One Last Bite

Updated to add: My dear and lovely wife Rita is gone. She passed at seven p.m. here in Germany the last day of September, after battling a series of cancers and tumors that eventually consumed her. She passed at home, in as peaceful and loving an environment as any of us could wish for ourselves or any of the loved ones we hold dear. She was truly a very special princess.  Details of memorials and services to follow. This blogpost was being proofed for release as I watched over her in her final hours.

Fast Food and Timeless Love

Those who follow my life’s travails on Facebook will have a better grip on the decidedly gloomy situation imposed upon our family by the continued degradations from my wife’s terminal illness.  There’s enough pain, sorrow and heartache to drive many a formerly sober man to whisky, without delving into the hoarier details involved in cohabiting in the apartment above my 85 year old Nazi-era mother-in-law!  Before proceeding, be advised that these missives have been prepared and released under the most dire of circumstances and incredible stresses.

On the matter of the extraneous errata of my sick mind, it’s probably as a result of the mind blowing decisions my wife and I discussed being up against, of which a brief glimpse is offerered in the love story I’m sharing with you today.

Whatever else bubbles out of my brain, today’s offering is just a ‘simple’ tale of a man and his dying wife going out on their last dinner date together in a romantic German location, on a rare balmy night in late Autumn somewhere close enough to Paris to fear guillotines pulled by donkeys headed north.

For some odd reason, the French really have issues with the past when it comes to dealing with the Germans, but there were no wagon wheels or donkey hooves pounding north on the cobblestone streets the night of our last dinner together.  It was just another of the minor blessings that have fallen our direction.

We grab blessings these days with all the vigor we can manage, because time and the degree of significance of their appearance is amplified by the deepening shadows and gathering storms we’ve ignored in order to remain in our amorous stupor for as long as is humanly possible.  You count your blessings where you find them.  That’s the philosophy Rita and I have maintained for a quarter century together and I’m not messing with success.

The Gathering Storms

If you’ve an aversion to fear, death, Nazi storm troopers, video game screen caps or humor bred of morbid fear and impending doom, stop now.  Everyone else…..
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The Last Muse

Last week Rita and I managed to sneak off to a favorite coffee shop/bistro the Cafe Muse.  In the duration, I’m afraid her condition has worsened to the point that it’s unlikely we’ll be making any trips outside the house for coffee again.

I have truly been blessed to have spent the last twenty five years with Rita, and I shall cherish every minute we have left together.

 

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Enjoy.

Spring Housecleaning

Dead of Winter

Since my often wonky Internet connection seems to be momentarily solid, having no doubt worn itself ragged from jumping up and down like a midget on a Dutch hooker the duration of this morning, I shall attempt a quick but meaty post on current affairs.  I know the title seems a bit inappropriate for this time of year, but with the winter two thirds over and STILL not a speck of snow (or a good hard freeze) here in my German neighborhood, it seems like spring is ready to break out any day now.  I’ve been a bit less active on my blog lately, owing to the distractions and perturbations of life, but still post willy-nilly across many social platforms and websites, even if I don’t post full-on blog entries with as much regularity as I would otherwise be compelled.  Figured I’d hit my main talking points in one fell swoop here.   First the big three.

Sex

I am still for it, even though my pom-poms are dangling a bit lower than your average hip-hopper’s pants. My wife is also struggling with health issues that make my rooting for sex a more prominent feature of the day than actually having any, but going out to dinner and talking dirty to each other before coming home and passing out in bed was already a prominent feature in our post-50 bag of sex tricks, so it’s not as huge an issue as if we were in our more succulent youth.

That said, I don’t think women need help from Republicans in figuring out their end of the deal, so why the hell won’t these rightwing politicos keep their hands off women’s vaginas?  I like handling a vagina as much as the next guy, but I know I’m only renting it and am not allowed to go nailing pictures all over the walls and trying to install new plumbing fixtures, let alone make up new rules on the maintenance thereof.   Ferchrissakes.

Politics

Politics.  Pardon Snowden and build a statue of him next to the Washington Monument.  Put some bankers in jail from the space being freed by not arresting pot smokers.  Quit arresting pot smokers.  Quit pretending that legalized pot is the end of the world as we know it, particularly you highly paid TV perps with all the false pearl clutching (you know who they are). Put some of those torturers from the past Bush administration in jail before you go all half-cocked about other countries and their “international” obligations to law and justice.  Give us all a fucking break.

Religion

A wish fulfillment fantasy for nervous mortals.  Still as useless as tits on a pumpkin.  In dwindling demand, but still a huge threat to national and international stability due to their reckless reliance on poppycock in their search for deeper meanings in shallow water.

Life

Having a few teeth pulled this week is nothing compared to what Rita is dealing with. My wife is hanging onto life tenaciously, even as she struggles to deal with her terminal cancer.  It’s  already been a bit over a year since she abandoned her unsuccessful treatment regime at a renowned German lung clinic, walking away from an opportunity to turn herself into a long-term medical experiment for a bunch of curious doctors.  Her local doctors are now pushing us to make accommodations at a full blown palliative care facility.  That is an unlikely event in any case, since my wife would sooner do herself in at one fell swoop, than linger in such a pitiful state for weeks/months.  She is still not ambulatory.  She still manages to teach English classes and keep our business running, but her pain is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and the prescriptive solutions more debilitating.  It’s a heartbreaking and worrisome thing to have to witness.  Right now we’re hoping she’ll be physically able to make our 25th wedding anniversary at the end of the month.  Dinner in Paris.

Living

We’re still getting along as near “normal” as we can under the circumstances.  My wife continues to worry more about my future success without her, than she does with the fact that she has bigger issues of her own right now.  I don’t want her to worry about me.  Providence has seen fit to bless me in ways that most men only dream about.  I have no idea why the dice of the universe haven’t crapped me out already, but I’m optimistic on my future even as I attempt to squelch the tears from considering the present situation with my wife.

Blogging

I’ll continue to blog, tweet, post pix, just as I always have.  The subjects will continue to be as diverse as my interests.  I’m still in love with Spotify and thankful to be able to reach out and access so much music.  My wife and I both engage in a fair amount of musical therapy made more pleasant by their vast catalog of music and our deep (read: old people) memories of songs from out past.  I pop in-check in on Yelp every now and then.  I’ll occasional throw a comment on my GetGlue TV social app when viewing a show I like, but never in real-time, since my TV and time is shifted by half a globe from the US.  I’ve been tossing up a few odd AudioBoos lately.  Also trying to spread my photos across several apps.  My main pro Flickr account, Instagram and Facebook get the biggest share of my pics.  Look forward to more photo blogging fun since I acquired my Sony DSC-QX10 for Xmas.  I’ll be trying to organize and post a lot of pics locked on my computer at present and adding new stuff along the way as well.  A fairly comprehensive map to my social media is on my Social page here at this blog for those who are interested.

Enjoy.

Random Recap of Everything

World

DetroitSyria

Even though most of the mideast reminds Obama of Detroit, that’s no excuse for intervention.  Let’s drop some jobs into Detroit instead of bombs on foreigners.

We have no business in Syria. None. Let them kill each other off on their own, and in whatever fashion suits them best. We have no friends over there. When you can’t even fool a drunken Brit into tagging along you know you have a problem. Time to defund the spies. The NSA seems extremely adept at accessing and cross-filing Grandma’s emails (lest the Gray Panthers get a toehold on society). It’s great that they’re keeping an eye on the proliferation of heavily sharpened knitting needles, but even more worrisome that they still can’t provide accurate, reliable real-time operational foreign intelligence.

NSA Dick Check

UN Toilet Cam

Capturing small talk in the men’s loo at the UN? Easy Peezy.  Still totally clueless on any issue involving WMD’s.  Are you kidding me?

USA

Seattle-Butcher-Sells-Prosciutto-Made-From-Marijuana-Fed-Pigs

The pot fed pork producing industry (centered in Seattle -DUH) just got some good news.

Obama finally decided to call off the Feds over Colorado, Washington and California marijuana legalization rulings. He left the door to fascism cracked open wide enough that the Prison Industrial Complex is still smiling.  No change to the federal classification aligning marijuana with heroin. In other “drug” news it was reported that 500 people die every year from Tylenol overdoses and 50 to 80 thousand seek emergency room services from negative reactions to acetaminophen.  This prompted a voluntary change in the label.  Glad that’s tended to.

Hell’s Kitchen

Wildfires US 2013

With names like Incendiary Point and Hell’s Canyon it’s a wonder these places haven’t self immolated long ago.

The entire western half of the US appears to be on fire. Visitors to whatever is left of our western national park system should be required to carry portable firefighting gear on all future camping expeditions as well as pine seedlings to replant the blighted forests.

Tech

Bye Bye Balmer

Ballmer quits at Microsoft. About dam time. Most of the American workforce would already have been pink-slipped for much less serious failures, like showing up to work an hour late because they had to take their sick child to the clinic. This clown should not have survived Vista, let alone the aborted Courier and the not aborted ZuneRT.

Armed and Dangerous

iPhoneyItI won’t be long before everyone is wondering how they ever got along without a smart watch. Or not.  I have a hard time seeing the appeal so you know I’ll absolutely have to have one as soon as they come out.  In the end I think the eyeglass viewer is going to become the dominant smartphone interface, though the watches will probably sell well enough to gain a strong foothold.  Toughness and weather resistance is going to matter.

The Return of the Brick Phone

Brick Phone

Those cute little smartphones we all took home as cuddly kittens are poised to grow as big as adult grizzlies. By the time the market fully matures the number one selling phone accessory is going to be a backpack to carry all your gear. It’ll be Phabulous.

Errata

Looking into the future of Google Glass I see a Sergei Brin divorce on the horizon.

Windows tablets continue to suck, at any price.

Nintendo just released a new hand held gaming device that doesn’t include a Twitter app or a phone. What the hell are they thinking?

PZ Myers has still not been formally banned from the internet and continues with his wild ass ruminations.

Life

Johnny and Sonya

Everything continues to blossom in my world, even with the many burdens providence has seen fit to vex me with.  It won’t be long before we get to see the newest iteration of the iPhone, so reschedule that appointment you made with the Dutch euthanasia society.

There’s still something worth living for.

Enjoy.

High Society

German Princess

I’m doing a little housekeeping and while sorting through the myriad boxes of “life” that have collected over the ages I ran across this old newspaper clip:

Well Traveled Teen

It’s an article that a newspaper in Orange Texas published back in the Apollo 11 era. The article included a picture of my wife Rita (top) when she was fifteen years old, who at the time, was traveling around the US with her mother and grandmother.

For what it’s worth, nobody here in Europe did a newspaper story on me when I got here.  As far as I can tell they don’t give two tugs on a dead dog’s cock about me, but then I’m not the rock star my wife is/was.

The text on the original is faded and difficult to make out clearly, so I took the time to transcribe it for posterity.  Any bolding or hyperlinking (duh) has been added by me:

A teenager who has combined, as the old Dionne Warwick song goes, “the best of both worlds” is visiting friends with her family in Orange (Texas).
She is Rita Brunson, 15 –but doesn’t look it– from Essen, Germany. Along with her mother and grandmother, she is making a two week trip to the United States.
They are staying for several days at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Richard Reese, whom they met in Le Havre, France, when the Reeses were on vacation there.
The story in itself would be interesting enough, but put this in your pipe.  During her young life Miss Brunson has lived in almost every Western European country, Guatemala and once she called Jersey City, NJ home for a year.
To make it even more confusing she is an American citizen, and speaks English flawlessly.
The story, however was clarified when she said she was the daughter of an American engineer.  Her mother is German and operates a restaurant in Essen.
She had attended French, German and American schools, was born in Germany and has spent about two and a half years of her life in the U.S.  With the exception of Jersey City, most of these were whistle stop trips.
Thus far on this trip her family has visited New York, Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas – to visit friends they med in Madrid – and Orange.
She responded to questions about life here as opposed to Germany.
“American young people, they have more activities.  The German’s go to church because most are Catholic. The sports are more interesting here.  In Germany they belong to clubs and you have to be 18 to join,” she said.
The clubs she said, are special,clubs, and youth participate in such activities as tennis and horseback riding. “In Orange, you can’t do much here, but it is fun in a way.  If you know people, you can do things. The people, are very friendly, helpful.  They’re warmer,” she said.
“The Germans have an older culture than Americans.  Americans live freely, but Germans don’t live as freely.
“The Americans, their jobs pay more.  In Germany, that’s not it.  The Americans don’t specialize on industrial work and that’s what the Germans do,” she said.
Miss Brunson said that in Germany, the “young people go to discotheques in the evening and the older people just stay home and have a good time.  That (discotheques) is what they don’t have here.”
Miss Brunson said the educational system in Germany was much more specialized than that of the United States and that students begin training for a profession at a very early age.
For the record, Miss Brunson prefers the American way of dating.
“In Germany, if they go out with a girl they just meet. They go alone. In America the boy acts like he was grateful for the date and in Germany the boys don’t. Here, you go more steady.”
 
I’ve chosen to share this with my readers as a tribute to my lovely wife and as documentary evidence that I am indeed the luckiest man alive.
 
Enjoy.