Saturday, December 25, 2004

31 Thanksgiving, wiper blades, xmas eve, mudras

12-25-2004 Mayatime 11 Ik 5 Kankin

It’s been a long time since I wrote, I know. I’ve been busy working on my novels and trying to get my non-fiction book published.

It’s been six months since the aliens stole my father’s brain and probably a month since I wrote about him. I’ve seen him during that time, of course, but just never had the time to write about him.

At Thanksgiving he was quiet. None of his usual blathering about raspberries or any of his other favorite topics. My mom’s observed that he doesn’t talk and eat, he just eats. And wow, does he eat. He eats very slowly, and cuts up his food ridiculously small (dissects it really) and just doesn’t stop until he’s done–which is when he eats his salad and then drinks the salad dressing (ugh. Salad dressing is SO GROSS)–why he doesn’t eat the salad FIRST I don’t know. Then he has his dessert, which everyone else is finished with. He cuts his food so much that he can’t eat off a paper or Styrofoam plate anymore. My grandmother has to give him a "real" plate because he was scratching the table and food juice/sauce would go everywhere.

After the turkey-day meal, he went downstairs to do something and everyone left. We were outside talking; my sister-in-law was giving me a gift to give to my best friend for her baby and my father comes running out, all upset that everyone was leaving without saying goodbye. But we didn’t know where he was!

About a month ago, I had to go to a party at Mountainside for work. That was the first real snow we had, and the place is aptly named-you have to go up (up-up-up the stairs and then...the tunnel...)(sorry, couldn’t resist) a hill and then drive along a narrow residential road with a steep drop on one side, all in ice and snow, sliding even in 4-wheel drive. (It’s really a summer resort, but I’ve only been there in the winter, and it’s always a lousy night.) My whole car was covered with ice. I had to crawl in through the passenger door (in a dress!), and I had no ice scraper, so I sat in the car with all the defrosters on full blast waiting for it to melt enough that I could use wiper fluid. I destroyed my wiper blades, which weren’t in good condition anyway. It took me 45 minutes to creep home on these snowy icy roads. (Mountainside is near where I used to work, about 10 minutes away on good roads.) I stopped at an auto-parts store and bought a set of winter wiper blades. I asked my husband to put them on for me. He never did.

I drove around with these blades in my car for THREE weeks, and meanwhile whenever I used my wipers pieces of rubber were curling off. So I thought, maybe my dad, who sold cars for over 30 years, knows how to put on wiper blades. I stopped at the store where he "works" and he came out and looked at the blades and couldn’t figure them out. I looked at the directions which called for a screwdriver so I borrowed one, but it was a bolt-type screw and no way to hold the other end so the whole thing turned. Pretty useless. The guy my dad "works" for suggested I take the blades to the Texaco station. I know Mr Porto, he pumps my gas, and he might put the blades on, but it was bitter cold out and I didn’t even buy the blades from him. I decided to go back to where I bought them. I brought the blades in and said "I want to return these." If they had asked, I would have explained that my husband is too busy playing World of Warcraft and my father’s brain has been stolen by aliens and I have no one to put them on for me. They didn’t ask, just gave me my money back. So I still have no wiper blades.

When I got home, my dad called me ("Hi, it’s Bob") and wanted to know if Porto’s put the blades on. I explained that I returned them. He got all bent out of shape, yelling that he was going to walk over there (it’s only a few doors away) and kill Mr Porto, who is about 75 years old and has arthritis. I told him Mr Porto had nothing to do with it. "Why wouldn’t he put them on for you if he sold them to you?" "He didn’t sell them to me. He pumps my gas, that’s all." "Well I’m going to go over there and say something to him." "Why? He has nothing to do with this. I bought the blades from the auto parts store" (Which is in between where he "works" and the Texaco station Mr Porto owns.) "Why wouldn’t they put them on?" "Because they don’t do that, they’re a retail store." "So Meriden Hyundai wouldn’t put them on either?" Number 1: I did not purchase my Pathfinder from Meriden Hyundai, where Dad used to work. Number 2: I did not purchase the wiper blades from Meriden Hyundai. Number 3: Why would a Hyundai dealer stock wiper blades for a Nissan anyway? Try to explain all this to a guy who has Alzheimer’s. "No, dad, I didn’t even go there." "Why not?" I explained points 1-3, to no avail. "Just go up there and they’ll put them on for you." "I don’t have them anymore, Dad, I returned them and got my money back. Don’t worry about it." And so on. Finally, still grumbling about Mr Porto, he hung up. I called my mom to apologize. As soon as I hung up the phone rang again. He didn’t say hi or identify himself, in fact I think he was already talking. More of the same. Funny, really, if it hadn’t been so sad.

My mom told me about a going-out-to-eat incident where she nearly strangled him. He was driving, and they went to Applebee’s, which was crowded. Instead of finding out how long the wait was, he refused to stop the car and drove away. He decided to go to Wendy’s instead (how one goes from Applebee’s food to Wendy’s is incredible. I’d go to Chili’s, which is across the street from Applebee’s.) There was no one in the Wendy’s parking lot so he decided it was closed and drove away. My mom convinced him to stop at the new place across from McDonald’s. They went inside and the menu was too much for him, too much variety, he couldn’t decide, so they ended up going home.

Yesterday for Xmas Eve the 4 of us (me, Will, mom, dad) went to 99 Restaurant (which we always called "99 House" for some reason–was it ever called that?). It was the usual. "What do I like? Have I tried this?" and he wanted cocktail shrimp, which the 99 doesn’t sell, they have coconut shrimp. He thought they could make some for him without the coconut and was very upset that my mom wouldn’t even let him ask.

I recently joined a new Yahoo group: and the man who runs it, DK, is from India. He has uploaded all sorts of articles and mudras and wanted to know what people were interested in. I told him about my dad and he was excited (which isn’t the usual reaction)–he has been looking for an Alzheimer’s person with a Reiki connection. He has given me 2 mudras for my dad (both VERY EASY) and a list of things to do to help my dad.

Yesterday over lunch I taught him the first mudra, and we all did it–it’s for memory. Today I am going to teach him the 2nd one and also put up some signs around the house.

Merry Christmas-Yule-Kwanza-Chanukah-whatever everyone! And happy new year in case I don’t write this week.