Thursday, September 27, 2007

The latest on my brother...

My brother has improved, but we all still have a long road ahead. They removed the ventilator and feeding tubes last Saturday night. He was able to talk with us some, but it was very hard to understand him most of the time. By the next evening, he was able to have some liquids. He has been in a good humor and understands what happened and has been busy catching up with the news. They moved him from ICU to a room a couple of days ago, but he is still unable to do a lot for himself. They've had physical/occupational therapists working with him as he tries to regain strength enough to hold a cup or eating utensil. Somebody has to stay with him 24 hours a day. This weekend I'm planning on staying around the clock so my niece can have a break. Meanwhile, catching up on the chores around here has been occupying a lot of time. Both lawnmowers were broken -- I finally got the push mower repaired and was able to cut some of the grass before we were declared a national forest. My office renovation has been on hold, so I'm still without my books, papers, etc. being readily accessible. We're just taking things one day at a time right now, and we're incredibly glad to have Brac with us still.

For those continuing to think about us and pray for us -- and for Brac in particular -- thanks!

Next week Cris is out of school and will have surgery on her knee, so it will be another busy week. She talked about putting it off, but I told her she needs to go ahead and have it done. We'll manage. Hopefully, in spite of everything, I will be able to get back into a regular routine with my blogging very soon.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Update on my brother...

Today they were able to remove Brac from the ventilator for about three hours. He was very calm (they were concerned that he might have to be restrained, but they don't know what a tough and great guy my brother is). He had a dialysis treatment yesterday and will have another tomorrow. He is off the sedative and is on pain medication, and I'm sure his throat will be very sore after having all those tubes in there. At this point we are optimistic. He's so much better than he was a couple of days ago. We're still facing a long road, but if we get to keep him a while longer and let him know how much we love him, I'm set for the journey.

Thanks for all the prayers and expressions of concern!

~ Jim

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Brother

For those checking for new blog entries, I apologize that I haven't added anything since Wednesday. I was working on some new things to post, but on Thursday I got bad news, and practically every minute since then has been occupied.

My brother was taken to the Middle Georgia Regional Medical Center in Macon, Georgia, by ambulance from church on Wednesday night. He's had congestive heart failure episodes in the past, plus he has other medical issues, and he realized that something wasn't right. Someone called 911, and he was taken to the hospital.

Somewhere in the hospital while being moved from one location to another, he stopped breathing and his heart stopped. CPR was started in under a minute, and after 5 minutes they had a pulse. I didn't know this was going on. Thursday my niece called and told us he was in ICU and his kidneys were shutting down.

I was afraid of the worst as we drove over to Macon Thursday afternoon, but my brother has been making some slow progress. He is still in ICU, and he has a variety of problems. He is still sedated and on a respirator, but they hope to wean him off the respirator. So far medication has his kidneys working, but there is still a chance that they may have to start dialysis tomorrow. At any rate, he -- and we -- have a long road ahead. He is still a very sick man.

My bother, Brac, is 18 years older than I, and he's been like a second father to me. In the future I plan to blog about my brother so those of you who don't know him can meet a kind, talented, and funny man, a man that I'm proud to be related to. He means the world to me, and I'm not ready to give him up. I've been reliving so many memories, and I've shed gallons of tears. This and all the peripheral logistical issues are presenting the family with some tough challenges, so please keep us all in your prayers.

~ Jim

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Few Teasers from My Writing Notebooks...

I was just glancing through some bits and pieces that I've transcribed from my writing notebooks (a generous title considering these are collected odds and ends, brief snatches of inspiration, loose papers stuffed into manila folders) onto the computer, typing them and saving them in word processor files so I have them more readily at my disposal. I just thought I'd share a few that I was looking at and thinking about revisiting and developing a little bit -- maybe a story or two will evolve. There is something about each of these that I like (even as I'm aware of the flaws in these small blurbs). They are unpolished, shared here just as I jotted them down -- all of them were scribbled down in early 2004:

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Piece 1:

She strolled down the green garden path among flowers blazing with color -- hollyhocks, zinnias, marigolds and petunias. It was deep summer, and the warm humid breeze carried the sound of screaming insects. Most of the garden spread underneath the full sun, but here and there around the edges the shadows of oak and pecan limbs danced a lazy gray rhythm.

She bent down and smelled a scarlet blossomed petunia. The smell of petunias carried her away to her childhood days at her grandmother’s. The fragrance of life was so thick she could taste it, feel it, embrace it. She had always loved flowers, trees and all growing things. She was sensitive and felt things very deeply, far more deeply than most folks, so she was thought of by some as odd.

She came around a bend in the path, and on the ground lay a dead kitten, a yellow tabby. Its fur was damp and there were clumps of froth on it. She bent down and almost touched the poor thing, but she leapt up with a start. "Mad dog!" she thought. The town crazy was ranting at the general store this morning about a mad dog, but everybody dismissed his testimony as another delusion.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Piece 2:

Mike was four years old, and he came strolling into the kitchen and climbed onto one of the tall chairs with the enthusiasm of a rock climber scaling a cliff. He stood on the chair so he could see over the counter to his mother, and so she could see him.

“Wallace is gone again.”

“Wallace will be back dear.”

Wallace was a battered old teddy bear that Mike had taken to when he was about two years old. It had belonged to an uncle when he was a boy, and the uncle had given it to Mike since he was childless himself. Soon afterwards the uncle drove over an embankment and was killed. He was drunk at the time, although nobody ever remembered him being much of a drinker.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Piece 3:

Nelson sat on the patio in a battered blue bathrobe, smoking a cigar [specific] and reading the newspaper [specific]. He had on a pair of black socks and brown leather slippers. He had slept lousy. All night he thought about the double-cross. That troubled him. The murder did not.

Monday, September 10, 2007


A stream-of-consciousness exercise. I do very little running anymore, but sometimes I miss it -- and other times I thank God I can just sit here and remember doing it:
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Breathe, just breathe. Breath goes deep, it feels so cold it burns – my side hurts, the sharp stab of an oxygen deprived stitch – (come on, you can describe running better than this!) – step, step, tap, tap, one foot out, then the other, pace yourself, just be absorbed in the moment, don’t think about the distance, pay no attention to what’s far off, it only makes it worse – Zen it out, live in the moment, oh God, I’m going to puke – oh it hurts – my mouth is sticky, I can’t swallow my spit – ka whoo – I spit it out, end over end, a white bubbly sticky goo – water, I could drink a bucket, I could suck on a fire hydrant.

Running on the beach, the sand gives way, but it gives no traction, but I feel I could run for days running in the desert at night – in the smooth cool dry desert evening, I get my second wind and I could run all night. I don’t want to stop. I just want to run, to feel the breeze from my speed, to feel the air, its smooth, slow rhythm, in-and-out of my lungs – past my nose, into my windpipe, life-giving molecules crammed into my lungs so tightly I feel I may explode – to feel my heartbeat – I’m so alive; this is a moment of existential perfection (what do I know about existentialism? – learn!), a battle against nihilism, a defiant strutting sneer at existential angst – the extreme moment of knowing, the moment of extreme knowing – I run, I breathe, I hurt, I keep going, I breathe some more, I feel the universe sail past and I know that I am.

[Picture - Attic Black Figure Lekythos, ca. 550 BC, depicting two racing runners. University of Pennsylvania Museum Object ID MS739.]

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Remodeling – So Far...

Well... so much for having the office finished and being moved in by this weekend. New goal – by next weekend. Progress is happening though, in spite of the ever-present effects of Murphy's Law. Anything that can go wrong... yep, it usually will. For instance, the other day I unplugged my computer, as I always do before I leave the house, and the entire socket pulled out of the wall.

This is an old house, and there is nothing normal about it. There's not a single square corner anywhere. So remodeling and repairs become major expeditions into the vast wilds of patience. Replacing the electrical outlet, for instance. People who know (supposedly) gave me advice about how to cut out the sheetrock and how the outlet box would be nailed to the stud in the wall. Well... I cut the sheetrock, and the outlet box is not nailed to a stud. There's not even a stud near it. There are two parallel pieces of wood running horizontally, and the outlet box was screwed in between these pieces of wood. Cris had picked up two different boxes at Lowe's for me, while I was at work, and – as Mr. Murphy's venerable principle would have it – neither fit. A return trip to Lowe's yielded a box that would work, with some tweaking, and I got the new outlet wired up and into the new box and the box snugly attached to the boards. But... (and there's always one of those) the sheetrock didn't go back on the same way it came off. For some reason, it wasn't flush with the wall – it was sunken in about a quarter of an inch, or so. Soooo... I had to build (actually, am still building) it back up with sheetrock mud. That means that wall will be about three days behind the others – and final clean up and the reuniting of my books, papers, and notes and reference materials for various writing projects will not take place for several more days yet.

This has been a learning experience, though. I have learned that I absolutely hate working with sheetrock, deplore painting, and find replacing electrical circuitry a pain in the backside! I've learned that being surrounded by books rather than drop cloths and paint buckets is more my cup of tea. But it doesn't look like it's going to be tea time for several more days. Cold scones, anyone?

[Pictures of the same corner – the first is from yesterday morning and the second from this evening. See... some progress is being made.]

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day -- and I've Been Laboring

It's Labor Day, and Patrick (my youngest) had a good question. Why is it called Labor Day when everybody is off from work? Chalk that question up as another of the imponderables like, "What is the meaning of life?" and "Where did we come from?" I, however, while off from my regular job, spent the day working nonetheless.

This weekend and holiday have been spent patching, sanding, and priming the walls of my office. The fumes are still potent, but I'm still trying to get in some other work. Tomorrow, hopefully, I can get some painting done. I'm ready to get my office put back together (but better) -- my bookshelves and books and papers and the various miscellanea of trying to write will hopefully be better accessible and better organized, and the office will definitely look a whole lot better.

Although the work on the house is just beginning, so finishing the office won't be the end of the work around here, hopefully when it is finished I can get my blogging routine back on track. I've already been asked what's happened to the Revelation blogs? Well -- they will be revealed... in time. I've got lists of topics I want to address that I hope will be enlightening, informative, and entertaining. They're on a piece of paper amidst other pieces of paper that are presently stacked in my bedroom, along with a couple of thousand books and stacks of notebooks and stuffed file folders.

Hope you've all had a happy and safe Labor Day.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

38 Questions

A friend had posted these questions on a MySpace bulletin, and I thought I'd answer them and post them here. I get varieties of these things via MySpace and e-mail all the time. Feel free to copy and paste and send me your own answers to these questions. This gives a little (maybe too much) more insight into this strange blogger whose stuff you're reading.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1. Do you know anyone in prison?

One of my best friends from childhood is serving a 20 year sentence. Not to mention I teach inmates at a state prison -- so I personally know lots of people in prison.

2. Have you ever logged onto a boyfriend/girlfriend/crush's MySpace? wife's -- but only to help her set up her account, because she is essentially helpless when it comes to the computer. I know her password, but I'd never log on without her consent.

3. When is the last time you ate peanut butter and jelly?

A couple of days ago. I love 'em.

4. Do you have a desk in your room?

My bedroom? Nope -- but I plan to rearrange and put one in there.

5. Have you ever gotten naked at a party?

No...but the last time I was ever drunk (about 25 years ago) at a Halloween party for cast members of a play I was in, I went to sleep in the bathtub upstairs, woke up to the sound of tinkling, sat up, heard a girl scream, and lay back down and went back to sleep. I was wearing a tux.

6. What kind of car insurance do you have?

Nationwide -- been with them for twenty something years.

7. Are you named after one of your parents or grandparents?

Named "James" (Jim) after my Grandpa Jim Bohannon -- middle name is Oscar, after my daddy -- and Bohannon after thousands of Irish ancestors.

8. Does your first significant other still live in the same town as you?

No -- if you mean my first serious love, she lives in Monticello, Georgia (as far as I know). My first wife lives in California (as far as I know -- haven't heard from her in a couple of decades or so).

9. Do you throw up gang signs?

I wouldn't recognize a gang sign if somebody nailed it to a post and stuck it in front of my face, so I sure hope not.

10. Have you ever broken a rib?

One of mine? Nope.

11. Would you rather be a girl or a guy?

I've never been a girl, but I don't have any desire to be one. Not that I have anything against girls -- I like them a LOT!

12. Who is the most spoiled person you know?

The person is a minor, and I'm not going to say.

13. Would you rather have a million dollars or true love?

True love. Every time I have money, I end up giving a lot away and spending the rest catching up on necessities. It's just not a priority.

14. Have you ever had sex in church?

Heck no!

15. Is your boyfriend/girlfriend a marine?

No... but my wife's husband is a Marine! OOH RAH!!!

16. Do you watch the Grammy's?

I don't watch TV period. As far as the Grammy's, I'm not interested in the multi-billion dollar music industry -- I listen to a lot of indy stuff.

17. Would you ever work for the border patrol?

No quiero trabajar con el Border Patrol de los Estados Unidos!

18. Which one word would describe your last relationship.

Forever. (It's still going strong!)

19. Would you rather date someone 2 years older than you or 20 years?

Somebody 20 years older than me? Maybe 20 years younger. ;^) (If I wasn't currently attached.)

20. Have you ever had an eating disorder?

Yes... there have been times when I didn't know when to quit! But those that make you skinny -- nope.

21. Do you have a porn collection?

Hmmm... let's see -- I have Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence, as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. Do those count? Oh... somewhere, I have a book on sensual massage for lovers (naughty, but nice).

22. How many proms have you been to in your life?

One -- and it wasn't mine. I don't think my school even had one.

23. Have you ever been in an inter-racial relationship?

Nope. I've just never been romantically attracted that way. Don't know why.

24. Is your birthday on a holiday?

No... but by golly, it should be!

25. Are you old enough to vote?

Unfortunately, yes -- and those idiots at the courthouse use the voter registration list to call me for jury duty about once a year. I believe in doing my fair share, but c'mon -- I have people tell me they haven't been called in years! (I know -- you just asked if I was old enough -- not about all the peripheral baggage attached... sorry.)

26. Do you have any friends or family in the War right now?

Yes, I do.

28. Do you worry about global warming?

Not at all. I think it's over-politicized and over-hyped, and I don't agree with the politically-correct, Al Gore version at all. I worry about real stuff -- like how to fill my gas tank to get to work and Islamic terrorism and what I'm going to write for my next blog entry.

29. Do you like polar bears?

I love Klondike Bars, and I just ate one, and there's a picture of a polar bear on the Klondike Bar wrapper, so I guess I'd have to say... yes, I like polar bears.

30. Do think it is worse to cheat or steal?

It's worse to steal, but I really deplore both -- strongly!

31. What kind of birth control do you use?

HA HA HA HA HA!!! Oh, were you serious?

32. What slang word(s) do you call marijuana?

Stupid -- idiotic -- foolish -- and other such words.

33. Are you an atheist?

Nope. And I don't believe in atheists.

34. Did you lose your virginity to your neighbor?


35. Did or do you think your childhood dreams will come true?

Well... I wanted to meet the Beatles (I'm listening to them right now) -- that one won't come true. I wanted to date Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) -- that one won't come true. I wanted to marry the most wonderful girl in all the world and have the most gorgeous children and grandchildren one day -- that one came true.

36. Do you wear your sweetie's clothes?

You've been peeking in the window, haven't you! How did you know? I sometimes wear a bra like an aviator's cap. I think it looks cool! I only wear dresses on special occasions, though. (I have a bizarre sense of humor -- and yes, I will slip something on to see how long it takes somebody around here to notice.)

37. What's your opinion on gold diggers?

Can't stand ulterior motives of any kind! Especially using people for selfish ends.

38. Are you a country or city girl/boy?

I'm a country boy with certain city sensibilities. I wouldn't want to live in the city, but I wouldn't like to know I couldn't ever visit there.