Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I missed the inauguration speech yesterday darn it. I've never before had the slightest interest in listening to the speech so I didn't realize it would be mid-morning. I could have at least watched or listened from work. A coworker was listening and by the time I realized what it was it was nearly over. I know I can watch it on the net somewhere but I wanted to see history in the making. Oh well. I know I'm probably being naive but for the first time in like ever I'm starting to sort of kind of maybe have a teensy bit of faith in a president. At the very least he's articulate and smart and has a sense of diplomacy and maybe for the first time in forever the rest of the world will not be laughing at us or fearing us or hating us so much that they want to crash airplanes into our buildings. In any case yesterday felt like the light at the end of a horrible, long, dark, rank tunnel full of sewer rats and cholera. And judging by the incomprehensible size of the crowds in DC I'm guessing I'm not alone in that sentiment.


I made it to Chicago today with one of the most hassle free travel experiences I've ever had. Bus to the airport was on time, plane left on time, landed 5 minutes early, waited maybe 2 minutes for my friend to pick me up, no traffic between the airport and my granparent's house-crazy! No turbulence on the plane, no screaming kids, no one hacking up a lung, I had a window seat with no one next to me and the guy on the aisle slept almost the whole way. He woke up long enough to tell me that if I needed out just let him know, no need for me to feel trapped. How nice is that? If travel was like that all the time I might do more of it or at least not dread it when I have to do it.

My grandfather is in a hospice just now and for a 92 year old Alzheimer's patient who's just had 2 heart attacks in the space of a week he's not looking half bad. He was awake when I came in the room and knew who I was. He would have a short conversation then close his eyes and fade out then bam he'd blink awake and talk to me again. They're sending him home on Friday, something I thought would never happen. Nobody really knows how long he'll go. He'll be bedridden and won't have much quality of life but thankfully he doesn't appear to be in pain.

My grandmother was pretty happy to see me and I thought the nurse was going to burst into tears when she saw how happy my grandmother got. Yeah, the mega-expensive plane ticket was worth it.

I'm having a hard time figuring out everyone's schedules, when I'm supposed to take my grandmother to the hospice and bring her home (sounds simple but somehow my family has made it into a confusing logic problem) plus other complications I won't bore you all with. A simple trip to the grocery store tomorrow is turning into a major expedition. When you work full time and juggle several hobbies you learn to be very efficient with time. I squeeze grocery shopping in before work or at night on my way home from swim practice, it's certainly not the centerpiece of my day and I don't put a whole lot of thought into it. I could not understand the big fuss or why my grandmother needed to go with me since I could probably get it done in half the time myself until I realized that for her it's something to look forward to, something to get her out of the house and the hospice and give her a sense of normalcy. I now feel bad telling her she couldn't go and now that I've realized what's going on I'll certainly take her with me tomorrow but as you can see I'm a little slow with fitting into the rhythm of what's going on around here and switching gears from my own way of doing things. It'll be a bit chaotic at first when they move my grandfather home but so much better and easier for everybody.

Despite my grandmother's protests I think I'm going to try cooking her something tomorrow. Dinner for her seems to be another crazy overblown problem so when we were at the hospice I told her I'd make her dinner tomorrow. She can hardly hear at all but boy she heard that and protested loudly, 'Oh no you won't!' Then she turned to the nurses and said, 'Her husband, now he can cook'. Yeah, I know I suck at cooking and the insurance company would prefer that I wouldn't but I sort of kind of want to learn and now I finally have the time and a reason to do it so why not try? If it's a disaster then there's always take-out. And she has an electric stove so the potential for fires is reduced I think. Plus the food she has on her shopping list! Half of it is crackers or snack food of some kind. She never used to be like this and I'm determined to make her something somewhat healthy.

It's weird being in a house with no dogs. My grandmother always had a dog but when the last one died maybe 8 years ago she never got another because it was too much work with them in their 80's. The house felt so empty in the years that I came home after the dog died and now that I have a houseful of my own dogs it feels even weirder. Tomorrow or Friday I'll visit my friend who just adopted a second dog that I haven't met yet so I'll get a little doggy fix.

Now if someone could please do something about the weather. It was 71 in Boulder today and, uh, 20 something here. Why ever did I move away?


  1. You fool, moving away from the famous chicago winters! What were you thinking?

  2. I know. Frostbite is underrated.