped to check to make sure I was still alive.

I am…

more than ever…

I was just taking a nap.


I’ve been self reinventing again.

Change is good. Perhaps this is what you get to do if you don’t have children… You can hedonistically tool and re-tool your identity,… your reality…. again and again…

I’m beginning to suspect that this process gets me off on some level and is an inherent part of my personality.

Too much to recap in one post – but let’s start with the more important stuff and end on a sincere promise that I’m going to try and keep my head out of my ass – at least more than in recent history.

1) Dad
Good news… ๐Ÿ™‚
The follow-up scans showed that they have successfully “contained” the cancer… The actual tumor may be a little bigger – but the chemical oncologist thinks there’s a good chance that it’s scarring from the radiation.

The involved lymph nodes at the gastrohepatic junction are still in their shrunk (sub 1cm) state plus the worrisome new enlarged node up by the pancreas seems to be behaving.

So in the rinse-and-repeat scenario I described before – we got a pass… for 3 months. Following the good news I was laid up with what I could only try to explain as emotional jet-lag.

Pop’s eating much better now… (as in ease of eating – his diet choices are still horrible – but I can’t change that except through gentle encouragement).

His chronic dehydration has also let up…. Why? Could be far enough away from the last chemo hit? Could be the new endocrinologist we have him seeing who’s managing his diabetes MUCH better than before cancer came to town. Before he was blindly shooting and taking what the doc called “Nursing Home Insulin”.

1) Workstyle
My beloved workhorse (the 15″ G4 Powerbook)’s monitor finally shot craps. It’s been slowly going for months – in order to get a clear picture without the bottom 1/3 of the screen skitzing out you’d have to wiggle, try different yoga sitting positions, etc.

This was all right on schedule considering they just released the new PB’s with the groovy multi-touch trackpad….

… but then I got that damn reset itch again…..

I’ve been getting frustrated with my work weeks…. I’ve been spending more time DRIVING from one place to another, greet-n-gabbing with clients and their employees and all the other distractions that come up in that big wide would out there.

I’d get to the end of a day and realize: “!@#$!##$@ – I only did 3 billable hours today”….

Meanwhile – there’s this nice big-ass new iMac sitting here at the house I bought last-year which has been serving as really fancy jukebox.

So… I’ve decided this year to take the 3K I’d sink into a new PB and spend it on more photo-gear and change my work paradigm.

I have to be in my office at the house to “work”…. (more structure for monkey – this is good)…. I still need to and will travel around to meet with people – but now the trips out will be singular in intent. “To meet with clients…. period”. The only computing I need to do outside of my workspace is schedule / email and look up stuff on the web.

If you asked Kevin, this is all elaborate bullshit rationalizing to get an iPhone….

Indeed… I’m probably picking one up today – moo-haha…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Along with all this I finally made the jump to Leopard, (the newest Macintosh operating system)…

It’s super pretty and zippy… especially on the Intel-based iMac. Time machine? meh… I don’t think it’s evolved / full-realized yet…. Remember Sherlock in v9.5? They’ll figure it out – and it’ll be kick ass – in the meantime I’m doing traditional back-ups.

I’ve also transitioned to / learning CS3… Adobe is decidedly ungraceful – but I’ll bitch about that later I guess.

New O.S. … . .. . New tools.

It’s exhilerating in a way… almost feels like I’m in college again – but nicer since the decade and change behind me makes solving problems a lot faster and less frustrating.

that said – did I mention Adobe is really really ungraceful?… cumberfuck would be a better word.

wait – I said I wasn’t going to grouse about that right now.


my light show

The past five months have been undeniably the hardest I’ve ever endured but also the most enlightening.

Mortality… Relationships… The illusion of control…. Some of the bitterest and most liberating lessons include:

1: You can’t change people….
No Mao… It doesn’t come through the barrel of a gun – it comes from within and can only (at best) be inspired,… never forced.

2: Opposites attract.. but don’t stick.
Sure you can use glue – but be mindful of the people, things and situations you use as such.

3: There’s two types of motivation… The search for meaning and the search for importance.
The two (however interrelated you may think they are) are mutually exclusive.

4: You have absolutely no control over your life…. Never did… Never will…
The lie that you somehow could is the stuff entire fortunes and institutions are made of.

4.1: What you can control is how *you* : deal / deny / perceive / process, assign meaning (or importance) to *your* life.

These of course are my revelations. Your light bulbs may vary in shape, size, color and intensity. But lest we forget, (and as my recent selfish absence from the LJ community would undercore with a point side of a compass):

This is after-all my light show right?

Anyway – Just through this next wave – please remember…. I’m not selling or preaching jack-shit.

In fact – it’s my impulse to *not* share… not stuff this hard to get to… this painful … this emotionally disemboweling.

ADD-Friendly Recap about Dad-n-Stuff:

Cleaning out dad’s house and setting it up for convalescence. This required the whole month, the three of us, my mom and two 15 foot dumpsters. I hadn’t heard the term: Compulsive Hoarding yet.

I went researching after a bout where I literally fell to my knees at the foot of dad’s hospital bed – pleading with him to…
“PLEASE dad… stop buying things…. There’s just no more room in the house – and we need you to save the fraction of your cash reserves which remain for the meds your insurance isn’t covering.”

10 containers of parmesan cheese?…. 24lbs of bacon… cast aluminum tractor seats, two of em, – it doesn’t matter and to audit only invites conflict. I can guarantee you’d never be able to imagine the scope and depth of what I had simply tried to ice over and call a “improvised, enthusiastic collection of various things”.

But alas… see above enlightenment codec: light bulb #1… “You can’t change people.”

Early morning weekdays… Monday through Friday… 7am radiation treatments. I enjoyed these drives a lot….

Pop and I would talk about anything and everything… A lot of stories from the past… Like being taken to a bath-house in the 60’s… (back before they were the exclusive franchise of gays – but nevertheless frequented by them)…. Managing a psychedelic rock band in college,… working a show were Alice Cooper’s band was also playing and thinking he (Cooper) was a pretentious jack-off.

Discovering that (inexplicably since he moved to Florida when I was still a baby) – my grandpa (Jim 1.0) had the exact same irresistible compulsion to meep his horn while going under the same bridges in St. Louis.. (*the kind that go under ground – not normal bridges which span “over” a road).

Radiation is deceiving.
On the outside, you just lay there in a big beige donut with your own laser show throwing lights over you… the wall.. the table… Treatments, which lasted about 35 to 40 minutes were painless… You just lay there and hear a noise that dad described as “Like listening to a military parade marching by if you had an apartment overlooking red-square”.

On the inside your flesh burns… They took him to the maximum lifetime dose of radiation a person can get. By treatment #30 and the second adjuvant chemotherapy, dad was miserable and wanted to die… literally… Chronic dehydration kept him in and out of the ER… The steroids given to him to boost his resistance to the chemo made him a monster capable of saying the kind of terrible shit that only a loved one could.

Grief can come on like what I figure an epileptic attack must feel like. You’ll find yourself perfectly calm one minute, doing something like flipping through a caregiver-guide memorizing the signs of dehydration and septic shock – and then – out of nowhere – with no context attached to it at all… you begin to cry…. uncontrollably…. it’s all you can do to “urp-it” back up into yourself and try to hold it else make a scene.

My guts hurt for a solid month from this…. so bad at one point I was convinced I had grown a sympathy tumor somewhere in my abdominal cavity.

Meet the surgeon and do some scans… Scans show that’s there’s been no spread – but not that much shrinkage either.

He says Dad’s not a candidate for surgery…. too many other complications… Type 2 Diabetes… Smoker (still)… Overall health…

More chemo… More emergency room trips.

Christmas has become meaningless to me…. and not in a poetic angst teeny-bop way…
I mean the kind of deep-empty meaninglessness that only middle-age can perceive.

Dad spent most of this month recovering from therapies while I spent most of it wishing I could poop in my house. (the bathroom’s basically done now – but more on that later). Mom’s become an indispensable help in caring for dad… It’s almost like they’re back together in some respects – but.. remember bulb #1 – the irreconcilables (which I can see now so clearly as preventable / treatable) – still persist. So they’re more like friends now who get to be extra bitchy to one another.

I don’t bother myself much really in minding their cathartic dance… It’s theirs to finish or continue…. I’m simply thankful for the help – and the support.

Re-Scan and meet with the chemical oncologist..

The tumor appears to have gotten bigger… ๐Ÿ™

The lymph nodes which were involved near the stomach-liver junction have shrunk. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s a new lymph node that’s shown up by the pancreas. ๐Ÿ™

So.. in two weeks – another Scan.
if it looks good – wait a few months – scan again.
if it looks bad – we do a PET scan.
if it looks good – wait a few months – scan again.
if it looks bad –
More Chemo.

this will be the cycle for the rest of my dad’s life.
rinse and repeat…. till death does them part.

Speaking of…
Skated over the 14th of February, our 7th anniversary as a functioning “3-person relationship”.

The stress of the situation has taken it’s toll on us… particularly between Kevin and I.

The perspective shifts and realizations of late is going to help us through it…

thanks to light-bulb #4.1 – I’m feeling pretty at ease through all of this.

Don’t go thinking I’ve figured it all out.

I haven’t….

but I haven’t felt this much peace in a long time – if not ever.

oh yeah..

peace my friends.

sorry I’ve been so quiet.

fuck.. sorry – see – I had another one of those cry-convulsion attacks.

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