This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Even though I don't own a TV, there are a few shows that came out since 2000 that I do like.  Well, US shows.

Firefly was  a great show but got caught in the network being pissed that Wheton was taking Buffy to another network so cancelled Firefly even though it had good ratings.

But the two shows I really like are Monk and Perception, which, in one of those rare moments of introspection that I detest, I realized might not be good; relating to two crazy people.  What is kind of sad is how many times I mark off behavioral traits of each of them and think, "wow, I do that too".

Maybe I should watch sitcoms instead.

Both these characters are brilliant, which I'm not, and nuts, which I hope I'm not but sometimes worry about.  And I don't wear exactly the same clothes every day, but I do wear the same two or three pair of Lee jeans, the same four polo shirts from JC Penney's,  my four dress shirts are JC Penny's, so there might be just a little color variation, but the truth is I force myself to do that because about 10 years ago I had a couple of clients notice I was always dressed the same when I came and my niece or sister, not sure which, notice my laundry was just shades of blue, grey, or black.  So I added green, white, and an orange polo shirt from JC Penny's.

But sometimes the temptation to just buy 4 or 5 polo shirts of the same color is overwhelming.

One thing about Monk that always cracked me up was his assistant, Natalie, was always complaining about what she was paid and each season was driving a new 30K car.

But back to the point, well several points.  I downloaded Season 3 of Perception this weekend and have watched several episodes and one of the story lines is his father shows up a and is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.  This is really hard to watch.  His dad starts walking around the house stark naked, which I'm glad to say I never had to deal with - my dad always wore a shirt, and throws a fit or two then has a little accident with the ol' bowels.

And then the dad decides, while he can still think, to put himself in a home and everyone is happy at the end of the episode.  Life doesn't work that way.  I found that disappointing, taking care of his dad may have helped him with his mental illness, or pushed him over the edge.  Especially since the scenes were so realistic, even the jigsaw puzzle, and then just wrap it up.

But then, these are television shows, not the real world.  And this is a blog, which may not be there real world either.

Do any of my long term imaginary readers remember the off hand question I asked one time about "if kids can have imaginary friends, why can't adults"?   It wasn't a joke.  Maybe that's why I relate to the protagonist on Perception.  When I was taking care of my dad, it was so so lonely.  And I created an imaginary friend, then another.  Someone to talk to, one who prodded me on in difficult times.  Consoled me.  Talk to me.

I've actually started this blog three or four times to talk about that but always deleted it.  The thing is, I always knew it was made up, not real, and after my dad died they went away too, never to come back.

Well, so far.

Which is why I always discussed my wonder which of us was going crazier faster, I knew it wasn't healthy, yet, looking back, maybe it was - maybe it was healthy because the delusion got me through the hour, the days, the months.  Just as the protagonist on Perception sees imaginary people who help him think through the puzzles on the show, to solve the mysteries of the show, can people create these imaginary 'friends' to help them through moments in life?  Can you do an insane act to maintain your sanity?

I don't know.  I always wondered if Gollum in LOTR was real or imaginary, I guess real, well for a novel, since Sam saw him too, but then Frodo wrote the story, so who is to know.

Come to think of it, all my Doolittle paintings were solitary figured paintings.  Crap, I hate introspection.

But it is disappointing how television treats Alzheimer's; it's either a running comedy gag or it's nicely wrapped up before the final commercial break.  It's neither funny nor 'wrapped up' by bedtime.  It's long, it's messy, and it doesn't ever get better,  just a daily drop off to Hell.

But who wants to buy toothpaste after watching a realistic portrayal of Alzheimer's?

I met my old lover
On the street last night
She seemed so glad to see me
I just smiled
And we talked about some old times
And we drank ourselves some beers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy after all these years

I'm not the kind of man
Who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on
Old familiar ways
And I ain't no fool for love songs
That whisper in my ears
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy after all these years

Four in the morning
Crapped out, yawning
Longing my life away
I'll never worry
Why should I?
It's all gonna fade

Now I sit by my window
And I watch the cars
I fear I'll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years

Paul Simon