West-side Samba

See if you can guess who this song was written about…the lyrics are fantastic; so witty and interesting and my nephew Richie’s guitar playing is phenomenal.

WESTSIDE SAMBA
Music and Lyrics by Frederick George Moore
Copyright © September 15, 1990
Demophonic Music Publishing BMI
Used with permission

You’d know them if I called them by name
The misfortune of fortune and fame
They’ll be singing a different refrain
When the evening comes
They bought a second house in “THE COLONY”
She wanted to be close to the sea
They’ll be in the ocean up to their knees
When the storm tides come

Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA
Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA mama get rude
Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA mama come unglued
Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA 

She buys the latest drugs from Brazil
He hopes someday that his looks will kill
Now They’re parents ’cause she’s not on the pill
She thought she was immune
Daddy’s in the kitchen trying to wip up a batch
Mommy’s in his wallet trying to get up some scratch
Baby’s crying but there’s no ear to catch
‘Cause the nanny’s gone 

Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA
Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA mama get rude
Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA mama come unglued
Doing the WESTSIDE SAMBA 

She swears someday she’ll go back to school
But right now she MUST work on her “tool”
Doing aerobics and laps in the pool Keep that tummy tight
He’s older but he still can pretend
He knows someday that it all will end
In the meantime he’s got money to spend
So why not have it all? 

And do the WESTSIDE SAMBA
Do the WESTSIDE SAMBA mama get rude
Do the WESTSIDE SAMBA mama come unglued
Do the WESTSIDE SAMB

What’s in a name

I don’t know if everyone knows this but Rick has had and used various names and alter egos throughout his life. As you will read in his upcoming memoir in the chapter “what’s in a name he started life free literally.” His father got out of paying the hospital bill by naming him after  the doctor who delivered him. His parents had planned to name him Rick so they had to improvise because the doctors name was Frederick. They used the Rick at the end of Frederick to work around this. Growing up he was Ricky after Ricky Nelson and Ricky Ricardo.

At Richfield high school he needed a gym shirt that the coach demanded he wear;  so in the lost and found bin he found a T-shirt with the name skogie on it. From then on he was Skogie Moore.

In his very successful band in Minneapolis, Skogie and the Flaming Pachucos he was Skogie.

When he moved to Los Angeles, he created the alter ego Freddy Moore or Freddy the Kat of the The Kats. Freddy Moore was the master showman, wild extroverted guy who schmoozed with the fans glasses off (Superman) climbing up the rafters, leaping off the stage into the crowd. When his glasses were  back on he was Rick, the shy reserved Midwesterner (Clark Kent).

 

 

 

 

I like the simple things in life

Sometimes many of us wish we had money, fame, power, could travel, or have a house. No one is happy with what they have, and I am the same. I want my husband to be himself again. You all know that but I am easy to be with and don’t want much. I never wanted what everybody wanted.  I never wanted to get married or have kids. We got married after being together for 20 years because a guy that Rick worked with got into a motorcycle wreck and was brain dead and they wouldn’t even let his girlfriend into the hospital room. His mother ended up keeping him on life support for a long time. Rick told me that he didn’t want that, he wanted me to make decisions for him not his mom. So we got married. It didn’t matter to me. I was happy just being together. Anyone who knows Rick, knows that he doesn’t care for material things and he didn’t like to waste money on anything except musical instruments or his CD collection (he had 3000 CD’s). I remember the year that I turned 30 or 40, a milestone birthday, he got me a gift card to Rexall Drugs so that I could buy some makeup. Other women would be appalled by this, but I didn’t care. That’s not why I love him.

One thing that we always had in common was the love of the beach. As a kid my sister used to take me to Santa Monica beach station 24 every Sunday. We’d stay all day, have Perry’s pizza and I would play in the water while she napped. Then at around 4:00 we would head home stop and get the Sunday paper and I’d read the comics and she everything else and get a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream and watch re-runs of  old Star Trek episodes.

I don’t know the sun is so cool. I like to be tan. I always say on the inside I look different than on the outside but with a tan, my eyes get brighter,  my hair gets blonder, my skin doesn’t look so pasty. Sometimes I go crazy and get tan at the tanning salon. The sun makes me feel happy. I feel down when it’s cloudy and gloomy outside. A lot of my friends love the rain and cloudy days, not me!  I love to play the guitar, eat, I love to eat . I should be really fat because I love junk food and be out in the sun. Lately I have been trying to diet so that I can fit into a dress for my nephews wedding in November. My entire family and I are going to stay at an Alpaca farm. Isn’t that cool?  I love my sisters. I love to chat. I love to walk. Doesn’t take much to be happy.

A great weekend for me is going to the beach.  Usually I’m rushing to work and rushing home. I run around at work like there’s a deadline all the time.  But what’s fun is going to the beach and relaxing and watching the ocean ebb and flow. The summer is my favorite season in Los Angeles.  Last Sunday it finally wasn’t June gloom. Rick and I went to the beach.  I’m grateful for the good days.

The first time we went to Hawaii was amazing. We discovered so many beautiful beaches and the waterfall at Waimea Falls, and drove around the island of Oahu. We had Shave Ice in Haleiwa on the North Shore and fresh pineapple at the Dole Plantation. We saw a baby hammer head shark at Kailua Beach on the leeward or was it the windward side of the island. We walked up to the top of Diamond Head and came down and went to the Honolulu Zoo. Good times….we used to fantasize about living in Hawaii but I would miss my family too much. I think that the vitamin D from the sun and the warm breeze puts us in a good mood. We listen to Steely Dan sing “Drive West on Sunset to sea.” It’s peaceful and relaxing. All it takes is a sunny day to make me happy.

 

The Man of 1000 songs

Along with my favorite power pop songs that Rick wrote for his band “The Kats” there are some truly beautifully written songs like “Pretend that you love me” here are the lyrics. it reminds me of a Jefferson Airplane song:

PRETEND THAT YOU LOVE ME
Music and Lyrics by
Frederick George Moore and Mark Winger
Copyright © 1969
Demophonic Music Publishing BMI
Used with permission
I’ve got something to tell you
I’m not trying to sell you
But I need someone to love me
Baby please PRETEND
THAT YOU LOVE ME
Before I drown in the sea
Of misery, 
And you better respond
To my plea
I’m begging you woman
Pretend you’re in love with me
Let’s pretend we’re in loveAnd my life isn’t easy
Without you beside me
So if you’ve got a kind heart
Baby you can start
To pretend
And maybe soon, or in the end
You won’t need pretendAnd you better listen
To what I say
I’m telling you baby
Pretend you’re in love today
Let’s pretend we’re in love

And if you won’t come around
There’s not much I can say
I know pretending isn’t easy
Just take another day
And try to play the part

If you’ve got something to tell me
Come right out and tell me
‘Cause I need someone to love me
Baby please PRETEND
THAT YOU LOVE ME
Before I drown in the sea
Of misery

Pretend that you love me

 

Hand signals and great songwriting

When Rick was in Skogie and the Flaming Pachucos they had hand signals and their audience would follow the gestures. I think the guys or just Rick learned this from studying Frank Zappa and his band. Rick was really into Zappa and when he and Skogie would play they played very experimental complicated music like Zappa’s. The hand gestures or signals that Skogie and the Flaming Pachucos would do were mimicked by their fans. Everyone in the audience would follow what the band was doing. This tradition carried on to The Kats. The Kats is my favorite band. All of us in the audience would continue to mimic the signals or movements too. for example, in the song “Can’t Have You” which is one of the featured songs on the music part of this website, we would copy Freddy by singing and moving along with the line “like one and one makes two, I can’t have you.” In the song “California Here I Come” the line “You might even see a star Drive by in his car” you put your hand up to shade your eyes from the sun and watch a pretend start go by or in “Los my TV Guide” the line “I’d know just why Clark Gable’s trying to hitch a ride” we all would put out our thumbs as if we were hitching. Another song that I love and we copy the movements on is “King of the Wild Frontier.” We would sing along and say the line “generate some C02 and make the letter “c” with our fingers and then “o” and our two fingers and also when he sings “Surprise Surprise” we put our fists up like he does.

excerpt from “It’s Not A Rumour” the book, What’s in a Name:

It’s easy to see Zappa’s influence in lots of kickin’ instrumentals I wrote during that time: “The Blue Cue”, “Mutant’s Theme”, “This Figleaf’s for Frank,” “Four Ways to Use Vasoline,” “Atomic Dildo,” and “Mohenjodaro.”

I met Frank Zappa numerous times over the years. My managers always knew I was a huge fan of his, and they arranged for me to meet him personally. I shuffled nervously backstage. “Holy crap, there he is,” I thought to myself as I caught a glimpse of his frazzled black-gray hair and trademark ‘stache. He stood and greeted me.

“Hey, I’m Frank!” he said and shook my hand warmly. I froze, letting my hand stay in his for much, much longer than appropriate. I willed my mouth to push out the words I would say to this legend who inspired so many of my melodies. But alas, I was verklempt and only muttered some incoherent syllables.

I met Frank three times but never once had a conversation.

Like Romeo and Juliet

us sadLike Romeo and Juliet, our love is so strong that it is killing me to watch my love dying and I want him and myself released from this suffering.

Rick has a cold and it’s making things 10 times harder. He is more disoriented than ever. He keeps doing this hallucinating thing where he’s reaching out to something that he thinks that he sees. It scares me. Plus he is having issues in the bathroom and its worse. Faby tells me that I shouldn’t hold the tissue to help him blow his nose, that I should make him do it himself, train his brain to do it himself. She’s right. If I baby him too much, he won’t do anything by himself anymore. But I just get impatient and wipe his nose because he can’t do it himself properly. He has all this mucus and coughs and then swallows it and doesn’t know to spit it out. I have been getting mad at him because he’s so much worse with this cold. He doesn’t understand anything that I am saying…do you have to pee? He answers those guys told me to go over there. Are you hungry? He says we can just go right there or he grabs something totally unrelated and says this is what we can do or some gibberish words that don’t make sense. Help!

I tried to play guitar with him Saturday night and he was doing it but had forgotten a lot and he just stopped playing so I gave up. One friend said “Do you know he’s getting worse right”? Another one “Do you know he’s really bad”? Of course I know.
But I don’t want to see it. There’s nothing I can do, they see it of course I see it. I have had this cold too, longer than Rick. I have had mine for 4 weeks now and at this point both of my ears are infected and I’m almost completely deaf. I’m on antibiotics that aren’t working and Mucinex and Sudafed and and and.. It’s like can anything make my life worse. Even when I think, it can’t get worse, it does. And as everyone seems to point out to me, it will get even worse. I feel that’s it… I could die now. I have had enough… He has had enough. That’s it.

Pulling myself together… Things like a cold or the time change or anything different really affects a person with AD. I know that when we changed the clocks last year and it was dark Rick was really freaked out. It’s so dark, it’s weird. We can all see the changes in him. I often think what did I do to deserve this. I guess I am meant to suffer.. But is it worth it? I’m not sure. I’m on an antidepressant but I’m still depressed. I have mourned the loss of Rick, my super funny witty intellectual man that I have loved forever. I am just sad. Frustrated and sad. I feel like such a downer and I miss the good times or some happiness..  People should enjoy their lives while they can because it’s fleeting, and you could miss a lot of good stuff. Any of you could miss a good part of your life. So enjoy the little moments.

I should have laughed more

I should have cried more

I should have watched the sun rise

I should have taken more risks

I should have done what I wanted to do

I should have complained less

I should have worked less

I should have seen the sun set

I should have cared less about the small stuff

I wish that we had traveled more

I wish I would have died instead of living like this

 

 

Silly games and soul mates

aWhen dealing with AD, it’s easy to get frustrated. What we’ve learned is to avoid confrontation and never argue, agree. We try to distract, that’s the ticket! We are navigating through this world of Alzheimer’s and we have to figure things out on the fly. Everyday when I leave Rick wants to come to work with me. Faby is there, Noir is there but he is always devastated. So to make him happy I try to distract him. The game that I made up is that I look at him with a serious face and after a few seconds start laughing. He follows suit. I look right into his beautiful blue eyes as if he is saying something or whatever looking around then he sees me looking at him with this serious face and he gets a serious look too and after a few seconds, we both laugh. We have a little contest to see who will break a smile or laugh first. This really cracks us up!

We also do this thing where you tuck your upper lip under your teeth and look like Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color. Faby does this with Rick too. He loves it! The silliest things make Rick laugh. My sister can always crack him up. She just looks at him and he laughs. She’s known him longer than me and she actually was the one who brought me to his shows when he was rocker Freddy Moore. As part of one of his songs “you give me reason to live” he used to come out into the audience and grab some girl or sit on someones lap. Most of the time it was my sister because he knew that she could handle the attention. I would have died if he would come towards me. I was really shy and the spotlight would be on him and whomever he was grabbing or sitting on and all that attention was on her.

I think that we were soul mates from the start, if you believe in that. He is the only person that I could really be myself around. I didn’t have to be the good daughter or please anyone. I was just myself. I also loved that he was high on life, not drugs or alcohol. That’s what really drew me to him.

Thankfully Rick would watch all my cartoons with me. We watched the Smurfs and his favorite was jokey Smurf. Even now he does this fake smile and laughs like hee hee hee. During our relationship we had fun watching cartoons because I have always loved cartoons and Rick was on the road with his bands so much that he missed out on the whole television watching stuff. We would watch Ren and Stimpy and quote the shows to everyone. My nephews loved it. We watched Pinky and the Brain and at random say “fjord!” We made up nicknames for each other Boshk and Boshky. I don’t know it’s just something that we came up with. We even made up words for objects or sayings like they used to do in England; cockney rhyming slang.  Instead of saying put the heater on, we say Francois Mitterand. We call a remote control a cloid, I think that came from when we would say clicker because in the old days the remotes were these big things that you used to click the buttons, coffee is corfu, dinner is dingbut, diarrhea is diho. We would say rub your tub for rubbing your belly. We would say put on plute juice which was deodorant. I have no idea why on that one. We would say I have to pee like a banshee. My sisters were the yistoads. My parents were rental units. Work was jerk. I know that this is silly and I have never told this to anyone except maybe to Shannon (who is the co-writer of Rick’s memoir) or my sisters or Faby. Nobody knows this intimate part of our lives but I am telling the world this stuff. I am saying it out loud because he doesn’t remember anymore. He doesn’t remember anything and our memories are getting lost forever so I need to share this so that it doesn’t completely disappear. Thank you for reading this and feel free to comment. rschyjer@gmail.com

 

My typical day part 4: puking

vomitoBack in November around Thanksgiving I let him have a little sliver of sugar free Pumpkin Pie. I think that was a big mistake because later Faby said that they came home from the market and Rick threw up in the trash. So glad it was in the trash! I don’t know what it was that caused that, the pie was fresh and it was sugar free. All his food is homemade. He was crabby too when I left for work but that was because I had  4 days off for the Holiday.  It’s always hard for him to adjust after having me around for the weekend but during those 4 days off he got used to me being around.

We also added the find my family and friends app on all our phones because Rick wanders. Faby says he disappears. One time at Farmers Market with a zillion people walking around because of the holiday, Faby called me and said Rick disappeared. She had already contacted the Farmer’s Market Police and all the security people were searching for him. I was crazy worried but I had to calm Faby down. I was very nervous and anxious. I imagined that she was out of her mind worried too but we have to remain calm, I say to her and myself. Faby suggests that I call him on his cell phone. I called him, he didn’t answer. I call again, nothing. The third time a random lady answered the phone. She saw that he was wandering around looking scared and she helped him. When she answered, she said he just sat down at her table. Thank you lady, she gave us his exact location and Faby found him. I thanked the lady for helping him. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. Didn’t Faby see him wandering off? I can’t get mad. I remembered that this has happened to me once or twice. He just forgets what he is doing and keeps walking. It is insane. He sometimes walks into the street without looking and we have to grab him by his arm. He sometimes walks away when he’s bored or when we might be reading a label or something. We both do this thing where we hold his hand so that he doesn’t get away from us. If anyone has any ideas please share them.

So all in all that day wasn’t too bad, except for the puking part and him getting a little agitated. My life is always a surprise mixed with a lot of emotion. Faby and I joked that I puked the week before for some reason that I don’t know, I hate to throw up, then Noir her little Shih-Tzu puked on the rug at my house and then Rick threw up. Strange coincidences huh? In the end, three of us puked.  Was it somehow related? Nah. We just needed to calm down and help him be in a better mood, because if we are angry, then he gets angry. Faby and I figured out that he picks up on our moods. I try to help Faby be ok with him when he’s crabby. I help myself by keeping my job to pay for everything. I used to be the life of the party. I am a happy go lucky person, I usually smile and laugh a lot, and I think that I usually make good conversation. But as we all know with everything that I’ve been going through, I’ve become quieter and introspective. I don’t feel like socializing as much and I am tired.  Sometimes I don’t know how much more I can take. I know things are getting worse but what are my options: cry, give up and put my dear husband into a memory care facility? I can’t! All we can do is try to laugh about every situation with him, without him, by ourselves. It makes my day when things go well. I try to stay positive but some days it’s hard. It is about the glass being half full and not half empty.

 

Today I am depressed and nothing that you can do will change it

Today is a tough day.

It’s hard not to get down and depressed.

I always blame it on my hormones but I have reason to be depressed, sad and angry. I know everybody has problems and I don’t want to diminish them… but I wonder… does everyone who has a loved one  with Alzheimer’s feel this way? Does everybody stop living their lives to live the life of a caregiver?

How in the world do parents who have disabled kids manage? It’s forever and it’s so sad. I could totally burn out and put Rick into a memory care facility, but I can’t because I love him. When you have a disabled kid, I can only imagine how much more mentally debilitating it can be for everyone. One of the parents wouldn’t be able to work right? And they would need their other kids to help and also hire a babysitter 24/7. I really don’t know how they do it but I am fed up today with my kid. I have a caregiver but is not enough. I’m angry and exhausted. That this is my life now.

I had so many plans for our future together. I loved and I still love this man more than my own life. We had many happy years and many happy times and memories and I should be grateful for the 35 years that we had, but I’m not. I’m so mad. I am fed up. I don’t want to play this game anymore.

I wake up every day wondering how I am going to get through this. I can’t stand the thought of Rick getting worse and becoming non-talkative and incontinent and all those things. I know that his condition is getting worse. I don’t want to see. My sisters try to open my eyes. Faby tries to open my eyes. But I don’t want to see. I want to be blind and do I have that right? It is my life!!! I still have hope for a cure. If I don’t have hope, what do I have…pity? Rick doesn’t deserve pity from me or anyone. If he could see himself now, he would have killed himself. He was strong and independent and sure of himself and confident, a completely different man not a walking dead.

Faby says that I need him more than he needs me. Maybe she’s right. People always look at me and feel bad for me or feel sorry for me and I hate that I’m putting that on people. Sometimes they say “I don’t know how you do it”. I don’t either. I have no choice. I can’t give up. I don’t know why I just can’t. I think that giving up would be letting him down or accepting this evil disease. I want them to come up with a cure using that gene editing thing Crispr to fix his Alzheimer’s and put him back to the way I knew him. I want it and I want it now! I’m so angry at his family too. I know that it isn’t their fault that they have these horrible genetics but I blame his grandmother, his mother and I believe his great-grandmother too. I blame them all for not doing something to save the love of my life. I am mad because they don’t help me but as my sister always reminds me, we were absent Uncle and Aunt all these years with his family as well. So we are partly to blame. I just feel like my family helps me so much and Rick’s doesn’t at all. I wonder what will happen next year, next month, next day. It is always a surprise and not a good one.

Won’t something good ever come again? Am I destined to put him in a memory care facility like they did with his mother? Even though they try to make the place lively and happy it isn’t. It’s hard for me to be there. It’s sad. I can pretend I am ok but I always leave that fk* place crying. It is too sad to imagine him living there forever.

Alzheimer’s robs you of your brain – dignity- humanity- your soul. I wish there was a way to fight this. I read yesterday that every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I feel like they aren’t trying hard enough or fighting this hard enough. It’s like everyone just accepts it. I want to enjoy life again but it’s really difficult. I find that other people have such mundane problems compared to mine. I know that sounds selfish but it’s just hard to hear that you are upset for example because your People magazine didn’t arrive when you are dealing with AD.

lightening

My typical day part 3: The caregiver is late

87Faby and I had agreed that she would arrive at 8:45 but  I am supposed to be at work at 8:00 and I don’t want him to be by himself, so I changed my hours to 9 am and the problem is that she arrives at 9 am sometimes, thank you LA traffic.  So while Rick is eating, I finish getting ready. When Faby arrives she helps me with the dishes and If I am running late she makes his breakfast. So I am late, I am always late, either waiting for Faby, or because I have things to share with Faby before I leave or Rick is having a bad morning, I don’t know but stuff always happens and there’s always so much going on.

It doesn’t matter what time it is, Rick follows me; I speak a with Faby and make my breakfast as fast as I can. Normally I drink a shake because it’s faster, or eat at work. I ask to Rick put on his shoes, some days he refuses to put them on or puts the right shoe on the left foot. I am about to walk out the door and I say “ok I am going to work and you will stay home ok?” Sometimes he answers “ok” and says “I know.” But sometimes he follows me out the door. I tell him that he needs to stay home and he looks at me with a sad face that is worse than a kid looking at his parent on the first day of school. I say, I’ll be home at lunch, that’s just a couple of hours.  I feel so guilty whenever I leave. Sometimes I almost cry while walking to my car. The next thing I know, Faby sends  pictures of him dancing in the middle of the kitchen or laughing and I think maybe in the moment everything is exaggerated for him but he forgets fast. My heart hurts less, but still hurts.

Lucky for me I work close to home and I go home for lunch every day. I come home and Faby has been cooking lately so we all eat lunch and chat and I tell them about the first half of my workday. After lunch I give Rick his pills and olive oil and then I ask him to go to the bathroom? The answer is always “no.” I say let’s try. We have to do this bathroom stuff while I’m home for lunch. I ask Faby how the day was and we agree what they will do that afternoon. I always prefer that they go outside so he can walk and see the sun and get fresh air and exercise. For some reason he is always cold. I know maybe you thinks that we live in Minnesota, where he was born, but we live in Los Angeles, California. Beautiful days, blue skies and hot. But Rick feels cold, always cold. Or in the summer hot always hot. I have learned that people with AD are too cold, too hot, everything hurts. We layer his clothes so that he can peel them off, like an onion. On Demophonic.com, Rick’s music publishing website, he wrote a song called Land of Lakes for Minnesota where he’s from. In the song he sings, “Land of Lakes, city of water, winter’s colder but summer is always hotter!”