The Rental Car

Last Wednesday was full of excitement. My dad took a fall and hit his head. After several hours, we finally convinced him to go to the ER and get checked out. ” I think this is a big waste of time. All they will do is take a scan of my head and find nothing but an empty head”. Of course when we got there the staff at the ER told my dad that that coming in was the right thing to do since you need to check for internal bleeding.

It was a busy night at the ER and this made things worse. When the nurse entered the room my dad said ” You have to promise me that I will be home in time to see NCIS. It is one of my favorite shows and I would like to be home in time to see it”. This of course didn’t happen as it takes a while to take an MRI and then have the scans reviewed by a doctor. We waited for about two hours for the process to be completed and were finally told that everything seemed to be fine but to return if my dad started to show any symptoms from the fall.

As we left my dad said ” I told you this was a waste of time. There was nothing wrong and now they know I have an empty head”. On the way home, about two blocks from the house we were side swiped by a very erratic driver.  We ended up ok, but the car was totaled. My dad in his always positive manner said ” See, if we hadn’t gone to the hospital, this wouldn’t have happened. I still have an empty head and now we don’t have a car”.  For now though, I do get to drive a very nice rental car.

Next Time I Will Bring An Axe

As we were sitting in Church today, my dad was struggling to open a small pack of kleenex tissues. In his ever so soft indoors voice my dad said ” Now I see why the damn things were so cheap. You can’t open the damn package”. Of course after hearing this every one in the pews around us turned and offered my dad a tissue. ( I was half expecting the Priest to come out of the Altar and offer my dad a tissue). I got the package open for him and handed him a tissue. ” Finally, next time I’ll bring an axe to open the damn thing. What if I had a runny nose? There would be snots all over the place”.

With the construction on the Cathedral currently taking place, everyone has to go down stairs to exit. This results in a lot of steps for the older people. Especially since they have to then take the steps outside to climb back up to the community center for coffee and snacks. ” What are they trying to do kill off all the older people?”. ( Hopefully not until they have made a generous donation to the building fund). To make things worse there were no coffee and snacks today after Church because of a general assembly meeting. When someone asked my dad if he would be staying for the general assembly meeting, he replied ” Hell no, I don’t ever hear what is being said and the next week I would end up asking a dumb question about what was said at the meeting”.

The White Coat Ceremony

My niece Jackie will be entering medical school next year at the University of Colorado medical center. She is all excited and of course a nervous wreck at the prospect of taking the MCAT. She has her puppy Odin helping her with her studying so she should ace the examine. Yesterday she was telling us about the opening ceremony at the Medical Center where they are accepted into the University Medical School.  “the White Coat Ceremony”. She was telling us about this ceremony and is especially excited about having papou attend. When she told my dad about the ceremony and asked if he would attend, he replied ” Well dolly this is very exciting. Of course I would be thrilled to attend. But just to make sure that we don’t waste any time with me already being at the Medical Center, I will try and schedule an appointment with my doctor. Of course this means that the ceremony must end on time because I would not want to be late for my appointment”.

Also, twice a year, my dad goes to the Medical Center to have the new interns listen to his heart. Apparently it has a very unusual rhythm and he is very popular with all the new students. He also enjoys his celebrity status. Jackie is a little nervous about this. She is afraid that papou might start to instruct her on how to listen to his heart and what to listen for. The question becomes, since papou is well known on campus and popular, will this be a good or bad thing for Jackie? ( Time will tell).

Fire Drill

This last Saturday night we had a bit of excitement and hysteria. Of course for Greeks hysteria is almost mandatory in every situation. Late in the evening we thought we smelled something like an electrical fire in the basement. Katie acted in her usual calm and collected manner. First she screamed out loud, then she grabbed her dog and cell phone and fled the house. She called 911 and they told her everyone should evacuate the house. This is easier said than done. The dogs were asleep and my dad kept insisting he would just wait on the patio. We finally convinced my dad that the patio was still part of the house and just as he was ready to leave the firemen arrived.

My dad answered after they rang the bell and invited them inside. Very gentlemanly he asked if they would like a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. They explained that this was not a social visit and began to examine the furnace and rest of the house. When they finished they told us that there was nothing that they could detect but to immediately call them back if something else occurred. Of course after they left and things had calmed down, we realized that not only had we been slow in getting my dad and dogs to evacuate but we had totally forgotten about the cats.

Katie was still very upset and said “Papou you really do need to react more quickly and try and get out the front door faster. A fire could kill you”. My dad replied ” Oh shit dolly , just watch how fast I can move with flames licking at my ass”. ( indeed )

Cardio Workout

Wednesday my dad went to another of his cardio workout sessions. The group is a mixture of men, some have been going for a while and some are just starting. The course is about 15 weeks and the one thing that they have in common is that they all have had some sort of heart surgery. Along with the workout sessions are classes on nutrition and exercise. The sessions are supposed to last just an hour but usually last an hour and a half by the time you get the men in the room and going and then ending and out of the room again.

This particular session lasted a bit longer. Apparently one of the men was finishing his 15 weeks and they held a goodbye celebration for him. My dad was not pleased. ” Couldn’t they just tell him goodbye and that they enjoyed having him come to the sessions? Why did they have to drag things out and make us all late in leaving? I sure hope they don’t go through any of that nonsense when I finish”. I told my dad that I thought it was kind of nice for them to acknowledge someone this way. I also asked him what was so important that we needed to leave immediately. He replied ” Well , I don’t have anything today but I might have something next time and I won’t want to be late if I do”.  I can now hardly wait for his goodbye celebration – this should be lots of fun.

Don’t Insult My Mother That Way

We are in the process of scanning all of our thousands of family pictures. One thing is for certain, this family and the extended family are well documented. We love taking pictures and smiling for pictures ( well not all of us smile for our pictures do we Toni?). While going through a group of pictures we came across a picture of my dad’s mom ( yiayia Mary ).  She died when my dad was very young and we don’t have many pictures of her. Therefore any picture that we happen to find is a real treasure to have and save for posterity.

In this particular picture , there is yiayia Mary with my dad and his brother John when they were little boys. The really crazy thing about the picture was that yiayia looked just like my sister Toni. ( poor thing ). We showed my dad the picture and he replied ” Yes that is my mom, me and brother John”. Then we mentioned how yiayia looked so much like my sister Toni. My dad got a sarcastic look on his face and said ” Don’t insult my mother that way”.  We think he was joking, sometimes it is just so hard to tell. Anyway to make Toni feel better we told her he was just joking ( why not ).

Also today, we were able to replace the feta cheese money that had been lost in the car door. This was especially important to do because now my cousin Nicole, the feta cheese heiress, won’t go bankrupt and won’t be forced to work in the grape vineyards picking grapes.

I Need To Start Eating Salad

My dad recently started his cardio exercises three times a week. The group consists of a group of mostly elderly men about the same age as my dad. They gather together a few minutes before each session and discuss their various aches and pains. Each one has a harrowing story to tell about their medical history. At the end of the session , they all leave and tell each other goodbye with the same upbeat message ‘ If i don’t see you again , it has been a pleasure doing cardio exercises with you”. Just a real up beat group.

The other day when my dad came home from his cardio exercises he said ” I need to start eating more salad”. I asked him why. Apparently in the group before they started their exercises the doctors had asked them about the type of meals that they were eating. Also apparently my dad had been the only one who didn’t say he had salad with his meals. ” It was embarrassing being the only one who didn’t mention salad in their diet”. ( I thought by the time you reached your 80′s that peer pressure wasn’t a problem – I was wrong ). He now has salads with his meals and ” They are pretty damn good”.

On Fridays after the exercises, they invite the families to sit in  as the doctors discuss exercise, eating and nutrition. I’m not worried though about getting any peer pressure from members of the other families because I already eat salad with my meals.

They Cancelled the Mentalist!

Sunday turned out to be a very disappointing day for my dad. First we found out that they cancelled one of his favorite TV shows – the Mentalist. ” You mean to tell me that they renew a crap show like Two and a Half Men but cancel a quality show like the Mentalist?”. We did find out that another station may pick up the Menatlist but that was still no consulation. ” We watch channel 4 , even if another station picks up the show what good will that do us? This isn’t a very nice thing to do to an old man”. ( indeed )

Then we found out that my cousin Nicole, the Feta cheese heiress, had not received her money from the cheese that her dad Takis had purchased for us. Apparently Takis would not take money when he gave my dad the cheese so my dad hid the money in the crack in one of the doors on Takis’ car. ( It seems it wasn’t the drivers door ). Takis didn’t see the money, drove off and the money was never found. My dad feels that perhaps one of the Sunday school kids will find the money and turn it in. ( I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for this to happen). I just hope that this loss of money doesn’t force my cousin Nicole, the Feta cheese heiress, into bankruptcy. Will she have to go back to picking grapes in the vineyard?

On a more positive note the CU basketball team got picked for the NCAA tournament and will play their first game on Thursday. At least something good happened on Sunday.

I Don’t Inhale

Yesterday, I went with my dad to see the urology doctor to discuss his off again on again pain in his bladder and make sure that the bladder cancer had not returned. One of the first questions the doctor had for my dad was ” I see that you haven’t smoked for years. Are you still not smoking?”. My dad answered back ” Yes, I quit smoking years ago”. ” Good” replied the doctor ” Because smoking could potentially cause the cancer to return”. The doctor left the room for a minute and I turned to my dad and said ” Just exactly what do you call it when you are on the patio with a cigarette in your mouth?”. He turned to me very offended and replied “Yes, I light up a cigarette and put it in my mouth but I never inhale. In fact all the years I have smoked I have never inhaled”.  ( My dad should meet with President Clinton apparently they have a lot in common ).

Prior to this visit, just the day before my dad had complained of the pain returning in his bladder area. However , when he met with the doctor and was asked ” Are you in pain?”, his reply was ” Of course not. I feel great”. ( indeed ). I told my dad that perhaps the pain was due to the work outs in the cardio gym since he was using muscles that he hadn’t used in years. He replied indignantly ” Are you suggesting that I am out of shape? Just because I am an old man doesn’t mean I just sit around and do nothing. I keep very active”. We are scheduled to return in 2 weeks. At that time I my have the doctor check the pains I am starting to develop.

The Oscars

We watched the Academy Awards last night with my dad. He really wasn’t that excited about watching them and even offered to change the channel if “we liked”. We told him that we really wanted to watch the awards, so he reluctantly sat down to watch them with us. When Jared Leto  accepted his supporting actor award, my niece Katie said she really didn’t care for his acceptance speech. My dad replied “What are you talking about? It was a great speech. He thanked his mother. You should always thank your mother  – and God”.  When Samuel L Jackson came on stage to announce an award, my dad recognized him ” That’s the guy that does all those car commercials”. ( And he has never won an Oscar for them  – go figure ).

Of course he also had a comment on the gowns some of the women wore ” Do you know how much some of those ugly things cost? And most of them really don’t look that good in them”. Mid way through the show, my dad stated that he hadn’t seen any of the shows that were nominated. Katie asked him ” Papou would you like to go see a show with me?”. He replied ” Well not right now dolly, this really isn’t a good time since we are watching the Oscars. Maybe some other time”.

At about 9 PM he had had enough and told us he was going to bed. Later when I passed his bedroom I noticed he was watching Law and Order. This type of program makes much more sense to him since it has a plot and ends in one hour exactly.


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