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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Prep

This one, from this morning's walk, is for SueEllen.
FIRST – Ya gotta see this Tweet and vid. Jesus convertible Christ, this is awesome!

Next, I had my pre-surgery Plague45 test yesterday. It was fascinating in a Phillip Dick/Bladerunner kind of a way. OK no, it wasn’t like that at all but you know me and my overactive imagination. The test site was immaculately clean and everyone was wonderfully kind, welcoming and courteous. All the medicos were kitted out in 17 layers of protection (and I was DAMN glad of that for their sake AND mine). It was a special kind of creepy scary to have the swab wielding dude reaching out of a floor to ceiling plexiglass box, his arms and hands like robot appendages encased in thick, loose rubber. A LOT like this pic, below left.

Yes, I kept hearing “eyes; I just do eyes” as he gently stuffed the swab up my snout. FYI, it didn’t hurt but felt ULTRA weird.

I already received the results – SARS-CoV 2 (COVID-19) PCR – Not Detected

There were a couple paragraphs of yeah but:
Negative results do not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Optimum specimen types and timing for peak viral levels during infection by SARS-CoV-2 have not been determined. Collection of multiple specimens from the same patient may be necessary to detect the virus.
Still, I think I’m cleared for tomorrow’s slice action. Yea fucking me!

I’ve decided – and yes this is a choice – that I’m done with the dread shit. It’s boring AND, just generally, no bleedin' fun. I mean, fer fuck’s sake, I’ll get to leave the house (WHEEEEE!), won’t have to exercise (as hard) and someone else will cook for me for at least four whole days. BEST YET, I don’t gotta put on a bra for a couple months!

Regarding food – I hear you asking “but doesn’t Jen do all the cooking?” Well yeah, mostly. OK, let's just never mind on that point.

Another thing about Saint fucking Jen – I’m going into the OR in better shape than I have for, at least, the last few shoot ‘em ups. Why/how? That bitch, that stone twatzilla forces me to go on 30+ minute walks ever damn morning. How does this evil broad strong-arm me? She shows up at my goddamn door and patiently waits for me to put my sneaks on – THE NERVE!

On top of that, since I can’t go to the Y (even though it’s reopened. Why not? People…potential plague carriers //shudder//) Jen bought me a recumbent elliptical for here at home. I’m on that rat bastid torture device five to six days out of seven.

Guess what – I HATE exercise but I like being as healthy and able-bodied as I can be more.

Other shit I gotta do before lights out tonight?
  • Lay down the ground on a few new canvases. That’s the most physically taxing part of starting a new painting.
  • Collect drawing pads, colored markers, pens and crayons in a bag. Jen will bring them to me at MGH so’s I have something to do when I’m not napping.
  • Put my stack of new books on the shelf by the bed.
  • Unroll the futon in the guest room and put out sheets and blankets (Saint Jen’s bunking in for my first few nights back home)
  • Laundry *groan*
We leave for MGH at five in the AM. WooHoo. I wonder how much weight I’ll drop once I’m less these two motherfucking asshole meningiomas. A 20 pound drop would be nice. Yeah, only in my vivid, happy fantasy land. *sigh*

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Spinning Planet

Vishnu
These are some very hard damn times. Motherfucking heinously goddamn hard times!

There’s Plague 45 and our stunningly stupid population’s self-destructive selfishness and blind allegiance to a ludicrously dimwitted, grotesquely avaricious and presumptuously vainglorious pedophile

If not for him, his horror-show renfields and cult following. I’d be able to go out to lunch, visit a museum, fly to Oregon for a holiday with my sweetie, Ten. Hells bells, I could go for walks without fear of catching a death dealing virus.

BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

La Nuit,
the primordial goddess of the night
I miss having escapades. It feels as though it’s been eons since I’ve had even a minor one. The last time Jen and I went to Iceland, I was a mess. It was right before January’s bean surgery. The walk from our room to the lagoon alone was a mega challenge.

It seems like forever ago (but it’s just a few years) since I was bopping around downtown Dublin, looking for Cian McLoughlin’s paintings.

I haven’t been to see my cousin in Berlin in FAR too long and, fer fuck’s sake, I’ve STILL never been to London!

I NEED escapades! Some damn shenanigans too, goddammit!

Shenanigans might help me with this other little issue. All the stress seems to be causing a Donna diplomacy drain. OK…really? Truth? Maybe I’m just at risk of losing it.

The good thing about the vast majority of my convos is that they go down via text message, email or social media. I have the opportunity to stop myself from making impulsive coarse and/or crude comebacks to friends who’ve made ill considered comments. Yeah, instead of responding with “what the fuck? Are you high or what?!” Or “don’t be such a dim ass!” I can collect and order my thoughts and facts, edit out my knee-jerk jerkiness and respond calmly and intelligently. You know, like a sane, mature adult.

(I AM SO a sane and mature adult *stamps foot*)

Some friends might be just fine with a WTF reply BUT, in this time when the vast majority of us are tense as ALL fuck, it seems better all around, more effective (for having my points heard) and kind to NOT come back at someone (friend or not) with blazing guns.

Oh yeah, another piece of burdensome bullshit – in 48 hours I’ll be at MGH, sitting at the OR doors, kitted out in a lovely, backless hospital gown, impatiently, bitchily even, waiting for my valium with heavy duty anesthesia chaser.

Being sliced open and having every major muscle snipped, so’s the good cutter can snatch out a couple tumors DOES actually give me pause. I AM, now that I think on it, a teensy weensy bit nervous.

Ten’s been meeting with the Old Gods about all this and, yeah, they’ve got my back. I’ll be fine.

Cool, Cool River – Paul Simon

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Jumbles

Ya know what? I think it MIGHT be time to put this T-shirt in the rag pile.

The Amazing Bob and I always wore clothing until they were falling off of us. Why? Were we THAT poor? No – it’s just that when you work in a print shop and your social life consists of playing baseball (TAB) or going to punk bars to catch the latest band (me) wearing slick and/or non-tattered togs is not really a thing.

After TAB took the last train to the coast, I gave away his clothes that were still in standard good shape. I kept the items with special meaning. I picked up this T 20+years ago when Jen and I were at a jazz club in Prague. The act we caught was, sadly unimpressive – Kenny G.-ish but I was really just there to snatch him a souvenir from our trip.
~~~

Grasshopper
A once a decade craving.
2020 so far:
What’s next – predatory chameleon boa constrictor telepaths? They invade our minds, make us believe they’re cute fluffy lap cats and THEN they open wide, unhinge their jaws and devour us whole. The mind control snakes travel in packs and are most attracted to closely packed crowds of maskless fools. Yeah, I’m safe.
~~~
Some interesting words, courtesy of Hillel:

Bafflegab
noun
incomprehensible or pretentious language, especially bureaucratic jargon.

Gene was so pathetically insecure and socially clueless that he could turn the simplest concept into utter bafflegab.




Blatherskite
noun
a person who talks at great length without making much sense.

The Tangerine Cockwomble would have to work hard and really focus to achieve blatherskite-dom.


Bumfuzzle 
verb
to confuse or fluster.

The Republi/Fascists strive to bumfuzzle naïve voters into casting their ballots for griftering despots.
Snollygoster
noun

a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician.
Under this entry in the dictionary is a pic of Moscow Mitch.
Muffuletta
noun
A sandwich made with round Italian bread and filled usually with cold cuts, cheese, and olive salad.

I’d like to order a muffuletta but hold the cold cuts and olive salad, please. OK, I guess I don’t want a muffuletta – just a soy cheddar cheese sammich with spinach leaves and a fat tomato slice. Thenks!
Funambulist
noun
a tightrope walker.

How can you tell if I’ve become suicidal? I will have moved to Tsovkra-1 in the Russian republic of Dagestan so that I might study to be a funambulist. Yeah, no thanks.





Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 3, 2020

No Sleep for the Wickedly Cool

That’s me, don’cha know. I’m so cool, I sweat ice cubes.

OK…no. We all know that I’m a complete doofus BUT I like to put out a good front. I blow at self promo but I sure as fuck can trash-talk with the best of ‘em. Mister Muhammad Ali would be goddamn proud of me…oh yes he would.
It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am.
The Amazing Bob just loved Ali. TAB wasn’t a boxing fan – it was Ali’s patter, his poetry and cool, witty bravado. Yup. Totally.
I'm so mean, I make medicine sick.
Some days, I absolutely believe that of myself. Kindness is my preferred mode BUT I’m nobody’s doormat (OK there’s Coco and Umlaut. Fer fuck’s sake, OF COURSE I’m their doormat – they’re cats!). Kindness and diplomacy are challenging for me now, in this time of quarantine, upcoming mega surgeries and, hopefully, the last months of the Treasonweasel Regime.

OK, truth, it’s always been a challenge but it’s more of one now.

Last night I saw a couple inane Trumpasaurus responses to a friend’s factual Shoutyface post. You know, they featured screeching all caps claims of “LIES,” “FAKE NEWS!” and more. The comments looked to have been cribbed directly from the Orange Asshole’s junior-high-bully tweets.

This particular rube’s name looked familiar so I took a gander at her profile page. Turns out, she’s one of the very few people from my hellscape high school who had been friendly, sane and nice to me. I just couldn’t feature that Linda had become a desperately dimbulbed, horror show Cult45 member. How could it be? She always seemed intelligent, sweet and mentally undamaged.

Eager to NOT accept that Linda could have become such a drooling pool of fatuous feeble-mindedness, I imagined her comments must’ve been an elaborate Andy Kaufman styled riff. They HAD to be performance art type slams of how your basic nut job 45 supporter would respond to Dan’s posts.

Which was it – performance art or imbecility? Who is Linda now? I emailed a friend of mine from Linda’s graduating class – maybe he would know. Yes, he did.

Sadly, Linda IS in fact a cretinous, christianist tool. I took a detour down the only available bright path. I blocked her. I don’t need or want that reality blind, howler monkey horseshit in my life – not now, not ever.

 Some of us, over this long life, devolve into hideous shadows of our former fresh, hopeful selves.
If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
All of today’s quotes are from the brill, gone to soon, brain of Muhammad Ali.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Lucky

Today I’m feeling lucky. War-the fuck-um?
  • I have amazing friends who, unaccountably, love and help me through all the Scheiße life throws me.
  • I live in Massachusetts where Treasonweasel loving assholian idiots are in a definite minority.
  • Plague45 is on the upswing here (428 new cases yesterday and 17 deaths) BUT I’m fortunate in not having to leave the house ‘cept for walkies at 5:30 AM and groceries once a week during early, old bat hours.
  • While I miss seeing my chums, I’m now kind of used to this new seclusion, this quarantine with no end in sight.
  • Valhalla is paid for.
  • Coco, my precious kitten, is healthy and wonderful.
  • Though I’m stuck with this exhausting, physically banjaxing, bullshit Nf2, I have THE best docs and surgeons. Yeah, Team Donna ROCKS!
  • This is easily arguable BUT I’m sane. I have multiple creative outlets. I’m ever curious about the world around me. Also too, I have a (warped) sense of humor. All this means that I’m well equipped (as much as that’s possible) to handle the myriad shit storms.
Yes, I have regrets, complaints, assorted anger/sad inducers AND dreams that will, likely, go unfulfilled BUT…eh…I’ve been lucky and that don’t suck. Ya know?

Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

OK, OK – good point. I’ve made more well-considered decisions than stupidly thoughtless ones BUT that doesn’t account for all of my life’s this-doesn’t-suckness.

Nanny Ogg looked under her bed in case there was a man there. Well, you never knew your luck.
~ Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

Oh, I am fortune's fool!
~ William Shakespeare
 
Well, that’s for damn sure!

In Madeleine's face was a stupidity Mitchell had never seen before. It was the stupidity of all normal people. It was the stupidity of the fortunate and the beautiful, of everybody who got what they wanted in life and so remained unremarkable.
~ Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

By happy chance, I wasn’t born fortunate, normal (whatever that is) or beautiful – just slightly savvier than your average bear. Mebbe.

Life is like a stew, you have to stir it frequently, or all the scum rises to the top.
~ Tom Robbins 

"Scum" AKA Republicans.

I think we consider too much the luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don't have the wit to deal with the problems of life.
~ Joan Lowery Nixon

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Wall Time

I've hit a wall – a giant, fat, hulking monster of morbid melancholia. Last night I was struggling with my mother’s chiding ghost – don’t be a burden, don’t ask for favors, expect nothing and be grateful when that’s all you get.

Why's this vile mood a thing? Well, fuck me mes amis:
  • We’re in the middle of plague which the Oafish Twatling in Chief has, by turns, ignored, called a hoax and/or had Jar-Jar and the Dense One perform their usual banjaxerific incompetent fuckery.
  • This coming Friday at 6 AM I’m going under the sharp pointy thing AGAIN. Hells bells, I’ve just built my motherfucking strength back up and I gotta be sliced open a-fucking-gain! NO FUCKING FAIRS!
  • Fecal Face von Treasonweasel is pulling 12,000 troops out of Germany at his lord and master’s request .
  • Moscow Mitch makes sure, in this crazy scary time of double digit unemployment, that the rich get richer and…well, if we plebes suffer and die so’s we can pay the rent/mortgage, grocery and electric bills…them’s the breaks.
OF BLOODY COURSE I'm mega sad and I need an assist. Capisce?

I found myself wondering if I should move into an assisted living joint. Jen and Oni could rent out my cottage and would no longer need to take care of me. By “take care of me” I’m referring to:
  • Cooking. Really though, that I don’t cook is about my extra special kitchen incompetence and sloth rather than physical disability.
  • Cleaning. I DO clean and tidy but not as much as is needed. This is half laziness and low standards, half lack of physical effervescence and a propensity for headaches from bending and lifting.
  • Fixing shit around the house. I am NOT a knowledgeable or skilled shit-fixer. It’s also about me being shamelessly dilatory.
  • Jen does all my phone work – anything that absolutely MUST be done by phone, she’s on it. Luckily, more and more companies, docs and nurses are cool with and set up for email correspondence.
  • She takes me to my myriad appointments, tests and other MGH shit.
  • Jen and Oni watch over me post surgeries AND help me regain strength and ability. Mind you, I used to go years and years between procedures – it’s only been since The Amazing Bob shuffled off this mortal coil that I’m racking up the big frequent flyer (slicer) OR hours.
An aside: TAB and I always took turns being ill. Was my broken bod holding its breath, waiting for TAB’s sweet skinsuit to turn the corner, before it fell apart? This would go aways toward explaining why I will have had three huge neurosurgeries within the space of 18 months (and another in the wings this coming winter). I had a backlog.
OK, now that I look at the list, I see that I really don’t need to be in assisted living yet. I’m just a lazy twat. I could maybe hire a cleaner to come in once every couple weeks, buy prepared foods OR learn how to fucking cook some simple goddamn meals (meh) and find a general handy man/woman. The rest of the list – all the med crap – is just what friends/family do for each other.

That is, family who aren’t like my mother and her you’re-bothering-people-by-being-human/needing-help attitude.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Good Trouble

I don’t know the brill artist’s name (do you?)
but the photographer is Anthony Geathers.
Remember this? From late June of 2016 when Lewis and other House Democratic Caucus began a sit-in to prompt/nudge/convince the Republican Speaker of the house to allow votes on gun control legislation after the mass murder in Orlando, Florida.
Rep. John Lewis, who launched the sit-in Wednesday morning that eventually drew 170 lawmakers, lit up social media, and infuriated House Republicans -- but spurred no legislative action -- said the fight was not over.
~~~
"We are going to win," he told supporters on the Capitol steps after the sit-in was halted. "The fight is not over. This is just one step of when we come back here on July the 5th we're going to continue to push, to pull, to stand up, and if necessary, to sit down. So don't give up, don't give in. Keep the faith, and keep your eyes on the prize."
He also tweeted, "We got in trouble. We got in the way. Good trouble. Necessary Trouble. By sitting-in, we were really standing up.” (source)
 And
"Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We have been quiet for too long," Lewis said. "There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.” (source)
From his last New York Times piece, his swan song farewell:
"Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself." (source)
And Obama brought the praise, glory, honor and fire as only he can:
"Now, this country is a constant work in progress. We were born with instructions: to form a more perfect union. Explicit in those words is the idea that we are imperfect; that what gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further than anyone might have thought possible.
John Lewis — the first of the Freedom Riders, head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of this state and this district for 33 years, mentor to young people, including me at the time, until his final day on this Earth — he not only embraced that responsibility, but he made it his life’s work."
~~~
"…he helped organize the Nashville campaign in 1960. He and other young men and women sat at a segregated lunch counter, well-dressed, straight-backed, refusing to let a milkshake poured on their heads, or a cigarette extinguished on their backs, or a foot aimed at their ribs, refused to let that dent their dignity and their sense of purpose. And after a few months, the Nashville campaign achieved the first successful desegregation of public facilities in any major city in the South.
That same year, just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of interstate bus facilities was unconstitutional, John and Bernard Lafayette bought two tickets, climbed aboard a Greyhound, sat up front, and refused to move. This was months before the first official Freedom Rides. He was doing a test. The trip was unsanctioned. Few knew what they were up to. And at every stop, through the night, apparently the angry driver stormed out of the bus and into the bus station. And John and Bernard had no idea what he might come back with or who he might come back with. Nobody was there to protect them. There were no camera crews to record events. You know, sometimes, we read about this and kind of take it for granted. Or at least we act as if it was inevitable. Imagine the courage of two people Malia’s age, younger than my oldest daughter, on their own, to challenge an entire infrastructure of oppression."
~~~
"America was built by people like them. America was built by John Lewises. He as much as anyone in our history brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals. And someday, when we do finish that long journey toward freedom; when we do form a more perfect union — whether it’s years from now, or decades, or even if it takes another two centuries — John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America."
~~~
"John Lewis devoted his time on this Earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what’s best in America that we are seeing circulate right now.
He knew that every single one of us has a God-given power. And that the fate of this democracy depends on how we use it; that democracy isn’t automatic, it has to be nurtured, it has to be tended to, we have to work at it, it’s hard. And so he knew it depends on whether we summon a measure, just a measure, of John’s moral courage to question what’s right and what’s wrong and call things as they are." (source)
Yeah, I’m still all weepy today.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Anticipation

Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.

What am I waiting for?

Next Friday’s spine surgery I’m expecting there’ll be oodles of exquisitely awful post surgery pain as all the major muscles in my back struggle to rejoin and knit back together. Been here with the spine slice and dice twice before so my notion of what’s coming is undoubtedly spot on.

Yes, recovery will be all achey hurty BUT I don’t anticipate any of the fun bonus crapoli that I went through with January’s brain hoopla – not being able to speak or come up with words (for the first few days post OR) or those homecoming seizures. All the same, Jen will be sleeping over, babysitting me, during my first week back here in Valhalla. Why? I may be a rabidly independent cuss but I’m, mostly, not a stupidly careless one. Yes, I bet I could take care of myself but I’ll feel safer those first few nights, with her in the house.
Thunderstorms due this afternoon.
The cats will thrilled.
What else am I waiting for?

A vaccine. Yesterday there were 502 new cases and 29 fresh deaths here in Massachusetts. We're not anywhere near as fucked as Florida (9,466 new cases yesterday and 216 dead) BUT, since Phase III reopening began, we're def trending up, up, up.
One person in the United States died about every minute from COVID-19 on Wednesday as the national death toll surpassed 150,000, the highest in the world
The United States recorded 1,461 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest one-day increase since 1,484 on May 27, according to a Reuters tally. (source
Quarantini with blackberries by Saint Jen
~~~
...President Donald Trump, his friends in Congress, members of his Cabinet, senior staff and supporters are still setting out to undermine the fact-based approaches that might get the virus under control and restore normal life. (source)
 I only mention it – I found myself, NOT necessarily feeling sorry for the Griftasaurus Blowhard in Chief yesterday but, all the same, experiencing a deep sadness that:
  1. this, theoretical, human is so stratospherically broken.
  2. NO ONE – not his children, his wife, his damaged fellow Fascists or his slavishly devoted cult – stops him from appearing in public looking like the failed circus clown that he is. 
  3. He’s whining, with 151,194 unnecessary deaths due to his ego mad idiocy, that nobody likes him. Gee dude, that’s a puzzler, in’nt?
WHY isn't anyone stopping him from slamming his tiny toad todger in the door EVERY DAMN DAY? I sure as fuck hope that my loved ones would do that for me.

The Biden campaign’s winning strategy — just let 45 speak and be seen — is genius.

Anticipation – Carly Simon