Sunday, May 25, 2008


What a difference a week makes. Dennis’ numbers are back in the black and lookin’ good. His pulse is 82, oxygen 97%, temp. 97.7, and blood pressure – 100 over 58. The doctor offered to write a prescription for medicinal potato chips to give those numbers an assist, but we decided just to stick with the salt lick for the time being. (We don’t want to get addicted to prescription chips.) He popped some lovely veins for the technicians, and they got a gusher. Hooray! But the loveliest number of the day is his weight…it’s 128, and that’s without the nose hose. Actually, he was wearing clothes and shoes, but they were skinny clothes, and getting buck naked in front of the other infusees is something Dennis shies away from. I don’t see why. His abs and his labs are really quite attractive.

Soooo…it was full cheme ahead. Dennis bellied up to the bar, pounded down the entire bag of gencitobene, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, turned his shot glass upside down on the table, and swaggered, John Wayne-style, outta the joint. What a man! Still crazy after all these years!

So, after preparing for infusion, we are preparing for Disneyland. As you are well aware, this is not just a family vacation…it is a celebration. And the Ashton Clot plans to rock California. But first, we must actually get there. Easier said than done.

I have pledged to pack light, so I made my “necessities only” list to help me resist the urge to pack the superfluous and mindless. I am committed to the neat and simple, so I can achieve the lofty goal of maintaining sanity and my gravitational center as a dozen crazed and depraved family members attempt to negotiate a theme park whose central icon is a helium-voiced rodent. Therefore, I am including a list of strictly essentials that will minimize our need for luggage and still ensure an awesomely brainless good time.

Joan’s list of essentials:

  1. Make-up…enough to guarantee I don’t lower the property values of the entire state of California.
  2. Eyelash curler…to curl a dozen sets of eyelashes
  3. 12 hair brushes…just in case the girls forget theirs and want to borrow mine. Mathematically this factors out to one brush per family member.
  4. Extra hair dryers…refer to item #3 for distorted reasoning and explanation.
  5. Extra diapers…in case babies have accidents.
  6. Extra Depends…in case I have accidents.
  7. 8 changes of clothes…because I am heavily into excess.
  8. “Do rags”…in a futile attempt to obscure clammy and sodden hair due to humidity.
  9. More make-up…to make up for the “do rags.”
  10. Enough snacks with absolutely no redeeming nutritive value so the grandkids all rise up and call me “the favorite.

Dennis’ list of essentials:

  1. Toothbrush…to brush his tooth.
  2. Volumizing shampoo…to volumize his hair. Hey, this stuff really works. He may not have more hair, but the two he has are definitely louder!
  3. Speedo…OK, svelte has its privileges, and besides, we’ll be on a private beach. But that’s one picture I will definitely blog! So stay tuned.

Well, that ought to do it. If we don’t bring something we need, we rely on our motto: “When we forgot it, we bought it.”

I actually dread the whole process of traveling by plane. We’ve had some rather singular experiences with the security protocol in airports, and it’s made for some recollections that even in hindsight stretch credulity.

This really happened when we were returning from Hawaii. As I successfully emerged from the metal detector, a security lady who had x-rayed my carry-on had managed to locate something that looked suspicious and sinister. She asked me to identify it. I said, “It’s an eyelash curler.” End of incident? No, indeed. She seemed unable to comprehend, so I felt compelled to further enlighten her, and said “…to curl eyelashes.” She seemed like a member emeritus of the chronically confused, and asked me what that little tube directly adjacent to the curler was. I correctly identified it as…mascara. (I kept looking around for hidden cameras that would suggest I was on “America’s Funniest Videos”)

The woman then announced she was going to have to confiscate these items. I was incredulous, which in itself is incredulous, because I’m a mother…I’ve seen everything!

I wasn’t sure exactly what her reasoning was. Did she actually think that I was a member of some subversive terrorist organization, whose diabolical plan to take over the world somehow centered on my cosmetic bag? Did she suspect I would rush the cockpit, get a chokehold on the pilot, insert his eyelashes in the crimper, and threaten to curl his lid hairs till he pleaded for mercy, turned the plane around, and flew me to Tooele? And then, just to make sure he knew I meant business, I was prepared to apply two coats of mascara? Now, I do admit there is a certain terrorist element to the average daily beauty regime. Of course, I do confess to graduating “mascara-cum-loudly” from the Abu Graib Institute of Water Boarding and Professional Make-up Artists. OK. OK. I guess when I really think about it, the items in a cosmetic bag could also qualify as Weapons of Mass Destruction. There are even some items…like the eyelash curler…that ought to be registered as lethal weapons. But I don’t think that qualifies me as a suspicious character capable of malicious mischief…well, come to think about it, the jury’s still out on that.

Finally, the woman modified her “heightened restrictions” red alert, and allowed me to retain possession of the suspected terrorist cosmetics, but she did insist on confiscating my deep-root hair conditioner, especially designed for high-maintenance platinum blonds. I was furious, but I reluctantly relinquished custody. However, if it had been my Pureology, I would have become gladiatorial! Security be danged! We’re talkin’ ultimate catfight!

In spite of “incidents past,” we are so excited for this time-out to be together, and to squeal because of the trajectory and plunge of the rides at Disneyland. We expect it will be funner than some of the rides we’ve been on of late. Because of the generous invitation of some dear friends, we will lie on a private beach and watch the waves roll in, and spend hours removing sand from the facial orifices of the Ashton Dozen. This is all very good. Can’t wait!

Thank you for your love and prayers on our behalf. We’ll be blogging from the land of the round-eared rodents.

We love you,

The Clot


Dave and Sandy said...

Go get em in on the California beach(s)! I guess I got confused what with that eye-lid-curler-thingymahbobby episode.
Have fun and enjoy, you deserve it.
Much luvo from AZ, bro.
Dave and Sandy
p.s. be sure to shake the sand from between his toes or he will balloon to 135 right before your eyes!!

Deanna said...

OK, so start writing the screenplay because I think this blog and your trip could be a movie starring Goldie Hawn and Bill Murray. Dennis good job on the numbers and Joani good luck on your quest to be the favorite--duh YOU ARE THE FAV--(in YA lingo). Love you guys

Dad & Mom Williams said...

Hi to you both; Roger and I are so happy to hear how well Dennis is doing. We have been praying for you guys. Joan, you really must write a book. Your blogging is so fun to read. Do It!
Love Ya! Roger and LeAnn Williams