Friday, February 26, 2010

You're lame. No, I'm not! YOU'RE LAME!

Hey, first of all, thanks to everyone who joined the Facebook Group I started for the Disabled Guy.

I frequent a few message boards. One of them is the Snopes Urban Legends message board. Its a great group of people with none of that petty drama and squabbling they have on most other boards. In case you don't know what that website is all about, let me tell you... you know that email you get that claims some kid is missing or there's snakes in the ball pit at a fast food restaurant or how you should not flash your lights at other cars because of gang initiations? All those emails, all of them- are fake. Or nearly fake. If you go to the snopes website (where I linked it up there) and use their search option, you can find the truth about those emails BEFORE you forward them to everyone in your address book.

But I digress...

Over on the snopes board, someone posed the question about using the word "lame" to say something is negative and if it is worse than using "gay" or "retarded" and such. I'm going to hell (good thing I don't believe in hell, huh?) for using a new word to replace the use of "retarded" in the statement "That's so retarded". I won't tell you what it is, but people who know me can guess (its a person's name). Anyway, here's the link to the discussion (I'm known as "FrogFeathers" over there on snopes).

Because of this question, I called DG into the room. And here's the conversation:

Me: "Hey, you know how people use 'retarded' and 'gay' to mean something is lame?"

DG: "Yeah."

Me: "Well, 'lame' means you walk with a limp. I'm slightly lame and you're really lame." He looked at me kind of confused. So I added, "Because of my knee replacement, I'm kind of gimpy. Because of your stroke, you're really gimpy. And 'lame' means 'you walk with a limp'... so, being lame, does it offend you when someone uses it in a negative way?"

DG: "No." and he paused. Then he blurted in a tone of offense (completely fake and overblown): "I am NOT LAME!"

Me: "Yes, you are. Because you limp... you're lame."

DG: "I'm not lame, you're lame!"

Me: "I'm only slightly lame. You're really lame."

DG: *fake whining voice* "I am not neither! YOU'RE LAME! YOU ARE!"

Me: "We're both lame. Admit it."

DG: *flailing his good arm and still whining* "I'm NOT LAME!! YOU ARE! *shrieky voice* I'm gonna tell my mom you're calling me names!"

Me: "She'll agree with me, you're lame."


If he had been serious without the fake sobby noises, it would have been a lovely update of "Who's on first?" And if you ask our kids, we're both pretty lame. And gimpy.

For your enjoyment, here's a photo of DG and Luna that I made into a "lol" picture.

Demon Dog thinks you need  a breath mint
moar funny pictures

Monday, February 22, 2010

A beautiful butterfly... (a conversation the Disabled Guy had with himself)

The Disabled Guy likes to announce when he's going to do things. I don't know why, he doesn't know why. But he always does the announcement.

"I'm gonna watch a DVD."

"I'm gonna go to my shop."

"I'm gonna go take a shower."

"I'm gonna get some lunch."

"I'm gonna go to the Home Depot."

"I'm gonna watch the race down here."

"I'm gonna do the Bacon Dance." (I'm kidding! He doesn't announce that, it just happens).

"I'm gonna go to the bathroom." Actually, that's an announcement we appreciate. Whoever designed our house was insane and we only have one bathroom. There's no other way to add a bathroom- not even in the basement (which is leaky and made of limestone). So, if he's announcing he's "going to the bathroom", it is up to us to go before he gets there and spends however much time it takes him to "use it".

I'm sure that's an over-share. Not as much as I could over-share with you, but still. There is a fine line between nurse and wife in this house. A line I've crossed much more than any wife should have to. But I digress.

Every night, around the same time, he goes upstairs and changes from his jeans and shirt to PJs or sweats and a hoodie. (we keep the heat at 68F in the winter because its expensive otherwise and in the summer, the AC is at no more than 70F because I hate the heat).

So, today, he announced: "I'm going upstairs to change."

But that's not all. He continued speaking to himself. That's right, a conversation the Disabled Guy had with the Disabled Guy. Don't worry, he didn't upset the space/time continuum. We're safe.

"I'm going upstairs to change. Into what? A beautiful butterfly!"

Moments later, he was walking by my desk (on his way upstairs) and he exclaimed, "You better watch it! I'll hit you with my wings!"

Me: "What wings?"

DG: "Didn't you hear me? My butterfly wings."

Me (Simpsons quote): "Nobody suspects the butterfly."

Also, he posed a question over the weekend. He's gotten into the new Starz! show called "Spartacus, Blood and Sand". If you haven't watched it, let me sum it up- lots of nearly-naked gladiators training for fights, some male nudity (full frontal even), lots of lady nudity, soft-core porn scenes, and expletive-laden dialogue. I mean, its a good show, really, but that does sum it up.

The question he asked me was: "Who do you think would win in a fight? Spartacus or Gladiator?"

I suppose I should be glad he didn't ask me: "Who do you think would win in a fight? The naked guy on TV or that guy who was in that movie with that other guy who looks like that one guy but isn't him."

Oh, for your enjoyment- here's a couple of photos.

People say how much our son looks like him. And its true- hair color and the fact they're both male. But, Jase has my eyes. And when we're together, without the Disabled Guy, I get to hear how much he looks like me. But its a running family joke how Jase doesn't look like him unless he squints his eyes. And now we have proof.

Without joking around, this is Jase's smile (last October)

We also have two daughters that everyone swears look like him. Kat is the oldest- she's twenty years old. Ceej (Christine) is sixteen years old. (Jase just turned eighteen).

Ceej, dolled up for the homecoming dance last October.

Kat at the Ren Faire last August. (that's my ren faire belt and wooden mug. I'm not a nerd, stop saying that).

So, you can see that the kids are an equal mix of the both of us... Jase I think, favors us both more than the girls. It doesn't matter who they look like because when DG talks about them, they're MY kids till they do something he likes. Then their OUR kids.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"But I look good in blue..."

This conversation was inspired by my reminding DG that I needed to go to the store and get more allergy pills. I take a single, 24-hour, non-drowsy allergy pill (the generic kind because the brand name- which tells you that you'll be "brand-name clear"- is hideously overpriced). I have asthma, brought on by a lung infection. Seriously, you combine the asthma, allergy, fat, blogging thing, I'm a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket-protector away from being a full-on nerd.

When you read this conversation, you have to understand how he says certain things. I spelled ridiculous in the phonetic way he says it. And, the tone he used today was almost feminine in nature.

Anyway, I said, "I wouldn't even bother with it, but the allergies can trigger my asthma and ya know, I kinda like breathing. I've gotten used to it over the years and I quite enjoy it."

DG said: "I think its overrated."

Me: "Breathing is overrated? Maybe if you're lazy. I'm not as lazy as you. Plus, the whole turning blue and passing out thing doesn't sound like fun."

DG: "But I look good in blue."

Me *chuckling*: "Well, blue is your favorite color. But me, I don't like passing out in public."

DG: "Why? Its only for a minute or two."

Me: "Yeah, but you fall down and crack your skull. Plus, if I'm wearing a skirt, it would be all up and showing my underwear. You don't have that problem, you don't wear a skirt."

DG: "Of course I don't. Don't be ridikilus. If I wore a skirt, my doodle would freeze." Then he held out his pinky, wiggled it around and sing-songed: "Doo-oood-el-doo-oood-el!"

Me: "Why would your doodle freeze? You'd be wearing underwear."

DG: "That's your prerogative, not mine!"

Then it got all mumbly about Smurfs and that movie "Avatar" with the blue people who were just trying to be Smurfs but couldn't be, because only Smurfs are Smurfs and "NEVAH THE TWAIN SHALL BE!" (his words) For the record, he hasn't seen the movie yet.

Now that you know he sometimes refers to that part of his anatomy as "doodle" (which is from "The Simpsons"), I'll tell you that he sometimes, after a shower, does what he calls "The Doodle Dance".

And I'll leave you with that...

Friday, February 12, 2010

An ACTUAL Conversation with the Disabled Guy!

I know, I know, three posts in three days. I don't mean to do it. I'm sure you've all got better things to do than rush over here and read this. But today is special!

Today, I got video of an actual conversation with the Disabled Guy. The file was so big that I couldn't upload it to my desktop. Its really old. Well, old for a computer, that is. Compared to me, it isn't. So, I uploaded it to my Netbook, that was gifted to me by my friend, Michelle, who was mentioned in the Name Game post from yesterday.

Then I uploaded it to MySpace. When I played it back, it sounded like it was on "Alvin and the Chipmunks" speed. I've had videos do that before on MySpace, but I don't know why and I'm not tech savvy enough to figure it out. So, I deleted it and attempted to upload it to YouTube.

For over an hour! A bloody hour of my life wasted, watching that progress bar barely move. I had to keep moving the mouse around so the netbook wouldn't go into hibernate mode. So I canceled it. Then I broke it into two parts- which is what you'll see here. First, I wasted even more time, uploading the video from my netbook. After it stalled at 50% complete, I canceled it again. Finally, I came back to my desktop, uploaded the two parts to this computer and then uploaded them to YouTube. I seriously wasted my entire afternoon on this damn video- er, these damn videos.

After I took the footage, I played it back for DG. He laughed so hard he "ooh'd". Then he denied it was him. Sure. I believe that, don't you? During my first trial and tribulation of failure to upload, DG was eating the food he'd prepared during the footage. He said, "People are going to think my brain fell off the paper."

I asked: "What?"

He replied, "You know, that I'm crazy."

What he meant to say was "my cheese slid off my cracker", which is a colloquialism I picked up somewhere in reference to someone being a nutter.

So, on to the videos! Please excuse the disorder of my house. He's disabled, I'm still recovering from a joint replacement surgery and my teens are lazy.

I edited the videos so the second picks up repeating a little bit of the first, so we all know where we are in the conversation. Gypsy even started barking because she thought it was play time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Name Game, Disabled Guy Style!

Mary Cartledgehayes posted a blog about Conversations with the Disabled Guy and demanded all her readers head over here and read about us. I didn't know about it till she posted a comment on yesterday's blog. That was quite awesome of her and I appreciate it greatly. Because of her and her comment, it inspired today's post.

She's a real writer- insomuch as she's published. Technically, I'm a "real" writer because I used to write a weekly column for a long-gone website called "The Awesome Report". I put quotes around my "real" because aside from a few letters in magazines, my own blogs (you know, I used to say I hated blogs and what I did wasn't blogging, but here we are, with three of them) and the Awesome Report, I'm not really published.

Now, as I said, she inspired today's blog. How? Well, I read all the comments people post (and I get some via email as well) to the Disabled Guy. And, I refer to Mary as "that real writer lady" because that's how DG knows her. Her real name is MARY... not exactly the most difficult name to remember. But that's how DG's brain works. He has trouble retaining new information unless it is repeated countless times. And sometimes, during those repetitions, I have to add a descriptor so he can remember why I'm even talking about a person, place or thing. For almost a year following his stroke, he called me "Mom" because that's what the kids called me. Our parents were all referred to as "Gramma" and "Grampa"- again, because of the kids. His mother was upset by that at first, thinking he thought SHE was his grandmother. But, that's how he associated us. He knew who we were, but didn't know what to call us at the time.

The first few years after DG's stroke, we quite literally, had no friends. The few people we knew when he was in the Army stopped calling and who could blame them, really? Then we moved to Wisconsin from Georgia because we came to where the help was (my parents). I went to work as a night-shift security guard and when you work nights, sleep for four hours a day because of three kids, deal with the bureaucracy that is the Veteran's Administration/doctor appointments, you simply don't have time to make friends. But, after a while, things settled down and the VA came through for us and I could quit my job (in retrospect, I wish I hadn't, but hey, hindsight and all that). I started to meet a few parents from my kids' schools. It didn't really start till Kat (our oldest, now 20) was in middle school (here that's 6th through 8th grade). I did meet a few parents at our son's martial arts academy (not too much before Kat entered the 6th grade), so DG was hearing about different people from different places.

Here are a few names- Bill, Ron, Kay, Joe (though we called him by Mister- and his last name)... so these are not difficult names. But, DG would not or could not remember them. Conversations about these people would start with: "You know Ron..." met with a blank stare followed by me giving the descriptor that ended up becoming the nickname for Ron.

Bill- he became a close friend of ours. We did things as a group- family trips to museums and canoe trips, campfires at his house and my parents' house. He helped me do a couple things around the house that DG couldn't at the time (installed a new storm door, for one and climbed on our roof for another). DG knew Bill. But... for four or five years, Bill was "The Red Dodge Dad" because he drove a big extended cab Dodge pick-up truck (yup, you guessed it- red).

Kay- we knew her when Kat was still in elementary school. But, she worked at a local car dealership called Bud Weiser Motors. She became "Bud Weiser Mom."

Ron- he was "The GM Dad" because he worked at the General Motors plant in Janesville.

Joe- who we called by Mr. Lastname was Jase's martial arts instructor. (this is seriously the only time I ever referred to him as Joe. He hasn't been Jase's instructor for at least five years and I still call him Mr. Lastname). But, to DG, he was "Tae Kwon Do guy." Yeah, that was a stretch!

Pete was a dad at the academy who we referred to as Dale Earnhardt because- you guessed it- he looked like Dale Earnhardt. I didn't think so, but DG sure did.

We haven't seen nor spoken to those people in quite a few years- yet DG still remembers who they are because of their nicknames. We just lost touch after our kids grew older and we stopped seeing each other at the schools.

I've got some relatives that DG cannot remember the names of either. Most of my family is from around here but we rarely see them, mostly at semi-annual family gatherings. The few he has trouble remembering are mostly cousins, mostly our age. Cousin Helper- that was my cousin Karen. She passed away suddenly last year and sadly, because of that, DG knows her name now. Before, I'd say: "You know my cousin Karen?" after a pause, I'd say, "Cousin Helper?" and he'd know who she was. She was stuck with that name because every time we were at a family gathering- 95% of the time at my own parents' house (they have the biggest yard and an outdoor firepit), Karen would leap to her feet and say loudly, "JERRY! Do you want more [whatever food/drink he had]? LET ME HELP YOU!" She was very animated and spoke very loud- as if to a very young child. Over the years, we never knew why she did this- I was always there, so were our three kids and both my parents. It wasn't that he even needed help. I'd like to think Karen was trying to help merely because she thought I needed a break.

In December 2003, we got the Internet. Cue a whole slew of new people for him to keep track of. Not that he really ever goes online (he plays games on a website called "Miniclip", but otherwise, not hardly at all). These three people are some of the first I met and still good friends of mine.

Chez- we met on a message board for paranormal phenomenon. She became known as: "My English friend with the boobs"... well, she's from England and she's got a great rack. We used to watch web cams, looking for ghost sightings, which is how DG came to know what she looks like (and DG likes the boobs- any boobs, he just likes 'em).

Duck- met on the same board as Chez and I did. Duck is her real life nickname and DG knows her by that and by a shortened version of her screen name: Spec. Her real name is Michelle. Her nickname was: "My lesbian friend in Boston". Well, she no longer lives in Boston, she's still a lesbian (as far as I know) and she's more than a friend- she's the sister I never had.

Shawn- we met on a different message board and just hit it off. DG knows his name and we don't need a descriptor to go with him. But, for almost a year, Shawn was: "My Australian friend" which morphed into "my Australian boyfriend". By the way, Shawn is coming to visit us again in a couple weeks- the whole month of March. (he's visited twice before).

A few other people I know online are nicknamed by their message board association. A lot of people are simply "Screen name from snopes" and I'm sure DG just lumps them all together. There are a few who stand out that he remembers, usually because they're entertaining to him (I read posts over on the snopes message board out loud when I think they're funny or if they're really intelligent- which happens often over there). For those who don't know, "snopes" is the website you should all go to before you forward that email. And the husband and wife who run the site? Well, they're Mister and Mrs. Snopes, of course. I've also got "Braidy, the hot chick from the tattoo board" (because DG thinks she's hot) and her husband: "Bone, Braidy's husband" (because DG knows he's married to Braidy). "Ryan, the Stormtrooper from the tattoo board" (his avatar is that of a Stormtrooper). Wayne Simmons- my new favorite writer- is "the zombie guy" because he wrote an awesome zombie-genre novel (he's also from that tattoo board). Seriously, awesome book, go read it- Drop Dead Gorgeous by Wayne Simmons. There are others, but I have to clump them together associated by the boards.

Now, all these friends that I know online- it makes sense to give them an association he can remember them by because he's never met them and that's how he knows them. But there are a few he should have no trouble remembering. Like Shawn and Duck and Chez, I like to think I've become real friends with them- even if I haven't met them in person. Chris- who is referred to as "My English guy-friend who isn't Chez" (now he's just "my English guy-friend"). Why should Chris be so easy to remember? Well, he's wicked funny for one (he never fails to make us both laugh), but also because his name is the masculine version of our youngest child- Christine.

Angus- his board is called "Angus Macinnes". So I have to say, "You know Angus- the guy I met at ren faire last August" even though there are two photos of Angus in this very room. One is of Angus and me and the other is of Angus, me, Colleen and Shanna (Colleen's daughter). Yet, having known them for at least five years, I only just met them last August when Angus came up from Texas to visit Colleen and her family and they all came to Kenosha, where we met up at the Bristol Ren Faire. The fact that we're all in renaissance garb should be a big reminder of who Angus, Shanna, and Colleen are- but hey, we don't live inside that brain of DG's.

Now, most of these people have known their nickname at one point or another. Some we didn't tell (aside from Karen, I have a few relatives that are known by sarcastic versions of inside family jokes that are not appropriate to share). And some are just simple- such as the screen name and board association. But the dance that we do so DG knows who we're talking about can bet tedious. He still doesn't remember our daughters' boyfriends' names or our son's girlfriend's name. "Jase's girlfriend"... "Christine's boyfriend"... "Kathy's boyfriend"...

Thanks for reading this far- this went on much longer than I thought and some of it was rambly because I'm two hours into my Vicodin buzz for the night. Here's something for you to get a laugh at...

Apparently, on Facebook this time around, the theme is "post a photo of you and your SO" (that's significant other, for those who don't know). I don't have many pictures of DG and I together that aren't 20 years old. So, I tried to get a few. I ended up taking and deleting about a dozen photos with my mobile phone. We were laughing so hard from them that I actually had tears in my eyes. Even the dogs got into it, barking at us and when it was all done, Gypsy (the German Shepherd) had brought toys into the kitchen (where we were- the best light is in there). Out of the dozen photos, I kept two. One serious, one not.

This is the one DG liked-

I said, "Look scared!" and this one was the result. This is the one that made DG laugh so hard that he "ooh'd".

Oh, and because I mentioned them and how we were all wearing garb, here's the photo of (left to right) me, Angus, Colleen, and Shanna.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Off with his head! and another Magic 8 Ball argument...

Our son, Jason, turned 18 this week. I mentioned today that he's got to register for the Selective Service. DG declared that this is how "they" find you for jury duty. That, and registering to vote.

I reminded him that it isn't just registering to vote. See, back in the olden days, we were told (quite possibly mistakenly) that you had to be a resident of the state you were registered in- and being military, we weren't residents of where we were living. At any rate, we never registered to vote while he was still active duty and when he got out, he up and had the stroke. His stroke happened 'round about the time of the O.J. Simpson trial and I recall there being a woman who tried to use the fact she cared for a disabled parent as reason enough to be excused. They didn't excuse her and she spent far too much of her life stuck in the O.J. trial hell. So, I never registered to vote then either. I didn't register to vote till the 2008 presidential election and since I'm not here to talk politics, I'll move on...

Many years ago- and I was reminding DG of this today after he declared the Selective Service is "how they find you"- he got a jury summons in the mail. I called the special phone number that's on the summons to explain why he can't serve on a jury. It went something like this:

Me: "My husband is disabled from a stroke. He can't retain new information and suffers from aphasia and apraxia [then I explained what those are]."

Woman: "So he's disabled?"

Me: "Yes. He has two communication disorders that make it near-impossible for him to retain new information or even follow a lengthy conversation."

Woman: "Can he sit for more than an hour?"

Me: "Sitting isn't the problem. He has brain damage from a stroke. He cannot make decisions like a normal person..." It went on like this for a few minutes, with me repeating the "stroke, brain damage, communication disorders" a few times. His name is now flagged so he won't be summoned for jury duty.

But today, he said he'd never get chosen. He'd declare: "OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" and "KILL THEM ALL!"

So I said, "But, sir, this is a fraud trial."

"Fight to the death!"

I have to say, he's been watching that new show on Starz! called "Spartacus, Blood and Sand".

The other day, DG had an argument with the Magic 8 Ball again. He asked the 8 Ball if we were going to get a lot snow (we were expecting about 10 inches of snow over two days). The ball said "no". He said, "You're lying!" and shook the ball again. "Are you lying?" *no* "Why are you lying?" *reply hazy* "Why won't you answer me? Answer me! Do you think I'm stupid? Just give me an answer!" (shaking the ball the entire time). The answer came back with "Concentrate and ask again."

DG exclaimed, "You cocksucker!" and put the ball down.

Since today's stories were short and not nearly as funny as they were in real life, here's a photo of DG with his girlfriend... Luna.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A loaf of bread?

NASCAR season has started. This doesn't make the entire family happy, just the Disabled Guy. He's a Tony Stewart fan- not that it makes any difference either way who he follows. He spent the entire day watching the Bud Shootout thing on TV. I had headphones on and spent my time on the Interwebs.

Out of the blue, with no warning whatsoever, DG exclaimed: "He's a loaf of bread!"

He was referring to Bruno. DG sits in his chair, with his ankles crossed on the footstool in front of him and Bruno or Jasper will lay on his legs. They fit comfortably into that groove. Bruno is nearly three times as big as Jasper. (Incidentally, Jasper is Bruno's father) Yet they both fit into the leg groove.

So, I asked what the hell he was talking about.

He said, "Look at him. He's a loaf of bread."

I looked over to see Bruno laying with his legs tucked under his body, his head pointing toward DG's feet. So I said, "He's a fat loaf of bread."

I searched my photos for a picture of Bruno or Jasper laying on his legs so you could share in the loaf-y goodness that is Bruno. But I couldn't find one. These days, when I stand up to get a photo, the dogs automatically leap to their feet because not only am I the resident photographer, writer, editor of homework, chef, chauffeur, shopper, nurse, computer technician, I'm also the dog trainer and thus the source of treats. I did find this photo, of Bruno laying on our daughter's legs. Its the bread-loaf pose, just not on DG.

For a size comparison, this is Jasper walking with Bruno a few weeks ago.

And, to remind you- this is a photo from the brain cell chewing blog a few posts back. Bruno is not as tall as Luna, but he weighs almost twice as much. (Jasper hovers around 4 pounds, give or take a few ounces; Luna is around 6 pounds; and Bruno last weighed at 12ish pounds).

After about twenty minutes had passed, I got up and walked by the loaf of bread and DG. I leaned down to baby-talk (shut up) and pet Bruno. Without a hint of irony, DG exclaimed, "Hey, that's MY loaf of bread!"

As each of the kids returned home that day, he tried to tell them about the bread loaf, which of course, out of context made no sense. So I had to re-tell the story. Later in the evening, the discussion came up as to what Luna and Jasper were, if Bruno was an entire loaf of bread.

Jasper is obviously a crouton, since he's so small. Luna is a croissant. Well, of course... it makes sense.

Since I mentioned NASCAR and how the only one who is happy about that is DG, I have to share this photo from last summer. Its proof that NASCAR can lull a dog into a coma. Or in this case, three dogs. (see how small Bruno was back then? He was born June 1st).

Oh, and I keep forgetting to share these photos. A couple weeks ago, DG needed a haircut. He prefers to keep his hair short and the easiest haircut is a military-style "high and tight". Our son (who will be 18 on Monday) asked me, quietly, to cut it into a Mohawk. Well, I asked DG if he minded, "just so we can see what it looks like"- not that I'd leave it that way. He said okay... but only if I cut it off after we saw it. So, I did. And we took photos. I think he looks alright with a 'hawk. He could totally pull off that look.

Of course, now he has a "high 'n tight" haircut, but the photos will live forever on the Intertubes.