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Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Visit

Hillel and Dino
SNOW! Not a lot but we haven’t had naught but a minuscule, passing flurry at home. All week the weather reports for around these parts have been full of warnings of the COMING STORMS.

Now then, I lived through Snowmaggedon four years ago. I’m kinda jaded. I’m not gonna freak and fret until there’s six feet of white stuff on the ground and six more due by end of day. Granted, I still have episodes of PTSD (Post Traumatic Snow Disorder). I’m thrilled, actually, that Hillel and I have been spared the slings and arrows of outrageous blizzard-dom.

It’s pretty.
The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches.
~ e.e. cummings
So, how’s the visit with Daddy going? We had a rough start. He’s angry and when Daddy’s angry EVERYONE feels his Asmodean wrath, even yurs truly. Why is he angry? Well, boyhowdy, he’s living in a new place AGAIN, none of his stuff (or precious little of it) is around him,  he’s getting used to new healthcare staff, a new roommate…new EVERYTHING. He’s not home. He’s afraid. Fear and panic turn into a protective cloak of rage. I can dig it. I am, after-all, my father’s daughter.

Now, the new joint, from what I saw yesterday, is a fabuloso improvement over where he was before. It’s big and there’re a lot of lounge type areas (so a visit can be elsewhere than in the bedroom). There’s plenty of attentive staff. The food looks better. Ultimately, I think this is a good move BUT there’s an adjustment period to be lived through. I put up a couple of his pictures yesterday and will see if there’s more I can do to comfy-up the place today.

The Old Man’s not eating much of anything. He says he prefers drinking his food, it’s easier on him. He kept asking where Carol was with his eggnog milkshake. Eggnog milkshake? //shudder// Such a thing exists? I texted my older sister and she gave me the 411. We went out, got it and, like magic, he was calmed. He was more his old, outrageously sparkly self in yesterday’s visit 2.0.

Later this morning, Hillel and I will be sure to stop, on our way in, for a BIG eggnog shake (maybe two) for him.

We were stone fried and exhausted afterward so, instead of hitting the Japanese joint for a sushi fest, we came back to the hotel and it’s supposedly first rate restaurant/lounge.

Word to the wise, do NOT order a mixed adult bev in rural Western Pennsylvania (or rural anywhere I suppose). We had our hearts set on hot toddies. Ya know what the barkeep gave us? Cups of hot water, Lipton tea bags (‘the fuck???) and a shot.

Just FY-fucking-I, hot toddies are:
  • 1 oz bourbon (or Jamo, I prefer Jamo – I know, yur stunned)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (Jen puts in a three cloved lemon wedge instead)
  • 1/4 cup boiling-hot water
This isn’t the first time, here in rural America, that I’ve asked for a standard cocktail and gotten some strange-ass, child’s idea of a concoction instead.

Tonight, if I must have a toddy (and I suspect this will be the case), I’ll sit at the bar and ask the mixmaster how he/she crafts them. Yes, I will make every effort to do this without sounding like a condescending, asswipian, elitest urban tool.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Zooma, Zooma, Zoom

Heading out in a few minutes for the airport. Hillel and I are off to see Daddy In his new rural Pennsylvania digs. The joint came highly recommended (both on line and by people I know who've actually stayed there) BUT all change is hard, even positive change.

Why? Because we're awfully, bloody human. THAT's why!

So, my bags are packed, I'm sorta, kinda ready to go. I'm as prepared as I can be for the long TSA lines, predicted snow storms and doing my damnedest to cheer Pop up.


Friday, January 18, 2019


I had my post-left eyeball, laser surgery appointment yesterday morning. The good doc dilated my peeper and pronounced me happily, beautifully successfully, wonderfully healing and DONE. Yea!

Today I am STILL tired to a preposterous degree. Warum? I ASK you! War-fucking-um!?

I suppose it’s that I’ve now, officially, completed my surgery-a-thon year (four…or was it five, eye procedures, and, of course, my spine – the cherry and weeds on top of the OR sundae). I still have a few more post-surgery follow ups BUT these are so, you’re still doing great? AWESOME! visits versus you’re not outta the woods yet and I’m concerned appointments.

I can breathe out now. Finally.

With rehab's advent I’m at the dawn of reentry into Strengthville. Ya know, I’m amazed at how much pain these VERY simple exercises inspire. I look forward to when I’m just a good tired afterward.

I keep thinking about The Amazing Bob and how, in his last few years or so, we were in and out of MGH almost every week – more. If lucky, it was for a simple check up or follow up appointment. If not, it was for fresh surgeries – heart, prostate, arterial crap – and/or chemo.

Upon arriving home yesterday,
Coco sternly insisted I lay down and take a break.
I did.
He was SO damn tired of/mega exhausted from his body's frequent crap-outs.

I was the keeper of his schedule. He’d ask me, at the weekend, what appointments do I have this next week. I’d check and, on the rare occasion when I was able to tell him, NONE, we’re not going into MGH this week, he’d be beyond thrilled. Naturally, this called for a trip to Saint Fratelli’s for celebratory CAKE. Of course it did.

This past year I’ve found myself occupying the same place. I check my calendar and inwardly sigh, wicked heavily, when I see more than one appointment listed. Jumping through all these damn health hoops is, just in case you weren’t sure, molto enervating.

I hope that I helped TAB to not feel hopeless. I hope that I provided distraction and was a soothing balm. Jen and Ten play that role for me now.

My next MGH/MEEI/Spaulding Rehab-free week is in one month. That very same week, Jen and I will fly to Iceland for a couple of luxurious and much needed days in the quiet geothermal heated pool of the Silica Hotel. If the weather’s not terribly vile we’ll take a hike or two in the surrounding hills. Maybe we’ll take a bus into Reykjavik for some gallery hopping. Possibly, we’ll do nothing but float in the warm, mineral enriched water with the snow gently dusting down on us.
I need this. I deserve this.

By the by, my stone stylin’ eye surgeon, Doctor Emma Davies, had on shimmery (practically disco-ish! FAB!) grey tights yesterday with THE most adorbs muted, pale pink velvet, high heeled Mary Janes. Honestly, between her brains, scalpel skills, upbeat, fun demeanor and fashion sense, she may well be my fave cutter.

Exhaustion is temporary.

Pain is temporary.

 CAKE however is forever. OK…not but there is always more CAKE to be had.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Button, button who's got one?

I went into the relatively close by discount fabric shop yesterday. I don’t sew. I barely mend BUT I needed a button for my winter coat. The one that’d been on there had lost all of its paste and glass jewels. Having found the original five years ago (at least) in a discontinued items bin, I didn’t expect I’d find the same exact type.

That was gonna be OK. I didn’t need to stay faithful to original style AND I don’t focus on having my buttons (or socks or earrings or anything ‘cept maybe my shoes) match. I was just looking for another fun item. The limitation was that the originals were BIG. These are some econo sized buttonholes.
The coat had been my stylin’ Aunt Mary Ann’s – she gave it to me a few years before she died. It was her fave winter wrap back in the 60s. Aside from needing buttons, it’s in fabulous shape – the woman took awesome care of her belongings!

In any case, I walked into the joint and was instantly blown away by all the bolts of alluring, magic cloth. I wanted to touch everything — feel the satins, faux furs, laces under my fingertips. Also too, such dazzling colors!
I really wish I’d paid more attention in Home Ec. now. Standing there I was struck by all the exciting, creatively fun and beautiful outfits I coulda been crafting for myself over all these long years.

Why wasn’t I a Home Ec Honey? I was pissed at being shunted into cooking and sewing because of my, ya know, vagina-ness. Boys got to take “shop” where they worked with wood and made cool shit (or so I thought anyway). Why couldn’t I take shop? NO FAIRS!

Also too, I was in a class taught by some Nixon-ite uptight twat with an Aquanetted helmet of hair, doubtless more durable than the football team’s gear. I simply could NOT relate. Creativity was NOT an option but then this was the very early ‘70s and we were living in tiny coal town (with an, at that time, small college where my father taught) Western Pennsylvania. I believe, at least in the junior high there, it was still the ‘50s — at latest.

Had the teacher been even a teensy bit hip or just not such a relic of tiny-box-republican-constrained-femininity I might have seen the exciting, creative wonder, beauty and glory of creating stuff out of cloth and yarn.

Meanwhile in the here and now of the discount fabric store, I didn’t find any large and amazing buttons. Their jumble bin was gone. Still, I managed to lay my hands on some interesting bits that, with a little string and strong glue, could become cool as fuck buttons.

It may be too late for me to become a Fabric Queen but I can create my own cool sculptural button anyway.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

As Usual

I overdid it yetsterday. I had work, mega errands to run AND my first real day of rehab (last week’s appointment was just for eval). I thought I was gonna be AOK but no. This morning I'm in Back Pain City. Good thing Nurses Coco AND Jen are on the job! Coco's laying on my lap purring (so's I CAN'T move and aggravate my barkin' back) and Jen just brought over brekkie. SUCH luxury!

About Nurse Coco – It’s winter so she can generally be found in her high castle (lined with The Amazing Bob’s old Polartec vest). Yes, it looks like a tight squeeze up there but, like all cats she’s able to curl herself into an ouroborosian bracelet and voilà, perfect fit.

In addition to TAB’s toasty thermal vests, our girl is real keen on his heavy, sherpa-lined hoodie AND my new wool sweater. If I put hoodie or sweater down on the bed, within hours (at most) they become hers. It’s indisputable. I’d like my sweater back but,,,ya know, she can’t be shifted. I have a fabulous, fluffy, fleecy wrap, it’s sweater-ish, right? She’s nae interested. Spare fuzzy blankets? Nope. Freshly folded laundry?

Ya’d think that’d be the cozy warmth equivalent of catnip, right? Nopereeno.

The girl has very specific tastes in both bedding and food.

I ran out of her Fancy Feast yesterday so she got people tuna for supper. Cool right?  Yeah sure, but this morning she was all, Meh, I’m SO over tuna. Hmmph.

Now, in the morning, if she’s not already chillin’ on my previously sleeping self, she’ll be in her royal aerie, sitting up, patiently waiting for me to carry her aristo-ass downstairs for brekkie.
Side bit: Carrying cats – it's what I do. When your happy Valhallan’s lived in that bedraggled East Cambridge triple decker, TAB and I were temporarily cat-less. I know, THE HORRAH! It was OK though. Jen and Oni were right upstairs with Thelma and Rosie. Often we’d leave our doors open so the old girls could shuttle between our apartments at will. Ya know, they’d need to check out which pad had better treats or was best able to sit and cat cosset OR leave them the fuck alone so's they could meditate on dust motes and shit. Yep, the two of them had it made. Rosie, in particular, had me in her thrall. She knew a total cat doormat when she saw one.
 Don’t we ALL deserve to be spoiled just a teensy bit, here and there?

The answer? Yes. Yes we do. (‘cept for the Trump Crime Family – they’ve all already been indulged to the point of putrid decay)

Jen’s been pampering the ever livin’ crap outta me (always but especially) during this year’s eye surgery-a-thon and the back recovery. Lately, because I’m the Empress of Overdoing It, I’m often in bed, on the heating pad, reading when she gets home from work. She comes over with a glass ‘o’ the grape OR a hot toddy (SUCH hedonistic bliss!) and we talk about our respective days, cats, upcoming hols and our plans for world domination. Of course.

I only mention it BUT a lucky old broad (me fer instance) could get used to this real fast.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Cursing for Creatives

It’s very important, in this age of insanity, to keep a fine, creative stock of insults at the ready. It’s smart to look beyond our own shores too. For starters, there's no reason for me to limit my palette to American English. After all, the whole world (with the possible exception of countries ruled by murderous dictators who our Republican/Fascist not-ready-for-prime-time Prez envies), is laughing at us now (when they’re not in a state of complete horror).

Fer instance:
Regarding the special dinner he gave to honor Clemson University’s football team, I gotta go with English English

The naff (tacky) prat (idiot/asshole) thought serving corpse-warm McDonald’s cheeseburgers was a classy move and probably the food they like anyway. But they were served in candlelight and on silver platters and I was there! What a mingebaggy (a bad person, a cheap asshole) chav (white trash).
As the Irish might say of him níl tada níos measa na bód ina seasamh. There's nothing worse than a standing prick.
...possibly the most insulting sentence you can say to or about someone - The more casually you say it, the more offensive it is. (source)
Works for me!

The Dutch have the perfect word for Preznint Tiny Hands widely reported minikin package, Mierenneuker.
This word is composed of “mieren” (“ants”) and “neuker” – derived from “neuken”. Originally “neuken” meant “to knock / thrust” but is currently only known in its translation of “to fuck." (source)
So then – Antfucker.
I wish that egomaniacal, tangerine hued mierenneuker would quit and move in with his Moscow man crush.
Que te folle un tiburón – Spanish. I hope you get fucked by a shark. PERFECT for the shark fearing Tantrum Tangelo in the WH.

For that clueless, motherfucking racist in Iowa – I’d like to tell him, me cago en la leche! Spanish for I shit in the milk. (*snicker, snicker*) And të qifsha të bardhët e syve! Albanian for fuck your eye whites, (not the pupils, JUST the white of your eyes you bigoted, asswipian blowhard!). AND I want to tell him to caccati in mano e prenditi a schiaffi! Take a dump in your (his own) hand and then slap yourself.

I’d like to ask the Velveeta Vulgarian’s chief enabler, Dense Pence, sais-tu combien de temps ta mère prend pour chier? Neuf mois! French for, do you know how long it takes your mom to take a shit? Nine months!

There's Turtle (AKA wáng bā dàn) McConnell, who is nothing more than a boon chon doi. In Malaysia, this is a man who walks behind his boss, reaching through his legs to support his balls. That's the Dense One too, now that I think on it.

I’d like to tell Stephen Miller, Captain Chaos’s bigoted, border wall obsessed advisor, at the very least sǐ yú yǎn.
Explained by a Chinese Person: You have the eyes of a dead fish.
What it means in English: Your eyes are as expressionless and soulless as a dead fish. (source)
Dude’s just 33 years old and looks like a worn out old, angry, small town drunk – one who’s routinely banned from even the skeeviest of local dive bars for being too much of an asstoad.   

There's a wealth of good and mega applicable slams to be. I must continue my research!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Nod Conundrums

My dreams aren't magical communiques, chimerical alerts or directive missives from the great beyond. Also too, they aren’t windows into anyone else’s state of being ‘cept my own. I GOTTA remember this!

I had a one last night about a man I knew a long-ass time ago. We were friends with bennies before there was a name for that sort of thing. He was very nice AND, bonus, handsome but I had a hard time taking him seriously.

Ya see, Tim was a serial marrying man. His life’s guiding principle, his credo seemed to be Don’t just date a woman, don’t just cohabitate, GET MARRIED.

I never understood this but then, I wouldn’t. The Amazing Bob and I shacked up (in molto happy SIN!) for the first half of our 30 year love fest. My choice – signing on the dotted line triggers my Mariana Trench deep relationship claustrophobia. I.e., I’m in this deal because I love, respect and just, like totally man, dig the dude NOT because I signed some dogdamned legal paperwork. DO NOT tell me I have to be here – I'm here because I wanna be!

Back to the dream though Tim was still on wife #2 and desperately sad (#2 had, in real life too, a Come-To-Mormon-Jesus experience – complete with the sexy magic Mormon Jesus underwear). He and I’d hooked up but it just seemed utterly pointless (sad sex is SO sad!) – so much so that I woke up.

It’s only now (Christ I'm slow!) occurred to me that his connubiality habit may well be based in looking for happiness in fairy tale ideas of marriage versus finding that spark within his own self. SHE will provide me with bliss and inner peace AND she can’t leave because this is all legally-beagally and shit.

Huh. Big sad frowny face, if that’s his scoop.

I wonder, of course, how Tim’s doing? Is he OK? AGAIN I remind myself that my nocturnal moviolas aren’t telescopes into anyone else’s bean ‘cept my own. Maybe I just kind of miss him as a friend? Despite being a bit of an over the top romantic, he could be fun. FYI, fun is good.

Is that why I dreamt about him? The unhappy marriage thing ain't about me – I’m not in one. TAB’s gone (gottverdamm!) and, while he was here, we were Bliss City. Ten, who I'm totes wild about, is 3,000 miles away – this didn't feel like it was about him/us. My Home World is cool, apart from too much work on my plate. Freelance – there's a fine line between too much and too little work in house.

So, re: Land of Nod time, wut up?

Could it be that somewhere, on a back channel of my mind, I’m worried about Tim? Has marriage #5 hit an iceberg? OR, quite possibly, Tim’s a stand in, a place holder, for someone else.


Got me hangin.’ I hate when I can't figure this shit out.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Is It Safe?

Last week was…we’ll call it “challenging.”
  • I finally began my post spine surgery rehab. (I like my PT, BTW).
  • On Wednesday, I had my two month post-surgery follow up. Despite the dastardly cold, my fabulous cutter feels I’m actually more active than he typically sees at this point in recovery. (and here, I thought my impression of a comatose slug was just magnifico!)
  • Also, on Wednesday, I had my hearing aid looked at. It’s healthy and will last another year or two (and NO worries about cost as my current insurance WILL actually cover it!!!!)
  • Thursday’s eye laser procedure (YAG laser capsulotomy  – what a name! AND 'the fuck does YAG stand for?) went very well. Three days after, NO issues or complications at all.
  • And on Friday I got a few new design/layout jobs – freelanceville (i.e., my paycheck) is heating up again. Yea! Financial worries are calming down.
So, I’m patting myself on the head for successfully clearing this lot of hurdles.

But what about this coming week? Eh, nothing terribly worrisome apart from flying out on Saturday  morning to visit Daddy in Western Pennsylvania.

Flying – you betchyur ass I’m concerned. With the Tangerine Terrorist’s temper tantrum government shutdown, is it safe to fly?

If it’s only a matter of longer, slower TSA lines due to the wholly understandable sickouts, we’ll deal. (Hillel’s going with me) We’ll bring extra books – some escapist stuff (yeah, like I ever read anything else //snort//). I’ll hit the library later this week and see if I can find Chuck Wendig’s Mockingbird (2nd in the fabola Miriam Black series) AND I gotta bookmark his way fun blog too .

Possibly I’ll find Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach too. It’s been favorably compared to Joss Whedon’s Firefly which I totes LOVED. 

Maybe  I’ll pick up one of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye installments.

And this one,  Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines seems right up my nerderific alley.
In Hines’ world, a select group of magicians can pull anything out of a book and make it real. Including “sparkle vampires” from Twilight, and various other items from books. The result is a ridiculously geeky story about people who spend way too much time obsessing about science fiction and fantasy books—except for them, it’s a source of immense power. (And responsibility.) (source)
So, I think I’ll be all set for long lines and flight delays but should I be worried about safety? Like NOT falling outta the sky and going  boom and splat?

Captain Joe DePete, President of the Air Line Pilots Association, International sent the steaming pile of rabid weasel feces who’s occupying the Oval Office an official Cut The Shit, Man letter. He says the shutdown is "adversely affecting the safety, security and efficiency of our national airspace system.”

Tom Bunn, a therapist and airline captain, on the other hand, says not to worry – fliers are safe.

I haven’t seen Poppy since early November's fab visit. Since then, he’s moved into a new, highly recommended pro-nursing set up. Transitions are difficult for us all and I wish I could’ve been there with him for this one. It’s important to me to get down there now that I’ve recovered sufficiently from my surgical dust ups.

I don’t know what to think (vis-à-vis safety). What do you think?