My World of Parkinsonian Delights

Family Life

I Still Make a Damn Fine Cup of Coffee!

As I slide into my second decade with Parkinson’s disease, the list of things I can no longer do is much longer than the list of things I am still able to accomplish.

But I can still make a DAMN fine cup of coffee!

Thanks to my Cuisinart espresso maker, I make a “wake you up with a kiss and a slap” cup of DELICIOUS coffee.  I don’t futz with the milk steamer.  (Here’s a shortcut for you — thank me later.)  I fill a shot glass with flavored creamer, nuke it for 45 seconds, and there yuh go, pardner!

I am generally up before Gail in the morning, so I try to have all the fixings in place so I can poot out that first cuppa coffee for her within minutes of her arising.  I fear what would happen otherwise.



The Schmalfeldt Internet Memorial

Was chatting with my sister earlier today.  She was concerned that my older sister’s Facebook page might be removed because of lack of activity.  I suggested creating an official Schmalfeldt Memorial page on the Internet for those of us who spring from the gene pool that is John and Genevieve Schmalfeldt.

Check it out when you get a chance.  And share your comments.  If you have pictures, send ’em to me and I’ll add them to the profiles.

Oh, Just So Many QUESTIONS This Afternoon

I have, oh, just SO many QUESTIONS this afternoon!

Fortunately, I also have ANSWERS!

Q:  If nobody else gives a rat’s ass, then why should I?

A:  Because I’m the one it’s happening to, that’s why.

Q:  If I could find it in my heart to forgive a woman for her serial unfaithfulness and forge something of a Facebook relationship with her for over a year for the sake of my children with her, making pleasant conversation, joking and jesting, why does SHE feel like she has to hide from ME?  My daughter’s #1 fan on FB?  “Facebook User.”   That means, she’s still on Facebook, but she’s blocked me.  One would think that I was the one who couldn’t stay out of bed with HER best friend.  I’ve never even gotten an “I’m sorry for cheating on you all the time” from her.  Why is that?

A:  Talking to me reminds her of her unfaithfulness?  That’s all I got on that one.

Q: On that note, I have a daughter who is angry at ME that she is the product of my ex-wife’s unfaithfulness. Like this was somehow my fault. Does this make sense?

A: Not even a little bit.

Q:  Am I running out of time?

A:  God only knows.  But I have my suspicions.

Q:  What did I ever do to deserve the love and faithful friendship of my wife of the past 20 years, someone who has stuck by my through good times and bad even though there were times I wasn’t the best husband (or even the best man) in the world?  How can she be so calm and reassuring in the face of this decline in my physical and mental abilities and make me feel like she will always be there for me, no matter what, and even if everyone else in the world fails me, she never would, and somehow — just somehow — everything is going to be OK?

A:  Beats the bloody hell out of me.

Q:  Is the world going to hell in a handbasket.

A:  Yes.  A nice, wicker one.

Q:  Why do I bother with the books, with this blog?

A:  On the off chance that it helps someone.  Even one person.  That would make it worth my while.

Q:  Why does the guy in the “Forman Mills” commercial always YELL at me?

A:  It’s his job.

Q:  How long will I continue to tilt at windmills?

A:  And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,

That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm, when I’m laid to my rest …

And the world will be better for this:

That one man, scorned and covered with scars,

Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,

To reach … the unreachable star …

Besides… like… what’s the alternative?

Happy Birthday, Nina!

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How I Almost Killed Myself

I almost killed myself — or so I thought, at first.  After Wednesday’s power outage (100 minutes, no power, 97 degrees, THANK you, BGE… that’s how they do it each summer… “OH NO!  THE GOVERNOR NEEDS ICE CUBES!  SHUT DOWN THE TRAILER PARKS!)

Excuse me.  I was ranting and rambling.

Anyway, the power outage killed my son’s cable box.  So Gail took it down to the Comcast place and swapped it out for a new one.  And since TJ has a HDTV now, we decided to cough up the extra $7 to get him HD service.

I gave him our old cable box and was trying to put in the new one on our tv.  I tried to get down on the floor, but as I was doing so, I fell and stabbed myself on my left side, just below the ribs, on the corner of the doggy toy box.  It’s a canvas box with a metal frame, and I was certain I had impaled myself liver-deep on the damn thing because I COULD NOT MOVE to get off of it.  When I finally COULD roll to the floor, I just laid there in extreme pain while Gail stood over me asking, “What did you do?  What did you do?”  (Note: She did not ask “what happened?”  She asked “What did you do,” indicating that I had done something stupid and was suffering the just consequences of my action. It was a fair assumption, so I’m not complaining.)

It was a few moments before I could speak.  I asked Gail to lift up my shirt and tell me how much of my intestines were protruding.  Gladly, the answer was “none.”  I have a dinky little “owie” on my left side, under my ribs, and it hurts.  Might bruise a little.

So upset was I about this that I launched into a delirious state where I believed that LeBron James had gone to the Miami Heat and I actually cared about it.

Ah.  Parkinson’s disease.  You are the tricky one!

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100-Minute Power Outage

A 100-minute power outage last night.  97-degree heat.  I can’t remember a summer out of the 7 I’ve spent here where we haven’t had at least TWO power outages.

I can just see the idiots at BGE:

“OMG!  The Governor needs ICE CUBES!  That’ll put the grid OVER THE LIMIT!”

“Oh no!  Whatever will we do?”


It’s true.  EVERY summer this little cluster of trailer parks in our corner of Howard County loses power for an hour or two at a time at least a couple times during the summer.

I took a picture of Gail lying on the couch fanning herself.  Showed it to her.  She said, “Don’t you DARE put that on the web.”

So I’ll use this one instead.