January 20, 2004

Home, Safe and Sound

I am back! The trip was successful and the traveling went pretty well. I got a few wheelchair rides which I am not sure about but they made the trip very easy.

It is great to be home. It is not great to be at work 12 hours after I got home, but what are you gonna do?

Thanks for all the kind words about the blog -- thanks Riza for hosting it. We're always overthrowing the nation or planning world domination on my blog, so this is a better place.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:38 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2004

Onion Soup

I made onion soup today. I gave it a taste earlier today. Yum!!! Did I mention that I hate onions? But I love baked French onion soup. Go figure. I even pick onions out of my food. I did have a good cry while I was cutting the onions. Tears rolling down my cheeks and everything.

Skylark knows jk is coming home. Mom doesn't feel guilty and she's not the treat dispenser she was a couple of days ago.

Another fine day for bunny chasing. Yup! sure enough was fun. First we point at them and stand very still then we pounce. I try my best but mom doesn't always see the joy in bunny hunting. Anya (Ex-vengence demon) would see the joy in it. (Skylark's take on the day)

Oh, to be a vengence demon. I'd be pretty good at it. I'd be out of control. But no sense being a vengence demon if your not making other people's lives living hells.

Later...

Posted by Riza Rivera at 4:13 PM | Comments (1)

January 18, 2004

jk Coming Home Tomorrow

jk's coming home tomorrow. He called me everyday. I just got off the phone with him. Next time I talk to him he will be on this side of the Pond. I've had fun being single but it's time for him to come home. I miss my buddy.

Am I well rested? Did I enjoy the break from taking care of jk? To tell you the truth, we take care of each other. I may get up at some ungodly hour to get jk off to work on time but he makes up for it by keeping me sane. He makes me laugh. Always has and always will.

Bob and Diane: Here's to stress free living. I have to do stress management also. It keeps my blood pressure down. Go to your beach. Relax, have a home brew. Ain't life grand!!!

Much love, Riza

Posted by Riza Rivera at 6:23 PM | Comments (2)

Is "Spodliodlie" an Irish Word?

jk_dublin.jpg
Me, Michael, Morgan, and a few brave bottles that laid down their life for the cause...
Posted by John Kranz at 3:50 AM

January 17, 2004

Jacket and Tie Required

Livin' large at the K Club in Kildare -- jacket and tie required, no exceptions.
Posted by John Kranz at 5:00 AM

Welcome to Dublin!

One of our local colleagues makes sure the lads don't go thirsty.
Posted by John Kranz at 4:46 AM

January 16, 2004

Travelogue

Monday: Dare To Be Normal
A couple of stories this week: both funny, one a little bit sad.

I am writing this over the Atlantic on my way to England, Ireland and Scotland. I flew out of Denver International Airport at about 10:30 this morning and I just finished dinner; it’s about seven Mountain Time.

I walk with a cane these days, thanks to MS. One of the plusses is that I frequently get special treatment. Last time I went to Austin, I was pulled out of the security line and escorted through.

Today, I was pulled of line as well. “This is great!” I thought. The nice lady told me to go to line one. I thought it funny that the “handicapped” line was a further walk, but I was rolling with it. I got to line one and put my cane, laptop, and carry-on on the belt. Then I was told to remove my shoes.

Ouch. I had worn tennis shoes so that I would not have to remove them. I obliged, of course, and removed both shoes and my AFO ankle brace. Um, that’s the thing that lets me walk.I hobbled up to the metal detector. Did I play it up a little? Was I melodramatic? I’ll leave that to those who know me but I was not overly stoic about it. “It seems odd that they treat people like this in the handicapped lane…”

I was quickly disabused of my thoughts of special treatment. I had been picked out for special scrutiny – not disability. I was laughing inside at my expectations; it really is funny. The TSA people were very kind and professional. I got a good searching (no body-cavity) but they were kind and concerned.

The second story is funny in a more pathetic way. I have had some, thankfully short, bouts of double vision, which is a documented MS symptom. It has scared me, but if I just hang in there, it tends to go away. I got it last Thursday and it did not go away until I removed my contacts and rested my eyes. I was badly impaired for three days and very nervous, as I knew I would be traveling and working in Ireland for a week.

Sunday morning, I get a flash of inspiration. The symptoms, the cure, a feeling in my eyes – you have your contacts in the wrong eyes stupid!!!! I’m about ready for brain surgery, and I just need to switch lenses.

I need to learn to be normal. It is not all about my health. I, jk, resolve to live life a little more normally.

The good news is that I am excited about this trip. It should be fun. I usually hate the long flight and the travel, but I am looking to enjoy this trip. I will be seeing people that I like, going to Scotland for the first time, and staying a few days in Dublin. I am known for my dislike of cities, but Dublin holds a charm for me.

I will post some pictures when I have a chance, and I will be home next Monday – Cheers, y’all!

Tuesday – Day Two, Still No Sight of Land
My flight to Edinburgh was cancelled, so I flew straight into Dublin. I was looking forward to seeing Scotland. Some other time.

I’m staying at the beautiful home of some great people. Last night we had some outstanding Indian food. My hosts are good friends of the proprietors. It was a good evening. I stayed up until ten at night, missing the whole night (yawn) but I should get on schedule. My first appointment isn’t until noon.

I got up once in the night, wide awake. I had my laptop and Season One of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on DVD. I watched “Nightmares.” That is a good episode. If you’ve never checked out this show, this would be a good first episode. You get humor, personality, and a good feel for the show. Back to sleep, sleep well.

Wednesday: “I love to program in C++”

I am interviewing research scientists for a position in Dublin. I won’t go into the stories, but some of the applicants were a bit odd. One very bright albeit English-challenged fellow answered every question with “Ilove to program in C++,” I think he may be the guy…

The evening is a pub trip with Investors and corporate superiors. Don’t tell anybody but they sometimes drink a little in Ireland. They are all good folks: serious but fun and personable. A late night out, an early next morning.

Is it Thursday today?

Oh, that’s early. Interviews are good today. At night no investors but a quiet evening with compant members – at a five star hotel.

Friday – back to the UK

The Marina/Harbor is beautiful. More good friends, a quick trip to the Yacht Club. Work tomorrow, old friends Sunday and home Monday AM – see y’all!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM | Comments (2)

January 15, 2004

Silent Running...

Sorry I haven't been posting but my Internet access has been very limited in Dublin.

I am having great fun and working hard. I will post pictures and extended descriptions soon. Tomorrow (Friday) I fly back to the UK where I'll have easier access and possibly more time.

Home Monday night. Take care! -- jk

Posted by John Kranz at 8:10 PM

jk's Trip

jk called me twice. One of the investors is a publican (Pub Owner). He owns a pub just outside Dublin. jk went out to dinner then had a few drinks at the pub. jk loves Dublin.

He's going to England soon.

The Skylark sage continues. She's still mad at me but only at night. I keep telling her that this is our new life, get used to it. jk leaves and comes back. I did take her out back as the sun was rising. Still breathe taking. Love the colors.

I've been reading and crafting. Nice mini vacation after the Christmas rush.

jk, I love you. But remember if you pick up a lady of the evening (I don't care which church she's near) I'll have to kill you. Other than that have fun. Try a few single malts for me. If you end up at a wild party and Paris is there, you do get extra points if she's wearing underpants.

Later...

Posted by Riza Rivera at 1:10 PM

January 12, 2004

Jk's Off to See Ireland

jk left this morning. Skylark thought I was leaving because I brought jk's stuff to Lou's car. She was telling me good-bye but I kept telling her that I'm staying and jk is leaving us for a week.

He'll have one hell of a trip. Scotland for four hours, then off the Ireland for a few days, then back to the Compound (John Paul's mansion). They might see Mike Sausa on Sunday. I hope they do.

jk promised me no ladies of the night no matter what church they stand near. Lou told me that they'll be lining up outside all kinds of churches when they hear jk is back in town.

What are my plans for my single week? Atkin's induction. Reading. A visit from the plumbers. jk tried to fix the upstairs sink so we had to call Kat and Maitland. Yes, a female plumber who's very good. Ralph and Ralph eat your hearts out. Maybe I'll even watch a chickflick. One so romantic that it will make we want to gag or laugh.

So I'll be good if jk's good. Well good for a Riza. I can't say that I won't go out with a friend and have a drink or two. jk promised me he'd sample some single malt Scotches and make a list so I can get some.

So I'm off to eat lunch out of the pan and drink coffee right out of the pot. Just kidding. I do use a cup for the coffee.

Later...

Posted by Riza Rivera at 12:39 PM

January 7, 2004

Great Doctor Visit!

Never thought that those three words would come off my keyboard. But yes, last Friday I had a mercifully short and wildly positive appointment with my Neurologist.

I had worried all night that this was the start of my treatment, that I would be put on a drug regimen and subjected to many appointments and tests. Reading the MS magazine in the lobby (now there's a cheerful publication -- gimme "The Nation" any day!), I read all the side effects for the medications. Suicide was the first one. Yup, other than that, you'll love this.

Worked into a fever pitch, Doc called me in, asked how things were and gave a very non-intrusive exam: reflexes, strength tests, &c. Then said those magic words, "come back and see me in two months."

I still may face my meds, but he wants to take new MRIs six months after the first set, and compare the results. He stressed that we could try things if my condition worsens, but as long as I am getting by, we'll just wait for more results.

This shows me that when and if more active treatments are suggested, they are truly needed. And I get a few more months off. With Physical Therapy and my AFO (ankle brace), I really am getting around and along pretty well.

Last note: he signed a form to get me a Handicap Parking Permit. See you at Wal-Mart -- I'll be parked right up front! He signed that my condition was "permanent" but told me "I don't want you to have to reapply every 90 days, but I think that your condition is not 'permanent' and that you will be getting around much better after treatment."

Life is good folks, don't ever forget!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (1)