Unattached Family

My grandfather’s estate has been in probate for over five years now. Even with an existing trust and will, California just doesn’t give a fuck and allows damn near anyone to appeal. After all, as long as the courts are getting paid, you can get them to do near anything. So it seems from my position anyhow.

I think some of this stress got to my dad. Add his age, some labor, and dealing with the suicide of one of his wife’s son’s* a few days earlier and now you’ve got a stroke. He was found around two am, passed out about half ay out the front door of one of the apartment complexes he and his wife own. He’d been cleaning it up for new renters. Apparently his vision went double and he knew there was a problem and didn’t have cell service so tried to make it outside to call. A neighbor saw him and called 911.

He had a good deal of bleeding in his head and a brain stem tear. Its been several days and he is still in the hospital. I’m having a difficult time feeling anything about it. He was a furious tyrant, not a father. I’ve not talked about any of this with friends, because I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to pretend feeling something.

* I guess this makes him my step-brother. So yeah, my step-brother killed himself this week.

Non-Celebrity Deathwatch

Apparently my cousin Robin’s husband, Eric, died this week.

I only met him a handful of times.  Seemed like an okay guy.  I haven’t seen him in about 5 years, though – I thought that they were divorced, but it turns out that actually they were only “separated”.

No idea how he died, but based on posts that are appearing on the facebook, plus the fact that he was a reasonably young guy (mid-late 40s) and I hadn’t heard rumors of any health issues, I would guess some combination of suicide, alcohol, and/or drugs.

SP-FLA-H-YC

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Went to the Skinny Puppy / Front Line Assembly / Haujobb / Youth Code show last night.  Thanks to the miracle of modern technology I have an enormous number of extremely blurry pictures of the proceedings.  These are of Skinny Puppy.

The show was good.  The venue was weird.  Even though there was no assigned seating there were separate tickets for the lower (general admission) and balcony levels, and they were checking tickets at the entrances to these areas.  In the lower area, they admitted a limited number of people to the “pit” area via wristbands, so only people who arrived early could get close to the stage.  There was also a bar/restaurant attached to but technically separate from the venue where beer was $2 cheaper per cup (although still expensive).

Meanwhile at home, my sister-in-law’s visit continues.  Last night someone suggested going out for Chinese food, leading to over an hour of screaming which nearly escalated to fisticuffs before they finally calmed down and ordered pizza.

Happy Fuck 2012 Night

I had to work today so I’m starting my drinking kind of late.

I’ve got a bunch of large bottles of beer in the fridge, still wrapped in paper bags from the store, and will be pulling things out at random and consuming them throughout the evening. Meanwhile Mrs. KPTL and her parents will be watching kids movies until Master KPTL Jr. falls asleep, at which point my MiL will probably put on QVC or some shit like that.

Anyways, the important thing is I’ll be drinking. I’m just finishing up a 22 of Pike Brewing Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale.

Update: now drinking something called Antigoon. May need to take this to Defcon.

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Update 2: now drinking some Hangar 24 Local Fields Warmer (from Redlands, California, “Inland Empire” shithole and hometown of founding members of Kevorkian Death Cycle and BOL). Strong Ale brewed with maple syrup, spruce, and cinnamon.

BTW, I would like to mention that Hanger 24 is suspiciously suddenly “big” – I never heard of them a year ago, now they appear to be everywhere in large quantities. They also had a giant truck at the recent winter beer festival I attended (the “OC Brew Ho Ho”), rivaling the giant tent by Stone. Odd.

Update 3: Chatoe Rogue First Growth 19 Original Colonies Mead (brewed with Jasmine). Brewed using 5 ingredients: Rogue Hopyard Honey, Wild Flower Honey, Jasmine Silver Tip Green Tea Leaves, Champagne Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water. According to the bottle. Tastes like honey minus the sweetness.

Update 4: the young Master KPTL is out, and we’re watching whatever the fuck crap people have put on. Meanwhile, I am finally getting around to reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.

Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.

Update 5: Everyone but me has gone to bed. The Twilight Zone Marathon is on, but I just barely missed To Serve Man, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, and Talking Tina. Fuck.

Update 6: Clock has ticked past mid-night in my time-zone, making it now 2013, so happy new year. I’m going to crack open a bottle of Upright Seven that I purchased past the security line at PDX last time I was in Portland and watch a few DVR’d episodes of the Looney Toons Show.

Update 7: Goddamn, Upright Seven is foamy as fuck.

Uncle Steve

Tomorrow, my Uncle Steve will die.

Uncle Steve was an extremely talented artist.  I grew up seeing his paintings on the walls of my relatives houses; sterile, futuristic, somewhat hallucinogenic architectural pieces on oddly-shaped canvases, the abandoned atria of the year 3000.  He never pursued art as a career, and as far as I know did not produce any art in the last 40 years.

In my early teens, Uncle Steve had an awesome house, which I believe he built himself (with the help of my uncle Tony).  The upper floor was one big loft.  My cousins and I would travel there to smoke his marijuana and thumb through his easily-accessible Playboy magazines.

As far as I know, he actually did read Playboy for the articles.  It is probable that tomorrow he will die a virgin.  Nobody in our family can recall him ever going on a date with a woman, or with a man for that matter, nor has anyone seen him show any interest in sex.  He may be asexual, or as my father theorizes, he may have been homosexual and simply never managed to come to grips with this fact, perhaps due to his Catholic upbringing.

In the early 90’s, he abandoned the construction industry to start his own videography business.  His business failed and eventually bankrupted him, driving him from his home and forcing him, in his late 40s, to move in with his elderly parents, and he lived for some time in the spare building on their property.  It is likely that he suffered from depression at this point, which he self-medicated with varieties of whiskey.

Following the deaths of my grandparents, their property was sold and he was forced to relocate.  I don’t know whether he started to get back on his feet, or if he was simply a beneficiary of the housing bubble of the 2000s, but he did manage to buy his own home.

His health had been poor recently; going out to lunch with one of my cousins, he was unable to eat his soup as his hands were not steady enough.  He blamed a “virus” which had damaged his nervous system; others blamed alcohol.  His financial affairs were no better; he has not made a house payment in at least a year.  Earlier this year, many family members began making monthly contributions to a savings account designed to assist him in finding new housing when the inevitable foreclosure and eviction notice arrived.  My father had urged him repeatedly to submit applications for public housing assistance, but he did not, refusing to face the inevitable disaster.

Yesterday, he felt ill and contacted the paramedics.  A blood vessel had burst inside his brain.  By the time he arrived at the hospital, he was unconscious.  At 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, they will provide him with morphine, disconnect the machines which keep him alive, and he will die.