Monday, May 12, 2008

Sixth degree related to me?

With the chatter "again" about who is related to whom I must make a confession. I haven't the FOGGIEST idea who I am related to in Clatsop County, really, especially depending on how you count a relation. For that matter, even if you are only counting "blood" relations.

I remember in grade school coming home and telling my mother that a little girl named Anna Helmerson told me that we were cousins. My mother confirmed we were. On my father's side, through his first cousin's, my second cousin, marriage. Huh? How come I've never seen her before? Where's eight years' worth of Christmas and birthday gifts? Another kid told me we were cousins and his mom, who worked in the school cafeteria confirmed it! Who were these people? And where were all the missing gifts?

We had five kids in our family, I think we were one of the first families tossed off everyone's lists back in the sixties. My mother's sister, Dixie, had four kids (Owens) and those were the only cousins I really knew about. My dad's sister, Susan, had two kids that were six and eight years older than me (Orrs) and too old to play with so didn't quite count. The closest other cousins that lived in town (so I thought) were the Justin twins and they were older than the Orrs so they really didn't enter into my life until I was much older, and one other Bartoldus who was even older than them. Funny, I have older children than them all, and I have grandchildren first, too. Ummm. They got college educations first and had children in their thirties and I had children in my twenties and then completed my college education.

Anyhow, our other first cousins were out of towners (Stassens which were Seaside but moved to Hood River, Castles in Indiana, Woods lived in Dominican Republic came back to Astoria went back to DR but do now live back here, mostly) and second cousins by the scores. My mom's other siblings had children that we saw on occasion but they weren't locals so it wasn't like they started showing up out of the woodwork unexpectedly like those sneaky Bartoldus relatives. Plus, mom's family were Coasties. They moved here in the late forties/early fifties. They weren't locals.

Dad's family came in the 1860s, but they were Prussians. Not a drop of Scandinavian. Then I found out there were drops of Irish. And drops of English. And then drops of other a whole lot of other stuff!!! Cousins I had never heard of kept informing me, at school, that we were related! Grandma's had last names before they married grandpas, apparently, and no one had told me their stories! We were related to Faieres and Scruggs and Hardies and Helmersons and Heckards and Canarises but wait Mom's family were Coasties and not from around here! Oh, her mom's family were actually from Westport, and had moved over to Cathlamet and down to Long Beach and Ilwaco and over to Astoria and back up to Aberdeen and met up with the Woods.

And then in Astoria the Woods had met with the Owens who had met up with just about everyone in Astoria at one time or another and more than half of the time didn't marry them, and the Canarises weren't so keen on marraiges either, and that wasn't just recently but as early as the early 1900s!!! With the Owens came the Van Horns and a Bradley or two and so many more why start when you can't stop?

In high school one day my math lab partner and I were bored doing tic tac toe games, and we sure as heck didn't understand the algebra Mr. Scott had up on the board, so we were telling where our favorite places to camp were. I was telling about a spot which is now about fifty feet from where I presently live. I told him, "You go across the metal bridge and past the Bogh's house and then past the next house which is where," and just as I was going to say, "my grandma Mel lives," he says, "My uncle Cecil lives!" We both just looked at each other. "I am related to Larsons?" I questioned. "Mom never said we were related to Bartolduses" said Jim. I still have no idea how many came in on the Moberg deal.

So, who are you? Are you sure we aren't related? Where do you hail from? Are you a Satterwhite or a Rainey? Are you a Moberg, Reick or a Tenny? A Rummell or a LaFerrier, Tonnis, Haines, Detricks, or Miller? A Morrell, a Padgett, a Westerholme, or Ornellas? A Smith? A Jones? Forget about it, we are related. We told our children, do not date here. Do not think about a spouse if they have a relation here. Really, you should have a blood test done if they have a grandparent here or a great-aunt, we are related. Somehow, somewhere, sometime, some place, someone did it with someone else and we are related. Thank the good Lord the law only extends to first cousins or there would be a lot of people in big trouble in this county. And when you think about all the "free love" of the seventies (yeah, we were a decade behind around here) there probably is still a lot of people that could be in trouble!!!

Oh, calm down, fog bounders, I'm jist joshing you! Hardly any of us are related .... very much.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Restless Night Combatting Parkinson's

Last night was a looonnnggg night. My dad wouldn't go to sleep. He kept having hallucinations. We know it is his medication for his legs and for the last two weeks have been trying to find the right dose to take at the right time. As mentioned before, he has Parkinsons.

Last night he thought there were people in his bedroom that wouldn't leave, which was making him angry. I took turns with my mother assuring him that there was not anyone in his room. He lost his remote for his television, even though it was right next to him. He went into the bathroom and shouted for me and when I went in there he was holding the four sectioned mirror that is screwed into the wall. I asked what he was doing and he told me that it was falling off the wall and yelled for me to hold it with him as he was loosing his grip. I held it and told him to let go. He did and then I did. He let out a yelp and then said, "Oh, your lucky it didn't fall."

Each time an incident happened about ten minutes later he would come out and apologize and say he didn't know why he did that. He could hear what he was saying but somehow it was as if the dream had taken over and he was powerless to stop it from cycling through. He was so sad. And then fifteen minutes later noise in his bedroom and I would knock and go in and he would be crawling on the ground because he had lost something, or was chasing the cat that he wanted out of his room (which was already outside and not even in his room) .

It is so hard to watch this and dammit he is waaaay too young for this. He is only 68 years old. Grandpa Roy was still working at 67. Dad wanted to be traveling, he wanted to be doing so much. I cry watching him progress in this disease. Telling him he can stop the progression if he just does this, that or the other. I watch others that I know have the disease. Some come to our support group. Others choose to go the route alone, and others in denial about having it. It is such a debilitating disease, and it seems to be hitting people younger and younger.

I am now part of a 10 year study of people who have a parent with Parkinsons. There is interest since my dad's mother also had it. For whatever reason, I am not particularly afraid of "getting it" however, if I suddenly lose my sense of smell I think I would go into a total panic.

Today I had two major things to do and since I finally fell asleep at 5 am I now am in no shape to tackle anything that involves using a thought process. Hubby is home going over bills, too, joy of joys! He read the comments over on NCO where someone said I was "literally" in the pay of Richard Lee. He wants to see the dough, ASAP. So do I. He also thinks if I have the clout to hand pick the next commissioner I should be using my power for more things around the home front. Sigh. Don't I wish.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Hoax of the Hoax

I find it quite amusing that the movie The Hoax was denounced by Clifford Irving as a hoax, "I had nothing to do with this movie," said Irving, "and it had very little to do with me." He goes on to say, "If I were that man[the movie Clifford], I'd shoot myself," and adds, "The movie is best thought of as a hoax."

There is one part of the movie that still rings "true," albeit Hughes probably never said it, certainly many politicians have used the ploy. In the movie version Clifford Irving makes tape recordings of his fictitious interviews with Hughes, supposedly to prove to his publishers that he is actually interviewing the eccentric recluse, and during one interview he attributes him as saying:
When your rival is powerful, find an opportunity, create a crisis for him. Instead of taking short term advantage, save the day for him! Nothing confuses a man more than a kind gesture from his enemy; nothing renders him more vulnerable.

I think, if people watch local happenings over the next few weeks, some will see this played out in more than one arena. This month should prove to be very interesting. I do wonder who will have the eyes to see and the ears to hear? And I also wonder how many of us will be bored to tears by the sheer drama ad nauseam of it before it is all said and done?

The sad fact is, and what many jackasses bank on, human nature can only take listening to one issue for so long before they just don't care anymore, no matter how many lives are being ruined or how many reputations are destroyed. Truth? Unless there is a pointed twist people turn off or disconnect, they just don't care unless, or until, it is their own lives that are being impacted and often by then it is too late.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Vegas and Justice, which one is more real?

We attended daughter number fours wedding last week and our son-in-law asked hubby and I to be witnesses on the license, which was very nice, sweet and touching moment. Son-in-law was very nervous and teary, which isn't his demeanor in the least. A hard working, hard playing, construction worker who wiped tears from his eyes when he saw his bride to be for the first time in her wedding gown coming towards him.

Hubby and I spent last week in Las Vegas with in-laws and daughters number one and four and two grandbabies. Since we are not gamblers it wasn't a terrible loss of time away from the casinos. We did sit in on one of the three hour Tahiti Village timeshare "opportunities of a life time." We got a lot of free gifts with it. Hubby won a very nice jacket, we got dinner tickets to someplace and it was a nice dinner, alone. We gave our tickets to the variety show away as we never had time to get to it. We did hit the casino a few times and played "Deal or No Deal" and "I Dream of Jeannie", both penny machines and won $80, lost half of it. But nice, didn't lose any of our own!

And it was HOT! We left PDX at 58 degrees and landed in 94 degrees. GASP! Ballagio, MGM, Paris, New York, New York, Excalibur. We went to the Tournament of the Kings at Excalibur which I thought was going to be a yawner but turned out to be quite entertaining, especially with everyone cheering and the actors were such hams and really enjoying themselves! The grandsons were chanting along with everyone else and thought it great fun to rip the pheasants up themselves and eat them with their hands.

And we walked, and walked, and walked and walked! In the heat! How I wish that equated weight loss! We ate one night at the Hard Rock Cafe, and another night I don't remember having dinner at all! I think that was the night of the wedding, it was an evening wedding taking place at 8 PM and I think there was a small buffet afterwards w/finger foods. It was so hot I really don't remember being hungry or eating that much. We did drink a lot of iced coffees.

Coming home threw us back into "life". While I do enjoy the "new" role of journalist some areas can be frustrating. It appears that whenever I put in a public information request to the Department of Justice they phone our local District Attorney for his "okay" to release information. It shakes ones confidence in the "justice" system to know it is nothing more than another form of "the good ole boy" network. You think there is something unique about the work of "justice" but there isn't. It is all just dirty politics. Rather disheartening to know that there is no such thing as justice, it is just who knows who and who owes whom what.

Back in March and again at the beginning of April I sent a Public Information Request to the Oregon DOJ. I received a letter back from the DOJ dated April 17 saying that their office did have the information that I was seeking regarding the disposition of the Lee inquiry and I should be getting the information in a "reasonable amount of time". Here it is May 5th and no packet of information so I call them and the person who answered the phone had to ask me my name a few times, have me spell it, have me provide the dates of the letters I wrote to the DOJ and the date of the letter they wrote back to me and then I waited forever and the guy finally gets back on the line to tell me all he can do is take my name and number and let "someone" know that I have inquired as to when I will be hearing back from the DOJ. I asked what a "reasonable amount of time" means. Lo and behold, he didn't know.

Now watch, tomorrow the District Attorney will make some grandiose press release to the Daily Astorian and KAST, snub us, and all because of my PIR!!! The DOJ just making sure that Marquis covers his before giving me the information that is the right of the public to know. It would be laughable if it wasn't so depressing. These are the people that can (and do) mess with other people's lives. I do wish I had a CIA/FBI connection, just so I could see what it is that two-bit local nothings can have such pull on state offices. Maybe all I would need is someone's ear at Microsoft who knows some excellent computer "skills"? I have a pretty good idea of what is locked away in a particular "someone's" laptop and having it cleaned for them would be a pleasure for me. Chuckle, I imagine that they have reciprocal thoughts.

Sometimes, I do wonder if it is worthwhile. I am not making any money on this endeavor and often when articles refuse to come together, or no one is calling back or I feel like everyone is lying I want to throw the laptop in the river and go back one year to when I was no one but 'Bika, wife and mom. Then, when there are days when everything is coming together, when a PIR comes through with gold or someone doesn't realize what they have just said, or the article just falls all into place and someone says, "WOW, I never saw it that way, thanks!" it makes it all worth while.

And no, I don't work for a blog, I write for a dot com. Big difference. But if you are thinking of suing, then on second thought, it is just a blog, laugh at it, poke fun at it and go on to another site. Read the user agreement. It says, "For entertainment purposes only". Is anything for real anymore?