can't let the last post stay up on top

Posted on November 19th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Life, Memory, Recovery, Stuff.

Every time I choke up.

Helen (Velma's sister) called yesterday as the day was approaching the end. She told me that Velma's New York memorial had gone well, and she told me specific things that made me feel good, as much as possible.

Velma, she said, would say it went passably. I laughed. Laughs are [few and far between]*.

*Myles [looking over my shoulder].

1 comment.

happy birthday, velma, somewhere

Posted on November 18th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Life, Memory, Stuff.

I can't believe that you didn't make it to 52.



read to velma (incomplete)

Posted on November 18th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Books, Memory, Short Stories, Words.

We read to each other, at first constantly, then sputteringly, and then, with my stroke, it ended. I'm trying to assemble which fictions that I read to her. (For some reason, it's much easier to remember the ones I read to her than the ones Velma read to me.)

So, at random, probably added to later:

Joanna Russ, Picnic on Paradise
→ "Nobody's Home"
→ "My Boat"
→ "Bodies"
Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds
Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman
J.G. Ballard, "Billenium"
→ "End-Game"
Algis Budrys, Be Merry
Gene Wolfe, The Eyeflash Miracles
The Death of Doctor Island
→ "Melting"
R.A. Lafferty, "Continued On Next Rock"
→ "Nine Hundred Grandmothers"
→ "Slow Tuesday Night"
→ "Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne"
Avram Davidson, "Take Wooden Indians"
→ "Sacheverell"
→ "The House the Blakeneys Built"
Neal Barrett, Jr, Skinny Annie Blues
→ "Perpetuity Blues"
→ " 'A Day at the Fair' "
Jonathan Carroll, The Land of Laughs
Alasdair Gray, Five Letters from an Eastern Empire
→ "The Great Bear Cult"
→ "Homeward Bound"
Michael Bishop, "The Quickening"
Pamela Dean, The Dubious Hills
M. John Harrison, "Egnaro"
Francesca Lia Block, Weetzie Bat
Greg Egan, "Learning To Be Me"
Kate Wilhelm, "Baby, You Were Great"
Damon Knight, "Semper Fi"
→ "The Handler"
G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
The Napoleon of Notting Hill
Howard Waldrop, "God's Hooks!"
→ "Horror, We Got"
Leigh Kennedy, "Her Furry Face"
C.M. Kornbluth, "The Last Man Left in the Bar"
→ "The Advent on Channel Twelve"
Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280


sometimes i forget what i write completely

Posted on October 30th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Comedy, Literary Criticism, Memory, Words.

I read various music blogs, some of them on Blogger. Today I was looking up another person's bio, and I realized that I probably had a Blogger bio, because I had a picture - but I hadn't looked at it in ages. Probably before my stroke.

So I looked. And I did have a bio (the same one that I have here); but I also had a aborted blog: Another Thick Square Blog, which is a great name for a blog, and I shouldn't have punted it. And there was one post, dated 10 April 2008:

Always scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr Gibbon? Scribble scribble scribble Mr Gibbon Gibbon Gibbon. Scribblin' gibbon. Can you say that, Mr Gibbon? Eh? Scribblin' scribblin' scribblin' gibblon. It's a bit of a tongue workout, eh, Mr Gibbon? Mr Gibblon gabblin' gobblin' Gibbon. Eh? Eh? You're a good sport Mr Gibbon, I always say. Thanks for the book.

I don't think I took a Blogger blog seriously....


oh for the olden days when we were wrong and happy

Posted on January 3rd, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Badness, Memory, Stuff.

I know that every generation goes through their time of trouble when we realize that the world is different now, but really:

I've recounted more wrong "memories" than most, but that comes with having a lot up there in the first place! . . . The world will be a lot sadder place when people stop letting their mind run with their memory and instead (as too many colleagues are starting to do) start "verifying" everything with their smart phones, as opposed to just letting the conversation and the mental connections rip.

The next generation of phones will come with information-blockers, so people who want to can have their conversations artificially hindered by argument-enhancers, or "stoned phones".


five years to thirteen

Posted on October 9th, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Dance, Life, Memory, Stuff.

I forget. This is a every-few-minutes thing of my life, now. I forget trivial through momentous, concepts to vocabulary, schedule to, to, to.... I forget.

But this. sigh....

October 6, 2008: Five years (and three days) since my stroke; since my life changed utterly. (It's true.)

October 7, 2000: Thirteen years (and two days) since Velma and I had our first date; since my life changed utterly. (It's true!)

And Velma forgot, too. (Figured maybe we had too much to do with moving.... or something.) We will do something in the next few days!


identity, cracked

Posted on September 4th, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Memory, Recovery, Stuff, Words.

Charles R. Pierce, in a scathing piece about the NFL and how it bought out the concussion lawsuit and what it means to the public, as an aside wrote:

(As a writer, I have to admit, there is something darkly compelling about Alzheimer's because it attacks the two things most central to a writer's craft — language and memory, which together make up an individual's identity. Alzheimer's makes a new character out of a familiar person.)

Strokes, also. "Language and memory, which together make up an individual's identity." (Now I'm struggling to say what I need to say.) (Again.) (Well. I'll put it up because it's very true, for me. Maybe eventually I'll find the words to add.)


a new kind of blog thing

Posted on August 9th, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Memory, Stuff.

I forget things in my post-stroke world. Many many many many things. I'm still finding out ways to remember. One way is writing down lots of redundant things, so I can eventually remember what most people can remember easily.

That means sometimes Parlando is going to be boring. (More boring.) For instance: Our beautiful home sometimes is less beautiful. Right now our bathroom sink is clogged. I went downstairs to report it to the superintendent -- she remarked "must be you and Velma's hair that is responsible" -- and {she said they will probably be fixed by today}* she said they will probably fix it by today.

But maybe they will have to put us off till Monday, which means I will have to remember till then. (I should put those "remember these" in... red? purple? chartreuse**?)

So: Remember Mike (the super's assistant) is going to fix the bathroom sink Monday. [addendum: Fixed. also: Yucky.]

*{This clause seems wrong to me...}

**I tried chartreuse, and it worked, but it didn't look good on the grey background. Sniff.


old post #4, 5 jul 96

Posted on February 8th, 2010 by Scraps.
Categories: Memory, Old Posts, Words.

(Answering "What is the best time you've ever had at a fireworks show?")

Eighteen years old, with my first girlfriend, sitting on a bluff on Capital Hill in Seattle overlooking Lake Washington. It was three days after we'd kissed for the first time, and eight days before she took my virginity; we were at some very nice place in between for most of the night. Some hours after the fireworks we dropped acid and waited for sunrise. In the very early slow light before dawn, holding each other in absolute infatuated blissful stillness and silence, an owl swept down into the valley beneath us, passing not two feet over our heads. Just remembering that moment makes goosebumps rise on my arms.



Posted on September 27th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Memory, Recovery, Words.

(I'm going to post insignificant details of my rebuilding mind, both because I wish I'd kept closer track of my pre-stroke mind -- even before my stroke, my memory was not good, but now it's awful -- and because I'm living here, and while my friends keep marveling at my speed of recovery, it frequently seems like I'm standing still to me.)

For four or five months, I've been typing every day, and my progress has been infinitesimal. Not the progress of my content; two months ago I couldn't summon up the word "infinitesimal", for instance. But my typing is about the same as two months ago. It's frustrating. A sentence will enter my thoughts, and by the time the typing catches up, sometimes the sentence will have vanished. And, my god, the N's. For some reason, N is particularly difficult, both the placement of the N in a word -- literally about one-third of the time my mind will drop the N, except the ING combination -- and also the placement of the N on the keyboard. Even though, as I said, I stare at the keyboard every day.

Composing and typing time: 24 minutes.


  • There were fifty varieties of beans. Some jumped and some didn't. It's the same today.
    - Will Cuppy