Thursday, February 04, 2016

E Is For Endurance

Here's a short list of a few things which tax my Endurance. They require that I Soldier On gamely and mightily, often times with more Good Nature than I truly feel.

1. My Hair
2. Presidential Primary Season
3. Chapped Lips
4. Rick's Windshield Wiper Behaviour
5. Downton Abbey's Final Season

Please find something to grip tightly and To Steady Yourself, and allow me to Explain.

1. Something has happened to my hair in the past year or two, rendering it limply soft and Completely Impossible. There is no shampoo, no gel, no spray, no hair mucilage invented that can make my hair do a damn thing. Additionally, it is (cue horror movie music) Growing Out, which means it is Completely Awful and an Endurance Test each time I try to, oh, let's any damn thing "with" or "to" it. Thank you to anyone who is crying empathetically whilst reading this.

2. We are now in Year Eleventy of the Presidential Primary Season, and I could throw up. Again. After ramming DTrump down our collective gullets for months and months, pollsters and pundits and news anchors are now gleefully performing gory post mortems on his Primary Corpse. After one primary. In Iowa. Listen, I'd be thrilled if we really could lay TheDonald to rest for real, but come on. One primary. And it was a caucus, which is like a coffee klatch, really. Is it okay if, oh, I don't know, THE REST OF THE COUNTRY HAS AN ELECTION? WITH REAL VOTES/BALLOTS AND SUPER DELEGATES AND STUFF? When is the country going to finally have one primary election date and stop this staggered primary voting? It's insane, and more than we should ever Endure.

3. This has been the mildest winter in years (NEO had temps in the 60's yesterday!), but I am Enduring the worst case of Chapped Lips in decades. Nance, you say, have you tried Burt's Bees, Carmex, Vaseline, olive oil, Blistex in a million varieties, and scrubbing at them with a washcloth? Oh, ha ha; it is to laugh. But of course I have. I have even tried the Super Duper All-Natural Remedy of Plain Honey. Here is what is working the best: None of them. None of them is working.

4. I am going to stop riding in any car with Rick when it rains because he cannot handle the windshield wipers. As soon as it stops raining, or if the rain lessens, that does not matter in the least; the wipers must still be employed continuously as before, even if they are screeching across a completely dry window. This is His Rule, apparently, and it is Consistently Applied. I have tried to Endure this with Extreme Patience And Silence. Believe me; I have. It is Impossible. After many minutes, I completely Lose It. "PLEASE TURN OFF THE WIPERS OR I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF/JUMP OUT OF THIS CAR/SCREAM MY BLOODY HEAD OFF!", is what I usually say if I don't simply reach over in a lather and shut them off myself.

5. How can PBS and creator/writer Julian Fellowes do this to me? That this is Downton Abbey's final season is too much to Endure! Why do all of My Shows end up gone but terrible and awful shows seem to go on forever and forever and forever? I've become a DA junkie. I've started watching each episode twice a week: once on Sundays, then again midweek when it's offered, savouring each little character moment, each costume, each British-accented word. Oh, how I'll miss it. And nothing--nothing--can take its place.

Oh, darlings.  What do you think?  And what are you currently Enduring?


  1. I'm sorry your hair is betraying you. My hair has always been uncooperative. May I suggest that you adopt a devil-may-care attitude about it when fussing with it. The more it thinks you don't care, the more it'll do what you really want it to do. Really.

    My go-to product for chapped lips is Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. It comes in a small tube that lasts forever-- and when not using it on my lips I apply a dab on my cuticles. I buy it at Nordstrom, but some bigger cities have Kiehl's stores in malls.

    I have enjoyed Downton Abbey but will admit that I'm kind of over it. I know, blasphemy coming from an English major. But as long as Lady Edith finds romance in the end, I'll be able to put DA behind me a sigh of contentment.

    1. Ally Bean--I like your Attitude. I may expand upon it liberally and actually berate my hair as I am blowdrying it. What have I got to lose at this stage? Nothing.

      I will look for Kiehls, but I am awfully cheap. If it is pricey, chances are I won't spring for it, but continue to suffer and wallow and bitch. The Retail N-word, "Nordstrom's" is my clue.

      DA is not the exclusive ward of English majors/teachers; even Rick, my carpenter-construction husband is a regular and enthusiastic viewer. And I can see where lots of people can be Over It. Sometimes a long-running show can become Tiresome or Vapid. I, too, do like Edith far more than Mary, whose attraction escapes me overall. Now, Mrs. Patmore--I do enjoy her!

  2. 1. Hair: it’s there. And that’s the problem. Back when I wanted to be a nun, one of the major advantages that occurred to me was never having to decide about what to wear or if you were having a bad hair day.

    2. When is this country going to limit elections to a six-week process like other countries instead of a 2-year circus costing billions? (Answer: Never. There is too much money to be made.) The whole stinking process is so much more unbearable when there are so many odious candidates. Also scary.

    3. Chapped Lips. Well... I am stumped. Hope this clears up soon!

    4. Windshield Wipers: How funny. Mr. O. does exactly the opposite. It has to be a torrential downpour before he even considers putting the wipers on. He also does not know that cars have de-foggers, and wipes his hand across the misted windshield every now and then. Will not wear sunglasses when the sun is glaring directly in his eyes. Waits until the last few seconds to change lanes to get off the freeway. Most of this makes me crazy. Except for the last one: the other day, I almost threw up from fright. I just knew we were headed for hell in a large handbasket.

    5. D.A. -- You won’t believe this, but I have only watched part of one episode. I will have to buy the luxury full series set one day and just binge watch. Or taste a bit at a time.

    6. What am I enduring? Lately, putting up with the other 4 comatose members of the HOA Board where I live. If I did not organize stuff and get their butts in gear, *nothing* would ever get done. And I would not even be on the Board except that a whole new group was up for election about a year and a half ago, and if I had not stood up as a candidate, each of the 4 people standing would have been elected. And one of them is a nut case who would have driven *everyone* to distraction. I have my resignation letter already written, however. Soon as we get the new management company up and running and get a new roof on all the condos... I am so outta there. It’s bad enough dealing with student complaints. Having to listen to adult complaints from all the owners when it ain't my fault that the others are such sloths--- and I don’t even get paid for this abuse--- well, not really.

    1. Ortizzle--If only Growing Out meant I could pull it all back soon in one ponytail, which I would gladly do! Alas, decades of Migraines make it impossible. Do you think we could make Wimples the new fashion statement? IF ONLY!

      RE: wipers. My, yes. Rick will certainly wait until *I* express a distinct need for visibility out of MY side of the windshield, and then he will snap them into life. Trust me; I wait as long as is humanly possible, considering that they will not be turned off for several years, and then only by me or after an Emotional Breakdown (again By Me). Lane Changing is also another Endurance Test. Why is this such A Thing!? Grrrrr.

      I continue to be intrigued by HOA bodies. It has to be a hugely thankless job, yet so important. I cannot imagine being involved, but understand why one would be. It is like deciding to be Department Head in order to save yourself from getting a lousy schedule and poor representation administratively, I guess. But, ugh.

      Nice to see you here, btw. Hope this means you are not snowed under at skool.

  3. Hair: I feel your pain. I am also growing out, even though I am probably far too old to have long hair, I say to hell with convention, it's still mostly dark brown, and I want long hair again. It's at the point where it can only be kept out of my eyes by using a headband. Not very stylish.

    Election season: I'm afraid to watch the Today show since the morning I got a triple dose of horror--Trump, Cruz and Palin. What have we come to when the least objectionable Republican is our union-hating Ohio Governor, John Kasich? I'll vote for the Democrat, but I wish it was going to be Elizabeth Warren.

    chapped lips: my problem is chapped hands. I have a nasty split in my right thumb that requires liquid bandage. Anyone know of a good hand cream?

    Windshield wipers: I got nuthin'.

    Downton Abbey: the TV up and died on me, and while sweet nephew Jeff was setting it up, he informed me it was a "smart" TV, and what was my Amazon Prime password? I had never watched Downton, but if streaming is free, well...I'm hooked. Can't really get the hang of true binge watching, so I'm only part way through the second season, and it's WWI, and I've gotten VERY attached to Matthew...don't tell me, ok?

    1. fauxprof--Lovely to see you here again! I hope you are doing well.

      Oh, who cares how old we are? If at 56 I want to have longer hair again, I'm going to do it. I don't think those Olde Rules really apply anymore, if they ever did. You go right ahead, too.

      Listen, I can't ever watch much of the Today show because it's nothing but all of them heehawing like a bunch of donkeys, no matter what the topic is. The topic is always turned around to be About Them, anyway, so it's even more reprehensible and insulting. And Matt Lauer is...icky.

      Chapped hands? Have I got a product for you! Here it is. Or, you can get this. Of the two, I have used the former, but have heard good things about the latter. I see that BB makes a lip balm, too. Hmmmmm.

      Oh, do enjoy and savour your seasons of DA. I envy you, seeing it all for the First Time like that. Such fun! No spoilers here. I would never.

    2. The answer to skin splits is Superglue. I learned it from my manicurist once upon a time, as I get splits in my fingers every winter and they hurt like hell when you touch anything. I usually use it after I take a shower in the evening. Make sure the skin is soft (an after effect from the shower), but really dry (use a kleenex or paper towel), apply a small touch of Superglue, and hold the split closed for a minute. Avoid moisturizer in that spot, and keep your hands dry for a while. Re-apply a small amount of SG as needed over the next day or two. It's been the only thing that ever worked for me, and it made the pain stop almost right away.

      I actually even used it for a huge crack in my lips one winter. Kinda icky, but it worked.

  4. Presidential campaigns are always trying, but this year? I resent Trump taking up any space anywhere, but especially my brain. So I'm missing lots of NPR these days, which is my only news source. And we have close to a year left? Oy!

    1. Rose--I hear you. This is the year I am especially glad NOT to have cable TV. And of all of DTrump's transgressions, his bringing back SPalin is the one I find most Unforgivable. I thought we had finally gotten rid of her. Sigh.

  5. I'm 100% with you on the hair (sounds like we are sharing it), the elections, and chapped lips. We don't have a car so windshield wipers are not an issue, and though I do like Downton Abbey, I just assume that if all else fails, I'll do more reading ...

    1. Bridget--Hi! Honestly, our HAIR! Keep me posted if you find something, anything that works.

      I recently finished the book I talked about in my B Is For Books post, the one about a case of arson and fraud in the California wine industry. I was very encouraged in that it wasn't the terrible slog that I thought it would be (the reading, not the writing). Yet, it did not inspire me to pick up the second book I bought. Baby steps.

  6. 1. Hair:; yep. I'm in a Horrible Place myself right now with no help in sight since I can't seem to find a hairdresser who Gets What I Want. Why this is happening in a country where I speak the language (and it didn't happen in Korea) is beyond me. So I'm growing it out (entirely against my will, but I'm too frightened to try another hairdresser and come home with Crayola Yellow hair or a mullet - both of which more or less have happened in this past year.) It's a dark time.
    2. Presidents. I'll be glad when I have to stop explaining Donald Trump to the English, who are all genuinely puzzled that anyone would consider voting for him. Not that Ted Cruz isn't terrifying in his own way as well.
    3. lips - mine, too. Let me know if you figure out something that fixes them. In the meantime, I just carry Carmex everywhere with me and apply it neurotically about every 9 minutes.
    4. wipers - I wish. MrL doesn't even turn them on unless visibility is near zero. He will drive in what looks to me like a wall of solid water for miles before eventually turning on the wipers.
    5. Downton - A friend of mine recommended War and Peace as a reasonable substitute. If nothing else, you know it's probably going to last for a really long time and the sets are fabulous. I can't confirm this since I've not watched it yet, and I don't even know if it's in the US (assume it is) but it might be at least worth looking into. Also, have you been watching "Dickensian"? (again, don't know if it's in the US, but have to assume it is or will be soon) That might provide some diversion.

    1. Ms.Caroline--One of the reasons I am committed to Growing Out is because I have no hairdresser. And I refuse to get a new one. I am--forgive the expression--Going Rogue.

      As far as explaining anything At Present American to the British, please simply Sigh And Throw Up Your Hands In Dismay. Remind them that American Television is Not Representative of the Country At Large, truly. We are not all watching and emulating Kardashianism, not all supporting DTrump, not all Narrow-Minded Jingoistic Isolationists, and not all listening to country music whilst eating hot dogs and drinking Budweiser. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit as I typed all of That.

      War and Peace does not appeal to me. Too unknown to me (and, yes, I see the irony of this, considering what I just typed). Its setting is not of interest to me. I will click your link to Dickensian, which sounds right up my alley. Thank you.

  7. You do understand that Dad only does that with the wipers because for the better part of my childhood and adolescence, you chided him relentlessly about not running the wipers in a frequent enough increment when it WAS raining. "RICK, HOW CAN YOU SEE!?" was pretty frequently a Front Seat Battle Cry on the way to or from almost any destination. You and I BOTH know that he now runs them full tilt constantly in an effort to retroactively and passively irritate you. It really is kind of genius, when you think about it. I promise he read this blog and got a good chuckle out of it. As did I.


    1. Jared--This is true, sadly. All I want to know is Why can't he drive me satisfactorily to and from destinations without all the unpleasantness? It cannot be Worth It.

  8. Also, Jane Eyre on Netflix is super watchable and does the original novel pretty decent justice. I try to read and or watch Jane Eyre once a year. At some point, and I'm not confident about when, it became one of my all time favorites. Maybe give that a shot. I think Dad might like it, too.

    1. Jared--Thank you for the recommendation, but I believe I have finally overdosed on dear Jane Eyre, a character I have kept steady company with for over 40 years. My first acquaintance with her was when I was about 11 or 12, and I have renewed her acquaintance almost yearly ever since. She started my love affair with the Victorians, bless her, and led me to some truly Great Books.

      If you liked reading Jane Eyre, may I recommend The Odd Women by George Gittings. It is like Jane Eyre on steroids. You can find its complete text online.

      But, if Dad would like Jane on Netflix, I'd watch with him. At least until House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, or the finale of Madmen comes back.

    2. I think you guys should try out Peaky Blinders. I've mentioned this a lot, but you are ignoring it, even given the current dearth of suitable Netflix viewing for you and P-Deezer. Its really awesome, and if you bust ass and watch a bundle of it real fast, you'll be caught up to start season three...AND WE CAN HAVE WATCH PARTIES WITH CHEESE BOARDS AND WINE AND STUFF AND THINGS.

    3. Jared--I know you have mentioned it, and we are really not ignoring it, and it has the very attractive lead actor (whose name I forget and am too lazy to Google--Ciaran something?) in it. We just have never been in the mood for a British period slasher sort of thing. Which is what it looks to be.

  9. Oh HAIR. Sigh. I'm growing mine back out at least long enough so that the bangs will tuck behind my ears. If I don't like that then I'm just going to have to have short bangs again because I canNOT stand Hair In My Face. So annoying.

    This probably wouldn't help your chapped lips, but I wish we were neighbors so I could give you the Mary Kay Lip Stuff I bought for reasons I can't explain. It's a scrub & then a lip balm. I've used it twice.

    1. Bug--SIGH! We can sigh together. I also hate Hair In My Face, hate Growing Out, and wish mightily that we lived in a culture wherein women shaved their heads. Problem Solved.

      Thank you anyway for your virtual offer of the Stuff. Wouldn't it be nice for me if wine cured chapped lips? I have tons of that stuff.

  10. Hair...mine is behaving right now, so I will not risk anything and just be THANKFUL.
    Primaries...I used to want them to be short, but am thinking about how popular Trump was at first and hoping that he will crash and burn, and therefore a long primary season where we get to KNOW THEM might not be a bad thing entirely.
    Chap lips. I got nothin'. I did buy some homeopathic cold sore stuff once that did nothing for my cold sore, but is really good for general lip health.
    Driving...Ted currently works as a traffic reporter for many stations, and seeing all of those stupid accidents has made him into a very good driver. Very careful, but not TOO CAUTIOUS, if you know what I mean.
    Downton Abbey....I got the DVD for my birthday, which means we have binged and it is over for us. Before the DVD came (they release it after about 4 episodes) I was on your viewing schedule. Watch on Sunday, then again during the week. I will miss it.

    1. J@jj--I agree that there should be a decent interval for primary season so that we have time to uncover any unsuitable and icky candidates. But I remember Scott Walker declaring over a year ago. (Remember him?) This cycle, yes, let's do hope it works in our favour and DTrump flames out.

      Thank you for not revealing any spoilers for DA in your Comment. I know you binge early.

      Does Ted get to go up in a helicopter? How exciting!

    2. Ted COULD go up for traffic, but he chooses not to. I'm glad, I wouldn't feel like he was safe if he were up there. :)

  11. I am enduring the undeniable fact that my body is aging. I'm trying to do all the right things but I still find I have those little morning aches and pains. And while my vision is still perfect for distances, I have to wear magnifiers for reading. My husband, who has worn glasses since he was 10, laughs because I have so many pairs of glasses lying on tables in every room of the house. And all because I refuse to wear one of those lovely eyeglass leashes.

    I endure the residual pain from shingles neuropathy because I'd rather have the pain than the potential side effects from medications that may or may not help.

    Otherwise, I don't actually endure much else. The years of enduring the artificial world of nursing administration gave me a benchmark for endurance. And so far, nothing in retirement even approaches the same level of "must be endured." I absolutely loved being a nurse and then I allowed myself to get promoted further and further away from the very thing I loved which was working directly with patients. I ended up making a lot of money putting out corporate fires, attending those ubiquitous strategic planning sessions, making budgets based on the CEOs unrealistic predictions of growth, etc., etc., etc. There were great parts to the job as well and some fun times. But those necessary corporate activities really tested my endurance. Thank goodness I haven't had occasion to use the words "mission statement," "ice breaker," or "performance evaluation" in years.

    I deal with Downton Abbey by recording it. Just knowing that it's there waiting for me is almost like anticipating Christmas.

    I try to avoid watching anything about the campaigns now. I have decided who will get my vote and nothing could change my mind at this point. Two of our local television affiliates are in SC which has a February primary. So tuning in even to check the weather forecast is risky. The mute button on the remote is already getting quite the workout.

    1. NCmountainwoman--I have a collection of those readers--well over thirty pair. They are fun to collect in their various styles and colours, and a nearby discount store sold them for 88 cents a pair. They became part of My Look while I was teaching, and I kept them in a basket on my desk. I picked out a pair to match my outfit every day, perching them on my head when not reading or entering grades. The Sad Part--I WEAR BIFOCAL CONTACT LENSES, TOO.

      I sympathize wholeheartedly about basking in Retirement and gaining tons of Patience after getting away from a taxing job. I have a cousin and a good friend in nursing admin., the former who was in nursing home admin., the latter a big deal in one of Cleveland's huge hospital conglomerates. It is soul-crushing. And those awful phrases you mentioned were rampant in my "education" meetings, too. They always made me want to stab someone, and never the kids. Ever.

      We do not have cable, satellite, nor DVR. We steal Jared's Netflix via a Roku, but other than that, we rely on antenna tv and the occasional computer hookup for something unusual. I don't watch tv during the day, so it is a huge waste of money for us. And in our area, we have no choice--one provider has the area locked up, and there is no incentive for good rates or good service, so there is neither.

      Like you, my vote is decided, and barring film of the candidate hurting babies or the elderly, it's not going to change. Ohio is always a battleground and a Decider, so it gets ugly and stays ugly here. We've been conditioned to Ignore. After the SwiftBoaters, no political ad gets any traction around here. It's all just Noisy Money.

  12. Two words .. Hat Hair. Nuff said.
    Yesterday's New Hampshire choices did not cause me to jump with joy. My husband says that American politics are more important to Canada than our own and watches all the debates with concentration. How he can fills me with wonder.
    Like one of your other commenters, we buy the DVD so we are done. We are now contemplating starting over. Will check out Jane Eyre, thank you Jared.
    Other than American politics, I am enduring the new Canadian government as it teethes. And drools and wets its pants a lot.
    Went south with the YD for a post Christmas holiday, did not use enough sunscreen and now all of me is peeling. Worth it.

    1. Mary Gilmour--Hello, Canada! Thank you for our latest round of Polar Weather. But really, you Shouldn't Have! (Really. I Mean That.)

      Please inform Mr. Gilmour that American Primaries are when the Crazies and Lunatics come out. Especially in the early contests. And that I am a Democrat.

      I have the remedy for Hat Hair, and it is to wear a ski band. It covers the ears and part of the forehead, which are the two things most affected by cold. Then, if necessary, I put up my hood. The hood is not very Useful in windy weather, but honestly, if it is that unpleasant, I do not go outdoors.

      Good for you, going to a warm place to escape for a time. I recommend pure cocoa butter in the stick for peelies. Gets them over and done with quickly. (Been there; done that.)


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