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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Today's Thought

Just 'finished' a book that went to great lengths to mask that it was self published.

It had:

  • A fake positive review excerpt on the outside back cover. …early reviewers are comparing to the works of Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews and Ella Summers! And yet no early reviewers are named.
  • The cover art of this book is similar to the cover art of the above noted writers. Only hilarious difference, while the illustrator, in this particular book, is listed as Rebecca Frank, so is Shutterstock—an online shop for illustrations and photos. I only mention it but you don’t need to credit Shutterstock when you’ve already paid for one of their images.
  • A real copyright page
    And speaking of that copyright page, it lists Supernal Publishing as the, well, publisher. When I tippy-tapped that into Google, I came up with the UK based bookseller Book Depository (Outskirts Press does their self pub printing). You need to dig to find that out and I did.
  • * There’s an elaborate, too elaborate, logo—two interlocking letters appearing on the outside back cover. At first I figured they were mocking up a publisher’s logo but it seems to have no relation to the self publisher’s brand name, the book or series’ title OR the two author’s first OR last names. It’s seems totally random. ‘the fuck? What’s that all about?
  • * While this self pub was well edited (unlike certain others) paragraphs weren’t formatted traditionally. That is, there were no word breaks to give a hard right paragraph edge). Instead, like online copy or info on a flyer, each block of text, while left justified, was all over the place at the right. For me, this made following the word flow incredibly confusing. Did they go through all the effort to fake a traditionally published book and totally miss the details of paragraph formatting?

Yeah fine, but how was the story though, you ask? Meh. The theoretical main hero, was the stereotypical cranky, strong but not at all introspective type woman. The male lead was the exact opposite (and is, of course, madly in love with the chick lead). So really, it was like the writing duo took the the ‘60s-‘70s gender bullshit and flipped it. Laaaa-zy! I wanted to like the story but the writing was lifeless, trite and dull. I got halfway through and cut to the last chapter. Frankly, the hunt to find out the extent to which they went in their efforts to mask the self pub was more fun than the book.

No, I’m not telling you the title or author’s names. That’d be reader abuse and I’m not into that shit. Ya know?

Also too, why the big fake? If you're gonna do that, do it right or write. Heh, see what I did there

Instead of a crap book name, here have a nice pic from Ten’s morning walk. Yur welcome.
 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dreams and a Storm

I dreamed that Hillel, my friend of close to 40 years, whose been happily married for 30 of those, had begun a romance with my friend Suzz (who I've not seen in about 20 years). In the dream neither were spoken for and this was a world beater of a romance.

Suzz was helping me plan my birthday party (which I might actually have) and kept spacing out. She apologized, saying that she and Hillel had been up ALL night making love.
Do I need to crank the AC in here or am I having a hot flash?
I dreamed that Bruce Willis was one of my housemates—not yet a rich and well known but one-trick-pony actor. We all lived in a big old Victorian near the Wildwood Boardwalk in New Jersey.
 
Bad traffic. I guess everyone's back to the office now.
He was going in for an audition which, for some odd reason, required pills. Knowing that I take, minimum, a dozen a day, he came in and sloppily emptied my pill box. I was, natürlich, pissed beyond words. Me and the other roomies decided payback was in order. We got Bruce to go out paddle boarding with the rest of us. We dunked him, pills and all. It was a most satisfying revenge.

In yet another dream, I was walking through an upscale mall which was decked out beyond the nines and back for Christmas. ‘the fuck!? It’s July and, anyway, I hate all that Christmas glitz and faux joyous horse manure. Interestingly enough, for me, in Dream World I wasn’t annoyed at all. It was beautiful and fascinating.

These were just three of last night’s movieolas. Busy night? Warum? Possibly it’s a random reaction to:

  • Yesterday’s trip into town to see my PCP. This makes no goddamn sense. I was in my wheelchair most of the time—that’s hardly strenuous exercise.
  • The giant storm that hit around 7PM? It was truly scary. I thought one of the trees outside my window might blow over. Coco was fine until the thunder and lightening started—at that point she had to go downstairs to hide under my green velvet chair.

So, how did my PCP visit go? Not so bad, though traffic was horrendous. I guess everyone's working in the office again. Also and apparently, there’s no magic pill for weight loss. Since exercising (apart from rehab) is severely limited, I need to reduce my portion intake a LOT. Being an emotional eater (I have an emotion, I eat) makes this extra difficult.

My protein levels are down which just means that I need to up my fart inflaming black bean meals. That and tofu WHICH, seasoned creatively, is actually tasty. Seriously.

All in all, not a horrifying appointment.

Possibly the plethora of dreams are related to getting more results from Coco’s vet appointment. They want to do a $500+ (OUCH!) ultra sound to investigate her weight loss further. Before that, we’ll change her diet to something healthier (no more Burger King for our angel! Kidding, kidding—we’d never give Coco that drek.) and do another test to see if she has irritable bowl syndrome. I had NO idea that cats could get that.

At any rate, the night was entertaining and I'm pleased as all motherfucking hell that none of our trees crashed through the window.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Smoke On the Water

Smokey sunrise from Ten's morning walk
Yesterday’s doctor appointment for my sweet kitten went reasonably well, though she may have hyperthyroidism.

This would explain her relatively large weight loss over the past year (3 pounds—yes, I’ve been horribly worried). They’ve tested her—we’re now in wait and see mode now.

Today is my turn. Mind you, this morning’s appointment is with my PCP versus one of my brain, spine, eye or blood minders. The worst thing I’m expecting is finding out precisely how much gross, evil and mocking weight I’ve gained over the past no good, very bad year. Yes, I’m dreading this. It’s not like I can up my exercising by any significant amount and I don’t imagine my rehab exercises are all that magically wondrous for weight loss. If they were I’d be swimsuit model svelte but noooooo.

Possibly, like Coco, my thyroid is out of whack and a little abracadabra and enchanted pill action will sort me out right quick. That’d be nice and easy.

I could tolerate some easy right about now. No, I'm not expecting it.

It surprised me when I realized that my down mood was/is rooted in today’s doc appointment. Honestly, my PCP is the very least scary of all my docs (weight gain notwithstanding). Still, like The Amazing Bob in his final years, I’m afraid of what she might find. I’m scared I won’t be able to come home—that I'll be staying at The Hotel MGH (due to some curious shit they’ve just GOT to check out) for the foreseeable future.

This, THIS, is why I need escapist books and teevee. Taking long walks, camera in hand, would help too but that’s a year off (minimum). Hey, here’s an idea—I could have Ten, Jen and/or Oni wheel me down to the seawall. I can stare at and take snaps of those lovely short waves!

I can also start doing the loosening up exercises that one of my PTs showed me. Ya know, on the regular and shit. That would, at the least, release some of the tension and pain in my neck and shoulders.

Gee, great idea, n
'est-ce pas? Glad she thought of it.

Monday, July 26, 2021

You know…

Guardian Beast
…you’re spending too much time in bed (whether you like it or not) when your precious cat starts doing laps of your head. Seriously.
She look nervous to
you? She does to me.
.

As it is, she spends much of her time on my chest and draped around neck. When not suffocating me, she's on her bed which is at the foot of mine.

Yes, Coco is, clearly, getting bored. Her job is to guard me, keep me from getting out of the sack without assistance. Not exactly a thrilling gig but it pays well In treats and pats. What, you think we give her greenbacks? PUH-leeze. She’d spend it all at the
corner dive hitting up the barkeep for another round of catnip FOR THE HOUSE! She’s very generous, too much so, when she’s stoned. Luckily, there are no valerian root dens in the neighborhood—she’d be nodding out there all the damn time.

Today should be more interesting for her. Between my surgery addiction (and subsequent rehabs) and Plague45, I haven’t been able to take her for her annual vet appointments in a couple years (yes, I feel guilty but, then, when don’t I?). Today’s the big day. Jen (her second favorite human) will be taking her in. Yes, I’m worried—she’s never gone to the doctor without me. Are they still doing the human-waits-in-car—staff-picks-up-beloved-therapy-pet (n.b.:ALL pets are therapy pets)-and-brings-her/him-back-afterward thing?

What if she, Coco, gets scared?

  • Will they give her a treat?
  • Will they pat her and skritch under her chin for being such a good patient?
  • Will she be anxiety hurling and peeing in the car on the way home (royally smelling up Jen’s boat (AKA car) on a 90º day when her AC is busted)?
Side note: why does the AC never break in the cooler months? Oh wait, I know! It’s not that it never breaks in April, it’s just that I don’t need to turn it on then. Hence, I don’t notice until I start it up at the end of June when temps enter the 80ºs. Nevermind.

I should prolly insist the vet let Jen come into the exam room to hold Coco’s paw, huh? You betcha!  Plus, Jen should make the vet show her vax certificate before going into that tiny, tiny room too—eh?

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.
~ Albert Schweitzer 

TRUTH!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

I Have More Questions

How come there are Dad jokes but no Mom jokes? I call bullshit! Oh wait, is it because all the Mom jokes are too filthy to print in a family newspaper?  Probably. (remember newspapers? Ink on paper. Damn, I’m old).

What about post-menopause woman jokes made by us post-menopausal chicklettes? We may be grumpy and cranky as motherfucking hell but we’re funny—goddamn it.

Remember Chiclets? Do they still exist? Ah no BUT they’ve been replaced by something that looks, suspiciously, exactly the same—Chicle Chews. 

Speaking of Hell, is it really a grumpy place?  Looking at the show Lucifer, I’d have to give that a resounding NON! As soon as I can leave the house and make it over all the ups and downs of Jen and Oni’s place, we’ll get to watch the current season. OK, ok, he left Hell ‘cause he was bored but it took him a long time to get to that point. Ya know?!

If proclaiming something ‘awesome’ or ‘cool’ is OK, why does the exclamation ‘smashing’ come off so out-of-date, cheezy and trying-too-hard? Would smashing be more on par with ‘groovy?’ If smashing is dated like groovy, isn’t awesome as well?  OR has awesome become part of the standard vernacular? I’ve one hell of a time keeping up with the slang—old and new. Fuck man, I still don’t know what ‘woke’ means.

Christopher Pike
—BEST Star Trek captain (as seen on Discovery) or ‘nah?’ I vote ‘HELLS yes he is!’

I’m fucking 62 years old and just discovering the wonder and joy of loofahs and body poufs versus washcloths. I prefer the poufs but they’re plastic. Are made-from-recycled-plastic ones available? Oh, YES they are! Scroll and check out the teal/cobalt blue combo. That’s TOTALLY my next online buy.

Even though I now, generally, write ideas and shit down when I think of them (knowing it’ll slip outta my bean if I don’t), WHY is it that I just write down one word? Am I a fucking mind reader? Yeah, I ‘hear’ you—it’s your own mind though, Donna? Fer instance, I put ‘red’ in a Notes doc—nothing else—just ‘red.’ ‘The fucks THAT supposed to mean?

OR

  • Was I gonna launch into a rant/comment about Red Hats? Always a possibility. Ya know. seeing the MAGAt screamer on someone’s head tells me, right quick, that they’re not intelligent or mature enough to get on this here ride. Saves time and excess annoyance.

Has the phrase ‘avoid it/that/him/her like the plague’ become a lefty, liberal, partisan expression now? Seems so given that 98% to 99% of the Americans dying of the coronavirus are unvaccinated.  I guess it’s the hip thing amongst the GQP to not avoid the plague and die for their party. You don’t need to remind me to never set foot in a red state.

On that note, are all dentists Republicans? That is, members of the Death Cult. I ask because I’m gonna need to have a broken back tooth removed soon. Crazies like Rand Paul and Paul Gosar aren’t exactly making the dental profession look intelligent or sane.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Last Night

I had the strangest dream. 

I dreamed that I was urgently trying to get to my therapists office. So much so that I hired a cab to get me there. This was a rare Sunday appointment.

Unlike reality, her office was in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, a hipstery part of town—at least it was until Davis Square in Somerville took the crown. In my dream the roads were even more snakey and snaggley than in real life. ALL too easy to get lost, which my taxi driver handily did.

Time passed—too much time. I GOT that I’d never make it for even a short sliver of my session. Not only that but I got a snippy voice message from my shrinker. Two things which give away the whole I'm sleeping bit:

A) Stella is NEVER snippy with me.
B) Guess I still had hearing in this nighttime movie-ola.

The other fucked up bit is that, I opened my wallet and had ZERO spondulix to pay the cabbie. Oops. We hunted for an ATM, specifically one in a bodega. Why? Perhaps Taxi Man and me needed soda and a bag of chips after all this Lost in America biz? Finally found one. While I ran in, the driver got into a near banjaxing wreck…in a parking lot (which don’t actually exist in JP). ‘the fuck! That takes serious skill.

The car, now a twisted metal sculpture of its former self, astoundingly still ran and so did we. At this point, I’d given up on my shrink session and was gonna head back home. At that moment though, I got a call from a friend who lived nearby. Her and her wife were having a party and wanted me to come. Yea!

Cab Man and I would be the only hets but then sitting in the backseat, appearing like magic, was Hillary Rodham Clinton and her girlfriend (yes, in my dream she was gay). I asked if they’d like to join us and it was off we went to Partyville I recall thinking that me and Cab Man wouldn’t stand out so much as the only hets—we’d stand behind HRC and her pal. They’d give us cover. What? Were the ferocious lesbians going to bite?

Yes it was my pal’s party. Yes, she knew which team I play on. WHAT?

Socially awkward and insecure? Who…me? You betcha!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday Bits

First—I dreamed that I was out clothes shopping with and for Paul Simon. We were at some sort of Christmas Bazaar in Dublin, looking, mostly, for warm, winter outerwear. I picked out a deep, forest green suede vest, lined with felted sheepskin. He loved it—I was given free rein to snatch up whatever I thought he’d rock.

The fuck’s this all about? Is this just some random shit or is there deep meaning here? Hell if I know.

Second—doesn’t that look like the former guy on Frida Kahlo’s shoulder? Yeah, gross,

An enormous new book from Taschen explores the life and work of famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954). (Source)
Yes, I would totally LURV to have this book but Taschen art books are notoriously expensive. Also too, I live in a small cottage—it’s not like I have a library with a coffee/book display table.

Third—you know we’ve broken the planet when Ballywatticock (just south of Belfast), in temperate Northern Ireland, is close to 90º. This is obscene.

By the way, the name Ballywatticock? It’s adapted from the Irish, of bloody course—baile meaning ‘townland.’ Uaitecoc, supposedly, translates as ‘with a big thermometer.” Seems a little too spot on to me given the article’s content. Hmmmm?

Shit’s gotten real in Edmonton, Alberta and the U.S. NorthWest too.

Fourth—Cleanliness is next to Bastliness. I miss standing up to shower. With the partial return of my energy levels though, I’m doing better at the sit down, scrub and don’t fall over schtick. Even so, showers totally count as exercise. Even more intense exercise? Getting dressed, post bathing, is a bitch and a half. There’s the struggle to get my lame limb into the pant leg and then there’s the dicey balancing act of standing to pull up those pants. There’s putting the T on over a still damp head and torso. I’m not EVEN gonna talk about socks! That’s some motherfucking, sweaty work. Believe it!

I wish I had the dexterity (and lack of self consciousness) that Coco rocks. She can bathe anywhere, anytime and always cleans between her toes. My kitten doesn’t need to put on a smart suit afterwards—she’s already wearing one.

Fifth—Christ on a fluffy cloud, yesterday was gorgeous! 79º, a little cloudy but just enough to keep the heat down AND there was a light sea breeze. I sat out on the porch, drinking it all in, while I read.

Here’s something I didn’t expect—after spending SO damn much of the past four months inside (a significant portion of that time in bed) I was unprepared for that light and lovely sea breeze, the view of the endless ocean (broken up by the harbor islands), the skyscraper tall trees and the pale blue sky—much farther up than the ceiling in my cozy bedroom. I felt like an alien—a stranger in a strange land.

It was freaky mes amis, def odd. I lasted two hours before retreating to my bedroom hidey hole.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Confidence

Dawn view from Nut Island. Taken by Ten on his morning walk

After yesterday’s high stakes, exhausting physical therapy (along with other successful, cheeky exploits), I’m feeling a touch  more confident. I WILL, fuckin’ A, get my left leg’s use back. NO I’ll never run a five minute mile but then, that was never in the stars anyhow. C’mon, in my fittest years, a truly slow jog would’ve been impressive. Any faster and the ice sloshes out of the cocktail glass, don’cha know.

Why do I feel this fresh certainty? The PTs are giving me more challenging exercises and, while I can’t do them
perfectly, with beaucoup flair yet, I AM able to rise to the challenge. 

Also, weirdly, I’m drinking a LOT (not enough yet but I’ll get there) more water and somehow that’s boosting my mood as well. Perhaps the increased fluid intake is related to the better performance?

So, I’m a little sore this morning but feeling more encouraged, confident and upbeat than I have in months.

This is good. I’m tempted to make plans (weekend in the Berkshires in September) and set dates (I’ll walk without that fucking brace by August’s end) but then I remember to rein in my impatient exuberance.

I’ll get to the Berkshires (and back to Iceland). I WILL walk without the brace (but I’ll still need the walker). I WILL be able to perform my morning and evening ablutions without a trained team of spotters—just not (probably) by the end of this month. Mobile joy-joyness WILL happen but I’ll jinx myself, set myself up for a big sad, if I set a timeline. I have a nasty tendency to get all unrealistic and shortsighted like that.

Another way that yesterday was a happy day, I got a confirmation email. All the books I ordered have shipped. YEA! I should be in silly sci-fi thriller land soon. That’s just what I need.

Believe you can and you're halfway there.
~ Theodore Roosevelt 

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.
~ J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan