Dementia: Holding onto Reason

balloons-storm-demenia


Source: Cart via Madame Scherzo. Unpublished cover for New Scientist magazine about oncoming Dementia and how to manage it.

Enough already

funny-snow-winter-shovel


Image Credit

Flight Log: The Final Frontier

Travel, story,weather,airplane,aircraft

My journey from NYC westward continues.  A five hour non-stop flight has morphed into a surreal 2 day experience with stops at JFK (with 2 plane changes), LGA (with full airport evacuation), Detroit and Chicago. This is the last leg of the journey.  (Prior posts for this trip are referenced below along with the post dedication.)


The 45 minute hop from Detroit to Chicago was quiet. No chop. A Quiet cabin. Light snow was falling in Chicago carpeting the catering trucks and the luggage carriers. A slender, stoop-shouldered man guided the aircraft in. His hoodie was covered in snow. His fluorescent batons offered a soft illumination. It’s feeling a lot like Christmas Eve. In February.

The City that works. The Machinery was humming this evening. Plows. Sand trucks. Baggage handlers. Crew. De-icers coating the aircraft in a lemon colored bath. A beautiful orchestra. All to get us somewhere safely. I’m feeling gratitude.

My Son was born here. In Chicago. I burroughed deep and back to find a moment. Susan is pulling him on a red sled to greet me as I walk home from the train station returning from work. His chubby cheeks are red. His hair is matted and wet from layers of clothing. His smile…a lighthouse beacon. His arms reaching up. “Dada! Dada!” I reach down to grab him. I hold him close. I can feel his warm breath on my neck as he nuzzles. I miss my son often. And especially when I’m tired. Like now. When the aching just won’t stop.

Cheryl found me eerily calm during this journey. I had many hours to contemplate why. She no longer covered my business and left about the time I started blogging. This hobby. This community. This labor of love. This stringing of words together and having someone actually care to read it. A miracle drug. It stills and softens the mind. It injects peace where none formerly existed. Albert Camus said “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” This. THIS allows me to turn away from the world.

My finger lingers over the Publish button. The cabin is dark with the exception of a handful of us hunched over our screens. 35,000 feet in the air, my wireless icon is flashing. I’m wired.

It’s a miracle. All of it.

Me. Family. Our dog. Friends. You, yes you, reading this. This iPad. My Eye sight. This plane flying. Pizza. (I’m famished.)

All of it.

Too big to figure out.

Too important not to find a small corner of it to call my own.

My finger hovers over the Publish button again. Proof read it again? Is it too much? Is it over the top? Is it good enough?

Friend, you’re asking yourself the wrong question. The only question that matters to help you decide if you should hit Publish:

Is it a miracle?

(PUBLISH)


Same trip – related posts:

This post is dedicated to Shara who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to book and re-book flights, get seat assignments, and keep me moving forward to my destination at all hours of the day and night.  Thank you Shara.


Flight Log: MotorCity USA

 funny,laugh,painful

My journey from NYC westward continues.  A five hour non-stop flight has morphed into a surreal 2 day experience with stops at JFK (with 2 plane changes), LGA (with full airport evacuation) and now Detroit.  There are still two legs to go however let’s camp out in Detroit for a moment.  (Prior posts for this trip are referenced below.)


Heading to MotorCity USA.

We are descending on a gentle, clockwise turn into Detroit Metro. The pilot touches the giant bird down – a 30 ton sparrow gliding into her feathered nest.

I catch myself humming a tune from one of Detroit’s finest: Seger.

I think I’m going to Katmandu,
That’s really, really where I’m going to.
If i ever get out of here,
That’s what I’m gonna do.
K-k-k-k-k-Katmandu…

I step out of the jetway at Detroit Metro Airport. It’s gleaming. Lined with wine bars, a Spa, a Suishi Bar and a Online Café. My lungs are pulling me to the aromatic L’Occitane En Provence body soaps drifting onto the walkway. I’m traipsing through a meadow in the South of France.

I’ve lolly gagged over to Gate 38. My flight leaves from Gate 30. Plenty of time.

Then. I stop.

I’m in the Delta Terminal. I missed my connection from Detroit due to delays out of NYC. Shara re-booked me on American Airlines: DET – CHI – West. Yes, another painful connection via Chicago but we’re advancing.

I’m in the wrong terminal. My heart is racing. This “miss” is on me.

I need to take a shuttle bus. The Blue Shuttle to the North Terminal.

I glance at my watch. 5:00 pm. Flight departure is 5:40. Still no shuttle. I’m rattled. Sweet Jesus.

I arrive at the North Terminal. 5:20. Agent states that the final gate call has been made. “You need to hurry.” I get through security and run to the gate. A-30. Last gate in the wing down a long corridor. Natch.

5 passengers are left to board. And 3 others hover by the desk…Wait List passengers hoping for no-shows.

I hand the Agent my boarding pass and my ID.

Agent: Sir, you are now booked on the next flight.

DK: Can you please check again?

Agent: Sir, you are on 8 pm flight. It’s right here on your boarding pass.

DK: Ma’am, I have a reservation on the 5:40 pm flight to Chicago connecting to another flight heading West at 8pm. The boarding pass is wrong. Please check again.

Agent: Sir, did you check in late at the ticket counter? Your boarding pass has you ticketed for the next flight. These other Wait List passengers are now entitled to a seat because you arrived late at the gate.

DK: (PAUSE) Ma’am, I don’t want to be difficult. Can you please do me a favor? It will only take you a minute. Check my flight connection out of Chicago. If I miss this flight, I miss my connecting flight. (I lean forward and whisper. She leans in.) Then, would you kindly check my mileage status and my lifetime miles on your fine airline? Then, I might suggest that you can make an informed decision whether or not to bump me in favor of these other passengers that didn’t have a confirmed seat.

The Waiting area passengers have been watching the show with interest. So what’s it going to be? The Rules or the pushy Mustachio Slav from NY.

The gate area is Silent but for the Agent tapping on her keyboard.

Agent: Mr. Kanigan, you’ll be seated in Seat 11c. Thank you for flying American.

Off we go to Chi-Town.


Same trip – related posts:

Flight Log DL1131: Y.C.M.T.S.U.

 funny,laugh,painful

My journey from NYC to the West continues.  A five hour flight is now rolling into 2 days and I’m still on the ground in New York. If you missed yesterday’s excitement, the posts can be found here: Just another manic Monday and here: Star Log: Flight DL2282. The Epilogue.

And, the journey continues:

  • 10:00 am. Back in car this morning. This time to LaGuardia Airport. Gorgeous day. One would have no idea of the pandemonium caused by Mother Nature yesterday. (Feeling Good!)
  • 10:50 am. Made good time. Head for Kiosk to get boarding pass. Message blinking telling me to see agent. (Nope. Not going to ruin my day today. Just a minor technicality)
  • 11:25 am. Still with ticket agent. She’s struggling to issue a boarding pass for second leg of the trip. After 20 minutes of working it, she looks up sheepishly, grins, and says: “Why don’t you just have it issued at the gate in Detroit?” I stare at her. She can read me. “He looks like he’s on the edge. He’s smiling but he’s teetering. And any Man with the confidence to be wearing that grey streaky mustache, isn’t likely to be sold ‘The-get-your-boarding-pass-in-Detroit-B.S.-Story’ I’m selling.” Yet, The Man walks away shaking his head and mumbling. Agent breathes deeply…having avoided a sure fire confrontation with some crazy Slav looking mustachio.
  • 11:35 am. I’m through security without incident with a vice grip on my driver’s license, watch and wallet. No bloody mishaps today.
  • 12:00 pm. First call for boarding.
  • 12:05 pm. Announcement blares on intercom. “All passengers, crew and employees must immediately evacuate the building. All passengers, crew, and employees must evacuate the building!” The reason: hit this link.
  • 12:45 pm. Thousands rush back into the terminal and file through security check-in (again).
  • 1:30 pm. Boarded flight. Plane 1/2 empty. Announcement explaining the delay: waiting for two ticketed passengers (tools?) to make it back through security after the evacuation. (This is NY people. This was a sputtering flare. Get on the damn aircraft.)
  • 1:45 pm. We push back from gate
  • 2:00 pm. Captain: “We have a problem with our Nose gear. We need to get a tow back to the gate to have our maintenance crew check it out. I’m sorry folks but we can’t fly without this fix.” (Nose gear is malfunctioning! Really? WTF. NFW. You need Nose Gear right? I then grab my nose and wonder if I need my nose hair clipped.)
  • 2:15 pm. Waiting for tow. (2 flights out West from Detroit. I’ve missed my scheduled connection. Closing in on “timing out” of Plan B.)
  • 2:30 pm. Jet engines powered down.  And we sit. (You’re testing me People. You’re testing me.)

Note to Self: DK, they’re thinkin’ you’ve moved to fiction writing because you can’t make this sh*t up. (*Y.C.M.T.S.U.)


Related Posts:

Star Log: Flight DL2282. The Epilogue.

funny,laugh,painful

I arrived at JFK at 6:00 am this morning for an 8am departure.  The details of the day can be found in Part 1 of Just Another Manic Monday.

And now as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story:

*4:00 pm. We are standing in queue for de-icing. Captain announces that he’ll give this another hour and a half before he makes a final call. He says he can’t give an estimate on departure time. (Eyebrows up. Crowd is wary but still believing.)

* 4:05 pm. We sit. 8 hours and counting and still not in the air. We sit. And we wait. (Twisting in our seats. Cannot get comfortable. Where’s the line between claustrophobia and panic?)

* 4:30 pm. Captain: “I’m very sorry to have to tell you this however we are timed out. FAA regulations require us to go back to the gate as the crew cannot be on duty for more than 15 hours.” (The cabin is silent. You are timed out my a**! Calm before shock sets in. He did NOT just say that!)

* 5:30 pm. Captain: “Sorry folks. All the gates are taken and we need an aircraft to vacate a gate.” (Crowd rumbling now. Insurrection on the cusp. Passengers ignoring calls to sit down while plane is in active taxi-way.)

* 5:50 pm. Passenger: “Do you think you can give these kids some cookies, or crackers, or chips or something. They are famished.” (One offering of water and juice for the entire painful show. Are we racing to the bottom in airline client experience here?)

* 6:00 pm. Captain: “Folks we’re heading to the gate now.” (What a coinkidinky! I arrived at JFK at 6 am. It’s now 6 pm. 12 hours. But who the hell is counting!  Round trip without leaving the ground! The plane is supersonic.  I didn’t even know that I went West and back again.)

* 6:30 pm. De-plane. The sorry looking pack is herded to the Service Desk to re-book and sort out luggage. (And, yet another interminable wait. I note the small basket at the front of the line: 15 bags of pretzels, 10 2-packs of short bread cookies and 3 Cokes – - all this goodness for 150 passengers. This is what they call a Peace Offering?)

* 7:00 pm. “Sir, it could take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to find your luggage, or we can forward your luggage on to your destination.” (Is this a Saturday Night Live skit? 4 hours?! Am I on candid camera?  They are waiting for me to crack. I refuse to crack. I will not crack. I will not crack. I will not crack.  I stare at the Customer Service Rep who has taken her share of beatings this evening. I step feebly away from the desk mumbling “1 to 4 hours”.)

* 7:50 pm. Bag rolls down the conveyor. (I’m looking at it like it’s an oasis and I’m parched. Could it really be my bag? There is LIGHT.)

* 9:30 pm.  Home! Susan and Dog give the King wide berth.  Hostility has a pungent smell and they want no part of it.

* Epilogue. Bonus! Tomorrow we get to try it all over again…


Image Credit

Just another manic Monday

image

* 4:30 am. Wake before alarm. Heading West for conference.

* 5:05 am. Get in car. Large fluffy flakes coating car. (Beautiful morning!)

* 6:00 am. Arrive at JFK Airport in good time. (All good)

* 6:10 am. I discover I’m at wrong terminal. (Tension building)

* 6:15 am. Check luggage. Hit with $25 bag fee. (Annoyed)

* 6:20 am. Get scolded by TSA agent for not removing my belt. (Rattled. Hope not to get frisked.)

* 6:23 am. Gather luggage. Put on shoes. Prep for long walk to right terminal. (DK is at his best when he’s in motion.)

* 6:24 am. Something is off. I turn back to empty bins. Find my driver’s license sitting all alone in bin. (Heart hammering. OMG.)

* 6:25 am. Hoofing it to other terminal. (You could have lost your license pal. Karma is at your back. It’s going to be a great day!)

* 7:20 am. Board on time. (Good omen!)

* 7:40 am. Two empty seats in my row in full flight. (Jackpot!)

* 7:45 am. Spot good friend cramped in row behind me. Invite her to my empty row. (Cheryl joins “Mr. Jackpot!”)

* 8:45 am. 45 minutes after planned departure, Captain signals a delay due to heavy snow accumulation and icy conditions. He asks us to be patient. (No prob Captaino!)

* 9:45 am. Captain indicates queue is long. He needs our continued patience.

* 10:45 am. Captain comes on intercom to say de-icing fluid leaked into cockpit and galley and needs to be cleaned up before departure. (Passengers groan)

* 11:30 am. Captain asks us to de-plane. (Madness ensues as everyone bull rushes out)

* Noon. We are asked to head to Gate B-41 to a new plane via a shuttle ride and 1 mile walk. (DK is back in motion. Stretch out the hams and butt cheeks – could those plane seats be any more comfortable!?!)

* 1:30 pm. We board another plane. (Enthusiasm rains! Westward Ho!)

* 2:30 pm. Captain explains that water lines are malfunctioning. (Like no toilet flushes on 5 hour flight).

* 3:00 pm. Catering delivers bottled water. Captain speaks: “There will be bottled water and handi-wipes to do your business.” (He did NOT just say that!)

* 3:30 pm. Stewardess calls for seat backs and table trays up.

* 3:45 pm. Our luggage is being loaded from the other plane. (Optimism re-fires again)

* 4:00 pm. We are standing in queue for de-icing. Captain announces that he’ll give this another hour and a half before he makes a final call. He says he can’t give an estimate on departure time. (Eyebrows up. Crowd is wary but still believing.)

* 4:05 pm. We sit. 8 hours and counting and still not in the air. We sit. And we wait.


Image Credit

The long roll of heavens artillery

black and white, ocean, waves, photography

“Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his infinity, – the ceaseless flow of the tides, the fury of storm, the shock of the earthquake, the long roll of heavens artillery, – but the most tremendous, the most stupefying of all, is the passive phase of the White Silence. All movement ceases, the sky clears, the heavens are as brass; the slightest whisper seems sacrilege, and man becomes timid, affrighted at the sound of his own voice. Sole speck of life journeying across the ghostly wastes of a dead world, he trembles at his audacity, realizes that his is a maggots life, nothing more. Strange thoughts arise unsummoned, and the mystery of all things strives for utterance. And the fear of death, of God, of the universe, comes over him, – the hope of the Resurrection and the life, the yearning for immortality, the vain striving of the imprisoned essence, – it is then, if ever, man walks alone with God.”

~ Jack London


This share was inspired by the 10 ton meteorite falling out of the heavens in Siberia on Friday. (The long rolls of heavens artillery…The sky clears, the heavens are as brass…)

Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone.


Sources: Quote – thank you makebelieveboutique.com.  Photo: midnightmartinis - “Portugal” – by Hélène Desplechin

Grounded.

illustration, sketch, black and white, simple figure, woman figure

It’s Monday, October 29th.  The day that Hurricane Sandy hit the Tri-State Region.

I’m scrolling down the new WordPress posts for bloggers I follow.  My fingers sliding clumsily on the touch pad. Scrolling. Scrolling. (Cursing because I haven’t figured out this d*mn touch pad. I miss the eraser thing in the middle of keyboard.  Getting old.  Hating change.  Big clumsy fingers. I slide fingers in wrong direction and I’m taken to another website.  I lose my place.  Need to start back at the top.  Grrrrrrr. Can this be so difficult pal? )

My eyes flitting from post to post.  Scanning images and topics of interest.

My eyes land on the image on the left.  I freeze.  (What is it about this image?  I can feel its soothing effects.  The ‘Work’ clutch now slipping from OVERDRIVE to neutral.)

A few lines.  Black lines.  White background.  A simple image. A simple, beautiful human image.  (Let’s not get too carried away.  It’s certainly not that simple.  And nothing I could ever draw.)

I found it to be startling.

[Read more...]

Hurricane Sandy: After Landfall – More Shock and Awe

SEE MORE PHOTOS AT THEATLANTIC.COM


Related Posts:

Hurricane Sandy In 50 Photos

50 photos of Hurricane Sandy

See 50 more photos at TheAtlantic.com


Related Posts:

From the Deck of SS Kanigan Enterprise…

story, power outage

CAPTAIN’S LOG.
Stardate:  October 29, 2012. 7:53pm.

Winds howling.
Sandy not relenting.

Ship steady.
Intact.
No damage to Enterprise.

All men.
And beast accounted for.
No loss of life.
Or limb.

Lights flicker.
And out.
Internet whirls to a halt.
Apocalypse? A whisker away.

Darkness.
Look out Starport.
No visible planets with light.

Silence.
Candles lit.
Calm sets in.
Zeke nestled up tight.

Trick or treat?
When will there be light?


Image Credit: NASA

Related Posts:

Frankenstorm

frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy, rain, storm, New York City


Source: TheDailyWhatFrankenstorm Is Coming of the Day: True story. While we wait, here’s the Hurricane Sandy meme watch.

Related Posts:

And, here comes Sandy…


And hopefully not like the ominous photos above from the Superstorm in NYC in July, 2012.  Source: dailymail.co.uk.


Related Posts:

When I am silent…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When I am silent,
I have thunder hidden inside.”

~ Rumi


Quote Source: radandiknowit.  Image Source: headlikeanorange