Happy Birthday Mom!


The Dude on the Right

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and she turned the excellent age of

.  It’s weird though, these days, because her health isn’t
nearly the state it used to be just five or six years ago, and for me,
it has to do with three things, and she may or may not agree, but part
of her decline was a result of a

stress test
she did a couple/five years ago, too much stress from
dealing with my father, and her years of smoking.  Yup, mom was a
smoker, and for the most part, other than my dad, you can attribute her
health issues to that.  But when you are a woman approaching 75,
with diagnosed emphysema, and sure, and you’re having some heart issues,
do you really give this woman a full-blown stress test and put her on a
treadmill?  And that being said, as she’s on that treadmill, and
she is saying she can’t keep going, do you force this woman to keep
going, even to the point where you are holding her up?  Go figure,
the stress test didn’t detect anything. A little later she had an

, and low and behold there was some blockage in one of her
coronary arteries.  They fixed that, but a lot of her lung issues
started to happen after that stress test, and my theory is simply this,
and I’m no Doctor and I don’t even play one on TV, but her years of
smoking and emphysema left a lot of crap stuck in her lungs.  Being
in her early seventies, mom wasn’t one to get her heart rate nor heavy
breathing up, although helping my dad, she really kept her strength, but
with this running and unable to catch her breath on the treadmill, all
of that crap blew out of its settled places and headed to the rest of
her lungs.  Diagnosed now with what the call

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
, she is tethered to an
oxygenator 24 hours a day, and as days goes, some days are better, some
not so much.  She will be the first to admit that smoking was a bad
thing, and for the couple of stories we all hear about of people who
have smoked all of their lives and live it long and healthy, for the
most part, you will probably end up in your later years like my mom. 
Make that choice today and
quit smoking, as
hard as it may be, because in seeing my mom, she would give up all of
those years of smoking if she didn’t have to live with this today. 
And if you are a friend of a smoker, try to get them to quit.  If
they give you crap, feel free to make them
contact me and I’ll give
them a few other things they might get to look forward to as they get

With her health issues aside, I will
always love my mom.  She probably never fully understands some of
the decisions I have made in my life, but she has always been
supportive.  She was a great singer, played an organ like nobody’s
business, but spent her years as a mom and housewife, and all she ever
seems to really want for me and my brother and sister is to be happy. 
She has her favorite saying now when people ask her how she is doing,
and that is simply "Still breathing."  That’s all I can hope for
everyone dealing with the same things my mom is going through, is to be
"Still breathing."

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

My Problem With Kids and Movie Theaters


The Dude on the Right

Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent and I can’t relate, or
maybe it’s just that the parents don’t care, but I still find it
unbelievable the number of parents that bring kids to movies that just
aren’t appropriate for them. My case in point this time being while I
was at "Bad
News Bears

Getting to the gigaplex a little early so I can get
my favorite seat, I’m sitting in the theater knowing that the movie is
rated PG-13, for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality, and
thematic elements, whatever that last one means. Just as the commercials
begin, in walks a dad and I’m assuming his two sons, looking to be about
5 or 6. They proceed to sit a couple of seats away from me, and then dad
instructs the sons that they should move because he’ll be back in a few
minutes with candy and stuff. What dad doesn’t instruct them is the
basic rule in movie theaters – keep your mouth shut, don’t ask
questions, and don’t kick the railing in front of you. While dad was
gone, the kids went on to do all of those things, and I knew my
movie-going experience would be a chore. I hoped, that at least when dad
got back, that things might change, but low and behold, I guess dad
thought this was his living room.

Yep, I’m trying to watch a pretty funny movie, and Johnny and Billy
(not their real names) keep asking dad questions about what is going on
in the movie, what
Billy Bob Thornton just said, or to pass another
Twizzlers. Then
of course there was Johnny, or maybe it was Billy, who kept thinking
that the cool thing to do because he didn’t understand what was going on
during the movie was to kick the railing in front of him. Dad, did,
politely tell his son to stop, but these were kids who don’t seem to
listen to their parents because he kept at it for most of the film.

I hope you, our reader, are good parents and courteous movie-goers,
because damn, we’ve all paid our good money to see this movie. It’s bad
enough we think the theater is our garbage can when we toss our empty
popcorn bag under our chair, but people, it is not your living room,
because I’m not in your living room. That’s how you can tell.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!