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Friday, July 20, 2018

Quieting the Anxiety Monster

I’ve decided that I’m not gonna freak out OR have a big, fat sad about this next, upcoming eye surgery.

What? I can do that? Just NOT be 99 kinds of upset and stressed?

Yeah, seems so.

I met with ace cutter Doc Yoon on Wednesday. I was a nervous, mega melancholic mess so I asked Oni to go with me. (I asked for help! Yea me!) I just wanted him to hold my hand while I signed up for more peeper slice and dice. He did and, boyhowdy, that made a BIG difference.

WHY am I having more surgery?! Eh, it’s an effort to stem the tide of left eye cornea damage (a result of unavoidable nerve damage experienced during my hearing ending cutterage, 14 years ago). This next one, which won’t go down until late October (I can wait. I can take a couple months off from the OR! YEA!!!) and will be a pretty simple deal (unlike the last time with the good sawbones).

I’ll once again, for an as yet unspecified amount of post surgery time, be rockin' the  One Eyed Jack look. THIS time though, I’m gonna be prepared, ready for my single lamp days.

First off, I NEED a new pirate patch – wore my last one out, don’cha know. Can’t be a proper pirate without one. OK, maybe I can. I believe N.C. Wyeth proved this. I’m unclear though, If I have two eyes do I then lose a leg? Not cool...nay cool AT ALL.

So’s I don’t take a big-ass splat like I did last week:
  • I’ve asked Hillel to babysit me during the first 24 hours post-surgery. This is good on at least two levels.
  1. Hillel’s very patient and good company.
  2. He’s one hell of a cook!
  • I dug my (Imperial) walker our of the depths of my closet. Haven’t used it since right after THE BIG ONE ‘cept as a clothes rack. I won’t generally need it BUT it’ll come in handy for those zero dark thirty trips to the loo. Better safe than in the ER, eh?
  • I've begun picking up, putting away and/or tossing all the piles of papers and books which litter the floor of Casa Donna. HEY, they're all tidy and shit and, having a home obstacle course is good exercise. WHAT?! That last part was kind of a stretch?
  • I'll stow my gorgeous ottoman in a corner because, rilly now, only Dick Van Dyke could pull off that pratfall with style and grace.
AND, of course, I’m gonna stock up on Saint Fratelli’s cookies because nothing says recovery like cappuccino biscotti and shortbread. Amirite or amirite? You know I am!

See, I think the key to quelling the giant fear and anxiety beast is prep, having shit to look forward to and, of course, PASTRY!
I wondered what you'd have on the side with a plate of Deep Fried Anxiety. Pickles? Coleslaw? Potato-strychnine mash?
~ Robin McKinley, Sunshine

Thursday, July 19, 2018

ESA Time

So, I was buying some airline tickets yesterday for an upcoming trip when I notice this:
Beginning July 1, 2018, regardless of ticket purchase date, a Customer must provide notification of their intention to travel with an emotional support/psychiatric service animal and submit their documents at least 48 hours prior to departure.
Emmm, first off – why is the word customer capitalized? Just FYI, only proper nouns, in English, get that treatment (unless of course we're shouting. In which case the entire word's in caps, eh?).

Second – Emotional Service Animals (ESAs) are a thing now? Cool! Not that she’d go along with this but…COCO! She TOTALLY counts – right?

jetBlue defines these babies like so:
An emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal provides comfort to support a customer's diagnosed mental or emotional disorder. Emotional support animals need not have specific training for that function, while psychiatric service animals are task trained. All must be trained to behave appropriately in a public setting. 
Do I have a diagnosed mental or emotional disorder? Eh, no but I bet Janice could come up with something tame/not scary that’d fit the bill.

Documentation is needed. I can’t just say I gotta travel with the tux near me or else I’m gonna be a mess. Seriously! No lie!
Customers traveling with emotional support or psychiatric service animals will need to submit three jetBlue-specific documents for review. These documents are:
  • Medical/Mental Health Professional form
  • Veterinary Health form
  • Confirmation of Animal Behavior form
I can’t find any PDFs or details on that last bit – the Confirmation of Animal Behavior Form. Can I just write up my own note stating that Coco’s a very good girl who always displays the most courteous and patrician manners. Will that fly?

Now then, If I was so callous as to uproot my sweet, homebody kitten from her crib (and it IS hers) I could jet with her without the Emotional Support Beast title. Granted that’d cost an extra hundred clams each way BUT it can be done.
Another interesting bit:
Firearms and Service/Emotional Support Animals
Armed individuals are not permitted to travel with a service or emotional support animal. Armed individuals traveling with a service or emotional support animal will be required to check their weapon into the cargo bin in accordance with requirements outlined in the Contract of Carriage.
Yeah, needing an inflight ESA by your side is kind of a red flag that you shouldn’t also have a gun on you.

What kind of animals qualify as ESAs? The website ESA Doctors says that any pet can qualify – even pet rats. Pet rats??? Are they this year's teacup pig? Another ESA site, Moosh, tells me that:
Rats have a much higher level of intelligence than most other animals. They are the smartest rodents in the class, sitting up front with perfectly sharpened pencils, straight ties and an apple for the teacher! They are easily trained to live cleanly in your house, to eat their own food and not yours, to go to the toilet inside their designated potty, and to do cool tricks such as sit, roll over, dance and even shake hands!
They also note that rats are not navel-gazing introverts.  Emmmm, fine but I think I’ll stick with cats. Also too, jetBlue a no-go for pet rats, monkeys, pythons and other random, not run of the mill pets.
Acceptable emotional support and psychiatric service animals are limited to dogs, cats, and miniature horses.
MINIATURE HORSES???! Yur shittin’ me?
Emotional Rescue – The Stones

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In the Background

While the Distractor in Chief has been OH so busy at the Helsinki Treason Fest, his Republican asstunes have been busy here at home.

Puerto Rico continues to experience Republican Government FAIL.
FEMA has either denied or not answered 79 percent — almost eight-in-ten — of the appeals, leaving residents and officials worried about the fate of their dwellings as the island faces another hurricane season. (source)
You remember Hurricane Maria, right? Happened just nine weeks shy of one year ago. President BungTrumpet didn’t give his incompetent, don’t-count-on-us-to-do-our-jobs FEMA director a heck of a job, Brownie" pat. Nope. Our Distractor in Chief praised himself. Of course.
~~~
The We’re Taking You Back to the Dark Ages Party has decided that it’s AOK to discriminate against qualified prospective parents if they’re, ya know, gay.
The Republican majority in the House Appropriations Committee voted to approve an amendment allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny services to LGBTQ families. (source)
Yup, it's better to deny children loving and supportive homes than *SHRIEK, HORROR* have them brought up by people who vote Blue, eh?
~~~
The majority of children who were horrifically, barbarously ripped away from their asylum seeking parents have not been returned to them. And, as of July 9th, (last Monday!!!), only two out of 102 children under the age of five (ya know, toddlers and babies!) had been reunited with their parents.

The WH is NOW saying that “all eligible small children separated from their families as a result of its zero-tolerance immigration policy have been reunited with their parents."
 
BUT
nearly half of the children under 5 remain separated from their families because of safety concerns, the deportation of their parents and other issues, the administration said. (source)
Children UNDER FIVE! These are babies!
July 26 is the court-ordered deadline for the government to reunite separated children ages 5 to 17 with their families. That means reuniting as many as 2,551 kids in less than two weeks.
(source)
But there’s no real plan (just airy, fairy flowcharts) as to how they’ll meet that goal.

The Party of Lincoln is now the Child Abuse Party. This, mon ami, is just one astonishingly mondo example of their devolution.
~~~
California’s on fire.
Global warming means less soil moisture on average, which means that stuff burns more easily. (Particularly if you’re in a drought-stricken area with a lot of dead, dry trees, for example. 
“Fires tend to be associated with hotter drier weather, everything else being equal,” said Benjamin Bond-Lamberty, an ecosystem ecologist with the Joint Global Change Research Institute…(source)
Having one’s head wedged way the fuck up one’s buttocks regarding human caused climate change is, rock solidly, what it means to be a Republican.
~~~
The Zombie Eyed Granny Starver ixnayed the vote on whether ICE (AKA the Child Abuse Squad) should be abolished. Republicans, thinking that Democrats would either vote solidly for abolition (thus killing the coming Blue Wave?) OR go half/half and look weak (the HORROR!), pictured it as win/win (all about gamesmanship and Party over Country for these freakazoidal fuckwads).
Ryan (R-Wis.) was concerned about a third option: that Democrats wouldn't vote at all, or uniformly oppose it, making Republicans look silly
 (source)
OOOOOOO, they'd be exposed as charlatanic, manipulative weasel pricks. We can't have that!

So, while the Orange Assfaced Toddler in Chief has been doing his Distract-a-thon job, his Prossy Party's been busy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Müde City

I’m tired – exhausted even. OF COURSE I am – I’ve been having one helluva stretch of days.

Yesterday was, wonderfully, hospital-free. The Neuro Clinic never returned Jen’s phone call. This says to me that either:
  • they reviewed my test results and deemed me non-critical/no worries.
OR
  • they’re incompetent jerks.
I’m going with option uno (but they still should've called!). I hope to stay outta MGH and, instead, be home napping today with my faithful guard cat. Hopefully my siestas will be dreamless or, better yet, they’ll be packed with visions of happy dancing unicorns with cheery bunny rabbits and mellow, fluffy sheep. Oh and there should be musical accompaniment by, let’s see, Satie, Debussy and Eno. Yup, that's today's script. Places everyone!

Meanwhile, here, have some sunrise and ocean. Yur welcome.

Monday, July 16, 2018

How NOT to spend your Sunday

FYI – it's NOT relaxing to read the news while in the ER
I’ll tell you this for free, it blows major sand-worm wang to spend seven (SEVEN!) hours in the ER and, only at that late point – when I was abso-fucking-lutely ready to go home, be told that they wanted to keep me overnight for observation.

I had CAT scans and Matrix-esque tentacles snaked up my nose and the docs and techs found nothing amiss. K. I guess I'll go home then, eh? What. No?

We want you to stay overnight…. this was howitzer levels of triggering. Ya see, in my beautiful Amazing Bob’s last few years, whenever we’d go into the ER for anything (or have a gee-you-don’t-feel-good?-Let’s-see-if-the-docs-can-squeeze-you-in-for-a-look-see-today appointment), they’d keep him. Or so it seemed.

Lame-ass people watcing, lemme just tell you!
Not only was I slammed back to those hard, wrenching last years of my man’s life, I was feeling all OMG, it’s happening to me too now. I’m dying!

I’m not.

Jen (she’s a fucking SAINT!) very helpfully and calmly explained that the good docs wanted to be sure and careful. They were doing their jobs – making sure I’m OK. Since nothing showed on the scans (beyond my brain’s lovely meningioma garden) they wanted/needed more time to watch me and my pesky, intermittent symptoms.

Yeah. No. Couldn’t do it. I promised I’d come back today if they wanted me to but I needed dinner, my own damn bed and Coco. Also too, a glass ‘o’ the grape.

If they’d told me, say, after the one-hour-in-ER CAT scan “We don’t see anything that might be causing your spinal fluid leakage-esque symptoms so we’d like you to stay overnight for observation” I would have been less freaked. Possibly.
  1. I wouldn’t have spent seven full hours cooling my heels, thinking, any second now, the doc’s gonna come in and get me sorted out.
  2. Jen could’ve come home to pick up whatever I’d need for an overnight away.
  3. We would’ve said YES when that one nurse asked if we needed/wanted food.
The MGH view in Winter
If they’d, after the CAT scan, moved us up to a room I’d have a damn view – sunlight, trees, green, mebbe even the damn Charles instead of just the sterile colors  of the artless ER.

As I relate this, I can’t help but think my NO, I’M NOT STAYING! freak out reaction was a bit over-the-top/dramatic. Granted, I was marinating in painful TAB memories.

A friend writes: It is better for them if you are well rested, which short of drugs, to my experience, is not gonna happen there. Truth!

Another example of Jen’s saintliness:
My blood pressure was through the roof to the point that the damned blood pressure cuff was molto wicked painful. (yeah, I screamed in pain and rage and ripped it off – not one of my prettier moments) Jen had me doing deep breathing exercises and kept at me, wouldn’t let up. Bitch.

It worked. I calmed way the fuck down, blood pressure cuff was no longer painful and, as much as I ever do, chill out happened – more or less.

Dunno what’s on tap for today but I’ve got my hospital bag packed just in case – books, sketch pad, crayons, power cord for the phone, eye drops and meds. They really SHOULD let Coco come in there with me. That'd help. It'd be to their advantage and shit.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Missed Morgendämmerung

I’m used to waking with the dawn. I’m totally cool with this too. The colors of the sky, the clouds, the utterly transcendent peace at daybreak is, to my mind, unmatched. Just before the sun peeps over the waterline is the bestest, most hopeful time of day. Dawn doesn’t promise so much as suggest that anything could happen and it could all, conceivably, be damn lovely.

 In mid-July, here on the Neck, first light is at 4:47 am. The sun’s all I'm here, I'm up so, WAKEY-WAKEY you sleepy slags at 5:21 am.

When’d I rise this morning? Seven. Yeah, I haven’t slept that late in yonks.

I attribute the late rising to the week’s emotionally charged, tense surgery, recovery struggles and worries (latest – I seem to have a spinal fluid leak. ‘the fuck! Can I just call a plumber in or do I need a medic?), my doc’s exercise ban (until mid next week!!!) and a Saturday social time where I just could NOT read my dear friend’s lips. I always feel like a colossal, weak-ass, fuck-up, disappoint to all, particularly meself, when my lipreading-foo fails to make an appearance.
The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.
~ E. Joseph Cossman
And when you can’t make it through an intact eight of glorious Z-dom, a rock solid oversleep is a wonder and a treat.
O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my sense in forgetfulness?
~ William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I
Last night I, once again, woke at zero dark thirty with post surgery eye itchies and a distinct malaise over our international embarrassment – the Putin pandering bunglecunt and his slavering fascist Republican (I believe that’s now redundant) henchman.

With an extended run of deep breathing exercises, I was able to drop back into Slumberville. Yea me!
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
~ John Steinbeck
More or less. Jen will attempt contact with my doc this morning. It’s Sunday so she might not reach her but she can, at the least, leave a stern THIS IS SERIOUS. CALL ME! message. The spinal fluid leakage may not actually be all that serious (yes, Jen and I googled the shit outta this) BUT I wanna hear/read that from an actual med pro who’s familiar with my wonky-ass bod.
Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
~ Thomas Aquinas
On tap for today? Some painting, a fine glass of Malbec, definitely a bubble bath and a beautiful nap.
A day without a nap is like a cupcake without frosting.
~ Terri Guillemets
Tell it, sistah!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Recovery Fun

I woke at 1AM with THE itchiest eye. Seriously, I just wanted to pop the sucker out, drop it in a bowl of aloe vera gel, hose out the socket and slap an ice pack across my head.

Sadly, we lame-ass humans don’t have easy pop in/pop out, interchangeable parts.

Gossamer from Hair-Raising Hare
Wouldn’t it be just too cool if we did!?

Cousin Gary’s fucked up spine? NO problem! Just zip over to the Vertebrae R Us. I hear tell Toyota makes the best, most reliable backs and hips on the market.

Jen’s feet pain? A simple matter of hitting the Michelin store and picking up a new pair of all-season tootsies.

My clapped out auditory nerves? Hell’s bells, couldn’t be simpler – Bose has factories in Framingham, Westborough and Stow. All right here in Massachusetts!

Installation? In this new easy-peasy, transposable world we just need to hit up our trusted, local human mechanics. I’d probably want to use someone down here on the Neck so’s I don’t have to deal with the rush hour slow swim up to Boston anymore. Ya know, time = money and annoyance and shit. My boss, Paula, knows absolutely everyone down here – I’ll ask her.

Naturally, before you have something new, big and/or fussy (entire mainframe replacement? Doable but OOOOOO that's a huge job) put in, check Consumer Reports, Yelp and the Better Biz Bureau’s website. In this new, simpler, replaceable parts reality we'd still need to be smart, responsible consumers. Ya dig?

This morning? I could really use a pair of Nikon lenses to go with one of them super slick Bose T1 ToneMatch Audio Engines. Seriously, mon ami.

Last night I eventually ditched the wretched Itch Beast through a liberal application of surgeon approved, no-preservative eye drops, a baggie filled with frozen peas slapped over my orb, many rounds of deep breathing exercises and Coco my faithful Distract-o Cat.

Ya know, there's never this slow motherfucking recovery in Star Trek or Star Wars. I mean, RILLY, Luke got a hand replacement and was up, ready to go, minutes later. Jean-Luc was unBorgified, fer fuck's sake, with only a few, slight recovery hurdles.

Clearly medical science has got to get on the stick rápidomente!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Tits, spoons and other useful epithets

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
~ Mark Twain

Well, FUCK yeah!

The Tangerine Twit is in the UK for meet and greets, a fresh stage on which to spew his bizarre, fever dream fabrications and, of course, golf. London was ready.
The orange-hued blimp of President Donald Trump stands at six meters (19.6 feet) tall, and features "small hands, a tiny mobile phone and a giant nappy/diaper," according to the organizers.
~~~
Blimp organizer Leo Murray told CNN the giant balloon had been designed to speak to Trump "in a language that he understands, which is personal insults.”
~~~
Organizers now say they hope to take the blimp on a "world tour," following Trump on his international diplomatic engagements. (source)
I do hope they can make that happen! They should make small, six foot versions for mass market sales. I just know they’d be flying from most porches and flagpoles around here.

BBC News notes that:
Some people say it is a legitimate protest against a US President with controversial policies, while others argue it is disrespectful to a democratically-elected ally of the UK with whom the government hopes to agree a free-trade deal. (source)
In a democratic election, citizens elect their president. We did – Hillary Clinton won by three million votes. The archaic, insulting, dunderheaded and all-in-all bullshit electoral college awarded the presidency of our once great nation to a fraud, a huckster a cheap-ass, incompetent, motherfucking bully in orange makeup and a bad suit. So….NO, Trump was not democratically elected. Also too, Russia.

This is dated but, with Fat, Spray-Tan Hitler golfing in Scotland this weekend, it’s getting a welcome replay.

The linguistically gifted and creative Scots were taking the Orange Obscenity to task for his utterly buffoonish lies about Brexit. Scots voted, overwhelming, to stay in the European Union.  Apparently Pig Man either missed the memo or, more likely, just went with his usual febrile and fucked, Fox "News" fairy tale version of reality.

He's been called a weapons grade plum, a tit, an absolute fucking doughnut, spoon, gobshite, witless fucking cocksplat, weaselheaded fucknugget, mangled apricot hellbeast, clueless numpty, bloviating fleshbag, toupéd fucktrumpet, incomprehensible jizztrumpet, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon and cockwomble.

Some of these are easily understandable BUT I had to look up a few.

Weapons Grade Plum – A fool, an idiot. It’s also sometimes a testicle reference. So, basically the insulter is calling the maggot brained, narcissistic head of the Republican Party a very stupid ball sack.

Cocksplat – jizz. Ya know?

Cockwomble – A completely useless person who spouts constant bullshit (source)

Doughnut – an extremely stupid person who lacks both intelligence and common sense. An idiot.

Fucknugget – An objectionable person.

Fucktrumpet – the Urban Dictionary tells me this is another term for Trump supporter. They also note that it means “whiny little bitch.”
AND
Noun - A colonialist/religious fundamentalist/supremacist or bigot in any way, shape or form who refuses to stop the shitstream flowing from their face hole at any given time.
My friend James called my black girlfriend the n-word. What a fucktrumpet.
Gobshite – A stupid person who runs their mouth.

Numpty
– an idiot

Shitgibbon – a moron, an idiot, a worthless person

Spoon – a simpleton

Tit –  A foolish or ineffectual person, a nincompoop.

That pool of rabid, diarrheal rat shit in the White House has also been called a:
wankpuffin, dickbiscuit, twatwaffle, turdweasel, bunglecunt, shitehawk,  cuntpuffin, spunkpuffin, shitpuffin, fuckwomble, twatwomble, spunktrumpet, shitbiscuit, arsebiscuits, douchebiscuit,  douchewaffle, cockwaffle, fartwaffle, cuntwaffle, shitwaffle, crapweasel, fuckweasel, pissweasel and doucheweasel.

Most of this last batch are easy to suss out but I’ve included helpful links here and there. As always, the Urban Dictionary is wonderfully informative.

Ya know, at least the tyrannical, weaselheaded fartwaffle’s been a linguistic inspiration. I believe bunglecunt, shitehawk, fucknugget and spoon are my favorites this morning.

How's 'bout you?