Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Final? Voyage of the U.S.S. Whitehurst

Twelve years ago, I squeezed into a van with six others to head to Bloomington, MN for a convention called Marscon since Dr. Demento was there and it turned out to be an amazing, life-changing weekend.
The next year, knowing that there are many in the Chicago area that do not have a vehicle I decided to rent a large van to take people to Marscon and it then became the best way to get there. The convention for those in the van started when the trip began and did not end until we got back home.

In late 2006, two people many of us knew passed away. One was a Dementia Radio DJ called Blindwulf. He lived in Colorado and in spite of his name most of us had no idea he was blind and also disabled until after he died of a heart attack.
The other one was a musician named Logan Whitehurst. At the time, I did not know much of his music but others did. He had been suffering from headaches which turned out to be cancer and after a three year battle, it claimed his life.
In 2008, due to demand, we needed two vehicles and Luke Ski drew a cartoon of us in a van called the Dementia Bus (named after a reference the Luke Ski tribute song about Weird Al’s Another One Rides the Bus) which was titled the U.S.S. Blindwolf. He also made nameplates for the vans one for him and one for Logan. 

Even though it cost me between $300 and $500 for the van rental, it was doable. Recently, it became more difficult to afford that amount and others found their own way to get there or decided it was no longer worth it to go since I realized 4 nights in a hotel was necessary so I can safely get home.
My work situation this year really made things difficult and I felt horrible telling others I can’t take them not knowing when or if I could go. Due to a change with my work situation made at the beginning of last month, I can attend normally.
Another thing has changed my Marscon drive and that is my body. Ten years ago, I had trouble entering and exiting the vehicle and though I now understand why and take medicine for it, my body is worse than ever. The only reason I am driving other than getting compensated for taking gear and driving one person who did not know my situation is that my daughter is going with me this year and two airline tickets were too expensive.
It makes sense to name this vehicle after Logan since I am carrying one current Logan Awards juror to the ceremony that will be at Marscon. I then realized this:

One year had an extra juror and there are two people who won two awards.

Last year at Marscon was difficult for me. Though I did not drive, my body started giving me problems Friday afternoon and Friday evening after a concert while getting up off a chair, my left knee gave and the leg completely failed. Had Carrie not been there to grab, I might have fallen. I did not bring my pain medication with me but had my arthritis medication (which is also used for chemo). Saturday morning I took the once a week medication along with the supplement that I need to take with it. Two hours later it felt like my blood was on fire as well as the sharp pain in my left knee.
I tried my best to stay calm but the fact that I was at Marscon in pain made my mood worse and due to bad timing along with me actually being a madman on the loose, the wrong person ended up being at the wrong place at the wrong time on two separate occasions.
At a future time I tried to explain that after three weeks of my pain, I discovered that I mixed up bottles and what I thought was a supplement was in fact a steroid which not only increases anger but fought the medication which prevents cell growth causing the burning feeling inside. Though I said that and apologized, I know things can never be the same and can tell that it won’t be no matter what I do or say. At least I learned to NEVER fuck with medications again and will carefully pack what I should take as well as anything I could take. Since the medicine is metabolized in the liver, that means no alcohol as well.

I am thinking that this Marscon, #13 for me, would be ideal to be my last unsure about my future physical and financial situation. Unsure about my daughter’s school situation or desire in future years, this could be her last one for a while too. It is possible that I would fly to MN next year as opposed to driving. The fact that last Friday my left knee failed after sitting at a table for two hours for an RPG which means my drive this year won't be pain or discomfort free as it usually takes a week to ten days for my knee to recover.

However, for me, Marscon is more than a weekend. Though it often fails to come close to expectations, it is still worth the trip. I know it gives me a reason to get off the couch before the sun rises and to work at my job. I say it's the five days that make the rest tolerable. Anyway, I punched out of work an hour ago and I should get home. The Whitehurst leaves in less than 48 hours.

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