Good morning, and a respectful Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to you.
Weather Report... Sweet
This is the first cold day this season, with the weather channel telling us that it is 42° but it feels like 37°. Thank you WeatherCorps, but what do you mean by “Feel”. Are you referring to the sensation of the cooler temperature on the skins as in “It feels cold in here”, or is it more of an emotional response... “It feels weird in here”. Either way, I feel I should walk outside, and determine the “feel “ for myself. And, how does 37° feel to you, to anybody? Since no one really knows what any number feels like to anyone else, the whole folderol rests in the category of superfluous and erroneous unrequested information. From me, to you.
I didn’t spell trails wrong
I have been participating in a clinical trial involving a new delivery system of my parkinson’s drug, the drug that, although some of it’s side-effects can be disturbing, enables me to lead somewhat normal life. I was going to use this time to tell you all about it but I realize that might be a violation of some public disclosure protocol so I won’t. You’ll have to wait until I clear it with the powers that be. I have probably said too much already, but I will state, for the record, that I feel pretty good right now, and no one can stop me from telling you how I feel.
BoTai Panda Names
just for fun-they don’t believe in names anyway
Until Next Time
This is my first blog post of the year and contains within a social commentary that is unapologetically self-labeled pithy and erudite - a new and improved direction I have found myself traveling in. Even my handsome (again self -labeled) picture to the left is symbolic, for I have the look and demeanor of a Rural Gore Vidal.
I’m trying to place myself into author mode... This is the year of my book - My ode to joy, my painted sunrise. That means a lot of work, nothing is easy until it becomes so. The narrative in this book, which many of you have stated I should write, will be the vehicle in which my last 2 or so years of blog entries, late night Facebook posts, and other sober private moments will take root and fly. This is the GravityBubble that will enable them, without the use of primitive, antiquated rockets, to escape this planet’s gravity and soar as golden stardust. The Gravity Bubble has been built, tested, and outfitted with a years supply of self spreading p-nut butter, Panda Punch and Blue Bamboo. T-minus 360 days and counting.
I will be working on a tight schedule setting aside much of my “on” time for completion of this project. The lagniappe is that I can work on my Great GroovyLand novel even when my parkinson’s medication is NOT working - the adds many hours to the day.
Thanks for dropping by - here’s a expert from my love child in progress followed by a cynical view of our culture.
From the book (working title) My Life with the BoTai (Panda) -
Chapter One - Urbanite - and other unknown things.
My friends - acquaintances - and those who fall into neither category, I’ll call them concerned individuals, lately ask me “What’s with all the Panda’s” I usually reply with friendly sarcasm that Pandas are easy to paint. This comment receives a low-fi smile and satisfies art-lovers as we stand, smiling, waiting for more shrimp to be brought out. Easy? This is not at all an untruth. I use the ubiquitous, iconic Panda image already in the mind of the viewer to provide familiarity and most of the detail, so a large share of the work is already done. Since I am required to paint something - why not paint something easy. Plus, I like them.
But, I haven’t always liked them - For many years I had an enormous, unsubstantiated fear of Pandas and all things Panda. Why, I do not know, as I said, my fear was unsubstantiated. Since there are no Panda’s in my bedroom - backyard - neighborhood - or even in the city zoo of the mid size Florida metropolis I now call home, since there are no pandas anywhere in my life I had no reason to be afraid of them. As I said, my fear was unsubstantiated. (That is the last time, in this book, that I will use the word unsubstantiated )
This baseless fear lay dormant for many years until I went shopping for socks . . .
and now for my opinion on something no-one asked of . . .
Overrated Icons of cultural disillusionment
There are elements of our shared experience - our culture - call them icons, that are, at best, misrepresented, They are sold by a Madison Ave mentality to the highest bidder, and if and when we discover the truth we can’t help but wonder what else have they have lied to us about. Here are three (n no particular order) that I easily came up with, see if you can think of any. This is only my opinion - You might not agree.
When I was young cigarettes were everywhere - mainly in advertising - promises of full flavor and satisfaction went out the window with that first rancid puff. The Marlboro man mystique can never be obtained - it’s only a highly addictive toxic plant that makes those that sell it rich and those that buy it sick.
#2 Disney World
I have heard that it is The Disney Corporation’s plan is to have everyone in the world visit one of their parks ONE TIME. That would be enough to satisfy the greediest stockholder. They don’t care if you ever come back. That’s the reason a trip to the Magic Kingdom comes with - long lines and short tempers - short rides and long faces - ridiculously over priced “food” - and a faux concrete version of an America that never existed.
#1 Mona Lisa
People found it strange that We would go to Paris and not visit the Louvre “Y’all didn’t see the Mona Lisa?” So, the last we broke down and visited this international overrated icon. Lines that made the ones at Disney look dustbowl empty - prices that would make you sick - crowds that overwhelmed your humanity.
All this to glimpse a too small, too far away, disappointment.
If it were funnier I would laugh more... if it were sadder I would cry.
Three Thoughts that have nothing to do with Thanksgiving ( the holiday - or the board game )
#1 - “The greater my pain is the better I feel when it stops”
#2 - To Chris Musker, my #3 son. This year of you living with us has been one of the best in my - what seems like forever - all too short life. You truly understand, on a cellular level, that life should be as summer camp. Infinite Dotz for y0u. Even though we will still be working together it wont’t be he same. Katheen and I already miss you. Remember, no matter what, you always have a place in our home and in our hearts. Unless the facility they put us in won’t allow roomates. Good Luck and God Speed
#3 - I am right in the middle of a nasty upper respiratory infection, first one I have had in years. I am resting - drinking lots of fluids and taking ibuprofen for the aches and the fever. Hopefully the worst is over. And it is the worst.
Having a cold when you have parkinsons is like being forced to run a marathon on a planet where the gravity is twice that of Earth’s. Everything hits you twice as hard. I don’t know the exact science behind it all and I don’t have to. I am a humorist not a scientist.
Pains (too many to list) that should run their natural course though my body take up residence in me - haunting me - harassing me - haranguing me - hurting me - making cry like a scared child, and that is what I have become - a scared child.
Scared this U.R.I could be one the that gets me, the one that develops into a fatal bout of Pneumonia, a disease which is one of the major causes of death for people with parkinsons. Scared i’ll check into a hospital and never check out, it happens to folks every day, and it can happen very quickly.
Death does not scare me, we all have to do it. It’s the week or so before it that I fear. Will that week be one of a morphine induced colorless haze - in a place I don’t want to be - surrounded by people I hardly know? Feeling the sadness and fear of my loved ones., as they wait wait wait. They tell me I have a choice, but true choices are made in the moment, not years before, and if my body has shut down, gathering up it’s things to walk down that road alone. How much power do I really have? How much control? NONE.
So I will say this now for all of those that love - like - cherish - admire - tolerate - enjoy - laugh - eat - play music - create - with me.
Come play with me now while I still control my story - of course I will love to see you in my final days , which still could be 20 years from now - I HAVE ONLY BEGUN TO FIGHT - Come play in my summer camp world now, because once I start to pack to go - I will have already left.
Andy (no longer scared) King
Welcome to my world, well, at least one of them
This is from my latest FB entry
NOTICE!!! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I WILL WRITE TODAY - THIS WEEK - THIS YEAR, AND POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM YOU WILL READ.
Having parkinson sucks, I can safely attest but i can only imagine, and I’m sure that pales when compared to reality, even with my deluxe imagination, how difficult life would be, how difficult every hour would be with that little monkey at the controls trying in his little monkey way to run your heart - mind - body - soul, a job he is ill equipped to do. I can only imagine the algebraic formal needed to calculate the misery compounded on a person if they where subject to parkinson’s and also found themselves homeless or living in abject poverty. I can only imagine.
And I do. I think about it every time I venture out into the real world - a world full of disenfranchised children of God. Many of whom, I would venture a guess have medical conditions such as pd. I also think about these - there but for the grace of god go I - people, when I am cradled in the safe and loving arms of my family and home. I am awesomely blessed and I thank my maker that these blessings aren’t only my imagination.
I CAN DO SOMETHING - YOU CAN DO SOMETHING - WE CAN DO SOMETHING
This Saturday starting at 2pm is the Gr00vyLånd BackYard Festival (Raising Awareness of Parkinson’s Through Art, Music, Love, and Laughter!)
There will be performances by local musicians, most from the Riverside area-Art show with silent auction - Henna - and much more, I also will be talking (using an angel to talk slowly - clearly - loudly) in small doses, throughout the day about parkinson’s - what it is, and how it has affected me and my family. The festival is open to the public - everyone is invited. Half of all the proceeds are being donated to, yet to be named, charities involved with parkinson’s. I just had this brainacaine this morning so bear with me. I am going to check with the director of the local pd support group to see if there is any organizations involved with helping homeless individuals with pd in Jacksonville. That is where I think the money should go. If there isn’t such an organization, well maybe there needs to be. See you Saturday.
*********END OF FACEBOOK**********
The Gr00vyland Backyard Fest has come and gone with the FabricatedMomentsInTruthVersesTime Corporation a division of AndyVerseForever deeming it a complete success - not rousing - not Earth moving, but complete. That’s not bad for our first time and and kind of spatial - maybe even 3 dot Spatial - since nothing in life is ever complete - There is always room for jello.
We raised around $300 (I will give you the exact amount as soon as it is collected, the dust settles and the checks clear) $300 that whoever we decide to donate it to didn’t have until we gave to them.
When Donovan first proposed the G. B. F. 50% of all proceeds were to be sent to a bonafide charitable organization earmarked for parkinson’s research. But, as usual, I kept on thinking about it. My thoughts kept returning to a place I did not want to be, a place no one in their right mind would ever want to find themselves. That dreadful location where not only did I have to face the daily hell this disease can promise. No cure...No relief...No hope - I also faced the concrete reality of a life with No Family - No Job - No Home. It would be to much to bear, it would suck, It would suck exponentially until it reached infinity. I can only imagine.
Donating to parkinson’ research is a noble idea, although somewhat self-serving since I stand to benefit from that research. And, as with all science, the wheels turn slowly, most likely any advances our $300 would help foster would not arrive until well after I’m gone. I want to help relieve some of the suffering my brothers and sisters in parkinsons are experiencing NOW. One of the ways I can do this is to help organizations that see to the basic daily needs of indigent individuals with parknsons or it’s cousins - MS - Alzheimer’s - Lou Gehrig’s etc. $300 could pay for a lot of rides to the Doctor - buy quite a few canes or walkers - or even pay for the snacks this yet to be found organization would have at their support group meetings. What they spend it on is up to them. If I cannot find such a local or regional entity the money will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation. I will let you know.
I am the master multitasker -
Since the ever so stupid monkey type creature named parkinsons took over the job of running my body machine for eight to twenty -four hours a day, my life has changed, I can’t drive a car - won’t go to a bar - can’t run a race - can’t easily negotiate my living space - worst of all, I can’t keep my iPhone from falling out of the pocket of my jacket, my lucky jacket that my mother gave me.
My life has changed, drastically, but as I work, on a cool October evening, in a most beautiful spot - a spot that I*, with little to no money, envisioned, designed and brought to life. My 30ft by 50ft Backyard in Riverside (the Paris of Jacksonville). I think, yes my life has changed, drastically , ,but maybe for the better, maybe for the better because of one place -
Gr00vyLånd (The Garden of Many Colors)
Gr00vyLånd no longer relies on being described by me in order to exist. It no longer has to written to be real. Instead of being fueled solely by imagination, moving from my brain to my fingers turned into electrons of the night moving light speed into your eyes - into your brain - Gr00vyLånd now runs on my sweat - my sore muscles - my sore bones - Gr00vyLånd now runs on my hopes - my dreams - my laughter - my love. But remember, Gr00yLånd is a product of the post monkey Andy. Before monkey (BM) Andy didn’t need to create a place with no disease - no parkinsons - no silly stupid monkey. I already lived in a groovyland and didn’t even know it. I lived in a groovyland but not THE Gr00vylånd.
And in Gr00vyLånd’s GARDEN of MANY COLORS, in a gazebo built by me some 20 years ago, surrounded by the thick strong arms of Confederate and Chocolate Jasmin - wooden structure and woody plant made one in a long forgotten, unattended ceremony - I am sitting at my laptop - my new LED Christmas lights illuminating this Jazz Men room with their pure Gr00ve radiating violet ultracolor. I am sitting here...performing many things at once - I am the master multitasker.. .Or am I?
SOME OF THE THINGS I AM DOING RIGHT NOW
Yes I am doing all these things - but am I multitasking? I feel that in order to be truly be labeled a multitasker you must be able to achieve and maintain parallel execution - engaging in two or more activities at the exact same time. A person might have the ability to drive a car while carrying on a conversion with someone in that car, that is true multitasking. But, I find it terribly hard to eat a deliciously juicy pear (my favorite fruit - see below) and at the EXACT same time type this note to you. it is physically impossible - no parallel execution / no multitasking. The same can be said about all of the activities I am presently engaged in, it is impossible for me to dig up 300lbs of urbanite at the EXACT same time I record a melody for song I am writing.
Now that my life has changed, with the monkey thinking he is in charge, all my life is shift work and I strive to get the most done per shift. That, for me, takes multiple projects - performed simultaneously, although it appears that I am setting the multitasking world on fire, I am really just pushing my borderline manic, albeit creative, personality past it’s envelope, as The Great and Pure Giraffe would have me to do. I am doing many things at once, some of them genius some not so - only time will tell. I could continue calling myself a multitasker but, I must be truthful in all that I say an do, so tomorrow I will pretend to remove multitasker from my non existing curriculum vitae, while at the exact same time I watch an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Thats true Multitasking.
Official Hierarchy of Common Fruit Attractionation
People - loved ones - liked ones - ones I don’t know - will point their fingers at me and tell me, with much enthusiasm, that I should turn this blog into a book. I agree, but a book is not a blog. I became painfully aware of that when I took everyone advice. In book form my blog turned flat - just a collection of stories - observations and all the rest, their only connection being that they were written by me, and that was tenuous at best since I speak with many voices. There was no narrative. no comfortable story that would hold the readers interest. I came up with an answer, that story, last week but I can’t tell anyone yet. I will say this...
just say yes!
meet Andy Ward King, a professional musician and artist until a diagnosis of parkinons dsease at age 49 forced him into an early retirement., he now uses his music, his art along with the whimsical world he has created in this blog as therapy to ( as he puts it ) outsmart his brain and make the daily battles with parkinson’s a little bit easier, to give him that all important reason to get up on the morning, to make his life worth living. Andy has learned how to say NO to gving up \ NO to depression and apathy \ NO to following willingly the road of decline that stretches before him. he learned that to say no to all of these things all one has to do is say yes. Andy has learned to just say YES to life/\\