Which I HAVE to mention, since he was exiled from the strip before Liz was out of elementary school.
And Jim makes up for his physical immobility by "keeping his mind active". Does Lynn know the first thing about strokes? Listening to CDs is not, in and of itself, going to help someone recover from brain damage. It's not a matter of him getting to take a break (from what -- Iris losing track of him at the MegaloMart?). He's lost crucial skills.
April's given him a couple of Beatles albums; I was surprised at first to hear that someone her age would be interested in a 60's pop act
60s pop act?! Are you kidding me? This is my number one, all-time gripe with the baby boomers: claiming that they OWN the Beatles. Saying that they're the greatest band ever (maybe, but I hate to make such a grand pronouncement; certainly Led Zeppelin was better on stage, and the Grateful Dead outlived their leader instead of the other way around), and at the same time, acting as if no one else could POSSIBLY understand or appreciate them, because non-boomers are dumb and shallow. At least she didn't make a crack about April not knowing Paul McCartney was in a group before Wings. OTOH, it's actually kind of consistent for Elly to call the Beatles a "60s pop act", as if they're on the same level as the Chocolate Watchband. I wouldn't expect Mrs. Bobby Curtola to realize their cultural significance.
Iris has taken up the challenge of helping [Jim] get around until he can take care of himself again, which we hope will happen!
Well, yeah. Who's going to do it for her? Your "hope" is not going to change anything.
April is just, well...dealing!
And of COURSE she gets drawn back to the store. Dog in the freakin' manger. And I'm really sure Moira just "happened" to need an extra pair of hands. I wish she would grow a spine and tell Elly, "You sloughed off your responsibilities when you were the owner; you don't get to stick your two cents in now."
Annie's neice Karen? Where do all these people come from?
I'm concerned about Iris having taken on a caregiver job. Still, worry is not productive so I'm putting my energy into working!
Why don't you put your energy into helping Iris?! That would be PRODUCTIVE, all right.
Kortney. OMG. When Elly was "absentmindedly rifling through my bag with one hand as I walked through the door, and so I wasn't watching where I was going", Kortney should have yanked it away from her. I always watch myself when I'm leaving a bank for exactly that reason. And why should she acknowledge you? If you don't want an apology, and she didn't offer one, what else is there? You say you don't hold a grudge, but perhaps she is ashamed of her actions. And admit it, lady: you're only upset with her because she lied to YOU and betrayed YOUR trust. NOT because she threatened your daughter.
John: You know, it's like Neal Page said to Del Griffith: "Everything is not an anecdote!" You went to a convention and the roads were bad. WOW. The black ice is always where you least expect it. Well, that's kind of the point. You go into a trance while you're driving. That's real safe. You specialize in doing things the most complicated way there is. Since when.
And I thought you already told us about the kiddie car. Or was that another one, that you supposedly got for Merrie and Robin, then hogged while they stood forlornly watching Grampa John making an ass of himself?
And we finally get the genesis of the train obsession! The "Looky-Chug-Chug"! If there really was such a thing, not that I feel like Googling for it, who wants to be that eBay will get a run on it this week.
And this curdles my blood: I have been in third world countries and noticed some of the kids playing happily in cardboard boxes while their mothers look after a little roadside booth or restaurant. It takes me back to some wonderful times.
Except, what third world countries has he been in? Perhaps he went to inner city Detroit (no offense to any Michiganders) and THOUGHT it was a third world country.
And in general, this obsession with toys is really disturbing. I'm beginning to wonder why they let this guy work with sharp instruments. And you know why your gifts to women go unappreciated? Because you don't put any thought into them. You probably just grab the set of candles or dusting powder that's nearest the entrance and call it a day.
Liz: Lady, it was a BOOK before it was a movie. And before that, it was a radio drama. Not that I expect you to know that much, of course. And it's not a matter of what Marvin looks like; it's his attitude. And you most certainly do not have a brain the size of a planet. And just so you know, DNA is dead :snif: so don't get any ideas about meeting him at a convention or something.
And Jim's on medication? Was he on medication before? My mom has been taking anti-coagulants for years, because heart trouble runs in her family, and she's managed to avoid strokes so far.
I can only imagine how hard it must be to be trapped in an unresponsive body when your mind is still sharp.
Just reverse that situation, dear.
Although I do give her credit for apparently understanding Jim well enough so she can make a picture board that suits him. Especially the ear with the line through it. And oh, you can't visit often? How about cutting down on your visits with Granthony?
And I could be wrong, but should she really be sharing this with her class? And what experiences do they have that are relevant?
And gee, she's been spending a lot of time with Granthony. It's been said before: they should NOT be in communication with each other AT ALL. Certainly not IN the bloody courthouse. IRL, this case would have been tossed out weeks ago, just for that. And she's a "nervous wreck"? Is there anything that doesn't get her all unstrung?
And living at home is a "challenge"? Sweets, the challenge you should be facing is that of living on your own. Failing that, of course, you could, I dunno, work out a bathroom schedule with April, keep on top of Shiimsa without acting like it's an ordeal, and play along with your dad instead of relishing your bad moods? You're not a lot of fun to be around, sounds like.
And you can't even talk about communicating with Paul without bitching about it. And honey? "In the works" means "forget it." In fact, it might even mean "Chipper will be here any minute; gotta sign off."
Gah. I feel better now that I've written this, but right now I'm in an endless loop. Or a logjam. Or a bottleneck. However you want to describe it, something's got to give and I just hope it isn't my sanity!
Bed. Made. Lie.
April: That's the first time I've heard her make a joke about her name. I do hope the pun sickness has not gotten to her.
And see, she finds time to visit Jim! Even though she is a Martian creature. And sure enough, she's trying to reach him through music. And Iris gets free rein to be Jim's mouthpiece! Silver lining! (For her.)
And we get an explanation for the costumes. Personally, I thought they were okay, even in the color comics. But April's habit of describing projects in detail ("I mixed sugar with food coloring, which is really difficult to get just the right amount or you end up with brown instead of purple...") is another example of how the writers have her lagging behind the typical stage of development for her age. And what's the big deal about making the costumes a surprise?
And yeah, since when is Liz some great, skilled housekeeper? I don't blame April for preferring to avoid this, especially if she's been doing chores for years and Elly never had a problem with her methods. And the dishwasher-loading obsession has passed to the next generation! And who is Liz to gripe about hair in the shower? Since when is it her bathroom OR her house?
And Shiimsa, to whom April is allergic, gets the run of the house. Well, I don't expect Liz to have that much respect for April's needs. But if April anticipates Liz getting a hair up her ass upon seeing this letter, so what if she does? She probably doesn't listen when April tells her this stuff face to face; how else can April get the message across?
I sure am glad we didn't get the end of the Hallowe'en party storyline spoiled for us, though.
Michaelagh: God damn it, Mike, we've heard this before. Commuting is a panacea to you. ANYTHING that takes you away from your family is a panacea to you.
And you call Portrait magazine, of which you are the editor, a rag? Did you really mean to say that? And what the frack do you mean, you don't know where you're going? And "practical" is not the polar opposite of "physical", just so you know.
What's the "blue light"? The computer? And of course it was imminently important that everyone should know about Divala being convicted. Yet more proof that anyone who crosses a Patterson must. pay. And the production staff grumbles about how little they're appreciated, yet you wish you were one of them? WTF?
And stop waxing poetic about the fracking breakroom. Have you been to visit Jim even ONCE? And you sure remember a lot of details about that front desk girl. Cleavage on both sides? You mean butt cleavage? Wouldn't she have been told to clean up her act if that were the case? Or did it happen just once, perhaps even inadvertently, and it's just you who's been obsessing about it?
And the obligatory reference to THINKING about your family. And are you for real? In the same paragraph, you describe how quaint the houses on your street are, then you call them hookers?
And there's a way to dispel tension. Put your money where your fracking mouth is and spend some time with your family. Or call Deanna on having oopsed you, file for divorce and become a weekend dad. Either way, with one ass, you can't sit on two horses.
And Meredith wets the bed. Is that something to be shrugged off? Not the matter itself (although I can guess who always has to change the sheets) but d'you think this might, maybe, possibly be a sign of some deeper trouble? And you can cram that "I'm stubborn" business. Stubborn about what, for crissakes? Now that the Saga of Sheliagh is finished, is that it, or will you find some other excuse? And sixteen months? Huh? And how is it that Sheilagh's child (children?) are such an incredible source of strength for her, but not yours for you? Oh right: she's a woman. And women are soooooo strong.
It's midnight. Deanna kissed me at nine and told me not to get too tired before I came to bed. She didn't ask what time. She never does. She just puts her arms around me, even in her sleep, and accepts me into the warmth of her presence.
This. Just. Makes. Me. Sad.
And I'll wonder, even though I know my daily destination all too well...where am I really going?
You have nothing to be confused or uncertain about. You know damn well what you have to do. You just. don't. want to.
Doormat: Man, she's reduced to giving advice on how to overcome the humungous obstacle of DST. Anyway, what's so difficult about falling back? You GAIN an hour!
Light bulbs. Blankets. Sleep. She's decorating her prison cell. I take back what I said earlier. She and Mike will never divorce. He's too self-centered to give up his meal ticket, and she's too deep in hibernation to ever adapt to single parenthood.
He's also having trouble swallowing, and has weakness in his left leg which makes it hard for him to get around. This means that the stroke affected both sides of his brain and was perhaps two separate events.
I'm not sure how you reached that conclusion, but nice retcon. And that beef and barley soup "pudding"...I'm glad I already ate. Except all this boils down to (heh) is "Mush it up."
And she finally has some concern for her parents. Of course, typical for them, they're "more inclined to talk about distributing their assets than talking about health care and living arrangements." They'll just never give up that dream that their grandchildren won't always have to live in a firetrap, will they. Those bastards.
And MIKE took the kids t-or-t'ing. Of course he takes the easy jobs. And Lovey is eager to participate in a Christian holiday (yeah, I know it's lost most if not all of its religious significance...but Lovey is old enough that she might see it that way. IRL of course.) while the mean Kelpfroths don't participate. Except, do they have to? They don't live in an individual house; perhaps they thought Lovey had it covered. And as much as you guys hate them, they could have been paranoid about showing "too much" interest in the "cute and colorful parade". And sure enough, Mike called off the t-or-t'ing early. I'm really sure Merrie WANTED to come back. But at least Doormat didn't knock herself out making elaborate costumes.
And it's odd that we don't hear Dee's side of the fried-fish/Mike-should-quit-Portrait marital tension. Perhaps she's too deep in denial. Perhaps she's really not been making an issue of it, but Mike overreacted to a simple suggestion. Perhaps she doesn't want to air dirty laundry. Perhaps if she said what she really thinks, they couldn't print it. Perhaps she's going to pull another prescription switcheroo, this time with Mike's cold medicine or something, and she can't discuss it.
The Olds: Jim's got a strong will, and he insists upon doing as much for himself as he possibly can. What can he do, for heaven's sake? And of the tasks he can do, which ones do you let him do? You won't even let him hold his own oatmeal spoon.
And I knew it; I just knew it: Jim gets off on being massaged. Well, he has to find pleasure where he can.
And of COURSE Iris's daughter is a geriatric nurse. I love how these professionals sprout up wherever Lynn plants them. And how wonderful that she's coming to visit from Barrie, wherever that is. I'm sure it's a lot easier than DRIVING ACROSS TOWN.
Deanna has also been very helpful - she's expressed her desire to do more to help us, so I asked her to double check on the work of our regular pharmacy. Jim's taking quite a few medications right now and I've been concerned about interactions which may have been overlooked
BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA! Asking Deanna about drug interactions! Oh, you crack me UP! ::wipes eyes:: That's priceless! I gotta remember that one. Hey, let's also ask Elly about computers!
Some of our friends have been, I'll say it - avoiding us, lately, which is frustrating but understood. We're all elderly. Seeing Jim, the energetic former cornerstone of the local geriatric music scene, reduced to his current state has not been easy for those of us who are, every day, more conscious of our own mortality. We've had one or two well-wishers stop by, but many of our friends seem to feel awkward about reaching out.
Well, no offense, but how many of them are capable of it? From the stories you guys have told, it seems that others were losing their abilities at a pretty steady rate. There are probably new people who don't know you guys very well, since they came in to replace the ones who died or moved on to full-fledged nursing homes. And furthermore, it's often the case that the people who give most to a community are left high and dry when they're the ones in need. Sad, but it happens.
Pets: Interesting that it's Liz for a change. Probably doesn't want April to write it this month; she wants to be able to make excuses for Shiimsa.
Jesus H. Four animals in one house. What do you expect? No wonder Elly gripes about vacuuming. Hey, I wonder if she's asked Liz to vacuum? If she has, probably Liz says, "But I have
And I know it's been discussed before, but first of all, Shiimsa harassing Edgar is not funny, even in and of itself. Second of all, damn right your mom doesn't find this amusing. They are not YOUR curtains. It's not for YOU to say she's "had them too long." You can shell out for a new set, then.
"My mom just needs to learn to coexist with an animal as intelligent as Shiimsa...as soon as we all learn to accommodate Shiimsa's Napoleon complex we'll be fine." Are you kidding me? Can you HEAR yourself? You know, this is very much like Fiona Brass's attitude, when she invited herself to your parents' house right after Apes was born. And your dad was willing to rent an apartment for her since that was the only way to get shot of her. Is that what you're aiming for, perhaps?
And your cat pukes up hairballs, and it's your MOM'S problem that this upsets her? Oh man...If you were my kid (not that I have any, but still) you'd be back in Mtig on the strength of my foot in your ass.