Cerebral Flotsam And Jetsam - My Mental Maelstrom

02
Mar
2021
1:46

My First Colonoscopy!

Colonoscopy done! Good news, everyone! I have a normal, healthy butt. Prep day was not nearly as bad as I’d heard. I had my last solid food on Saturday night. Starting Sunday, it’s all clear liquids, so I had a lemon-lime Jell-o, and a cup of half chicken broth half vegetable broth. The vegetable broth was actually pretty tasty, but he chicken broth was only okay. I had a jug of apple juice ready as well but never ended up drinking any. I was surprised how easy it was to not eat all day. I thought I’d be starving, but I didn’t even really notice. At 4pm I took 3 Dulcolax laxative tablets, then at 5pm, I mixed a full 8.3oz bottle of Miralax with 64oz of Gatorade. I drank 8oz every 15 minutes for 6 doses, then drank the last 16oz at 8pm. I sat in my rom watching Netflix, and went to the bathroom maybe 6-10 times in the course of about 6 hours. Fell asleep about 11pm. Got up for one more bathroom trip at about 2am or so, then eventually got back to sleep until 5am.

My roommate Staci graciously drove to the hospital. Sadly since I could not have ANYTHING, even water, after midnight, I got to experience the lovely combo of morning breath and a mask. I checked in and eventually was taken back to the pre-op area. I changed into just a gown and put all my stuff in a bag. They took my vitals, put some leads on my back, and put an IV in my hand (I’d never had one in my hand before, but she was a pro and it didn’t hurt at all). We were ahead of schedule so they closed the curtains and I just chilled for a bit. It was a weird sensation feeling the cool electrolytes coming in my IV. Eventually, the Anesthesiologist spoke to me and gave me the run down, and then the Doctor checked in with me. The nurses had informed me that he always started about 10 minutes early and was usually ahead of schedule. He asked if I wanted pictures and I said “Sure!” I mean how often do you get pictures of your colon? Sadly I don’t have any yet and I’m hoping they get put into my online chart.

The nurse eventually wheeled me back to the procedure room. This was my first time being wheeled in a hospital bed and it was surreal since I’d seen this so many times in movies and TV. I actually laughed to myself a little watching the ceiling go by. In the room, they hooked up my monitors, had me turn onto my side, put an oxygen mask on me, then started the anesthesia (my first time ever being put under). I think I was out within seconds. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from what felt like a VERY deep sleep, and as I opened my eyes, I was back in recovery and actually took a moment to remember where I was and what had just happened. A nurse had me move to chair and I drank some apple juice. I said “I guess they didn’t find any treasure, huh?” To which he replied that they hadn’t. After a few minutes, he had me get dressed still sitting in the chair while he stood by to watch over me. I called Staci who was already there, they wheeled me out in a chair, and I was homeward bound. I’m now eating delicious food and will probably watch Netflix and nap. Glad to have it over and done with! Still a little hungover from the anesthesia in that way you feel after a CRAZY deep nap!

23
Feb
2021
18:41

Dream Theatre 63

This dream co-starred Dano Colón who I actually co-starred with in “People With Issues.”

I was visiting Dano in his office. His desk faced away from the door and his back was toward the door. The far side of the office from the door was completely open as if that side of the building had collapsed or something. No far wall, the far half of the ceiling, completely gone. Directly across from his desk near the edge of the floor by the opening was a really old, rust streaked toilet. I was standing between the toilet and the desk as you would if you wanted to talk to him at his desk. Up above was a series of chains hanging down on which were big industrial rounded scoops of some kind every 3-4′ down the chains. These chains were lowering the scoops through holes in the floor right at the edge by the opening.

Dano was not amused and seemed very weary at the whole scene. He said “I’ve told my boss these things keep activating on an automated schedule even though they are supposed to have been deactivated.” At this point I realized that the far side of the office hadn’t collapsed. Dano could open it up and he had to do so every time he heard the contraption whirring to life so it didn’t come crashing through the wall and ceiling. The chains starting raising up now, each scoop filled with industrial water from somewhere below and as they clumsily raised and shifted position to the right, a lot of that water would slosh onto the wall, the floor, come dangerously close to us and the desk. Dano just watched, deadpan, completely fed up. We exited the office and I tried to call the elevator but the controls were more complicated than normal elevator controls. I pressed what I thought the “down” button was, but then Dano pressed another switch to the side and a door opened and outdoor part of the floor that was sort of like a rooftop parking lot but there were workers all around doing construction and such.

He led me past some equipment and started talking to me as if he was having to “let me go” from my job. I was confused at first, but then realized this was all just a ruse because obviously someone might be listening and whatever it was I was doing there, no one could know so they needed to think I was just a worker and Dano was taking a walk with me to fire me.

Then I woke up and definitely made note that I needed to remember this exceptionally strange dream.

16
Feb
2021
22:14

Dream Theatre 62

2 separate batches of dreams last night.

In the first, my friend Joanna Garner (who I worked with in real life as an actor on her own original play called 100 Heartbreaks) was helping me produce an original play I’d written, and I had all the stuff needed for opening night (set pieces, props, etc.) loaded up in my 1995 Nissan pickup (the first car I ever actually owned which I sold about 10+ years ago). I went inside the theater for a minute and came back out to find it stolen (I know we would have loaded that stuff in long before but dreams don’t have to make real world sense). There was a group of suspicious teens hanging around in winter clothing like long coats and beanies, sitting on some benches behind a fenced in area and I asked if they’d seen anything. They said they hadn’t but had these smug smirks like they knew something and were flaunting it. They asked if it was a sexy car and I said it was a Prius S and that the S stood for sexy (forgetting for the moment that it was actually the old Nissan and not my current car, a Prius, no “S”). I checked the front lot of the theater even though I knew I’d pulled up in the back.

My ex was in the play as well, but in the dream we were together. I remembered being kind of bummed that she hadn’t texted me or said hello when she arrived at the theater which was odd. I went to find Joanna to tell her what was going on. She was with another producer or someone like that, and was obviously in the middle of being really busy. I went to hug her but she just kind of put her hand on my shoulder and was like “I’m really busy at the moment” and it was all a bit awkward and deflating.

I had about 15 minutes to collect myself before I had to go on. I thought I should study my lines but decided to instead take one last walk to try and find the truck again wanting to believe that I had just forgotten where I parked it. I also remember hoping the police wouldn’t hold it against me that I waited until after the show to file a report because I didn’t have time before the show started to deal with all that.

In the second batch of dreams (I had woke up and then went back to sleep), the first once again featured my ex. Again, in the dream we were together and I was picking her up from something. She got in the car and was a bit teary and obviously had something on her mind. Dreading what was to come, I asked her what was up. She said “I know I broke up with you before,”

“Yes,” I said dreading where this was going.

“I want to breakup again but I want you to do it.”

Naturally I protested and said I didn’t want to and she pleaded her case as to why (I don’t remember the details).

Then in my next dream in this block, my friend Brian Villalobos and I were at the store and he was incensed that the price of jelly had gone up. I figured it was just inflation but he insisted that couldn’t be it because it had been the same price for at least 4 years. Taking a different approach I said “Yes but think about how many times prices on things have gone up in your lifetime.” He considered the thought skeptically.

09
Feb
2021
0:34

Dream Theatre 61

In this dream, my friend Kelsey and I were up to some silly shenanigans that involved dressing up fancy so she had me put on my tux. At some point I said “Jesus Christ” in that way Mr. Slave on South Park says it and that made her laugh and I mentioned how I can’t say “Jesus Christ” any other way (which is true). She said her equivalent was some phrase from the theme song to a kids show called “Kimmie…” something, I can’t remember. I hadn’t heard of it so I looked it up on YouTube.

Next thing I remember is being outside and my friend Sean Dornan-Fish had joined us. He had gotten kind of muddy, so he jumped in this shallow dove forward, completely drenching himself from head to toe. I was a bit shocked as it was freezing outside. Then I noticed that despite my efforts to be careful I had somehow gotten quite muddy as well. I don’t think I was in my tux any more at this point.

Later we were all winding down and were in comfortable lounging around attire (sweats, T-shirts, etc). Inside Kelsey’s fridge there had been some kind of pie incident and there was pumpkin pie filling all over the bottom of the fridge and a few more pieces in individual plastic containers. I remember the inside of the fridge was also huge. like two grown people could probably almost stand in it. She suddenly had another idea for another shenanigan and told me to put my tux back on. The end.

22
Jan
2021
1:11

Dream Theatre 60

In this dream I was picking up my (dream) girlfriend (ex in reality) for some fancy date or function. I was dressed up and she approached the car in a sexy, form-fitting red dress. I was breathless and it was almost like life was in slow motion. Then as she arrived at the car, I realized I had not cleared the passenger seat of all the clutter and trash there. I did my best to quickly clear it, hoping there were no crumbs or anything that would get on her dress. Lucky for me, she didn’t seem to mind and scooted over really close, threw her arms around me and initiated some heavy making out.

Sadly the whole cluttered front seat part is only bit representative of reality.

29
Dec
2020
22:42

Scampi’s Organ Palace

There was a cool place in Austin called Scampi’s Organ Palace where my late Aunt would take my cousin and I when I was visiting as a kid. They were two of the most important people in my life growing up so those memories are very special. At one point a couple of years ago, I went in search of information on the internet. I couldn’t find much but since I was bothering to research, I figured I’d make a Wiki page. After a year or so, I Wiki informed me the page would be deleted as the subject was not notable enough or something along those lines. I didn’t think to save it so I thought it was just gone. Then last night I got the idea to use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find a cached version of it. Luckily it had been cached a total of one time, so I figured I’d immortalize it here as well for posterity.

Scampi’s Organ Palace

Scampi’s Organ Palace was a locally owned restaurant in Austin, Texas, from 1977-1985. Known primarily as a pizzaria, the restaurant also served salads and sandwiches as well as ice cream. For entertainment, Scampi’s featured magicians, jugglers, comedians, flashing lights, balloons, bubbles, a cymbal monkey named Scampi, and its centerpiece: a huge Mighty Morton theatre pipe organ.

The organ had a movie screen above it which primarily showed old silent movies and black-and-white films including those of Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, and Woody Woodpecker. Scampi’s also showed the first two films from the original Star Wars trilogy: Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

A second-level stage to the left of the organ showcased performing magicians. A staircase to the right of the organ led to additional seating. The restaurant was carpeted in red.

History

Scampi’s was begun as Scampi’s Old Organ Grinder and Pizza Emporium in 1977 by original owner, Dayle M. Harris. An Eastern Airlines flight captain, Harris had long been fascinated by antique pipe organs.

Scampi’s was located in north Austin at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Koenig Lane with a current physical address of 5555 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 – now a Goodwill thrift store. Unlike Goodwill which faces North Lamar, the eatery’s entrance faced Koenig Lane. The restaurant received much of its business from the Texas Department of Public Safety located across the street as well as from students of McCallum High School.

After a particularly awful winter combined with the rise of Showbiz Pizza and Chuck E Cheese (which would eventually acquire Showbiz), Scampi’s had to close its doors in February 1985. In the words of last co-owner, Bobby Cordell, “Our last night was on a New Year’s Eve with a pizza and a pitcher of beer.”

The Organ

Scampi’s organ was a Robert Morton Mighty Morton theatre pipe organ built in 1925 for Loews Theater in CantonOhio. The organ accompanied silent movies of the era from 1927-1932.

Weighing over 8 tons, the Mighty Morton had over 1,000 pipes, some as high as 16 feet. It also had a whole battery of percussion instruments attached to it from chimes to drums as well as various other instruments, lights, gadgets, and gimmicks. A 10-horsepower motor powered the bellows to create the air pressure for the organ.

After Scampi’s closed, the organ was purchased by a pipe organ society in Florida.

References

  1. Trademark information
  2. Archived news story from the Roy Faires Collection

Sadly, 2 of the other sources I originally obtained some of this information from are no longer online.

50 year old me
28
Dec
2020
0:00

Semi-Centennial Celebration

50 year old me
50 Year Old Me

LEVEL UP! LEVEL 50!

This is a 50 year old man. Not bad for half a century if I do say so myself. Even if I haven’t had a haircut since just before the lockdown started in March, my beard is more gray than not, my forehead has lines from my extreme expressiveness, and my eyes have some well-earned crow’s feet and a little more weight of living and experience behind them. Why do I make this statement today? Honestly, because it makes me very uncomfortable so I’m owning it. Facing the discomfort. It baffles me as I certainly don’t feel 50. I’ve always said that from about the age of 12 I felt about 25. Truth be told, it’s probably closer to 30 now. Judging by the roles I get and comments from people who learn my age, I apparently don’t look 50. The gray beard probably adds 10 years but at the same time, I’ve grown to like its character when I choose to have it.

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