Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ed's Mom is...

My mother is now out of the hospital.
She had been there for almost eight weeks.

The short version is that my seventy six year old mother, in general ill health, with her litany of pre exising conditions, required surgery. She experienced complications, infections, pneumonia, and was left unable to eat or breath on her own. The tubes and wires wrapping and piercing her shriveled body looked like strangling vines. A do not resucitate order was posted, and my father told to decide when to remove life support. Dad, as hard and stoic as the farmer in Grant Wood's "American Gothic" (whom he resembles) had a complete melt down, and my brothers, both senior managers in their respective fields, bobbed about uselessly in bewilderment and denial; leaving me to manage and organize the last hours of my mother's life. I gathered siblings and grand children and spouses, soothed, coaxed and cajoled the necessary conversations and actions from them, ordered and orchestrated, and made sure my father was fed.

Then she didn't die. It seemed perverse to not feel relieved, surrounded as I was by the wonderment and elation of my immediate family. I hesitated in telling my friends; I told my family nothing. Unlike the family I'd marshaled and directed, I hadn't been yanked back from paralyzing fear, delivered from my abject sorrow and self pity. I hadn't had the time. I'd been on the road back and forth between Dad and Hospital and on the phone with nurses and doctors, family, and the customer service specialists at US Airways. I only felt enervated and exhausted and dulled by anxiety over the ramifications of her severely degraded condition. I was glad she wasn't dead, but couldn't muster much more than that.

Mom has been placed in a care facility minutes from my father's house, where she will remain until therapy helps her regain enough strength and mobility to allow him to care for her at home. In spite of her remarkable progress, the woman I sat with in her kitchen has not really returned, yet, and only presents herself in momentary flashes - instants of clarity like sudden sharp clear frames emerging from the scratchy hazy flickers of disintegrating 8mm family movies. I hold a cautious optimism, recognizing that there is little to do now but wait and see.

So for the past two months I've left a bunch of things sparsely tended; friendships, correspondence, and this circleinasquare. I've been steadily writing the whole time: to communicate with my extended family of friends, to gather information and try to make sense of the confusing and conflicting reports extracted from often unwilling, unhelpful heath care providers, and to keep my head from exploding. I didn't post any of it here, and probably won't any time soon. The Email threads were generally titled "Ed's Mom is" followed by a brief synopsis of her current situation, and furthered with a rambling stream of consciousness recording observations and whatever it was I was feeling at the time.

I'm not sure how I feel now. Not at all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spring Fling

Didja look at Johnny and Jefito's
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Squeeze?
It reminded me of how much I loved Squeeze, and also that I am very, very old.

Twenty five(!) years ago, in April of 1982, Richid and I went to see Squeeze and the creatively coiffed A Flock of Seagulls at a "Spring Fling" concert presented by a university's student union. The bill also included Clarence Clemens(of Bruce Springsteen's band), NRBQ, and (I think) Asleep at The Wheel, which illustrates the pop schism dividing Late Boomers from the vanguard of Gen-X. At that time Richid and I had generally moved beyond our earlier sport of sneaking backstage at shows, since Richid had became sophisticated in acquiring free tickets and backstage stickies from AOR guys(working the radio station where he interned), and even scoring press/photo passes. We had no contacts at this university, so it was back to stealth this time.

Anyway, lookit the Guide, and I'll tell you the rest later...

Friday, May 18, 2007


If you cross your middle and index fingers
and touch them both to the tip of your tongue,
it feels like you have TWO tongues.

Try it.

Update: Perhaps you all are simply more evolved than primative circleinasquare. For me, the effect is amplified by slowly running the tip of my tongue over the crossed fingertips, and DON'T look at your fingers or reflection.

I can't stop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nutter Wins!

Michael Nutter won the Democratic mayoral primary yesterday.

This all but insures that he will become the next Mayor of Philadelphia. Philadelphians have struggled under seven years of old fashioned patronage politician Mayor John Street. No bid contracts, nepotism, high salaried no-show positions for political insiders, pay-to-play access to decision making(which apparently is NOT illegal in Philadelphia!) and an anti-urban redevelopment philosophy, have characterized his two term administration. The Feds are currently investigating. All of the Democratic candidates promoted themselves as reformers, Nutter is the only one who's made a career of pushing reforms past an openly hostile political machine.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

El Diablo

This one planted the question.
Apparently, I am the Devil.
Who knew?
It's interesting that, at The Queer Bar this evening, it was said and seconded that my whiskers - more than a goatee but less than a full beard - made me look like a satyr; that with horns and a pan flute, I'd be the very image. I imagined also those furry pants satyrs always have - and shinny hooves.
I rather liked it.

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I've been shuffling though my photographs...

This pic was taken about four years ago, in the olden times before I had a cellphone, a computer or a beard. It was presented to the producers of a show on cable's HGTV, along with some full length shots, and a dossier containing height, age + weight. This was all to determine if I would be a suitable "guest expert" featured in the video taping of an "art framing/preservation" episode of something called "Smart Style". At no point were issues of expertise discussed.

I gather it was determined that I was neither fat, old, nor ugly, as a date was set for the taping of what would be my second appearance on cable television. Presumably, I would discuss something about the conservation of photography and works on paper, or picture framing history, period styles, or methods and techniques. Or something.

It's amazing how long it takes to video tape "or something".

The venture was fraught with difficulties, not limited to my pants slipping down the whole time, my inability to see without the eye glasses removed for their vexing reflectivity, or the calamity of the carefully constructed backdrop detaching itself from the wall and crashing to the floor. They "shot around it". From start to finish, the whole thing took seven hours - tacked onto the end of a full work day. It yielded nine minutes of air time.

Or so I'm told.

I didn't have cable then as now, so missed the airing. The promised video tape never materialized. One day a woman stopped me on the street: "Hey! I saw you on HGTV!" she gushed. She answered my queries: I did not look like an idiot, or psychotic. Or fat.

I hope she was telling the truth.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Questionable Hairstyle Decisions of Youth

The Author as a young man(left) and Tony Banks(right), 1983.

More about this later.
Who Links Here